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Sight Screen

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Suspended animation

Dear all:

Been travelling, and in the midst of much; hence the absence. To those who sent worried emails wondering if I was ill, or dead, thanks much for the concern -- I am fine, merely that I was not in a position to update.

That situation likely continues through today, but should be back, regular time, tomorrow on. Thanks again all and best



  • Prem,,

    Nice to hear u.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:14  

  • Prem,
    Good to know that you are ok..
    Hoping to read some stuff soon.

    By Blogger Sunny, at 12:18  

  • yup, nice to see you around.
    Waiting to read your take on the 3rd test.
    Meanwhile, enjoy your travel :)

    By Blogger Ridham, at 12:29  

  • Hi Prem,
    Nice to see ur post. Lots of things to talk about since the last few days. We are waiting to hear ur take on -

    1) The appointment of Saurav as captain of Team India
    2) The team selected for the tour of Zim (tri-series and tests)
    3) The 3rd Ashes test that ended in a nail-biting draw
    4) Strategy, team composition etc. for the tri-series, especially in light of the new ICC rules that will be in play there

    Looking forward to ur views on all these


    By Blogger Giri, at 12:31  

  • Prem:

    Guys were about to report you missing to NYPD!

    Glad you're back.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:33  

  • Hey..that doesn't sound like Prem at all. Not a single mention of cricket !!...something fishy....blog hijacked this time instead of comments ? ;-))

    By Blogger worma, at 13:10  

  • Not a word of cricket, talks only about work!!!!!! this is not Prem Panicker.

    To prove you really are Prem, comment on Ashes 3rd Test, Team India for Zim tour composition.

    If we dont hear from the real Prem in the next 24 hours we will assume something shady is up and call in the cops.

    I am sure BCCI has got him kidnapped with contribution the cause by Saurav.

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 14:29  

  • While we all wait, here's some food for thought, explosions, etc. Check out the official ICC Player ratings, and in particular, Bowler no.17. I usually find the ratings very accurate, so this strikes me as very curious.


    17 +2 Ashley Giles ENG 595

    By Blogger NB, at 14:42  

  • nb u mean he should be higher ? :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:51  

  • Great articles in the Melbourne Age today on reverse swing and how it is effecting the two teams in the Ashes


    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 14:58  

  • worma - I hope you are joking. :)

    By Blogger NB, at 14:59  

  • nb, worma

    Ashley has been the topic of some discussion by Prem etc on this site before. While I think he is a terrible bowler in terms of the negative tactics etc, the way the english team is using him seems to be the reason he has had some success recently and moved up in the ratings. There has been some discussion of tis on the BBC commmentary during the Ashes and I wanted to summarize it:

    The strategy is called the in-out. Ahsley bowls a defensive leg stump line. The fielders are placed in and out i.e., 3-4 close in fielders to get catches when batsmen are forced to defend the negative line. The other fielders are placed on the boundary. The batsman is forced to take chances against the defensive line. The boundary fielders cut off the fours and are placed to take skiers when the batsman take chances. So the only tactic left is to use the feet or somehow force the ball short of the boundary fielders to take singles. This brings stumpings into play and frustrates a fast scoring batsman like the Aussies.

    This is what I understand. I would like somone who has watched the strategy employed to comment. Is it as I described or not and does it work. To me it shows a thinking in the dressing room (by manager etc). That is the exciting part. Cricket should be about both strategy (i.e., a broad thinking of the game) and tactics (i.e., on-field reaction, bowling changes etc.) This shows the English team doing its homework and working on strategy.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 15:16  

  • Eh, blog hijacked ??
    1) I don't think anyone sent a comment asking if prem was dead!
    2) Prem never starts his posts with a "Dear all"

    Something fishy?? Prem held for ransom???
    Too, too many conundrums in my mind, Prem..
    You'd do well to dispel them ;)

    By Blogger Ridham, at 15:16  

  • That "kicked the bucket" thought did cross my mind. Especially one of the lead stories on Rediff - "Indian-American shot dead" made me think about it. But I realized before clicking the link though. Rediff would probably have had a full page obit if the store was about PP.

    Don't you have one of those Bluetooth phones Prem and a laptop while you are travelling?

    By Blogger mamu, at 15:19  

  • nb sure that was a joke :-)...gopal sure Giles has some use in the team...esp against teams poor in playing spin...also gives an option to frustrate and take wkts when Eng has enough runs on board...but not much of a bowler to 'discuss' about !..and btw...that 'strategy' the BBC guys mentioned, thats pretty much the strategy for all spinners...attack with close in, and a few on the boundary for the skier....so whats new ? depends on what close in u got, and where on boundary the fielders are to decide how good the spinner is in terms of turn and also in terms of what he wants the batsmen to do.

    By Blogger worma, at 15:57  

  • Mcgrath has to be absolutely nuts to think that the momentum is now with Australia. They barely got out of jail with the last game. To say that England must be wondering what they should do against Australia is ludicrous. Australia must be wondering how to keep England down.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 15:58  

  • At the beginning of the series and after the first test, McGrath said aussies would win 5-0. He now he has revised his prediction to 3-1..Thought Zaheer Khan had a big mouth, McGrath's is bigger :))

    By Blogger Ridham, at 16:20  

  • gopalblog,

    I watched the Giles spells live. What made his strategy appear not so defensive were the subtle variations in loop and direction he used. Only Michale Clarke looked completely in command against Giles and guess why .... good old mantra of using the feet against the spinners!

    On another note - do u guys think Vaughn may have missed a trick by not letting Simon Jones bowling at the last over? Jones looked by far the most threatening. Not only did he get the ball to reverse consistently, he was able to mix the away swingers and in-dippers at will! Harmison just ended up wasting 8 out of 12 balls he got to bolw at McGrath and Lee!

