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Sight Screen

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Urn -- August 31

So Sania won, and how cool is that! Truth be told, though, there are times when this young lady resembles the Indian team -- off and on, she seemed hell bent on complicating a seemingly simple ask with unforced errors and generally loose play, before producing a streak or three of brilliance to pull back into the game.
I guess, though, unlike with the Indian team you need to make allowances for Sania -- she is young, and yet to gain the experience that will help her play percentage tennis. Tell you what, though, it's great for India to have a sporting icon outside of cricket (we would have more, but then Vishy Anand's is a 'vegetarian' sport, as a friend once called it).
Back to checking out what the media is up to, and the Guardian produced the piece I was wondering how come no one had done before -- a story on Gary Pratt, the chappie who finds himself the unwitting center of the substitution storm. What you read here kind of reinforces the argument against such substitutions though -- Pratt is not even part of the Durham XI; in other words, his sole gift seems to be an ability to race around the ground and hit stumps from angles where most fielders can't even see the darn stumps.
2. More on England's pace quartet, this time from Duncan Fletcher's point of view -- given they were easily the key to the Ashes series thus far, and given there is a few days to go yet for the Ashes finale, expect more on the theme in the coming days.
3. Richard Williams, in the Guardian, examines the sudden surge of interest in cricket among the ladies, in the wake of England's Ashes heroics. Not to sound a false note here, but the England team is winning; while following the Indian team around, I've seen nymphet types blushing and giggling and attaching themselves limpet like to peripheral members of the Indian squad; you know, the one-tour wonders picked because there was some quota to fill, and as unceremoniously dropped? Makes you think, sometimes, that if the players had to fight for attention (in England they have to compete with Beckham, for starters; Australia has its swim stars; the Kiwis have their rugby team...), they wouldn't be quite so casual about letting their fans down.
4. Have you guys been following the Times online debate? The current one is on whether the Edgbaston Test was the greatest Ashes encounter of them all (in passing, why when confronted with excellence are we immediately tempted to rank it on some 'Greatest' list?). I donno about greatest of all time -- haven't lived that long, for starters. Tell you what, though, of all the Test series I have seen in say the last 30 years, this one has to rank in the top two or three for providing constant plot twists, heroes, villains, stirring solos... the works. What say you?
5. Steve Waugh says Stuart McGill must play the final Test. Can't really quarrel with that -- except that it will reduce Australia to a two-pace attack, with McGrath and Lee having to do a tremendous amount of hard work on the fast bowling front. Won't it be a game to watch, though -- two big-turning, attacking leg spinners against an England batting line up that has played Warne with a tad more authority than in the past? Australia just might find the choice made for it -- it says here, Shaun Tait has some shoulder niggle requiring attention.
6. Here's a point I've spent what seems a lifetime trying to make -- Shane Warne argues that technology should be used to adjudicate close LBW appeals.
I've been rooting for that to happen -- there is nothing more ridiculous than the sort of analysis that goes into each decision. 'Oh, that may have struck outside off, or the batsman may have had his foot a bit too far forward, or maybe he was thinking about playing a shot, maybe sometime this millenium...'
Sheesh! There is a rule. And then there are as many interpretations as there are umpires. And then there is the video replay, which within seconds of the decison being made conclusively proves it was wrong. So why not, in god's name, use it to get the decision right, in the first place?
Oh, yeah, there is that old chestnut -- it will slow the game down. Really? Any more than the game is slowed down by the 12 replays it takes these days to determine whether the fielder, in whole or in part, was touching the ropes at the point he fielded the ball? What beats me is this -- the authorities are willing to use video replays to adjudicate on a run, more or less -- but not when it comes to extending a batsman's tenure at the crease, or ending if where deserved? That one run can alter the course of the game, sure, but surely a wrongful dismissal -- or even a dismissal not given -- can alter the course of the game far more?
Here's what video technology can do for you: As with run outs today, it gives the umpires a fallback, for when they are not sure. That is for starters. Secondly, while it will not eliminate error entirely, it certainly reduces it more than the current panel of ICC umpires is able to, and that is another plus. Finally, if the worry is excessive appealing, consequent time lost, the video replays can in fact be used to determine -- and punish -- frivolous appeals, like when the ball is clearly going down the leg side and the keeper goes up frantically, hoping to con the umpire into not calling the wide.
What's the downside here?
7. Benaud -- Richie -- had with rare foresight warned that Australia is heading for trouble when the likes of McGrath and Warne reach their use-by date. Now another Benaud -- John -- elaborates on the theme, likening the current Australian situation to that of the Windies in the late 80s and early 90s.
8. And finally, there is this piece on the problems Ricky Ponting is facing -- decline in captaincy skills being the chief among them.
And in there, there is food for debate, and discussion, on here. Here's the thing -- someone recently said why Ponting, even his grandmother could lead this Australian side. At the time, the comment was laughed off, but think about it for a moment: Did the West Indies sides led by Lloyd and Richards, or the one Ponting inherited from Steve Waugh (or for that matter, even the one Waugh inherited from Mark Taylor) really require a mastermind to lead it?
Each of those teams had an array of talented performers; each of those teams boasted at least six match winners, each of them capable of turning a game single-handedly. An intelligent captaincy move at the right time could enhance the team's performance, but an average captain couldn't have produced lousy results, not with those teams.
When captaincy of the highest caliber is called for is when you have a less than brilliant side, and need to produce results (think Martin Crowe, say, in the 1992 World Cup; or Mike Brearley, for that matter). And this is the first time Ponting finds himself in that position - of having to lift a team that is not performing.
Clearly, he hasn't been up to it; and outside of that brilliant 196, his personal form has also slipped below par. (Another conundrum: Is his form slipping because of the pressure of leading a side that is not producing results -- or is his personal form slump triggering a lack of confidence that in turn is producing duh captaincy moments?)
Think of all of this -- then transplant that to the Indian context. It is not really about whether Ganguly is the greatest captain in the world or no. It is not about whether Rahul Dravid could be the next Ganguly or no. It is not even about whether Sehwag could be the next Dravid, come to think of it.
It is quite simply about whether we have the best 11 players for the job or no; about whether that chosen 11 contain enough players with the nous to play to, and beyond, their abilities; to be match winners. Interestingly, though, that is the one aspect of the Indian cricket situation that rarely if ever gets discussed, while the nation polarises itself on pro- and anti-Ganguly lines.
In passing, there is still another style of captaincy -- leading by personal ability/example. The most amusing story about this came from Clive Lloyd - who I once asked what it was like playing under Gary Sobers.
Oh Gary?, goes Clive. Thing is, the guy could turn a match just by being on the field. He could bowl pace, he could swing, he could seam, he could bowl chinamen, and if he wasn't doing all this, he would be standing in the slips, his mind on which horse he wanted to back for the next race, and he would pick a blinder out of the blue that would change the game. Or he would, failing all that, go out and win it off his own bat.
So, said Clive, during the Sobers era, team meetings, strategy sessions and such were unheard of. Clive told the story of how one time, Sobers reached the dressing room a couple of moments before the toss, said oh, good, you guys are all here, shucked his blazer, went out, tossed, came back in, said we are fielding, and led his team out. As they were walking to the middle, he tossed the ball to Wes Hall and went, 'You bowl... the rest of you guys scatter!'
That, apparently, was the art of captaincy, according to Sir Gary.


