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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

back to..."would(should) he play"?

About McGrath, it seems(and rightly so) that the Aussie management is desperate enough to take a chance with his injury, as long as they think he can perform through the entire duration of the game. That's because he's a champion, and they need the win. And we, in India, so often complain the decision to get Sachin back into the Aussie series, despite his less than complete recovery. The decision has to come from the player, but if he is ready to risk his short-term career(and participation in some future matches) and the team management thinks its a gamble worth taking in a big enough situation, then why not?

And Warne here gets it right, when he says Everybody would like to know where they stand and what the side is as early as possible. But when it's Glenn McGrath, arguably the best fast bowler in the world, you want to give him every chance to play. If that means it's a last-minute decision, it's a last-minute decision.

Meanwhile Vaughan thinks Collingwood is a good bet, because he makes up for his less than penetrative bowling with the extra runs he would get(as compared to a regular bowler like Jones or Anderson). I have a feeling they might stick with this theory, although the main reason may be that they don't have enough confidence that Anderson would be effective in the conditions at Oval. The trouble with Anderson is, that if he does not get helpful conditions, and therefore is not effective, he becomes easy meat. He cannot, in that case, bowl even that many overs that Collingwood can bring. That's why I feel they erred in not getting Tremlett into the picture.

Finally, this seems to be very interesting. Australia, atleast in their immediate team selection process, seem to be stubbornly following their principle of backing the proven performers. Although, in this series, it has let them down big-time. But they feel, its not yet time to give it up. Its failed over just 3 tests, and has been successful for long enough to make them still have faith in it.

So, what this essentially means is that they would not only keep Hayden as the opener(that was known for some time now), but are also considering playing five bowlers if McGrath doesn't come through. That would mean dropping a batsman which, at this stage, seems to be Katich. Not Martyn who, as I said, is their proven performer but has looked much less comfortable at crease than Katich. It would also mean that Gilchrist would bat higher, and would be burdened with more responsibility since now he would have less cushion above him.

And the starting lineup would ready Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Clarke, Gilchrist - which means an alternating thread of hits and flops. Wow...isn't this interesting ! And although I do want to see McGrath play, because that evens up the competition much more, wouldn't I still love to see how the above scenario works out! Either its going to gee them all up to perform way out of their skin, or backfire real big-time. Either way, good fun :-)


  • Worma, there is little to chose between Bell and Collingwood in terms of batting (on current form) so I would be tempted to pick Collingowood and Andersen. This will give England depth in their bowling without compromising their Batting.

    Fact is, if they play Collingwood & Bell (instead of Andersen), this will be seen as a defensive tactic, something the Aussies will be quick to pounce on. And playing Andersen ahead of Collingwood might be a risk option given his lack of confidence.

    Also, McGrath or not, the Aussies will err if they do not pick 5 bowlers. With rain forcast on and off for, we can expect to lose one whole day to rain. And the Aussies will struggle to get 20 wickets with in 4 days with Shane Warne, Lee, Tait and a half-fit McGrath...

    I am still amazed they are not considering Watson instead of Martyn or Hayden...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:18  

  • Ricky is already building his defense for the ashes lose. The ausseis have a chance to win and still take back the ashes but the captain is busy trying to frame his post match excuses. Well I think this one comment reflects on the aussie state of mind and I think for sure they have already lost the ashes in their mind.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 05:29  

  • avinash, totally agree. Thats why surprised to see this from an Aus captain. He should go. Whatever the result. But he would not, as he himself knows(and said) if they win this last game.

    Saurabh, yeah I surely dont seen anything significant coming from Bell, so probably your option is the best. But I'm sure Eng are not even considering replacing Bell. Its a 'team' thing, you know :-)

    And about Aussie picking five bowlers....well I dunno...I think they can pick all they want...but in the end it would boil down to Warne and McGrath...rest is all support cast..even Lee with all his improved showings has just been a support cast (and therefore Aus havent won, because they had only one starcast with them, other one missing). If McGrath is bowling well(fully fit) then picking only 4 bowlers wont matter..and if he isnt...then also it looks difficult that McGill would be able to help that much...lets see..