    By Blogger Amit, at 16:33  

  • amit...
    Jones cramped up and left the field. He could not have bowled.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 16:47  

  • Prem, nice to hear from you. Let us know what you think about how lucky punter was, when compared to SRT?

    take care

    By Blogger amar, at 18:19  

  • Hi guys,
    You take on this?


    Looks like everybody is accountable except the ones in the BCCI. Why don't the BCCI let the guys do their job instead of attempting to look over their shoulder...

    By Blogger Kannan, at 18:41  

  • Prem P
    If email were Runs, you easily broke Lara's record on your What Was the Rush pitch.

    And your average ( runs or emails!) will plummet if you are going to show up and start something new on Wednesday morning.

    Performance in SA tomorrow is of some interest. I expect Sehwag and Nehra in the team. Murli and Kumble in tandem? hard to say..

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 19:43  

  • kanan:

    This is a perfect example of the politics that BCCI will play, not only with GC but with support staff also.

    While barganing for the powers he will have, GC bargained hard for the freedom of appointing his own support staff, while continuing with the existing one. BCCI accepted that demand but now, because they want some more control over GC, they are putting the support staff (kind of GC's right hands) under scanner (meaning threat of loosing job).

    It is my belief that the function of support staff is to help the coach in carrying out his duties in a better and proffesional way; and also to give their inputs about the ways in which improvements can be made (wherever required).

    I don't know how BCCI will do the following things:

    1. "Quantify" the minimum standard for support staff, that they will have to measure upto.
    2. "Quantify" the "actual" work that support staff did.
    3. Are there any precedents or guideleines that BBCI will follow to "quantify" the minimum standards?

    I mean, we have guys like Charles Krebbs, Ian Frazer, John Gloster. Frazer is a kinesiologist who studies limb movements and his main job is to suggest "improvements" in bowling actions etc. So, how can BCCI QUANTIFY his work done? John Gloster help in excersises, Gym, massage etc. How will his work be quantified?

    It is easy to quantify coach's work done by team's performance (win / loss) and trainer's work (number of injuries). But support staff, basically, help these guys do their job better. So, if team looses more than will they FIRE Ian Frazer, who is monitoring bowlers body movements?

    I agree, some review must be done. But to do it after every second series? It is ridiculous. If BCCI has to do this then why not do the same for Coach also? Review him every other series.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 20:13  

  • In every sport, every succesful coach has brought in their trusted team of supporting staff. The selectors take the risk of choosing the right coach and then the coach takes the risk of selecting people to whom he can delegate the tasks.

    As such the whole idea of measuring the performance of the supporting cast becomes meaningless. The right idea is to hand this over to the coach and then hold him accountable within the limits of the talent made available to him.

    As Ruchir mentioned this whole issue springs from the basic BCCI mentality to have politics and control in the game- one way or the other.

    By Blogger suraj, at 20:52  

  • Comments by Roebuck and Waugh in todays paper.

    After Border and Waugh, a new captain of industry makes his mark
    By Peter Roebuck
    August 17, 2005

    Seldom in the story of Ashes cricket has any match produced the agony and ecstasy felt by players and spectators alike as the epic third Test approached its climax at Old Trafford. Seldom have louder roars been heard at any sporting arena. Seldom have two such Test matches been played within a fortnight.

    Seldom has a local colossus fulfilled expectations as emphatically as did Andrew Flintoff. Seldom has a captain defied the times as magnificently as did Ricky Ponting in his country's hour of greatest need. Flintoff was magnificent. Throughout, Ponting was his match.

    As Australia slept, its captain produced one of the finest defensive innings of recent times and much the best of an already distinguished career. After languishing for four days, he redeemed himself with a performance so defiant and skilful that it deserves a place alongside the finest of its type. Heavens, it might have been Steve Waugh out there, or Allan Border. Ponting was outstanding. Over the previous few days his worst nightmares had come to pass. His team had gone to pieces and he had looked powerless to arrest the slide. Not unreasonably, his tactics had been criticised. Worst of all, England were on the verge of taking a 2-1 lead in his first Ashes campaign as captain. Something stirring was needed, yet he must have felt the weight of the world upon his shoulders.

    Overnight Ponting must have prayed for a long innings from his most dogged batsman, Justin Langer, a man prepared to bat through entire series of Big Brother. It took a single ball to shatter that hope and Ponting found himself marching to the crease with the day hardly five minutes old. Already he was entering unfamiliar terrain. A fifth day? Australia had won the previous Ashes series by the 11th afternoon. Playing for a draw? What on earth was a draw?

    As usual he started shakily. Like those gramophones of yesteryear, Ponting's feet take a while to warm up. Occasionally he played across the ball, the middle of his bat alone curtailing the bowler's yelp for leg before wicket. Once the Tasmanian had taken his bearings, though, he set about building the sort of massive construction required by his side. By doing so, he confirmed that he is a batsman of many parts and a leader in charge of himself and his team. Captaincy is a piece of cake when everything is falling into place.

    Unwilling to concentrate solely on defence, an approach that flatters the bowlers and allows opposing captains to crowd, the Australian played the ball away efficiently off his pads and pulled with absolute control. If anything, his straight driving was even more impressive as, with the full face of the bat and not much apparent effort, he sent the ball skimming discouragingly back past the bowler.

    Ponting also countered the turning ball with patience and skill. Not that it deviated as much as expected. Nor did the spinner try his luck around the wicket till starting his 27th over. Ponting's counterpart lost the battle of the captains. Nevertheless, Ashley Giles asked awkward questions. Combining soft-handed defence with fleet-footed attack, and judging the length and direction of the ball unerringly, the Australian captain answered them all.