  • I watched that game by sania too.. Three break-points for and against her in the first set.. Young girl, Prem.. nervous, in such a big tournament..

    By Blogger Raju, at 19:07  

  • I noticed that in one of her earlier matches too.. I think against Serena earlier this year, I guess thats the difference between a top player and an up-and-coming player, the temperament, though Sania is showing all the signs that she will get far....

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 19:11  

  • LOL'ed at ur Sobers' story.. "rest of you guys scatter".. !!

    By Blogger Raju, at 19:18  

  • Uh.. alright, Sania is doing well and all, but seriously, I have to take issue with that "great for India to have a sporting icon outside of cricket". Yes it is great, but it is hardly a matter for such astonishment, especially when four Indians qualified for the World Badminton Championships last month at Anaheim. They did very well too. And what price Narayan Karthikeyan? Sure he is on the verge of being kicked out, but you know, he is among the top 20 drivers in the world! My point is that there are plenty of Indian sportspersons who are not cricketers, and many of them are world class. Too bad they get no recognition whatsoever.

    ObCricket: I hope Greg Chappell doesn't end up losing his players the way Jimy Williams lost the Red Sox: he was a great strategic and tactical manager, but the players didn't like all the lineup changes he kept putting up and eventually just tuned him out.

    By Blogger idlivada, at 20:06  

  • prem, disagree a bit on the use of tech for lbw. no, no, i am not saying it should not be used. but i think a little bit more experimenating required where the umpire can get the quickets feedback from the 3rd ump. lbw appeals (close ones) happen just too many times. run outs and fours (that require verification) do not happen that often. may be 5-6 times a day? but close lbw shouts happen just too many times in a day. so there should be a much faster feedback mechanism.

    yeah, about sania, she has the talent. i saw her when she played serena at the 'bledon. she sure hits the ball real hard. probably matched, if not exceeded, serena's power. she just needs to be consistent and match fit and i think she will go deep into tournaments.


    By Blogger Hari, at 20:23  

  • I saw the Sania match, or whatever little they showed us on USA Network. She was erratic and Tracy Austin repeated two points over 30 minutes:

    1. She has too many unforced errors
    2. She does not have that much mobilitiy and that she needs to get fitter to be more mobile

    My thoughts on her performance are on my blog.

    But I agree with you Prem, it is nice to have an icon outside of cricket. The callers on TV also mentioned that she is probably the second most well known athlete in India. No prizes for guessing the #1.

    I can't believe though, that she is more well-known than Dravid ;-)

    I don't want to jinx anything, so I won't talk about the projected draw and such :-)

    By Blogger RPM, at 21:30  

  • Prem,

    Item # 8 got my attention.

    Here is the part of the quote - "Did the West Indies sides led by Lloyd and Richards, or the one Ponting inherited from Steve Waugh (or for that matter, even the one Waugh inherited from Mark Taylor) really require a mastermind to lead it?"

    Now think about what Ganguly got from the two great master minds operating together - Sachin and Kapil.

    Test - 25 P - 4W - 9 L - 12 d
    Away 0 W and 6 L

    What does it take to Change from this position to:

    47 P - 19W - 13 L - 15D
    Away - 9W - 10L and 7D

    Answer is Ganguly.

    Look at ODI also

    Tendulkar 73P - 23W - 43 L - 35% W Gangyly - 144P - 74 W - 65 L - 53% W

    I do not know if Ponting is really going to screw up this series and more to come but it is easy to screw up , Give away, demolish twin tower and so on.

    The building process has been a long one and tough one - what Ganguly has given to India.

    Prem, previously supposedly most succesful Azhar won one match abroad and lost 10.It took other captains about 30 yeras to win 9 matches abroad till Ganguly came on board to do it in 5 years. What a contrast!

    Ya, it should be easy to take from Waugh and just keep running with it. But even that is not easy as it now appears.

    Waugh-an all time great captain and if you compare to some other great australian captains, he is not that far ahead of them -still, he got all the credit and respect from his country and I believe Waugh retired on his on term. he knew when the time was right and he called that.

    On the other hand we have us- the Indians-ready to kick G ass every time he sneeze. The Captain whose contribution in India's WIN column is simply immeasurable. They say he is finished because apparetly they they know more including the people on this Blog who Flog G and I go away from this screen, in my corner wondering another quote " What do they know of cricket...

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 21:37  

  • Prem,

    I think this is a very good article.



    By Blogger Vijayy, at 00:53  

  • Just watched Sania beat Camerin of Italy and enter the 3rd round of the US Open. Very patchy game but what was more interesting was the commentary of the match. They commented that Sania was made in India as were all the sewer caps in the city ( i didn't know that) as if some kind of a standard could be established between them, and during the post-match interview the guy after ackowledging her movie star like status, asked what it meant to play tennis as a Muslim woman in India. He kinda left the question dangling (read: how can you wear shorts and play?:) and Sania latched on immediately and answered pithily, "Islam is full of forgiveness." They were treating her like a novelty. I was aghast and amused at the same time. Too much to handle on a hot humid day! That said, Sania has created history...by being the first Indian woman to play in a Grand Slam and also by entering the 3rd round. If she beats Bartoli in the next round, she will be up against Sharapova and that's one match I am not gonna miss. I am not saying it will be a huge match-up because Sania doesn't have the power of Maria, but it will still be worth it even if it is a two setter.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 01:07  

  • Prem - My heroes were not just Gavaskar and Vishwanath but also Prakash Padukone whose career, especially in the Englnad and Denmark Open that I used to keenly follow. What about our own version of WWF - our very own Dara Singh and Randhawa drop kicking everyone in sight! I remember idolizing Govinda, Ashok Kumar, Ishlauddin, Ajit Pal, Mohd. Shahid, all those who belonged to a forgotten sport, at the risk of sounding nostalgic. Surely cricket was a ubiquitious presence, but I am not convinced that our sporting heores always emerged from the realm of cricket.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 01:14  

  • Funny. I think I remember reading the exact same anecdote (tossing the ball to one guy and saying the rest of you f***ers scatter) attributed to keith miller, in one of the many obit pieces following his death some years ago. he sounded like a terrific guy- larger than life (of course, the stories meant to portray him that way, but it seemed to fit). wish i could have seen him play. i have some photographs of him and other members of the aussie team at the CCI or wherever at dinner with a female relative of mine. So guess that brings in the other theme too of female fan attention. btw, the article linked to that comment concludes with an assertion that cricketers don't spit. obviously the author doesn't watch too many matches or do they discreetly screen out those bits abroad? personally, i wish the cricketers would restrain themselves from spitting, adjusting their guards (this means you, sachin) and picking their nose (ganguly - sorry folks).