    By Blogger worma, at 05:54  

  • Just had a phone convo with duncan fletcher and the news from the camp is that collingwood will be playing. Bell finds his place in the starting 11.

    The Oval is a flat track and I don't think it will suit Andersen's bowling. He needs helping conditions to perform. Anyone want to put a wager on the lineup?

    By Blogger jgohil, at 05:56  

  • how come only worma is putting an effort on the main blog. What happened to other contributors like Ravi, toney, ruchir joshi & sujata. Are they just for show or what?

    By Blogger jgohil, at 05:58  

  • Chappell blasts Aussie cricket coach

    Collingwood the man

    Botham v Flintoff - The definitive verdict

    By Blogger jgohil, at 06:14  

  • Worma, my point is since the Aussies support 'bowling' is not firing, all the more reason for them to take an extra bolwer.

    Anyway, I guess they know better then all of us. After all, they are the world-champions, not us :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:27  

  • McGrath is irreplaceable. An injured McGrath could still be their best pace bowler.

    Vaughan and Fletcher are playing mind games. It is also a very intriguing choice. England’s stance has been to bully and harass the opposition. Collingwood is not going to make a draw so much more likely. They should back their batsmen to make runs and choose Anderson. Tremlett who? How many tests has he played?

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 06:29  

  • Actually with the weather forecast looking more and more dodgy, collingwood might be a good choice after all. His slow swing bowling can come in handy...

    And if the Aussies start to pile in the runs, good old -ve Giles will be more then handy to slow the run-rate.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:32  

  • oval Stats:

    average 1st innings score:
    in last 20 games: 405
    in last 5 games: 478!!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:40  

  • This is ponting's comment from his article in the Australian.

    "It would also be nice if I could win a toss. Or if I don't, it would be nice if England is not 1-130 at lunch like it was at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge."

    Any guesses if he is going to bat or bowl? The guy does remind me of Bush, in more ways then one. :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:51  

  • Saurabh,
    England has put up 400+ scores in the last three tests. In the last test it happens to be 477. England has dominated the Australian batting. There is also a question of injury to Flintoff and Harmison and the fact that Ashley Giles is not a strike bowler.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 06:57  

  • yes, I know. But why tell it to the whole world...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 07:00  

  • "a question of injury to Flintoff and Harmison"

    Where did you read that one?

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 07:01  

  • Saurabh, yeah he is doing some dumb things of late, cracking under pressure ?

    issaicn: "McGrath is irreplaceable. An injured McGrath could still be their best pace bowler." - I dont know about this, he played at Old Trafford didn't he..with all the injury and half effectivity. He was not bad, created some chances (which they didnt take)...but still never looked good enough to run through them. But maybe their 'best' still :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:19  

  • btw...if there is hope for swing at oval (as you said) then Anderson would play.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:20  

  • Saurabh,
    What I meant was that Flintoff and Harmisson have a habit of developing injuries during the match. Collingwood is definitely the better player. He also has the most recent experience of playing the Aussies. It is amazing to think that England is outscored Australia that has seven established batsmen and England has just three regulars, two newbies and a couple of all rounders.

    Worma: Ponting used McGrath more than Lee in the second dig for good reason. McGrath should have had the big fish in the first innings (Vaughan went on to make 150+).

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 07:47  

  • yes issaicn....he created that chance for nailing Vaughan (and few more)...what I meant was that a fit McGrath would have still run through them, despite missed chances and all. But as I agreed, still their 'best' pacer

    By Blogger worma, at 07:49  

  • worma it doesn't real swing in the oval. It will stay low and be a little like adelaide in the 2nd innings and typically helps the spinners in the 2nd innings. All in all its a good batting pitch. A guy like caddick would have been an intersting one off option but then england wants to play young boys with no scares of defeat in the hands of the aussies.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 07:57  

  • thx avinash for update. But isnt that the 'traditional' Oval...and with the overcast condtions now..rain forecast...too late into summer etc...it would still be same ? Anyway, both teams look to be building up with this assumption of traditional oval as u described.

    btw, caddick retired, ain't he ??

    By Blogger worma, at 08:00  

  • Can anyone tell me the latest about Sachin Tendulkar?

    I'm astonished at how media has ignored him completely!!

