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Sight Screen

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It hardly matters

Australia got through the Essex barrier without much problems. But with hardly any gains either. They learned that their bowlers, minus Warne and McGrath, are not as effective on flat tracks (read: they are not miracle workers) and that Hayden can still flay poor attacks. But so can one of his prospective usurper Hodge (he also scored run-a-ball 150+ today). Gilchrist can't though. He's gone down way too much in confidence it seems, and his prospective replacement Haddin scored a quick 50+.

Not that all this matters, Hayden and Gilchrist are too precious to be handed over, just yet. Even if this is a crucial ashes test. Aus management, and selectors, feel that the chances of these two coming good are still better than a newcomer coming in and firing right away.

Eng, meanwhile, have recalled Anderson into the side. Tremlett misses out because he's short of match practice in recent times. And he's short of match practice because he was mostly with Eng squad as num 12! Talk of 'justifications', the Eng selectors are trying to outdo our desi version (remember Balaji, after getting just one ODI in SL, being dropped from Zim ODIs because they want to give chance to newcomers!)

Anyways, our Indian selectors, as we already know, have proven themselves to be equally patient while holding their judgment on our star performer of past, Saurav. Whether its for same reasons or not shouldn't matter. And Saurav would one day learn that when one is going through a lean patch, it doesn't matter at the end of the day whether he got out playing from the middle of the bat, a full blooded shot, or a lame attempt to fending. People Just Want Runs On The Board. Or so it seems. It also doesn't matter whether today he was looking to leave the short ball instead of falling for the hook/pull bait.

But, in case of some others like Rao, its not the runs that matter, its the speed at which he got those, and the manner in which he got those. (And it doesn't matter whether he was grafting as per team instructions or personal will or even the fact that Saurav Ganguly specially praised him along with Yuv and Dhoni at the post match interview, obviously for some unfathomable reasons).

While in some other cases, as Yuv is finding out, it also doesn't matter how many runs and in what manner he gets it. Because he is already seen as inconsistent performer, playing for his place, performing only when under the axe. As Sunil Gavaskar was also heard commenting, to him it seems that the main batting lineup is the 'untouchables' of the team i.e. they won't go anywhere, however they perform, while the bowlers can be shuffled around.

So what did we get from this match. That not everyone will get the runs on all the days, and its ok as long as we get to see the right application. And that was there for the Indians, as much as there can be in such a low consequential match. The batsmen were all 'looking' to play well, the fielding was still good. The bowling was as good as it can be given that some of them were getting their first game of the season. Rahul and Veeru would need to sort out things in their mind, because not much looks wrong out in the middle(Veeru can move his feet a bit more, but in his case that's hardly consequential)

And also that its a pleasant problem of plenty for the team management as a choice between Yuv and Kaif for that all important middle order slot in the test lineup.


  • so now what happens when Ganguly is dismissed again by Bond while trying to fend/pull? Will he keep his place in the ODI series against Lanka in November? Even if India lose another Final?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:08  

  • his place in the side should be judged independent of what we do in final. If he has to be axed, it should be done if he fails (and even if we win). And if not, then dont do it just because we lost.

    By Blogger worma, at 15:12  

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    By Blogger PSP Blog, at 15:12  

  • btw, Sania match on. Are you still thinking cricket ? :)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:12  

  • Sania just got broken...

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 15:31  

  • and she breaks right back

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 15:34  

  • yeah its exciting :)...she is matching everyone atleast in power. If she can reduce her unforced errors over time...it looks good for her

    By Blogger worma, at 15:35  

  • Re: Ganguly.. should it be just on the basis of what happens in the final? He had 4 innings prior to the Finals.. now if he score a 50 in the Finals in lets say 75 balls.. would you still keep him?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:39  

  • I would keep him even if he fails in the finals ! He hasn't failed enough in ODIs to start thinking of removing him yet.

    By Blogger worma, at 15:45  

  • and btw, would you keep sehwag in the side if he fails in the finals ?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:48  

  • Sania has an issue with her service..as the commentator says 2nd serve is too weak..