    By Blogger rufus, at 01:38  

  • Dear Crick Tip,

    You are almost right in your assesment of Ganguly's contribution to Indian Cricket. It would have been good, if you had also mentioned the contribution of John Wright, and the other seniors in the team (Sachin and Dravid)in building "Team India". I feel that it is essentially "Team India" that won us all those matches. What is important to remember is that Ganguly could hold his place in the team, between 1996-2004 purely as a batsman. Coming to the present, can you say the same about Ganguly?? If VVS has to be kicked out of the team for lack of current form, why should not the same apply to Ganguly? If most of the team is mis-firing, can you affford to have a captain who can not lead by example in batting (forget about fielding or discipline)?


    By Blogger Nag, at 01:44  

  • Please stop this Ganguly -pro and anti comments. Within the next 24 days it will be clear whether he will remain the captain or not, in team or

    By Blogger Dennis, at 02:38  

  • Prem I donno about greatest of all time -- haven't lived that long, :-)) LOL..exactly my sentiment, always attach a rider 'of my times' with such statements. Rating vise, IMO, "best 5 match series of our times" ? I say 5 match, because I feel the 2001 Aus-Ind series was a better series on 3 match terms. Because of sheer contrast in the levels of the two teams in terms of previous status, the quality of cricket, where many players from both sides rose above their norm (VVS, hayden, Bhajji, Rahul was struggling), the drama generated by the magnitude of 'suffering' caused to the contemporary greats of that time (Aus team, Gillie, Ponting, M Waugh etc). Some more reasons...but lets see what others say.

    By Blogger worma, at 02:55  

  • I had done a comparison on my blog www.nearlyman.blogspot.com between the west indies team of 1992-93 and the current australian one.Great minds think alike, i will not complete the quote.

    By Blogger Nearly Man, at 02:56  

  • Prem you say or for that matter, even the one Waugh inherited from Mark Taylor Well...I think Waugh added the 'must win' attitude to that group of match winners he inherited. He instilled that philosophy best highlighted by the 6 match winning charge his team did in 99WC with its back to the walls. He infused the desperation to win at all costs (and some of these manifested in the ugly mind-games form). So...his value was there. Now what has Ponting done ?

    Oh and by your criteria of good leaders (which I agree with) I think Hussain is a contemporary great? What about Cronje ? Sure his was a talented team, but their value was way greater than the sum total of those talented individuals. Thats the hallmark of a good team, isnt it ?

    And nice story about Sobers :-)

    p.s. Ponting made 156...not 196 ! And his form is not suffering, he is playing well (when not being wrongly given out) Often he is throwing away his wicket, best exemplified in Edgbaston first innings. He should've had three big centuries in this series, and leading the individual scoring.

    By Blogger worma, at 03:07  

  • The Sobers andecdotes was really funny....even the comment about chess being a vegeterian sport was funny too. Keep telling us about more such anecdotes...Its always an enlightening experience.

    This series is surely one of the most exciting ones i have seen. I would rank the AUS-WI 95 series in the carribean and of course our home series against AUS in 2001 in the top too.

    By Blogger Blabber Guy, at 06:00  

  • Prem do you think Fleming could have deliberately played underpar to concede the bonus point to Zimbabwe ?..I was just sitting doing my work then bang...suddenly this wicked thought came to my mind...and now it refuses to go out :-)

    He delayed bringing back Bond till very late (when Bond had 5 overs left, yet no mid-innings spell). If I remember correctly, he brought him back when Zim had crossed 200.

    ...dang..its just not going outta my head !

    By Blogger worma, at 06:12  

  • ...and u speak of intelligent captains...here's a shrewd one then :-)..doesn't always have resources to back it up..yet..

    By Blogger worma, at 06:14  

  • Steve was an inspirational leader , but not a great tactician .... like taylor or crowe

    By Blogger rajesh, at 06:34  

  • Was imran khan a tactical leader???? or juyst an inspirational leader???

    By Blogger rajesh, at 06:38  

  • rajesh i think its not that black and white...i agree steve's bigger plus was inspirational (and leading from fron, facing the biggest chunk of problem) style...but there was good tactical brain involved as well (not as much as taylor or crowe leaned on tactics). Khan was inspirational....and tactical in handling the personnel :-)...I've never seen any other cricketer whom I've thought capable of handling the clash of personalities like wasim and waqar...and to add to it there was miandad (malik too !). But his value is slightly diminished in these comparisons because he probably had the biggest bunch of talents at his disposal (of all the captains we are discussing here). But its also true that he personally un-earthed some of these talents. I dunno how to classify him ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:44  

  • crickettip,
    Abt ganguly's captaincy - He surely is a not a tactical captain but a great captain for our indian standards and not to global standards.

    saurav has done lot of gud things to indian cricket ... but it was only possible beacuse of the personnel involved (senior players).We conveniently forget that johhn and rahul were as much responsible for india's improvement as saurav . Atleat give 25% to these guys also...

    even now i wish saurav will come back to form, but i don't like to correlate it with captaincy

    By Blogger rajesh, at 07:02  

  • worma,
    pakis had wonderful bowlers in imran era - (wasim,abdul qadir etc),But were they great in batting then except miandad ..
    i am not sure but have heard that even zaheer abbas was like our azhuu (good only in india).

    Pakisthan constantly challenged west indies in imran's era abd for some dubious umpiring could have won a series in windies itself ...

    By Blogger rajesh, at 07:06  

  • zahera abbas gud only in subcontinent

    By Blogger rajesh, at 07:07  

  • ...yeah...am not sure if they had a world class batting lineup. Inzy came in for his last campaign.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:55  

  • I think Imran was tactically inspirational or inspiringly tactical, take your pick :-) What I am trying to say is he was both. The tactical part was very clearly demonstrated in the way they played the 1992 finals 75 in 25 overs to 250 in 50. He knew Inzi and akram and the rest could belt the ball when given simple instructions but when asked to defend and attack inzi would get confused( not difficult to visualize that with a young Inzi!!!), so he and miandad defended and them when the time came to hit out, they left the stage for inzi and akram to take over. In my opinion on field he was the best captain of our era, border would run him close.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 07:55  

  • Worma
    On yr thought of Fleming conceding the bonus point, I do not see the benefit he is going to derive out of it. The only reason he would want to do that would be to enable Zim squeeze thru' the back door for a place in the final and he walks away with the Cup.For this to happen,India has to lose the next 2 matches and give away bonus points to Zim.Looks remote and IMHO Fleming would prefer to beat India and take the cup.It adds to his talk of being in contention for the World Cup.A penny for your thoughts

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:30  

  • Adding on , if Zim beats India without bonus points, India will go thru' on NRR

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:32  

  • yeah ravi...I know that...thats why this is just a sneaking suspicion :-)...but I'm not sure about the part that 'Fleming would prefer to beat India and take the cup'....even if we dont qualify that wud mean he's beaten us twice already. But all this is too remote...and yeah that net run-rate thing is also too much to discount...even Fleming can't expect us to be beaten by Zim by a huge margin...chalo I bury this thought !