    By Blogger Chandan, at 08:05  

  • Worma, Andersen has suddenly lost his ability to swing the ball...

    Issacin, England are on top because of their bowling and not batting. They have proved the old cliche that bowlers win matches...

    Funny enough, in spite of being short of super-stars, this English side has been performing like Champions. I don't see any English player, apart from Flintoff, making it to the current World XI.

    Proves another point that at the end of the day, Cricket is a Team sport...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:15  

  • Worma/Avinash, Caddick is the highest "England qualified" wicket-taker in the county this year. However, he is not 100% fit and hence was not considered.

    I agree, he would have been useful as the 4th bowler. Definately better then Andersen in the short term..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:18  

  • Chandan, SRT has opted out of the Zimbabwe series, and righly so. He is still not 100%.

    As for the media; well there is only so many times we can read about his elbow.

    In many ways, I am glad we are getting over this "Sachin-Mania".

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:20  

  • saurabh Harmison, not in World XI ? Sure, he may go up and down..but still..?? but i get the point u making...agreed...much better team than individual stars (but then, some of the aus stars were so because they never faced such quality bowling:-) )

    and yes, thx, just found out that caddick was injured at start of ashes..not retired yet(there were talks of that I remember)

    By Blogger worma, at 08:46  

  • Thanks Saurav. I know about that.

    I just want to know where he stands at the moment or how much time will it take to get him back to international cricket!!

    He is a vital cog in our wheel. Didn't you miss his bowling in the final? When Sehwag and yuvraj were doing the damage, just imagine what would Sachin have contributed?

    When are we going to know whether he'll be available for Super Series or not?

    By Blogger Chandan, at 08:51  

  • Worma, Harmison might just make it in the XI but he is not an automatic choice.

    He a awkward bowler to face, but is still some way away from being world-class...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:56  

  • I think, with rain the air, Anderson is a worthwhile gamble. He is not in the best form of his life but the weather could be a factor to his selection.

    By Blogger Toney, at 09:13  

  • Maybe..close call I would think on him. Btw, I do feel some of these Eng players would go on to become big stars worthy of future World XI soon. KP in ODIs, Harmy if he survives a while, Jones also.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:13  

  • toney one problem with Anderson...what I mentioned in main post...if he is not effective due to conditions...then he cannot even become a decent filler like Collingwood, would be taken apart by most aussies. what do you think on that?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:15  

  • Guys,

    The ECB is slowly acting up as BCCI. If you realize, the 12th man for the 1st 4 tests was Chris Tremett. They could not pick him since the team was already pre-selected and he was there just in case someone breaks down. Now suddenly Jones broke down and guess what, Tremett is dropped and ECB is now talking about Collingwood and Anderson. I was not expecting it from THE coach and the management that is busy booking grounds for parade. Was Tremett selected because he was big enough to carry the drinks to the whole squad so that the ECB can save some money? Wasn’t he there so that he can be around men so that he can grow into one quickly? Now why is a one-day specialist raining centuries in the second division in county cricket or a guy that is even struggling to get wickets for Lancashire (again second division in county cricket) been forced into the setup? This is extremely defensive attitude and just as Prem mentioned yesterday the reason for dropping Tremett was lack of match practice? Everyone is ignoring this since the English team is on a high, but they have already broken Tremett into pieces. Now he has to go back to Hampshire and keep fighting for his place despite a good show in the 1st division county cricket this year. Ridiculous!!

    Secondly, the Indian batting lineup is blamed to be a bunch of untouchables by Gavaskar, but look what the Oz are doing! Proven performers huh? Weren’t Steve and Mark Waugh proven performers before the World Cup? Steve lost 1 tournament in Oz-land and he gets sacked and dropped! The Aussies had lot of people to fall back on at that time, but now they don’t. This team has been around for a long long time and the second rung is just not developed yet. Where is that Aussie attitude to drop Lehmann, one of the best players of spin?