    Of course, Ponting could not save the match on his own. Support was needed. He watched from the bowler's end as partners tried with might and main to keep him company. Unable to make hide nor hair of the fast reverse swing unleashed by Flintoff, the left-handers had a hard time. None of them lasted long.

    After a curate's egg of an innings, Matthew Hayden was bowled behind his pads. Simon Katich waved his bat around speculatively. Adam Gilchrist sliced his nemesis to gully. Among the batsmen, only Damien Martyn had cause for complaint, and his footwork let him down as much as Steve Bucknor's ears.

    The fate of the game and maybe the series hung on Ponting's ability to nurse his side to safety. Shane Warne offered redoubtable support till the last hour. Brett Lee hung on desperately. Then Ponting tried to protect his partner from some furious pace bowling. After 411 minutes of heroic defiance, he pulled and the ball brushed his glove. He left with head bowed, a fine batsman who had played the innings of his life. His tailenders did not let him down.

    Now Australia must regroup. England may have missed their chance. A lack of conviction could be detected in their work on the last days in Birmingham and Manchester. It's going to be a wonderful finish. As one spectator at Old Trafford put it: "You wouldn't be dead for quids."


    Captain's knock can inspire side
    By Steve Waugh
    August 17, 2005

    RICKY Ponting led from the front in the final day of the Test as all influential leaders should.

    In doing so he gave his teammates a lesson in concentration and application that should jolt the team into action - because if they don't improve then our hold on the Ashes is perilous.

    In time Ricky will look back and see this as his graduation as a Test captain.

    He walked out to bat with quite possibly the series result hinging on his performance, 20,000 parochial fans baying for his blood, rumours of internal conflict circulating in the media, scratchy form with the bat and a pitch showing signs of decay.

    All of these issues would have been swirling in his head as he walked out to bat. But as a leader you have to be able to compartmentalise to survive - and he did that with a single-mindedness and purpose that will now be a benchmark for him to measure himself by in the future.

    Initially he began cautiously as he tried to sum up the variations in pace and bounce, the amount of reverse swing and the amount of turn in the Old Trafford pitch.

    "Punter" generally goes hard at the ball early on in his innings, relying on his instincts and eye to cover up his tendency to topple forward when driving.

    This apparent vulnerability often lures opposition bowlers into over-attacking him in the belief he'll make a mistake.

    Almost before they realise the error of their ways he slips away and has 30 on the board, by which time his foot movements are more precise and his shot-making more assured.

    The best aspect of his innings yesterday was the way he backed himself by playing his natural game, hooking England's quicks and using his crease to Ashley Giles instead of worrying about losing or drawing the match.
    He wanted to make a statement that Australia weren't intimidated by the task at hand and that it was business as usual, while he'd be the one setting the tone of the day.

    But in between his trademark aggression came watchful defence and clever rotation of the strike. He adapted to the conditions at hand and his innings may well be the defining one when the Ashes is over.

    A draw was like a victory for Australia and this will be the mindset the team take into the next Test. England will view it as a lost opportunity and will no doubt torment themselves with what might have been.

    My moment of reckoning came in vastly different circumstances as I lay prone in a Colombo Hospital bed with a Hannibal Lector mask protecting multiple fractures in my nose. Next to me was Jason Gillespie, whose leg bone was shattered, while he also had a fractured wrist.

    During a reflective look back at my captaincy to that point I realised if I didn't make it back to captain Australia again then I would have sold myself short, as I'd captained by consensus and not by my instinct.

    In my sorry state I pledged to myself to always back my gut feeling without hesitation in the future.

    On the other side, Michael Vaughan produced a similar performance to Ponting, lifting against the odds when his team needed him most.

    It augurs well for the two remaining Tests because teams will often mimic the captains' drive and attitude.

    If that's the case then at the end we might be justified in saying that this was one of the all-time great series.

    England will rightly feel shortchanged at the result, which was affected by rain.

    They controlled the tempo of the match throughout but again baulked just when the killer blow had to be delivered.

    Nevertheless, England are playing better cricket and the Aussies must raise their intensity to reverse the momentum.

    By Blogger The Jackal, at 23:02  

  • Come back soon Prem....The Asia Africa Jambooree is gonna start in a few hours !!!
    Jingalala Ho Jingalala Ho...Hoo Hooo!!!

    By Blogger Jammy, at 23:22  

  • After watching most of the 3rd Test, what struck me was how England does well IN SPITE of Vaughan's captaincy, certainly not because of it. And no one seems to want to comment on this. On the 5th day, with Australia nowhere near a winning run rate, Vaughan posts 2-3 people on the boundary, even when a new batsman is in. And talk about field placements chasing the ball.. he is a Master at it. As Basil Fawlty would have said, "He won a Pulitzer for it!"..with a more attacking strategy, I am convinced England would have wrapped up this game before tea. Any feedback?

    Another thought (very irritating) always crops up when I watch this series...does anyone out there remember how frequently our left-arm seamers are warned by the likes of Rudi Kurtzen and Steve Bucknor the moment they stray half a cm on to the pitch after delivering the ball? Please, please watch Andrew Flintoff bowling around the wicket, and notice how he literally runs down the length of the pitch after delivery, sometimes even unsighting the umpire?? Any warnings? ANy suggestions about damage to the pitch/ Even an inspection? Nope. What gives?

    By Blogger Armchair, at 01:07  

  • Armchair...good observations.

    Yeah, I always felt that Vaughan could have had one more fielder catching. They were times when this was justified because of the strategy of bowling reverswing into the bat rather than away. But on the whole this was a negative point.