    By Blogger worma, at 09:13  

  • Hi,

    Why no one is talking about the pathetic overrates in ashes. Play extended to cover 30 min overtime almost every day and up went for toss was mandatory 90 overs per day in some context or other. Why it should be only SG or Inzy / subcontinent captains to take ICC wrath / capital punishments when MV & RP walk with murder. From what is quoted in cricinfo or RPSahi in Telegraph the review on existing suspension law is only in October, Guys - your comments

    By Blogger papugopu, at 09:28  

  • some basics about Jadhav here for those of us not familiar with him as a batsman. Interestingly, a left hander. Thats an asset, though not enough to get him a place. And sounds like he is in the Chopra, Das mould (although that is specifically denied my Mhambray in the article).

    By Blogger worma, at 09:33  

  • and a short interview with Sehwag here ... it does look like he is sick...TOI can make up rumours and 'reports from reliable sources'...but mid-day cannot make up a false interview ! Or can they ? !

    By Blogger worma, at 09:37  

  • worma,

    TOI is full of BS. We can have pro and anti SG, pro and anti AA people but hopefully all here are anti-TOI because it is journalism at its worst.

    If India had stricter laws against frivilous claims, TOI will get sued big time all the time

    By Blogger suraj, at 09:45  

  • wonder who wrote the report on sania's match. the first line reads

    "While the western coast of this vast country has been hit by Hurricane Katrina, the eastern side is reeling under the rush of Sania Mirza"

    my area was hit pretty bad by katrina and i dont think i'm in the west coast :)

    By Blogger JD, at 09:47  

  • actually with current laws also i think they can be sued...but ofcourse they'll get away...but that rumour was too much...they talked about sehwag and yuv being reported...and yuv gesturing (and swearing) to GC after his century...and GC reporting them...and of two camps in the team etc etc

    btw..someone posted here a link y'day where sehwag issue was reported in khaleejtimes also...but that also sounded suspiscious to me atleast

    By Blogger worma, at 09:48  

  • jd

    that's a pretty insensitive first line to say the least- comparing it to such a tragic situation

    Hope you and your family are ok thru' Katrina- NO is the worst hit and it is mid-south defintiely not the west.

    By Blogger suraj, at 09:52  

  • That Mid Day interview with Sehwag also had pictures of Pathan, Bhajji and Dravid doing some PR..
    Ironically, you always see the media go ga-ga when a Steve Waugh goes to visit the children of prostitutes or leprosy victims.. but hardly ever a story on how the Indian cricketers went to cheer some destitute kids or did some charity.. why so?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:53  

  • thank you for your concern suraj

    what we got was noting compared to MS and LA. i'm about 200 miles from the coast so all we got was 30-50 mph winds and heavy downpour

    By Blogger JD, at 09:57  

  • Worma, Tiger, Suraj,Jd and rest in the blog, Pls read my previous blog - Why everyone remains as a mute spectator on overrates in Ashes, is it because it is Ashes and is above any other series. It is atrocious overrate here, where MV & RP are doing no less than sinning. Asia (SG & Infy) and Africa (GS) paid price but not Eng, Aussie captains, yet when code still prevails.

    It sucks when Rudy K agrees on surveillance for stagemanaged substitution when the umps / ref are there to take care of overrates. No wonder such series have Ranjan Madugalle (read toothless) referees.

    By Blogger papugopu, at 10:00  

  • tiger...they cover the 'endorsement' stories of our cricketers to compensate :-)... but seriously, atleast in tv media I have seen such voluntary and charitable efforts being covered..atleast the high profile ones...in the recent past. In print, not so much. But then again, Steve Waugh thing is probably higher in proportion(him adopting a branch of the institution) and his profile as a cricketer has(had) been higher during those days. Say if Sachin does something similar, it would get similar coverage, dont you think ?
    Am not defending anyone per se...just what IMO.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:01  

  • Hope TOI is getting this one right- it's a serious one:


    By Blogger suraj, at 10:02  

  • referees like madugalle and clive loyd take out their fangs only when the teams subcontinent comes into the picture. do u guys know if any action was taken after the sarwan-MCgrath altercation.

    are the match refs an elite panel too or is there 1 from each test playing coutry. Madugalle has been a ref for awful lot of our matches and i do recall someone from Eng. Cant think of anyone from aus

    By Blogger JD, at 10:05  

  • an article by Anand Vasu on some recent selection issues:


    By Blogger rp, at 10:06  

  • papugopu I'm not sure how much delay there has been due to the fielding team's actions ? Can you dig out some stats ? Because the rules have some lee-way (e.g. less than 15 mins is ok in ODIs). I have read about the delays in Ashes in other forums (esp about Ponting), but not exact status.

    But I wont be surprised if they are getting away with it cheaply. I have absolutely no doubt that the 'officialdom' in cricket is in favour of the almighty rulers, the mai-baaps of the game...and maybe some other time I will give more detailed facts and opinions abt this.

    But consider this simple e.g. as a timepass....the whole technology for lbw debate is heating up because there have been few bad decisions against Aus(and Eng), and warne and co are raising it. And we've had the same umpire (bucknor, who else!) committing crimes against us for so long. I wont be suprised if the rules do get changed. After all, he's dared to offend the rulers.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:07  

  • Thanks Worma, looks like 'officialdom' has its hands on the stats as well, so no clear details on the overrate but fact remains 10/11 ovs / hr is sickening.

    Had to leave the blog, guys, shall catch up later. c u

    By Blogger papugopu, at 10:14  

  • why doesn't Anand Vasu, or someone at cricinfo (or some other channel) call up GC and ask him the reason for taking an opener as a replacement for a middle order batsman ? Or even call one of the selectors ? They can call up Sehwag to discuss Bond's bowling, but not GC for simple answer ? And keep speculating, like us here :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 10:14  

  • worma - perhaps GC was made to understand how things work here.. Someone ought to try and get John Wright to talk about it.. who got selected and why and who is behind all this.. would be interesting to hear IF Wright is ready to talk..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 10:19  

  • Prem,
    Re: http://us.rediff.com/sports/2005/sep/01usopen8.htm

    Report mentions US is hit by storm on West coast and by Sania on East coast. Journo who wrote this trying to make this catchy..Lousiana is not on West Coast.

    Also, media asking questions about dressing to Sania...since, she is muslim...etc. These are unneccassary questions. No mullah objected so far...since, it is thrown out now, it will become a election issue..

    By Blogger Rajg, at 10:19  

  • tiger I think Prem once commented that Wright can one day write an interesting book about his stint. I wud surely buy my copy. But I don't think GC (or even Wright) would openly tolerate zonal quota, and definitely not being given an opener instead of middle order batsman, if it wasn't fitting in their plans.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:22  

  • worma:

    what's the pt in calling up GC or a selector? All they will say is something along the lines like "Jadhav has been prolific and has played in the opening position as well as middle-order. He seems to fit the bill."

    do u expect them to say "it's a zonal selection law" or something like that??