    Lastly, to the issue of the number of bowlers that Aussies showed go with, I think they should go with 4 as long as McG can play. Let’s look as the question from the other side. How many batsmen can the Aussies play, 6 or 7? Can they afford to play Hayden, Martyn and Gilly along with just 3 more batsmen? Has Gilly got the confidence to come up in the #6 spot? Probably more responsibility on Gilly could bring something good out of him, but what if it does not? What if he fails? The good thing is that Warne is doing pretty good with the bat and if he prevents the wild heave that has accounted for him a couple times he can be a good #8 along with Lee as #9. The biggest struggle for the Aussies is that they are unable to post a big total in the first inning. How can they improve that? Secondly, the reason for 5 specialist bowlers in that they are allowing the English batters to score a lot of runs (400+) in the first innings. Two reasons, one the English are batting first and Warney is ineffective because of the 1st day effect and second McG is injured and second is that only Flintoff is in good form. The rest of the batters are not contributing much. They have to get Flintoff as quickly as possible. He is their main batter and his dismissal will affect them psychologically.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:22  

  • Mayur, agree about Tremlett. He should have been released to the counties when he was not selected to play in the first four Tests.

    As for the Aussies playing with 4 bowlers. I still think it will be a wrong move. The problem with the Aussies is not that they are not scoring runs, but allowing England to score 400 everytime they bat in the first innings.

    Are you confident that the Aussies will can they get England out for less then 400 in their first innings even of they bat second (considering that Warne will still not be a factor)?

    The bottom line Aussies need 10 quick wickets in the first innings and I dont see how they can get those wickets on a flat oval wicket with Lee/McGrath & Tait.

    But hey, its a funny old game and the Aussies are still the champs....

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:42  

  • Saurabh,

    I think piling runs in the first innings is and should be the biggest concern for the Aussies. If you look at the Aussies and the way they have dominated the rest of the teams, you would realize that they have piled a lot of runs in the first innings and under pressure these lambs get handed over to the wolves (McG and Warne) that just eat them up. Here, first Ponting has struggled to win the toss (should check with Gangs for the list of Yagnas) and when he won it he allowed the English to bat.

    I don’t think restricting England under 400 is possible since most of these pitches are flats beds and have nothing in it for the seamers as well as Warne. Their biggest problem has been getting Flintoff out. They have had done well to get the first 4 wickets quickly, but if Flintoff stays England ends up scoring a lot of runs because he scores good and fast. People like Jones and Giles have to stay along and give Flintoff company. He does the hardwork. Here are the scores when Flintoff went to the crease, when he got out and the total that England ended up with:

    Lords 1st test:
    4-19 (out on 21, team total 155)
    4-112 (out on 119, team total 180)

    Egdbaston 2nd test:
    4-187 (out on 290, team total 407)
    5-72 (out on 182, team total 182)

    Old Trafford 3rd test:
    5-341 (out on 433, team total 444)
    4-225 (out on 248, team total 6-280)

    Trent Bridge 4th test:
    4-213 (out on 418, team total 477)
    4-57 (out on 111, team total 7-129)

    In every inning besides the first test, he has provided crucial partnerships. The only time he entered when England was comfortable was in the second test where Vaughan and Strauss scored centuries in each innings. In the 3rd and 4th tests, he has come in when England was struggling and he got them out of the rut. If they get him out quickly, then the Aussies have a huge chance of restricting England under 400.

    On the other hand Australia has scored 190, 308, 302 and 218 in the first innings. If they bat first and get around 400-600 runs and even if England reach 400, Aussies end up with around a 100 run lead. The Aussies have batted and bowled well in the secondly so with this scenario they can wipe off the English. If they get Flintoff quickly then they are looking at a follow-on kind of situation unless someone else steps up. Lots of ifs and buts, but a scenario that has worked for the Aussies.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 10:11  

  • saurabh, without even going into the Flintoff value(which is tremendous) I agree with mayur. Aus problem is not Eng score, but their own runs(or lack of). Eng batting is actually weak...they have been scoring less than optimal runs on the pitches (and the conditions and the kind of bowling attack) that they got. They have been getting away with it cos Aus themselves have been pathetic with the bat. So...moment they do a big first innings...its back to game on..cos 2nd innings Warne can restrict as well as destroy. And on top of this, if they bat first and then get big runs(or even decent runs like Eng 400+) then also Eng would not be able to cope.