    On the other hand, I think even when Clarke was there they had an outside chance of winning the game and Vaughan could not afford to entertain that possibility at all because of the confidence that would give the Aussies.

    On the pitch warnings, maybe you are being a little harsh on Flintoff. I know Jones was guilty of this. But Flintoff starts wide off the crease, when he bowls around the wicket. I doubt he gets close enough to the protected area. At least I did not notice.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 01:49  

  • worma,

    The in-out strategy is slightly different - there are only fielders in close catching positions and on the boundry - nobody saving the singles (cover, mid-on, etc).

    So to score runs against someone like Giles, you have to use your feet and drive the ball (simple tapping or going for big shots are not options).

    Also, in my opinion, Giles is a good fifth bowler but would not make it into a team which plays with only 4 bowlers (India/Aus are two that come to mind).

    He gives England an extra option, something that Australia are lacking.

    If you notice in the last two Tests, Hoggard and Harmison have not got many wickets, but still England have been able to get the Aussies under pressure; mainly because of the extra bowling option that Vaughan has...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:31  

  • Yeah..totally agreed on Giles being good fifth bowler. Actually...I think if Eng had to take an extra batsmen, they might do away with Hoggard at this stage, so maybe he and Giles are both 4.5 bowlers :-)...Giles' brings variety to the attack...some pitches and situations need that.

    On the in-out strategy...maybe it is something different. I just got a feeling that they gave a new name to it, but then I haven't seen it :-) I thought when we had Bhajji or Kumble attacking, we had close in fielders, and then mostly on boundaries to save hits (and maybe a fine leg closer to catch the top edged sweep)...but anyways....too fine points...

    By Blogger worma, at 06:08  

  • btw..anyone here following Africa-Asia thingy :-) ???

    By Blogger worma, at 06:09  

  • Hey worma...you still around.
    Am following on cricinfo...do you know if this is available live?

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:24  

  • no idea mate..was going to ask the same question :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:25  

  • looks like both khan and akhtar are troubling the batsmen, few of khan edges went for boundaries though. good chance for him to be back into rhythym and prove to team management that he still justifies a place..even for test matches..otherwise he may not be in starting 11 for that also !

    By Blogger worma, at 06:29  

  • looks like this one is also on willow

    By Blogger worma, at 06:35  

  • Inzy chose to field first but did not have slips fielders for the first few...might have made the difference....off to flyer now, Africa.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:36  

  • worma...it's not on willow. I thought maybe sgstream...but that site is weird...I cannot figure it out.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:40  

  • its mentioned on front page of willow...although they dont have a separate package for it in the schedule !

    And yes many edges going initially...btw...u getting audio somewhere ?..how do u know inzy's field placement ?

    By Blogger worma, at 06:42  

  • woo...khan got one !

    By Blogger worma, at 06:42  

  • woo hooo..another one for khan :-))

    By Blogger worma, at 06:44  

  • was his bad form just an asian pitch problem ???....has been bowling well here....and I do remember that he has always bowled well outside the subcontinent.

    Actualy I feel our team is paying too much in the subcontinent (and this whole season is packed with that)..although our ODI team is much better outside.....one of the reasons for bad performances...and low ratings

    By Blogger worma, at 06:46  

  • worma...

    regarding Zaheer...Lord knows what his deal is.

    regarding field placement...going cricinfo ...said ball went through "vacant slips"

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:49  

  • nine south africans in the side...

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:51  

  • yeah jiet...zaheer's case is a lot like yuvraj's...only in bowling. Good talent...lots of promise...poor development..
    and what did you expect...had smith been available that should have been 10 :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:56  

  • but look at how weak their bowling is...pollock is the main bowler...Odoyo, Steyn make up the numbers

    By Blogger worma, at 06:57  

  • Yeah...bowling looks thin...it would have been good to watch Sehwag in this game.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 07:00  

  • I think he'll murder them...if he gets past Pollock somehow :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:00  

  • Worma...be back later...I'm starving...gonna head to Denny's

    By Blogger Jiet, at 07:02  

  • ok..c u later

    By Blogger worma, at 07:02  

  • How long is this game going to last for? I shall be Nehra closely.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 07:03  

  • wow..khan with one more...and now all those complaining about him in SL will start complaining if his replacement does not fire in Zim series :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:05  

  • well..they have enough batsmen...with Boje at 9

    By Blogger worma, at 07:06  

  • ok issaicn...here's first one for Nehra....

    By Blogger worma, at 07:09  

  • worma, I have put some interesting analysis on my blog comparing Australia's and Englands potential to take 20 wickets in the match.

    It's mathematical, but fun (I think)...


    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 07:50  

  • will check out Saurabh

    By Blogger worma, at 07:54  

  • Looks like SA will be aiming for about 240. Boucher, Pollock and Boje can hit big shots.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:02  

  • jiet...2 reasons...inzy messed up with the first change..why the hell did he bring razzaq against a team which is weakest in playing spin...and when he has 2 good spinners in the side (which incidently means he has 5 regular bowlers minus razzaq)

    By Blogger worma, at 08:08  

  • and second..the pacers khan and nehra let boucher get away when he was just in...they didnt bowl just around or outside offstump in the corridor for him...too many middle-leg balls...which is where he likes....although to be fair he didnt take much strike against them

    By Blogger worma, at 08:09  

  • and since we gentlement are in time wasting mode here :-)....let me bring up this interesting thought I had in my mind...do you guys think Andrew Flintoff is a complete allrounder ?..forget the hype around him in Eng media, they are like that only. Analyse objectively.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:14  

  • hmmm...I guess Inzy felt that the pacers are getting something from the pitch. I don't rate Razzaq highly so it was not a smart decision....I mean you have the spinner-cum-chukker in your side.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:17  

  • yes jiet...and the thing is...its almost a rule that u bring your spinner on against SA asap...and field restrictions were off (unless he took 2nd powerplay..but even then murali is too good)...and boucher likes medium pacers

    By Blogger worma, at 08:19  

  • Well the way most people go about this is by asking if he is a match-winner with the bat and with the ball.