    Ona slightly different note, when it comes to selecting players, does anyone get the feeling that Ganguly is loosing/has lost favor with the selectors? Balaji and ZK, I thought, were players SG wud back to the hilt to get them in the team.

    By Blogger rp, at 10:29  

  • The whole article does not seem right.

    "Now, however, the Hyderabadi girl, the first Indian to win a WTA Tour title, is the most talked about name in tennis"- this is huge for Indian tennis but not sure if it's the most talked about name in tennis yet on an international level

    "Seasoned journalists have written about the nose-ringed, skirt-clad, God-fearing racquet wielder from that most conservative of countries"- has the journo been to India lately??- the most conservative country- don't agree with that

    Poor article

    By Blogger suraj, at 10:29  

  • rp..I dont think jadhav has played in the middle order, from what i read, he is a specialist opener. And yes, I do think the selectors (or atleast GC surely) would point out the reason for picking an opener. There is a fair chance of getting a decent answer (and in case of GC a closer-to-truth answer). Worth a try, IMO.
    ZK removal was due to GC's report, as I read it. Ganguly couldn't have prevented that (even if it was Wright). Balaji, dunno. But they are both there in the test team, and I have a feeling that Ganguly wanted them there for tests more dearly.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:33  

  • Prem:
    Comment on item #8:
    You don't need a mastermind to lead a team of talented players but surely you need a shrewd captain. I don't know how exaggerated Lloyd's story is but do you really think Sobers captained his team on those lines? Back in those days cricket was not analysed as much as today - guys just donned their creams and went out. They did not have micro-strategies to deal with every eventualities. They just chose the best possible team, discussed a few ideas and went to play. Nowadays you have a team of experts on the sidelines poring over their laptops. Even if you have a team of excellent players you still need a shrewd captain to make the right decisions - like whether to bat or field first, whether to pack the field or spread it out, etc. Sobers, Lloyd, Richards may have led a team of great players but they were no dopes in the mental department as far as cricket was concerned. Remember Pataudi taking over as captain during the Windies tour. It made all the difference even though we had a team with the likes of Gavaskar, Vishwanath and the sping quartet.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 10:43  

  • Abt Madugule, somebdoy here summed it up beautifully, Colonial Hangover.
    Worma, you talked about RP being in decent form and I agree. But dont make out excuses for him. He received a couple of bad decisions, so what? If you remember, there were more than a couple of extremely good shouts early on and during his two double hundreds against India in Aus. So, it does even out.

    Technology- there was this huge discussion/articles in ciricnfo recently, right? I am all for technology. And I am sure science has advanced enough to make devices that are quick to use, so that there's not a lot of time wasting.
    Hawk-eye is an excellent start, accuracy is 100% and reliabbility is very very high.

    By Blogger Toney, at 10:50  

  • I don't know if GC can give the 'real' reason for selecting Jadhav. Let's consider two cases:

    1. Jadhav was selected due to zonal poitics. In that case, GC won't dare to say that at all. At this stage he cannot really say anything against the selectors...he's new to the job and doesn't have the results to lean back on...i.e. one politically incorrect statement and he cud be in hot soup. Another reason is the senstationalist media that will project his statement in various ways.

    2. If Jadhav was truly selected to a plan, then it seems he would probably open the innings wth GG. Sehwag wud then come down the order. But again, not sure if revealing this plan is what the team wants to do before the ODI series is even over. So I don't really see anyone giving the 'real' answer before the ODI tournament finishes.

    By Blogger rp, at 10:52  

  • suraj,
    There's no need to put that guy's article under the microscope. I guess he's not Indian (??), so why bother with his opinion of India being a conservative counry or calling India a "3rd world country" or a land of snakes and jungles or whatever? In any case, I dont find it an insult if some guy dubs INdia as conservative. Being conservative is not bad....

    By Blogger Toney, at 10:56  

  • worma: abt Jadhav being a middle-order batsman, someone on this blog pointed out that he was a middle-order batsman who has changed to an opener...that's why I commented that way...but I haven't verified the validity.

    By Blogger rp, at 11:00  

  • Not good or bad.. just inaccuarte so pointed it out.

    Like you, I am not sensitive abt the conservative label- just don't think it's entirely true

    By Blogger suraj, at 11:01  

  • tony
    i agree u dont have to put too much of emphasis on the article;
    i dunno if the guy's an indian, but he's defenitely not an american; dont have to read anymore than the first line to figure that out :)

    By Blogger JD, at 11:03  

  • worma:

    Was reading above posts about chrity by Indian cricketers and saw your comment on Steve Waugh (and Sachin), and I remebered that Sachin supports schooling of 100 orphans every year in his school "Shradashram". This includes their dresses, books and other school supplies, school fees and any other tuition they may require. I heard it in the TV commentary of a India ODI that I was watching in India in 2002, on my visit there.

    Come to think of it, if annual expense if one student comes to around Rs. 20K then for 100 students, Sachin is donating about Rs. 20 lakh. And he has been doing it for nearly last 10 years!!!

    And I have not read it anywhere in any newspaper or their web sites till date. I think it shows that most English language newspapers are still enanoured by fair skin.... Waugh's praise being an example....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:11  

  • http://www.cricketnext.com/news1/next/reutersSep05/reuters001.htm

    Can you imagine, Ian Bell has gone on to the extent of saying that Eng would actually love to see a fit McG to play the final test. Is that confidence, over-confidence or just BS? I think it is option 3. No team would really want to play the opposition's best bowler in a match of this significance.
    Nothing else in the article and in cricketnext, as usual.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:14  

  • Who is Ponting or Aussies to uphold the "spirit of the game", as mentioned by Ponting in his radio interview, when the whole world knows about the sledging that the Aussies are/were famous for?

    Is'nt sleding against the "spirit of the game".

    Grow up Ponting and Aussie team, maybe this is the new way to play cricket, similar to the new way of terrorism and warfare that we are seeing globally.

    By Blogger Raghu, at 11:14  

  • Prem: In between all this hoopla about the substitutions and the Aussie whining, not to mention the shouts of "cheats" going up from every Tom, Dick and Harry from Down Under, what I don't see is a simple stat. For how long did Pratt and Penney actually stay on the field as substitutes. Wouldn't that stat be proof of whether if the breaks taken by the English bowlers were genuine?
    In Pratt's case, however, I think I read that he was on for Simon Jones through the day. That does sounds odd. But I do remember Rohan Gavaskar substituting for someone in a ODI sometime ago (was it Sharjah, 1998?)
    But this has not just laid down the seed, but also reinforced the fact that Aussies can whine like the best in the world! But I do see a trend as well. Once they figure out something is going against them, be it sledging or this new substitution thing, they start raising a huge cry and being Australia, the ICC has to step in! Whatever...