    The only time that Eng batting was being tested under a pressure of Aus first inning score was at Lords (with Aus only 190!)..and look what happened to them. True McG would not bowl that well again...but then Aus would also not score only 190 each time they get to bat first

    By Blogger worma, at 10:38  

  • to add to that, Simon Jones is out of the last test. This should be looked as a big advantage for the Aussies. Jones has been averaging around 21 and he has taken 18 wickets. Besides Freddie (19 wickets), no one has taken that many wickets and on the other hand Freddie has been a little expensive (averaging around 30) for his 19 wickets. Now, from the Aussie point of view, they should not offset this big advantage that they have got by going with 6 batsmen out which 3 of them have been clueless for the past 8 innings. Thats harakiri! Aussie chance of scoring big in the absence of Jones should not be diluted by going with 6 batters (or rather 4.5 batters). Hope Ponting's tiny and scared brain can understand that.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 10:46  

  • Mayur, you make a very good point about Flintoff. He is doing what Gilchrist has done for Australia in the past.

    As for the Aussies, you pointed out that they have scored 190, 308, 302 and 218 in the first innings. On this evidence, can you see then scoring 400-600, seven batsmen or not? They could, but...

    On their day, McGrath and Warne can win even if the Aussies score 200 in the first innings. But for that they need some backup. Having Lee and Tait is not the same as having the Gillespie and Kaprowisz of old (which worked for them).

    That's why I said the Aussies should take get Shane Watson instead of Martyn.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 10:54  

  • Mahendra also made it clear that the BCCI would not allow any leniency when it came to performance, and the stars would have to deliver or face the music. He added, however, that it was premature to use the tri-series in Zimbabwe as a "sole barometer" for players like Rahul Dravid who was a proven performer.

    And on the subject of the captain, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra said: "no judgment should be made in the midst of an ongoing series. You cannot sideline your parents just because they are old. The team is in a period of transition and we should expect them to start performing soon. We will do everything for the World Cup in 2007."

    Mahendra concluded with a report from the coach, Chappell, in which he suggested that some of the players were not fit enough. "The coach has sent me this input," he said, "and I expect him to bring this up in the review meeting."

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:59  

  • I couldnot help it. so we will have ganguly play till he dies as we dont desert parents because they are old :>

    By Blogger tombaan, at 11:00  

  • saurabh, actually flintoff is emulating Gilchrist with bat and ball....he's 'setting the game up' for Eng to take it from there....
    ..and btw..I expect Aus to score 400 runs if batting first....or rather I would have expected them to do that, had they batted first in any of these last 3 games....now...now I'm not so sure about their mental resolve etc....otherwise...just on technical grounds...from what I've seen of their batting and Eng bowling....they would have done it atleast 2 times out of three

    By Blogger worma, at 11:21  

  • tombaan can you give the link for that Mahendra article ? Need to check out his parental advice ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:23  

  • Sourabh, I thought u meant the Aussies shud go with 5 specialist bowlers and 5 psecialist batsmen i.e. drop Katich. What you have been suggesting is to go with an alrounder. Interesting. I don't think Martyn can or will be dropped because of 2 reasons, #1 he is a super star (remember he got an eternity of chances last year when he was struggling and we here in India talk about the indian batting lineup being the untouchables) and secondly he has been looked as the sorry guy who has been getting all the bad umpiring decisions.

    Secondly, I think (Prem might disagree) that the Aussies have a better chance of scoring 400-600 runs when they have 7 batsmen rather than 6. Also the English bowling is severely hampered due to the loss of Jones. I think the Aussies have a huge chance of scoring big. The odds a significantly in their favors, but again who knows whats going to happen. It will definitely be a good contest. It will be interesting to se how the English batting copes with the likes of McG and Warne after the Aussies score big in the first inning. I hope they fire like we did in Adelaide and not melt like they did at Lords.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 11:25  

  • Worma,
    we all can speculate and discuss who is capable of what etc. but the bottom line is one team has played the better cricket in this series and the other is still the World Champion.

    So at the end of the day only a fool will predict what's going to happen when the game start's tommorow.