    I woudl say yes that he is a match-winner with bat and ball. However, if peopl feel he is not the finished article I would be generous and concede that point

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:24  

  • good one jiet :-)...well anticipated :-)...is he a matchwinner with the bat alone ? ball alone (has be run through any lineup ever?)...forget botham...is he comparable with Kallis or Cairns in their prime ?...I do think he is on the track...

    By Blogger worma, at 08:28  

  • thanks worma...Flintoff himself is 28 so his development will have to be closely monitored...he may have 2-3 years at the same pace and then he will need to rely on smarts.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:37  

  • yep...he has time to mature as a batsman (his weaker point at this stage) and will also have to learn more tricks with the ball when pace goes down (both Cairns and Kallis were also 'quick' at one point of time). But Flintoff has an interesting aspect...he started off as a much better batsman..and ODI style basher..then worked on his bowling.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:39  

  • One Day International Series: Africa XI v Asia XI

    Zaheer already has taken 3 wickets...looks like dropping him from the Zim tour is a good thing?

    By Blogger jgohil, at 08:44  

  • jay..remember this is first game after a long time outside the subcontinent....that can matter....Khan has always been more effective outside the subcontinent...while hardly ever been above avg back at home....

    By Blogger worma, at 08:48  

  • and there ends the pathetic spell from Kumble !..and then this guy goes and cries in media that he is targetted each time....he doesnt have the brains to see that he is getting more and more useless in ODIs...even a team weak against spin plays him out easily !

    By Blogger worma, at 08:53  

  • ..even afridi is more effective spinner than him in ODIs...I'm sure kumble would have kept giving easy singles even now...when afridi comes and attacks and gets wkt in first over...Kumble was so hopeless today...SA batsmen played him from the middle of the bat all the time !!

    By Blogger worma, at 08:56  

  • worma - u watching live?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:00  

  • nope...just cricinfo....couldnt even find where its live...not on willow or sgstream

    By Blogger worma, at 09:01  

  • Poor boy odoyo kicked out of the match!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:02  

  • Its live on Zee TV for free..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:02  

  • oohh...is it...let me check

    By Blogger worma, at 09:06  

  • tiger, can u post the link please ?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:07  

  • I dont think its live on internet..
    Its live on television.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:07  

  • ohh :-))...ok..I'm not in Zee region

    By Blogger worma, at 09:08  

  • I think Inzy let SA get away to a defendable total..he shud have attacked all along...all their batsmen were edgy and scratchy....only played kumble with comfort...he cud have got them for around 100-125

    By Blogger worma, at 09:11  

  • yeah, worma.
    This is a mismatch really. They should have made two composite sidea and called it Barry Richrads XI vs Sunil Gavaskar XI...or something like that.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 09:15  

  • Inzy was told to let Africa score a bit otherwise the match wud have been over too soon -
    shud be fun to see afridi open with sehwag!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:15  

  • jiet agreed...looks like a mismatch..unless our batsmen have other plans

    tiger: yeah now atleast those guys have some runs to chase...lets see if their bowlers are as rusty as the bastmen

    By Blogger worma, at 09:18  

  • they should have chosen Ganguly instead of Sehwag to make things equal ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:20  

  • WOW..Nehra gets a runout !..

    By Blogger worma, at 09:22  

  • Worma, Jiet, Tiger and others; Hats off to you guys for following this meaninless game!!!!!

    Not a personal remark, but I am surprised with your passion.

    Dalmiya would be proud of you guys :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:23  

  • tiger was that a direct hit ?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:23  

  • Just came in to catch up on the AXI vs AXI game and WTF the Indians are playing well. Zaheer is bowling well and Nehra and Nehra gets a run out. These guys just can't do it when they play for India or what?? All we need now is for Sehwag to go against his ODI run of form and hit a 100.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:25  

  • worma - I am not watching on Zee.. I am at work and even at home I no longer have Zee

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:25  

  • yeah saurabh :-)...thats how cricket gets money in India....and its suprising that some of the tv channels dont realise this...I mean they spend so much money getting tv rights of those exotic sports events like champions league and formula 1....if they show zim bangla match (with cheap rights) I'm sure more people would watch....even the ranji and other domestic circuit...if well covered on tv..and made a bit jazzy with colour clothing...day night games etc...would be well received...

    By Blogger worma, at 09:25  

  • gopal..but isnt that good news..these guys have to do a tour soon in these conditions....shud be good then..

    By Blogger worma, at 09:27  

  • and btw..jiet...the african team may be stronger next match when Zim players join...atleast better than the Kenyans (and Streak is in good bowling form also)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:28  

  • worma .. agree with you ... hope the good form extends to the tri-series esp vs NZ.

    BTW the match is being played with the substitutes rule and the power plays. Ashraful is the Asian sub, that should be interesting.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:30  

  • no problems following the game (I have the scorecard open as well), but not analyze it please :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:31  

  • bradman will be turning in his grave right now...