    By Blogger anantha, at 11:16  

  • ruchir,
    I dont think SRT wouldnt be very worried by the lack of publicity he got for that. And I am sure there are plenty of others who do a lot for the unfortunate.
    And we have a tradition of being such good hosts that, to impress them, we blow up whatever they do. Honestly, I dont think SWaugh really cares for the publicity, except in cases where he might receive more funds for his projects.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:24  

  • Good point anti- no one has really alked abt the how long these subsitutes actually stayed on.

    As for Pratt subsituting for Simon Jones, Jones was hurt to the extent that he did not even bowl so they had to put someone in the field- can't play with 10 guys.

    By Blogger suraj, at 11:24  

  • thanks for the info ruchir
    dont recall reading it anywhere. i beleive sachin might have wanted to keep it out of the media

    aussies have been potrayed as being tough by citing their sledging, mental disintegration ..etc. all of it is true to a certain extent;sometimes they behave like a bully; they cannot handle their own medicine.

    take for example the two series that have not gone their way. Ind and Ashes
    all India did then and what Eng is doing now is putting it across the aussies what they've been doing for the last 5-6 years.

    Ponting talking about the spirit of the games is a load of crap. if i'm not mistaken gilchrist wanted the aussies to walk if they edged the ball or if they know that they are out but ponting came out very strongly against it. now isnt doing that and his being the captain and thus setting such an example to his team mates against the "spirit of the game"

    By Blogger JD, at 11:26  

  • ruchir..yes I do remember reading about sachin's charity(long time back)..and also that he wanted to keep it low profiled..maybe thats one reason....but sure Waugh is covered in a more high-profiled way...agreed....maybe fair skin thing....maybe also because he is doing charity outside his country....maybe combination of those...

    toney...no excuses for Ponting...was just pointing out (to Prem's comment) that he is not getting affected by captaincy. I think he would have fared similarily even if he was not the captain, because the mistakes that be committed (and the wrong decisions he got) had not much to do with his mind being occupied by captaincy. In fact, had he not been the captain, he may have been even more aggressive in his approach (something which resulted in his throwing away his wkt at Edgbaston).

    rp about jadhav's selection, I'm repeating what i said yesterday...can it be because of a third reason ? i.e. the team management saying that we already have competition amongst Yuv and Kaif for a single middle order spot, so why take another one there, instead have a backup opener (in case Viru doesnt recover, or GG catches the same virus going around in the team, or GG failes miserably in practise match and first test etc etc) ? Is it plausable ?

    By Blogger worma, at 11:27  

  • Sania's post match interview, she seems pretty poised and composed


    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 11:29  

  • worma
    decision might have been taken based on VS's form. if he does not click the remaining ODI matches and the warmup matches the team might be tempted to open with GG and jadhav with VS coming in the middle order

    By Blogger JD, at 11:32  

  • toney:

    Yeah, that's true that Sachin wants to keep himself out of media.

    But surely when SRT does something or did something it always finds its way out in public. So, if newspapers are fair to all, then they should publish such things, even if it is on page 20 or sports page.

    Anyway, who cares as long as we know that our guys are as good in charity as other...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:34  

  • jd that would be a very wrong move in my opinion. Remember he has been out of ODI form throughout last year (check out his stats, also his scores in all games except first two games of Pak series). And yet he was our best performer in ALL the test series. Even the Aussie series in which everyone else failed to click. So...highly unlikely that Sehwag would come down the order.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:34  

  • unless ofcourse he wants to come down. I remember reading as recently as last year that despite currently being one of the most successful test openers in the world he still feels he's best in the middle order, and would like to move down if given a chance. I hope the team management doesnt listen to him :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:38  

  • worma:

    I didn't get ur pt abt Viru i.e. "in case Viru doesnt recover"...'recover' from what? illness? form? indiscipline?!?!

    I think Viru's form is/has been really good for some time. As a test match opener he has been brilliant. In ODI's, rather than form, he has struggled to adapt/pace his innings well. So I think Viru's form is out of question.

    As for illness, anyone can become ill and I suspect that if SRT had been playing the series and VS became sick, they might've tried out Yuvi again in the opening slot with GG. It wud really surprise me if they went on an overseas tour without any back-up plans for illness/injury. So I think we can probably rule this out too.

    Abt indiscilpine, I think we don't have any concrete info to comment abt exactly what's going on.

    By Blogger rp, at 11:41  

  • recover from illness..didnt u read the rediff article...there's this virus going around in the team...viru, yuv, ganguly, GC have caught it so far. So maybe they fear that GG may catch it and they have to do a makeshift opener ?

    By Blogger worma, at 11:43  

  • he mentioned that a lot last year about coming down the order and keeping with GC experimentation phase it is likely that it might be considered.
    if u look at the tests that we lost last year a common feature has been VS blazing away at the start and the rest of the batsmen failing to capitalize on it. It might be worth checking out to get a steady opening partership and building through the innings. another thing VS's avg in the 2nd innings is very poor; has rarely played an innings of any significance there

    By Blogger JD, at 11:44  

  • and i agree in case of SRT being in team we didnt have a backup opener. But thats not curable unless they carry an additional batsmen (dropping yuv or kaif wont be fair yet....anyway thats separate debate). So now, given the chance to cover that possibility, why not do it ?

    By Blogger worma, at 11:45  

  • jd...yes his second innings are poor...but his first innings are more than enough....most of the matches where hes in good nick (big first innings hundred) we've done well...so thats a much bigger plus. For saving the match through second innings, there are other members in the team with that role.

    And the notion that VVS scoring very fast and rest of the batsmen failing to capitalise is still a notion only, not much proof of that in results except Melbourne game.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:48  

  • ..oops..that VS not VVS....although VVS also scores fast when he gets going ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:49  

  • worma: in continuation, if GG had a couple of bad games, wud u play Jadhav in place of him? I certainly wouldn't! Would we do the same with Dravid or SG or VVS or AK? No way! Of course RD, VVS and AK are class performers...but I'm sorry, SG isn't in their league in test cricket.

    Besides, GG will be playing his 1st overseas game and he needs opportunities and exposure. Surely he deserves to play the entire series.

    By Blogger rp, at 11:51  

  • I thought only SG and VS had the fever...didn't read anything abt Yuvi...

    By Blogger rp, at 11:56  

  • rp good question...also brought it up yesterday. IMO NO. GG having a bad game is not enough reason. Desperate situation like...GG failing in practise game, also both innings of first game...and India not being able to win the first game...heaven forbid...even loosing it !!!!...those kind of situations...thats when 'maybe' Jadhav comes in. I would still back GG in second game...but then....I was just trying to state what team management thinking 'could' have been for drafting Jadhav in

    By Blogger worma, at 11:57  

  • rp,
    there are only a couple of games (unless you include a practice match, if there's one). I do think every batsman should come good in one of the two tests, hopefully there wont be very long second innings when we bat in either test. But that could be a bad thing too, the practice against 2nd grade bowling would have been good, since this is a real match anyhow.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:00  

  • worma: oops! I think I interpreted ur statement ab GG incorrectly..I thought the virus were talking abt is the "loss of form" virus..instead of the fever going around...mind u, the "loss of form" virus can catch on quite easily too! :-)

    By Blogger rp, at 12:04  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:04  

  • rp,
    yuvi caught the fever from VS after this episode:

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:06  

  • rp LOL :-)..actually that one is spreading around in another 'great batting lineup' across the globe

    By Blogger worma, at 12:07  

  • wo ho whats with the new rediff home page

    By Blogger indiansportsfan, at 12:09  

  • toney: *LOL*

    worma: if we don't win both the test matches, heads better roll!! And u always start at the top of the team i.e. captain, not at the top of ur batting order!! :-)

    By Blogger rp, at 12:10  

  • rp, hope we dont even think of losing to Zim. Dont be over confident but think in terms of winning by an innings and a couple of hundered runs in each test :)
    If we even draw one (without weather intervening), Zim would have made out a case for either getting India to lose test status or starting a two-tier system for tests.