    Let's hope its another classic...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:30  

  • mayur, Martyn's not been struggling last year.... he's one of their there most succesful batsmen in past 2 seasons. check here for his last 25 innings from Indian tour of Aus onwards

    By Blogger worma, at 11:31  

  • Yep saurabh, lets hope so. Thats why I wanted to see McG play(which I think is just now confirmed). I want to see a more 'equal' battle. Will open a thread for it here tomorrow morning, if Prem doesn't.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:33  

  • Funny enough a lot has been said about Simon Jones's impact in the series but do you guys realize he was average in the first two Tests (6 wickets @ 35 and 4.25 an over!!!).

    In the Third Test he moped the tail and really game to the party only in the 4th Test!

    But I guess he has created the pressure with Reverse-swing and all...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:47  

  • http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/218391.html

    here is the link to mahendra's comments

    By Blogger tombaan, at 11:48  

  • how many wickets did he get from reverse swing ? do you remember ? too much hype

    By Blogger worma, at 11:48  

  • Can't recall exactly but like I said, he created the pressure.

    I again come back to that stupid old point; England have been on top not because of Flintoff, Harmison, Jones or Hoggard indivdually, but the fact that they have been able to hunt in packs.

    Something the Aussies have missed...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:52  

  • tombaan, got it. Thanks. Couple of things I noticed here...the Indian Cricket Board has promised a "thorough and complete review" of the performance of its players and immediate remedial steps to halt the decline. is towards the beginning so why this the Indian Cricket Board has promised a "thorough and complete review" of the performance of its players and immediate remedial steps to halt the decline.. ?

    And then this bit In this light, I have called for a thorough review of individual performances, the coach's report on the state of physical fitness of the players and issues related to alleged indiscipline. What alledged indiscipline ? Who alleged ? Is any of you aware ? As he mentioned about GC report, that talks about fitness issues of some players only. (btw, any guesses who would fall in this category ?)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:53  

  • saurabh, very true. And also that Aussie did not get enough 'respite' period. They came prepared to face fast bowling, but didn't expect it to happen 90% of the time....

    By Blogger worma, at 11:55  

  • I mean 'good' fast bowling :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:07  

  • England have one problem; Harmison. He is their strike bowler and has completely vanished from the scene after the first Test. Agreed he has taken crucial wickets (Clare in the second Test and Ponting in the Third) at key moments but surely England should expect from him.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:11  

  • yep..his last over to McGrath at Old Trafford was almost...umm..Indian-esque in nature ;-)...

    By Blogger worma, at 12:13  

  • Exactly! That's why he is still not a world-class bowler in my opinion.

    Does not seem to have a cricketing brain...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:18  

  • I am surprized that the BCCI is actually doing something besides 'things will fall into place'. Again, I am not sure where this would go, but brainstorming is definitely a very good first step.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:19  

  • prolly sehwag and yuvi were culprits of indiscipline. it goes with their nature.
    oodles of talent but lack the discipline of a SRT to channel it in the right direction

    By Blogger sachin, at 12:21  

  • yeah i agree he's up and down...but when up..he's very very good...actually I dont think he's in best form...wasnt there anytime this season....Lords I think he worked on an adrenalin charged exception..last year(when he reached that num 1 ranking)he was bowling well throughout....so its not good to judge him on this

    By Blogger worma, at 12:23  

  • Mayur, the BCCI has to get its act together before it can sort out the issues with players performance.

    All successful organizations have a good Top-down approach and not the other way around.

    For far too long, our approach to Indian cricket has been bottoms-up and our expectations and frustrations are with the players and not the other way around...

    We can critise Bajji/Agarkar/Ganguly all we like but the fact is, the blame lies elsewhere...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:27  

  • Rana's Corner has an interesting short piece on the state of Indian cricket here:


    By Blogger roshogolla, at 12:30  

  • saurabh, BCCI is a money-making political organization headed by Mr. Dollarmia. It is not run like a private organization like the Boston Red Sox or NY Yankees where winning is a priority. When u have polititians like Sharad Pawar, Lalu Prasad Yadav wrestling to gain leadership, it will always be interesting to know the motives behind all the decisions. The question is what can we do? Where do we complain and whom to? All we can HOPE is that the team with the captain and the coaching staff is getting what they want. Everyone including Wright tried to critisize the zonal selection system, but has it changed?

