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Sight Screen

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Three pronged strategy

We need to field better, bowl better and bat better.

That is Greg Chappell after the Sri Lanka outing. Ouch! -- Wish he had avoided that particular line; it comes with too many memories, none of them good, attached.
To be fair, I would have been surprised if he had gone into a point by point analysis of the series, with a view to apportioning blame. Firstly because, if he is doing his job right, he has some very hard decisions to make and some very tough talking to do, and he isn't the man I hope he is if he choses the media as his preferred vehicle to do all that. And secondly, because there is nothing quite as dangerous for a coach as hair trigger analysis -- game over, here you go, the pros and cons all neatly packed inside of twelve hours?
Doesn't work that way -- a far better scenario is sitting down with the captain and senior management for a collective read on what was missing on the field of play; with the video analyst to work out the root cause of the more glaring problems; with the other experts on individual performances (As in, what's with Zaheer, really? Throughout this tournament, his run up has lacked that purpose; the gather and leap actually reduce momentum rather than accentuate it; the pace is missing, the control awry, the variations non-existent).
That's going to take a while... and I suspect the first indication of how well the job has been done will come when the team for India's next outing is picked.

15 Comments:

  • IMHO, GC and everyone in the team need to work on the basics... as GC himself identified once he took over the job. Do the basics right, and see the amazing confidence it can generate. A player who gets the basics right 9.9/10 times is a team player who in turn is a match winner.

    5-1-5, 7-4, 2-9 and all the forumlas are just that formulas. For any formula to work, the ingredients have to be right. I think its a no-brainer that improving basics will improve the quality of the ingredients and THEN we can get the right formula. Simple, huh? :)

    By Blogger saum, at 12:08  

  • Whoops - I just commented on your 'vitamin C' post about this. Damn, it was nice to see the Indian team of the 21st century, and now it looks like we are slipping back.

    :-(

    By Blogger RPM, at 12:21  

  • Asked if Indian players have a tendency to wilt under pressure, Chappell said, "I do not know. I have not found out that as yet. When you find out, you let me know."

    Chappell seems to be the only one who doesn't think the Indian team chokes. What does he see that we don't?

    By Blogger Abe, at 12:30  

  • Prem,

    Is it possible for you to analyze the field settings that the Indians used v/s that used by SL (esp. with regard to spinners)? Maybe this might throw light on the shot selection used by each team and the line and length bowled by the bowlers. SL are definitely very strong at home and know what lines and lengths to bowl esp. in the middle overs. They used their "python squeeze" to perfection. I wonder if our team has learnt anything from that over the last 2 yrs?

    By Blogger rp, at 12:31  

  • rp: I could, but I am not sure how much value that would have. For these reasons:
    1. Both sides, for instance, mostly kept mid off well in for the spinners till the death phase. India didn't get too many runs in that direction, because the fielder there was alert, quick, attacked the ball at all times; for Lanka, mostly, a push to mid off was a sure single because it was manned, mostly, by Ganguly, Kumble or Nehra, and a push to any of them is a run, guaranteed (significantly, the one run out from that position came when a faster fielder, Dravid, manned it).
    2. The lines bowled add to the value of a field setting. For instance, I could set a field with 7 on the off, and just a square leg, either regular or just backward, stopping a single to the push off the pads, and a mid on -- and it would be a good field, if say an Anil Kumble focussed on bowling the 6 or 5 yard length, just outside of off. You are forced, then, to play him into the off side, where I have defenses against both the hard hits, and the pushes. But if that line goes middle, or middle and leg, you bleed runs, because there is no way to stop a batsman from taking it off his pads and playing it anywhere from fine leg to wide midwicket or chipping over mid on -- and that is half the field that opens up. A more specific example, again relating to Kumble, is this -- for the left handers, the field set was to a preferred line of off curving in to middle, or occasionally going through straight. Invariably though, Kumble was on leg, and more often than not short -- and you just can not set a field to rank bad bowling.
    Chalo, guys, need to go get work done, see you all later

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:52  

  • I would not be too surprised if no the usual politics is played during the selection and the team is more or less unchanged... The only probable change would be that
    Saurav would return as captain and Agarkar would comeback once more...

    What do you guys think?

    By Blogger Kannan, at 13:30  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:35  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:35  

  • If Kumble was doing that - bowling leg stump line. Was it because 1) that was the team plan?? 2) if not, why after 1 or 2 or 3 overs of such rubbish wouldnt the coach send a towel boy out to hammer into his head that the line he is bowling is wrong?? 3) Or is it that on somedays, try as you may, but you just cant avoid bowling the leg stump line? 4) was he hypnotised before he went out to bowl?
    Sarcasm aside, it baffles me that a professional cricketer can make such basic mistake. But then again, perhaps these arent professional cricketers! They are professional models, playing amateur cricket.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:39  

  • Or perhaphs its the fans who are more obsessed with a Win than the players :)

    By Blogger sachin, at 13:54  

  • Accept it Mr. Panicker.If those words were uttered by an Indian Coach like Kapil,Gaekwad or Madan Lal , you would have lambasted him with long articles .
    In fact I believe you already did castigated them in your rediff columns when they said those very same words.
    Now that it comes from GC , you choose to just let it go with just an ouch.
    Who says only the Indian cricket team is
    inconsistent.
    We are all like this only.
    One rule for White skin and another one for us.

    By Blogger WeAreLikeThisOnly, at 14:10  

  • The bowling and fielding certainly let us down and in the chase, the top 4 batsmen did the hard work of getting in and throwing it away; that's right, 4 set batsmen threw away their wickets! Sehwag gave us the scorcher start that was needed but played one shot too many. SG shockingly used his pad as defense against spin. SG probably should/could have played more shots since the "rotating strike" is certainly not his game. Dravid surprisingly gifted his wicket. Yuvraj also threw it away at a crucial point.

    Regarding Dhoni, he didn't pick Chandana's flipper and didn't keep well at all. He quickly needs to be told that inspite of his wonderful batting ability, being a tidy keeper ranks right up there in priorities. If he fluffs easy chances in the next set of games, he should be asked to go back to the drawing board. I think the BCCI should learn what happens when inept keepers are persisted with for too long e.g. Deep Daasgupta and Parthiv Patel.

    Overall, the Indian performance lacked discipline in all aspects of the game.

    By Blogger rp, at 15:58  

  • against SL, SG was mostly at third man.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 22:13  

  • This is perhaps the most diabolic criticism I have ever seen (Cricketnext.com article linking Dravid's albetross Ganguly). The scribe suggesting Ganguly to decline selection (for what then BCCI had been fighting for with ICC) when he was just 33 away from 10000 runs (he had already established that he passed 6000, 7000, 8000 landmarks in benchmark time). It is sad we cast aspersions between Dravid & Ganguly when nothing of that sort exists. We need to learn more than a lesson or two from motivation by those involved with cricket (read scribes) done at SL

    By Blogger Bala, at 07:41  

  • This is perhaps the most diabolic criticism I have ever seen (Cricketnext.com article linking Dravid's albetross Ganguly). The scribe suggesting Ganguly to decline selection (for what then BCCI had been fighting for with ICC) when he was just 33 away from 10000 runs (he had already established that he passed 6000, 7000, 8000 landmarks in benchmark time). It is sad we cast aspersions between Dravid & Ganguly when nothing of that sort exists. We need to learn more than a lesson or two from motivation by those involved with cricket (read scribes) done at SL

    By Blogger Bala, at 07:42  

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