    I still feel we should have used the opportunity to try out a couple of new guys in batting and bowling. I know the point is to win and Zim might feel "hurt" if we dont send our best there. But there is no better opportunity to experiment without compromising too much, especially with a couple of the faster bowlers (once again, not that Pathan, ZK have sealed their place in the test team, just to see how the young guys do)

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:15  

  • rp..yeah why not...i like rolling heads ;-)...but meanwhile...u wud still need to make the best effort for the second match...maybe thats why Jadhav's there.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:15  

  • so worma, ur saying that if we don't win the 1st test u anticipate Jadhav to be drafted in for the opener's position whatever the performances of the rest? how can justify that?

    By Blogger rp, at 12:18  

  • toney..even i think we should reasonably comfortably win both the games. but about trying new talent, I wouldn't have minded that last year. This being start of a new season, where many are struggling with the bat (and some with the ball as well) I would like the main team to play both the games, have a good feeling of being in the middle and scoring/taking wickets...bound to give some boost to the confidence before going into a packed season against much higher quality opponents...where we need to fire immediately

    By Blogger worma, at 12:19  

  • hey rp..mate atleast read what I wrote above !....ok here I copy paste for you, then tell me what you think I wanted to say :

    rp good question...also brought it up yesterday. IMO NO. GG having a bad game is not enough reason. Desperate situation like...GG failing in practise game, also both innings of first game...and India not being able to win the first game...heaven forbid...even loosing it !!!!...those kind of situations...thats when 'maybe' Jadhav comes in. I would still back GG in second game...but then....I was just trying to state what team management thinking 'could' have been for drafting Jadhav in

    By Blogger worma, at 12:20  

  • right now few of the established players need all the match practise they can get.; dont think they will be too keen on trying out new players at their expense

    By Blogger JD, at 12:20  

  • on the Ashes note, do u guys things might have been different if Warne was captain instead of Ponting? I think Warne is one of the shrewdest players in world cricket and wud have made a better captain than anyone else on the team.

    By Blogger rp, at 12:21  

  • worma, i noted ur pt before...what i am saying is that can this move be really justified by the team management? it's the same pt Anand Vau was trying to make...how do u justify these selections?

    And if we r playing this Zim team and thinking abt worst-case scenarios then only God can help us out!

    By Blogger rp, at 12:26  

  • rp...we all hope to win....but planning is not done based on that, right ? You have to plan for the worst case scenario still, isn't it ?

    Or you mean to say that if we loose the first match, then we suck bigtime and god only can help us, so we shouldn't care about the second game ?

    And btw, there might be the thinking of sickness cover also behind bringing him in, as I said.

    Oh and IMO, we will win both the matches :-) And I think the entire Indian team and management also thinks this way.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:29  

  • Sania mirza - Player of the day on the official USopen site


    By Blogger JD, at 12:35  

  • rp,
    Abt Warnie being captain, yeah, I think he was the captain the Aussies should have had a long time ago. I remember a particular tri-series in their country (dont remember which year but I think Waugh was injured, probably from the bloody nose after the collision with Gillespie) where SW captained quite a bit and impressed. He is quite attacking too, which is fun for a neutral spectator.
    Dont know about this Ashes though. Maybe, he would have batted first in the Edgbaston test (or the one after that? which was the one where RP won the toss?). But other than that, the players have been under-performing in each of their departments. There's nothing captains can do abt that (just like we shouldnt be blaming SG for the team's batsmen in poor form). But as a captain, he would have led from the front and this might have been inspirational for the rest.
    Wonder what the reason for SW losing out on captaincy was, though! Was it his indiscipline off the field? If that was affecting his game, he should have been out of the team too, so I believe thats not reason enough.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:35  

  • age might have been a factor against SW not to forget his extracurricular activities:)

    By Blogger JD, at 12:37  

  • also at the time SW was removed warne's future was not secure due to injury/surgery. it is to his credit that he has come out so strong out of it

    By Blogger JD, at 12:39  

  • JD,
    Hmm, Sania likes playing cricket, it seems.
    Why dont we invite her as a guest one day? After all, this must be the only cricket blog which dedicated a whole day (and hopefully many more to follow) to her yesterday...

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:39  

  • In a perfect world, u wud plan for all the scenarios possible...against this Zim team no self-respecting world-class team shud be thinking abt worst-case scenarios...and if u want to think abt worst-case scenarios then don't make scapegoats of youngsters like GG...if illness issues are there, then fine...no prob...but getting an opener when u were supposed to have a backup plan for the opening position before the tour started suggests something other than worst-case scenarios.

    By Blogger rp, at 12:41  

  • I remember an incidence when SRT was captain in West Indies. He asked for a meduium pace bowler to be sent and selectors sent him Noel David.
    Is this the similar case about Dheeraj Jadhav .. ? Hope not.
    May be that's why he is an ideal choice .. middle order batsman turned opener ( and on his own too ).
    Not like VVS .. where a middle order batsman was *asked* to open.

    - Shekhar

    By Blogger Shekhar Kale, at 12:42  

  • toney...agree about SW being better. But about the past, he was in race with Waugh for captaincy, and I remember that he was noted to be better than Waugh. Because of Waugh's cleaner off-field behaviour (I think the match fixing thing, which ACB didn't bring out but was noted) and general behaviour of Warne outside the field....and exceptional performance of Waugh on field (I think the WI tour, wasnt it, when he was finalised?) sealed it in favour of Waugh. Note that ACB keeps the off-field behaviour specially in mind for captaincy, not as much for general player. Thats why they made it clear to RP also, when grooming him, that he has to mend his ways (drinking, punting etc) and emerge as a role model, or say bye bye to captaincy. Thats when he came up with the famous press-conf to admit he has a drinking problem and he would solve it. That was a well organised PR exercise.

    And ACB (now CA) being future minded, closed the SW chapter then. Not considering him as Waugh's successor.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:43  

  • rp going by that logic, why have more middle order batsmen also ? or why have extra bowlers also ? Its for injury primarily, agreed. But also to cover a remote possibility of extreme loss of form etc. But as I said, I personally dont expect GG to be chucked, or Jadhav to get a chance except in case of injury.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:46  

  • There is another link in Prem's blog about Duncan Fletcher's comment about England pace quartet.
    He has proven that 4 pace bowlers at 85+mph speed can cause best of batting lineup to crack up.