    These days, I am of the view is forget about BCCI, think about how the team performance could improve despite having to deal with BCCI. We reached greater heights around the world cup time frame and also when we toured Pak and Australia. How can we replicate the performance? A brainstorming session with some good cricketing brains would definitely help. As I read it, I thought to myself whether the selectors should be involved in this chat. Maybe, but then 9 people in one room talking about cricket is not a good thing. Might end up being chaotic and I am not sure who has the balls to stand up and say anything against Sunny? I don't know. What do u guys think?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:03  

  • Good point Mayur. There is one way to complain; dont waste your time on Indian cricket and stop watching it.

    Once the money stops coming, Dalmiya and co will get a nice wake-up call.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 13:15  

  • Jonathan Agnew (on BBC website) makes a very intesting point about the Collingwood/Andersen debate

    "This adds further to my belief that Paul Collingwood will step in and, although some people have said that it is a defensive move, I feel that would be the right decision.

    "When a team contains four fast bowlers and a spinner, one of the seamers rarely bowls more than 10 overs a day.

    "With Giles likely to bowl long spells, and we might also see Vaughan in action with his off-spin, it seems unnecessary to play Anderson when Collingwood could easily fill in, score runs and field brilliantly, too"

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 13:17  

  • saurabh, the money that comes to Indian cricket is not from tiny minority like us, its from vast majority of those Indian public in India...who dont read or write blogs....who follow each and every match we play, no matter what...who read TOI and other local media hailing each small victory and every single century maker as the 'next big thing'....who, no doubt, flog our team to death on such losses with tags like chokers and no-hopers and pathetic....but then come back with the praise...its a cycle...with no links to their own previous stand or views...relying on people to lap it up

    By Blogger worma, at 13:20  

  • it is like what we learned in economics one of the reasons for increase in population was no other outlet for entertainment. I swear we had it ...
    similarly other than cricket we have no sports to follow. look at the national hockey league here is america...it has gone out and it is finding it difficult to comeback because people have options. In india we dont...one sanya doesnot make it an indian summer

    By Blogger tombaan, at 13:20  

  • saurabh....not an interesting point from Agnew, and not even new...."Collingwood could easily fill in.." ? How..when he is replacing a match-winner (or atleast a significant contributor) how can you do with this 'fill in' philosophy ?..and about contributing with the bat...do Eng think they have a batting problem ?

    Anyways....thats just abt Agnew's views.....not that I dont think this is likely to happen....most likely so..for reason as I mentioned earlier

    By Blogger worma, at 13:25  

  • rotfl :-))..tombaan...which economics book/teacher was that ? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:27  

  • worma, I guess tombaan is talking about monopoly!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:43  

  • new thread added by Prem

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:47  

  • Worma, of course, jones would be preferred any day.

    But he is just comparing between Collingwood and Andersen.

    And he is validating what I have been saying all along; the fifth is not the most important bowler in the team, but is very important!

    In Harmison, Flintoff and Hoggard, England have three main bolwers, and Collingwood and Giles make up 1.5 bowlers, which is still 0.5 more than Australia if they chose to go with 4 bowlers...

    And it is important to distunigush between a 'part-time' bolwer and 'fifth' bowler because a part-timer can get you a wicket or two but rarely run through a batting side.

    Remember Ponting's spell in the last Test or Simon Katich's spell at Old Trafford? Had they been regular bowlers and not 'part-timers', they could have continued bowling and probably won the games for Australia.

    But again, I keep repeating myself :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 13:56  

  • I can't understand why we're so concerned by this series. India isn't playing in it and it's not the world cup. I don't recall England or Australia ever following Indian cricket in this fashion. As for the English media, which is crying itself hoarse that this is the greatest series of all time, it's just a case of an exaggerated sense of self-importance, an old pommie trait. Australia is underperforming severely, unlike in 2001 when both India and Australia were playing at the top of their game to produce the best series of the past decade. The current series is not even close to that one, let alone being the best of all time.

    This is the start of a new season for India. Let's talk about that and not add to the already-inflated hype of the Aus-Eng series.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 14:02  

  • I dont think he is comparing between Collingwood and Anderson. He is implying that Jones was the fifth bowler, and since that fifth bowler is 'theoretically' underbowled..to around 10 ovrs a day, so why not get, in place of Jones, a bowler who would give fill up those 10 ovrs a day for you !