    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:32  

  • ok saurabh...less analysis hereon ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:32  

  • very true saurabh..:-)...they also have a NSW...and WTF...they have so many stars in those !!...this should be big way of kicking off Twent20 in India....I think its cool idea

    By Blogger worma, at 09:35  

  • there was no mention of how the Indians managed to bowl their 50 overs in time during the Indian Oil cup.. wonder if they will be able to continue doing so, or as usual forget about it.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:35  

  • Its about time Twenty20 came to India. I think it will be hugely popular. most people like to watch sixers and fours anyway.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:36  

  • saurabh ... you're down on the 20/20 eh? You're a traditionalist? :-)

    I think it deserves a chance. I'm sure there were those that predicted the demise of cricket when they first saw ODIs too.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:37  

  • and I think if they do it right..twenty20 can be a good way of reviving domestic cricket in India...people start watching and following their local teams....great way....just hope they do it right....but then this is a one-off tourney sponsored by this Aus company for their product promotion...wonder if BCCI will watch closely and take it from there

    By Blogger worma, at 09:40  

  • Guys, anyone seen Batman begins? Saw it last night.

    Vaughan's resemblance to Christian Bale (the lead) is uncanny.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:47  

  • there are some funny comments here-

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:48  

  • Gopalblog, on the contrary, I am a big fan of Twenty20. In fact, I have watched about 10 Twenty20 games in England in the last three years

    But I am dead against meaninless matches be it Twenty20, ODI (like this one) or Test matches (like Zimbabwe Vs NZ).

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:49  

  • Am I the only person who sees a striking resemblance between Ponting and George W Bush ?? Both in looks and in demeanor.

    By Blogger Ridham, at 09:50  

  • saurabh...LOL...esp about the Zim test matches. I guess they were able to take the 2nd into the third day. That's an achievement in itself.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:51  

  • ridham- there is some resemblance! Especially when they express surprise with that wierd look.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:52  

  • ah, just noticed that Shane bond got a 10-fer..
    Haha, no way Ganguly will score many in the tri-series as both streak and bond seem to be on fire !!

    By Blogger Ridham, at 09:53  

  • yes ridham..it wud be fun playing bond and streak..i think streak would trouble him more with movement....ahh...if only we could play test matches also with Nz there instead of Zim ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:59  

  • I hope when Twenty/20 comes to India, our "worthy" selectors don't start selecting Test team based on the 20/20 performances!!!

    They, sure have a habit of Selecting test team on ODI performances and vice-versa...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 09:59  

  • so what next? Ponting will convince the ACB to sent the Australian 'A' team to Iraq to teach them how to play cricket.

    And the ECB will throw in Ashley Giles for good measure...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:59  

  • saurabh LOL :-)...I think Aussie A team would be too much for the Iraqis...although Giles does even it up :-))

    By Blogger worma, at 10:02  

  • ruchir why do you say that ? I thought this time selectors got it right for test and ODIs ? They thankfully did not drop Balaji and Khan from tests...

    By Blogger worma, at 10:03  

  • An india vs Iraq XI game would be mouth-watering prospect. India would score like 260/9 in 50 overs. Iraqis would get off to a flyer due to agarkar's and zaheer's profligacy and tendency to bowl no-balls. Harbhajan would pull things back a l'll with his doosras.. However introduction of zaheer and agarkar would mean iraqis get back in the death overs. India however, thanks to their experience, would manage to pull through by 5 runs :-)

    By Blogger Ridham, at 10:10  

  • never a dull moment when India plays - not matter what the opposition!!!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:11  

  • Godd morning guys......


    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:17  

  • worma:

    I was just joking about the selectors and 20/20 game. I know they made a good distinction between ODI and Test team for ZIM tour. But in the past they have had a habit of mixing ODI and Test selections.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 10:17  

  • Maher bhaiya, Mangal Pandey dekhe ho ka? Never heard anyone refer to Prem as "Bhaiyya"!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 10:24  

  • Just reading newspapers and wondering how media tries to make stories out of sadness and sorrow.
    y'day a young man killed in US for which HT and SIFY's headline was :A Hindu Activist shot dead in US".
    why they dont saperate religion from one's identity and as here a simple temple going person is defined as ACTIVIST.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:27  

  • Saurabh,,

    "L" u know its unusual for him to remain in such hide.
    Haven't see MANGAL yet is it worthy??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:30  

  • Prem...Happy New Near to you!!!.

    Enjoy your vacation. If i'm on vacation, I will do the same, stay away from computer and cell as much as possible.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 10:31  

  • "Asian XI lose 5 wickets "

    This is headline from NDTV.com (on samachar.com)
    No comment for this moron.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:35  

  • Not yet seen it, but will do tonight. Heard mixed reviews but I guess I owe my £5.75 to Amir. He is the only guy out there who makes an effort with his movies.

    Now, if only guys like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were like Amir and focused on few good movies instead of churning out crap after crap...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 10:37  

  • cricinfo scores not updating.. cribuzz says its 21/0 after 4 overs.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:38  

  • 27/0 in 6

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:42  

  • Afridi should open with viru, and if this two fires together i would not mind wasting time on such masala matches.

    Wahi, u r right however he might be, he is most dedicated actor of his era.if most of others follow him u wont see many shakti kapoors in industry.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:43  

  • wahi: Second your opinion about Shah Rukh Khan. That guy is c**p, stereotyped, plays to the gallery, good at PR, has cronies in the media and what not..
    Not sure about Amitabh bachchan though. I watched Sarkar and thought he did a neat job in it..I despise his closeness to the likes of Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh who run the mafia of UP..IF a man were to be literally known by his friends, then prolly AB ain't all clean..
    Hey, are we still talking cricket ;) If prem doesn't come back, this comment page could degerate to ramblings of ppl like me who have nothing to do at work :)

    By Blogger Ridham, at 10:47  

  • ridham,,,

    let's talk cricket.(r v both in same company??)
    i am wondering how strong this England bowling is??
    there are tones of praise for them but am wondering if opposition scores 350+ against u in fourth innings then r u strong enough to defend small totals??
    there wont be 400+ everyday to defend.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 10:52  

  • guys - here's the latest scorecard..