    I am just trying to imagine ..
    Zahir, Pathan, Balaji .. and who ?
    (not Agarkar .. come on).
    Hmm .. forget it ..

    - Shekhar

    By Blogger Shekhar Kale, at 12:48  

  • I feel, even if CA is future minded (which they are), they should have given SW a go befor RP took over. It would have been great to have a really good captain mind the team for sometime. RP, with his age might still have got a fair time to captain. Even if he doesnt, does it matter?
    For me, the best eleven have to play. And the best leader should be captain. Whether it be the oldest or the youngest.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:49  

  • toney..totally agree about SW being better, and the best amongst the 11 to captain. CA doesnt think that way, they have these notions about captains....and can't blame them since they are getting better results than anyone else.
    Similarily, how many of us would agree that captain should be a role model in personal life and therefore has to rehabilitate (even if on field he is the best captain in the world)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:53  

  • I wouldnt care for the personal life. Dont get me wrong, I would read every bit on the personal life of most public figures, but thats just because I love good gossip :-)
    But I never cared when Azhar had the Bijlani episode. My admiration for Warne didnt go down by an iota because of his txt-messaging episodes.For me, the only constraint is, a captain (and for that matter anyone in the team) shouldnt mix his personal and cricket lives. Its easier said than done, as long as personal matters dont affect performance, I dont care

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:57  

  • hey how many of u guys are gonna be watching(video) the match tonite

    By Blogger JD, at 12:57  

  • toney thats what I was saying...not many of us care. But CA does...weird notions...maybe works for them, maybe Aus society has this notion of leader (I have read about this)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:01  

  • worma, extreme loss of form in a two match series of which only one is complete?!?!?! am i missing something?!?!? again i repeat, how can that be justified?

    my argument is not against what ur personal opnion is...but against the whole process and logic used by the team management...again i repeat, u have a backup plan before the tour...now u want to a backup to that 1st backup plan? or u now think ur 1st backup plan sucks? either way, it points to something fishy...

    ofcourse, we should win the 2 tests and Jadhav may not even feature anywhere...but the pt is, zonal politics may still exist as suggested by Vasu and we shud be damn worried if it does.

    By Blogger rp, at 13:02  

  • rp,
    How can zonal politics ceases to exist when selectors are chosen based on zone? That is the root of most evils.
    I also feel that the selectors arent the most honest people in the world either. There's too much at stake. For eg, how would Abhijit Kale go up so confidently to Kiran More and offer him a bribe (or whoever offered on his behalf)? Everyone turned against Kale, how many questioned More?

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:10  

  • rp...sure its not very good to have such extreme caution for this simple tour. But look at it this way, now they got this announcement of Sachin's unavailability. What, in your opinion, should the team management do ? Deny replacement ? What if the selectors call and ask their opinion about replacement ? Should they just say send anywho, we dont care ?

    And about zonal politics...sure it may be there to some extent....but Anand seems to be guessing...and anyway just having Jadhav is not enough example (as you saw, most people said his selection was not biased, unlike a Noel David case where all were surprised). Maybe its there to some extent, maybe JP was such a case. But IMO it has reduced a lot in recent times. Since Ganguly-Wright etc have demanded their choices, and stuck with them

    By Blogger worma, at 13:11  

  • toney zonal system exists in CA also. Not politics as much, but zonal system. So it may not be bad but as you said its the people elected who are not competent enough.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:15  

  • Please refer to the following article -http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/engvaus/content/story/217755.html

    The first para -
    "Katich received a bad lbw decision in the second innings from Aleem Dar, but as he left the field he watched his dismissal on the replay screen, which is not allowed under ICC regulations, and then swore loudly in the pavilion enclosure."

    Wow! so a batsman gets out, is unsure what exactly happened, walks back, the whole world is watching the replays and behold!!! the poor batsman is not supposed to watch his dismissal on the replay screen. Isn't it ridiculous?This ICC regulation even topples the "must appeal" regulation in incongruity.
    Someone needs to dig in and validate this reporter's take on the rules.
    Prem and others, what do you say?
    (I am not at all sympathetic to Katich here. For that matter both he and Ponting got away very lightly and its pure BS when these Aussies talk about the spirit of the game)

    By Blogger Anand K, at 13:16  

  • you know recently there was an allegation in CA that too many people are getting easy spots in national side from NSW province !...because selectors were biased.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:17  

  • toney some flavour of zonal politics in Aus here

    By Blogger worma, at 13:23  

  • worma,
    that means bad apples everywhere. I still dont get zonal selection system. What is it? Some kind of reservation or adequate represenation? I know India is a huge country, there are many first class teams for a couple of selectors to watch etc. But it is only natural that a selector from a certain zone should feel strongly about a player from his zone. That would mean, the selectors would end up promoting a player from their zone. This is not ideal, IMO.
    Rather than that, if a few ex-cricketers, captain and coach are provided the reponsibility (with vote for coach and captain), then I think there might be chances of a better selection method. I am sure there are some good organizations in India which, if entrusted with the task, can make sure that players from all zones are looked at. It would be upto the selectors to then make the decision.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:27  

  • toney whoever does it, you still need lots of people to keep an eye on local cricketers. There has to be a hierarchical system, and in that chain, zonal selectors need to be there. But there have to be enough reporting staff and structure under it. And sure, its his job to present the case of his zone players. but whats wrong is to select the team based on the quota. Each of them present the case, and the best 11 or 14 get the job. Its like the parliamentary structure, isnt it. the MPs making the case of their local issues known to parliament ?

    If only we have the right people in those structure (dunno if CA has, but looks like). Or even in our parliamentary structure ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:34  

  • worma (abt the CA and Zonal system),
    I think the article abt CA only shows that selectors were biased to the plpayers from the state that they came from. There is no policy in CA where there has to be one selector from each zone.
    No one can ever rule out bias completely; even if we choose ex-cricketers, there will be allegations that X was chosen because this selector was from his state.
    But it is better to have 4-5 qualified guys who can do a job without the added pressure of pleasing their zones

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:56  

  • yeah..agreed..and there should be a bigger structure in each zone for monitoring as well. I dont know what kind of structure CA has, but seems to work. Wonder if Prem, or rediff officially, can tell us more on this.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:59  

  • Yeahh, I agree abt the support staff. Which is why, I always believe these honourary positions should go out the window. Accountability is important.
    But I am not sure if you understood what I was trying to say. Say Selector X, coming from Zone A is extremely sincere and wants to do the right thing. But he does like his position and did a fair bit of political plays to get it. Now, if he wants to stay there, he has to make sure he pleases those who made him a selector. In most cases, the only way to please these guys is by ensuring that the national team has "adequate representation" from this zone. If zonal systems are completely disbanded (I dont kow who CA chooses its selectors), I think its a good start.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:01  

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