    To me its simple...Jones gets them crucial wkts....and lots of them(unlike what Ponting or Katich did)....so when he's out...someone else in his place has to get them....and its not going to be Collingwood. Whether its going to be Anderson or not is another issue altogether. But I dont think Agnew is addressing that issue

    By Blogger worma, at 14:04  

  • Alvin Miller Jr.

    If you are not interested, Buzz Off!!! Who asked you for your opinion???? It's quite obvious that the quality of the cricket played in this Ashes series has attracted the interest of so many people.
    Watch India?!?! We did that, this tuesday and we Sucked!!! And tell me this, do cricket fans from India have to follow only the home team. Why cant we follow the others? Good cricket is good cricket is good CRICKET.
    This reminds of the period during the 2003 world cup when the Australians hired an indian cricket analyst/stastician to get added input on the Indian team. The forums at rediff were full of people calling this (indian)man a traitor to his country. One reader went to the extent of saying that since this guy is from Bombay, he should know marathi or else.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 16:38  

  • Rishi, I wonder if you appreicate the amusing irony of you posting an unsolicited opinion telling me that my opinion wasn't asked for. I made a polite suggestion, that certainly wasn't aimed at naive globalists or wannabe colonialists. You can decide for yourself which of those two categories you fall into. And as you can see, stereotyping is a game that two can play.

    Oh, and by the way, I'd like you to think about whether you would follow Kenya-Zimbabwe as keenly if they were the top two ranked sides in the world. Don't blurt your answer. Think about it.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 17:23  

  • alvin, I've also expressed in these discussions earlier, that to me that Aus-Ind series was better, for exactly the same reasons(both playing real good cricket, no underperformance). But what to do, that series is gone, and I'm an avid follower :-) Hence following the ashes. And dude, totally aware of the Eng media hype etc...don't think Freddie is the new Botham or KP is the new Freddie with the bat or Vaughan is Brearly or whatever....just following a good game of cricket. Simple.

    And btw, I'm still devoting twice as much energy to Ind-Zim game than the ashes contests ! ..if that helps you :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 18:08  

  • Cheers worma! I don't have a problem with those who would follow any kind of cricket. But I do find that we take more interest in English cricket than the English take in Indian cricket. I don't think that's healthy.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 18:27  

  • Alvin,

    Unsolicited Opinion! I was answering your post. Reason why I put your name on it. I did not intend to personally attack you. But maybe you should read your own post again and several of your posts in the past so you can get a sense of the tone.
    I agree, anyone can stereotype. I hope I didnt do that that to you, it wasnt my intention. The way I read it, your post wasnt a polite suggestion.
    Your Kenya-Zimbabwe question. You are assuming that the reason why I am watching this Ashes series and avidly following it is because of British media hype. I am not. Would I follow Zimbabwe-Kenya if they were the top two sides in cricket? You bet I would.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 00:00  

  • Alvin,

    I would like to add that if the two words 'buzz off' offended you, I am extremely sorry.
    It wasnt my intent to launch a personal attack. I would add this, 75% of the posts on Prem's forums concern Indian Cricket. The England Australia series has taken up a minority of the space so why were/are you so angry?

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 00:58  

  • I follow Zimbabwe-Kenya just as much as any other game by reading the ball-by-ball commentary on cricinfo and cricket blogs. I may not buy the video package...that is reserved only for must-watch matches like The Ashes, Ind=Pak, Ind-Aus...etc. If I had the dough I would buy all cricket packages. If Zimbabwe & kenya happened to be the top 2 sides I'd be just as excited as I am about The Ashes.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 01:47  

  • clannzu,

    drop me an email at rgajria@gmail.com

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 02:30  

  • alvin,
    i understand where you are coming from but i really dont agree with it. right now australia and england are playing good entertaining cricket whereas india is playing a side that probably woul dbe beaten by any ranji team. i am not saying we shouldnt be following india but dude the ashes have never been this interesting. well atleast in my life time.
    ps im sorry about the unsolicited opinion!!

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 02:37  

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