    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:53  

  • Sehwag out !!! his bad run continues...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:02  

  • Sehwag's gone! A typical Sehwag ODI innings these days. 20s @ almost run a ball. That is becoming his ODI MO. Is he still the best candidate to open for India in the ODIs?

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 11:02  

  • pollock took him out.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:03  

  • 2nd wicket down

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:07  

  • Youhanna gone for 1 !!!! pollock again....2 wkts in 5 balls...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:07  

  • 3rd out!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:08  

  • pollock 3 wickets

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:08  

  • Ashrafull OUT....Pollock has 3 wkts in 6 balls.....he is on hat-trick...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:11  

  • maher, "This" English attack has won 19 of their last 30 matches, (In the same period, the Aussies have won 20).

    Also, in the 58 innings, they have only conceded more then 400 runs 3 times (Twice to South Africa in 2003 when Nasser was captain) and once to West Indies at St. Johns (when Lara made 400).

    So let's give then some credit...

    Agreed, man to man, the Aussies are better but they play only 4 bolwers whereas England play 5, so they have an edge. I posted this earlier, but I have posted an analysis on my blog.


    You might find it interesting...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:12  

  • Ratings never lie. Pollock is #5 in ODI. Sehwag is #28, Yohanna is #11. Sehwag is slipping rapidly.

    By Blogger sachin, at 11:15  

  • Shewag should move down the order when Tendulkar is back. Our best run in ODI's was when Tendulkar/Ganguly use to open and I would like to see that combination tried for somemore time...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:15  

  • wow...african team has just one decent bowler...looks like we will give all out wkts to him :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:15  

  • sachin: sehwag made more runs against Pollack than Youhana...ratings lied ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:21  

  • saurabh...agree completely on SRT/SG opening in the ODIs with VS moving down the order...from you keyboard to God's ears...by God ofcourse I mean in the Indian cricket context now it is SG.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 11:21  

  • When the captain is a batsman and he plays a very good innings, we say he played a Captain's innigns.

    Here Pollock is a bowler and captain. He is bowling an exceptional spell. So, what will we say? "He bowled a captain's innings"?? or anything else? Any ideas??

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:24  

  • I guess it will be "He bowled a captain's spell".

    Cricket does have some funny terms...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:27  

  • thats why we dont have too many bowler captains

    By Blogger worma, at 11:29  

  • saurabh:

    Yeah, that one sounds good.

    On a funny note, if Muralitharan was Asian XI captain then the line would have been "he threw a captain's spell" !!!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:30  

  • led from the front with the ball in the hand..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:31  

  • RUCHIR,,

    lead from front.

    how amazingly u all guys criticising sehawag.(after saying these r useless matches)checkout last season's opening matches and he was bad then what he is today.
    can not just understand this analysing of throwing players if he fails in very few matches.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:32  

  • Aalu OUT !!! bowled but the Sub. (Kemp)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:34  

  • I see the merit of a SRT-SG opening combo, but for me in the long run its a double whammy. I dont see either of them making use of the field restrictions effectively(given their injuries/age/loss of form). We might revert back to more conservative style of run making.

    Would really hope sehwag or dhoni measure up soon.

    By Blogger sachin, at 11:34  


    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:34  

  • and now that should be news Inzi was out but not runout. what proud moment for pakistani cricket.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:36  

  • Justin Kemp subbed for Thomas Odoyo

    Ashrafull subbed for Murali

    So Sub taking his toll for Africa but Asian sub failing.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:36  

  • rediff live-score is good one too.(atleast today)

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:37  

  • yeah murali wud have done better

    By Blogger worma, at 11:38  

  • chance for nehra,kumble and khan to practise their batting skills today.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:39  

  • now they should again use murli as superest sub for nehra.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:40  

  • it seems RD is needed in all matches these days !

    By Blogger worma, at 11:41  

  • as long as Sanga is 'straight', and its not my behind, I dont care where he leads from..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:41  

  • tiger / maher:

    "lead from the fromnt" is okay but usually commentrators are specific in this comments based on the role of the player. Usually, most captains are batsmen, so commentrators say "played captain's innings" indicating that the captain batted very well.

    Now, if the captain is a bowler, commentrators will have to use some other word for "played", and maybe also for "innings". Since the person is a bowler, "played will most probably be replaced by "bowled" and "innings" by "spell" as SAURABH suggested.

    "lead from the front" sounds like a captain doing a very good job while the team is fielding; like a catch or run out etc. But then, this is my own interpretation, not a general statement.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:42  

  • super spell by skipper?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:43  

  • SW - that was funny.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:43  

  • Some of Pak players dono english and say if they are with sangakara, can u help how they should comunicate??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:43  

  • ask the Pak players to use their hands, always works...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:45  

  • I would like to know what Bishan Bedi would say if he was commenting during an IND-SL match and Murali was bowling.

    Any wild ideas what his comments mught be?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:45  

  • PAK player will probably use all their "3" hands...specially players like Shoaib.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:47  

  • bedi would go " and the javelin pierces through Yuvraj's defenses."

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:47  

  • ruchir,

    even bowler captain can play captain's innings.thats diff thing but while bowling 'lead from front' or 'leader of their attack' is what mostly used.if u want u can call it captain's spell i dont think anything wrong.
    remember few years back "right in the block hole" was'nt that popular.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:48  

  • tiger:

    Bedi would probably start discussing the finer points of Javelin throwing.....

    Probably suggest Indian Javalin throwers, for olympics, to take coaching from Murali...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:50  

  • maher:

    got your point, buddy.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:51  

  • and after every over he coudl say , coming back to cricket..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:51  

  • guys:

    yesterday, Prem said that he will be back on the blog scene today, normal time. I don't see him out there yet. What's up?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:52  

  • Shastri uses this line when fast bowler is trying hard..""Even Akram is bending his back today""

    uhh.. so thats 100% effort.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:52  

  • tiger:

    yeah....hearing his comments would be really entertaining.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:53  

  • And what if lalu is commenting,,, there wont be grass on surface next day.!!

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:54  

  • maher:

    Certain commentrators use "different" lines or quotes to emphasis their points.

    I remember in Indian Oil cup, Rameez Raja was saying that West Indian bowlers liked the ball "yound and hard". I wonder what he was emphasising on??

    "His" preferences, maybe !!!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:55  

  • There won't be any grass to begin with!!! LAlu will say that cows ate all the grass, don't blame me !!!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:56  

  • Afridi OUT !!! 89/5 in 20 overs

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:57  

  • 5th wicket falls.
    Asia XI is trouble.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:58  

  • ruchir..

    he said best is trying his best, and someone on blog told he might be waiting for this to say since morning.(ohh there is tino, lets use it)

    look at this funny thing i praised rediff score and so after Inzi got out only sangakara is batting on their scorecard, no non-stricker!!

    By Blogger MAHER, at 11:58  

  • Just read neil manthorp's Roving Reporter column on the AXIvAXI series on cricinfo. It is funny, not in a funny ha ha sort of way, but funny in WTF are the ICC and BCCI etc doing staging these matches sort of way.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 12:00  

  • maher:

    yeah, weired things happen on Rediff too!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:00  

  • maher:

    I went to Rediff scorecard and they don't have Afridi in batting list at all!!! Although the score says 89/5...wiered...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:03  

  • Maybe they are also getting affected by missing Prem P...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:03  

  • looks like a good bowling surface this....I think Asian XI screwd up in bowling....shud have got them under 150

    By Blogger worma, at 12:03  

  • i read in India Today that one lalu's son is in Delhi crcket school, then lalu is their in bihar cricket asso., pawar wanted BBCI top job,, actually things are even more scarry beyond dalmiya.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:04  

  • ZIM get innings defeat from NZ

    Bond 4 for 48
    Vettori 3 for 66
    3 run outs

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:05  

  • maher...this is one of the reasons why i want dalmiya to stay strong in Indian cricket....most of the people criticise him...but they dont realise that beyond that, things are much worse...its not as if Harsha Bhogle is becoming the chief after him

    By Blogger worma, at 12:06  

  • Becasue of all these scary people trying to enter cricket scene, sometimes I feel we are lucky to have Dalmiya, who fights hard to keep people like Pawar, Lalu away from cricket !!!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:06  

  • atleast he keeps the politics to his level..and lets ganguly and wright/chappel do their stuff at the 'playing' level

    By Blogger worma, at 12:07  

  • worma:

    True. Life after Dalmiya would be really scary...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:07  

  • People,

    I have just managed to establish contact with Prem. Rather he called me up and was able to speak only for a couple of minutes. Apparently he has been kidnapped by a shadowy group whose aims include a variety of causes from suppressing any criticism of Ganguly to the renstatement of Tinu Yohanan as India's spearhead. So far Prem has shown a great deal of valor and has refused to give in to their demands. But I'm worried. I know Prem, and despite that gruff bearded exterior, he's a softy and might begin to see the wisdom in acceeding to their demands. I've informed NYPD and they're now in the process of tracing the phonecall. I hope they find him in time, before he signs an affidavit to submit himself to them or they start harming him. In his phonecall he mentioned that the goons were armed to their teeth with sundry items such as lego AK-47s, plastic putty knives and jet-powered surface to air water missile launchers.

    Pray, people, pray, for Prem's speedy release.

    By Blogger roshogolla, at 12:12  

  • dalmiya has excellent buseness mind and india has its advantages.(disadvantages too).
    As prem said few days back, during 83 cup final NKP SALVE(then president was not allowed in) and hence dalmiya decided to stand up on his own and market indian cricket.i think he succeded beyond his dreams.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:12  

  • maher true...i know the disadvantages also....but he is way better than any options in sight...unless Prem decides to take the mantle :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:17  

  • and here kallis pollack finish off the asian XI...its a stupid game but still Inzy and Kumble lost it....

    By Blogger worma, at 12:19  

  • Sangakara OUT !!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:19  

  • gang can thank his stars he was not included in this team; he would have lost the wisp of form he had gained :)

    By Blogger JD, at 12:22  

  • as far as selections concerned selectors has to take responsibility and are only to be blamed not BCCI.
    they works unpaid so if there is pressure from BCCi to pick someone they should resign or stand to your selection,, thats what any body with slightest dignity will do.
    this bunch of jockers stays in 5-stars and enjoy life as good as players and they some of them speaks to media "on condition of anonymity" that player A was selected b'ze of so and so's demand.
    stupid, then whats the hell r doing there??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:23  

  • Worma,,

    these games are perfect plateform for fixers.
    Asians,Africans in africa no restrictions over players no pressure.
    just perfect.Aza would have liked it.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:27  

  • maher...i dont think those kind of selections happen now....the only favouritism that happens in selections now is the one which captain and coach do to some extent...which is right on their part..they work on personal choices and instincts...

    By Blogger worma, at 12:33  

  • Worma,
    yes, but my point is when it happens blame goes to BCCI only.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 12:35  

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