    By Blogger ilovecricket, at 16:04  

  • Worma,

    If you believe that SMH is to the Australian team what The Telegraph is to SG, then according to today's report by Alex Brown in that paper says that Hayden has sealed his place in the XI by virtue of today's innings.

    An excerpt:
    "But when selectors allowed Hussey to return home ahead of Australia A's tour of Pakistan, Hayden seemed all but certain to retain his position atop the batting order. And this century has surely dispelled any thoughts Katich might shift to opener from the middle order.

    In a Sunday newspaper column, former Australian captain Ian Chappell endorsed the retention of Hayden for the Ashes decider.

    "Matthew Hayden would survive on the basis that a crucial Test is not the time to be blooding a new opening batsman," Chappell wrote. "Katich is not an opening option against a top-class new-ball attack and Mike Hussey should be next in line for Hayden's post. But that discussion shouldn't arise until the team return home.""

    And I am very happy if Matt the Bat(nowadays Matt the pad) indeed plays. Hardly has an england australia match been so eagerly anticiapted as the Oval test.Australia cannot afford to lose- Its england and the ashes, their own status as world champions and pride. England cannot afford to lose either. They dont actually deserve to lose after the way that they have played. This somehow makes me beleive that its going to be a pressure game - like the India Pakistan matches in the 90's when the arch rivals met after long periods of time and played needle matches. As history will testify, it is the team who held their nerves better and handled the pressure better and kept their come came out on top. Past records, reputations were often tossed out of the window.

    Therefore, it is wise for the Australian selectors to persist with Hayden ,specifically for this match. True Langer replaced Slater four years ago and carved a career changing hundred, but then Justin Langer was not a new kid on the block in 2001- Brad Hodge is and with tremendous potential. Therefore hayden should open. Plus Oval throws up good batting tracks, and I have a feeling that Hayden will prosper this time around.

    Mcgrath also must play at the Oval- and reports say he has said that he will play at the Oval. If he does not get wickets by sheer pace, he will get them by sheer experience. Australia's best bet will be to go with 2 pacers and the 2 leg spinners. Even if they lose the toss, they should back their batting to come good so that they give the spinners runs to bowl to.

    Now let us look at the situation from an england point of view. Some people are saying that bring in Collingwood if Jones doesnt play and they cant bowl us twice. In theory, it sounds sound, but rarely ploy has been successful. South Africa in that Cronje and after Cronje era went in with about 8 batters with the aussies but Australia always found a way to grind them to dust. Plus it will send a negative message to the opposition. It was quite tangible in the Australian second innings at Trant Bridge that in the absense of Jones, Australia were breathing just a bit more freely. Collingwood therefore wont make the Aussies lose their sleep if Jones doesnt play.

    Oval is a fitting venue for this great test match. Its where Micheal Holding took those 7 for in the 70's making England 'grovel', and this is where the ashes were born. In fact India went into the oval test in 2002 with pundits syaing that Anil Kumble and Harbhajan would spin them to a series victory. But Vaughn ensured that England made 500+ batting first and India had to play for a draw.

    The way aussies play under pressure is legendary and who knows, if they play with the same intensity that they played in the last days of the previous 3 tests, we may see Old Australia, and Old England again. It was good to see Mcgrath making the right noises before this crutial test. It would be interesting to watch him bowl. You can bet your bottom dollar that hes gonna give it his heart and soul for this match. Beause like Warnie, this is also gonna be his last test match in England.

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 16:04  

  • yeah Sharapova is pouncing on her second serve ! And she is not getting enough percentange of first serves right, so its coming down to 2nd too often

    By Blogger worma, at 16:05  

  • Thing with Ganguly is that if you select him as captain, then u cant drop him. While u can still drop Sehwag even after u pick him in the squad. After SRT returns for the Nov series, he will hold one of the 2 openers slots. There after there isnt much room left for BOTH Ganguly and Sehwag.. But if both are in the team and Gangu is the captain, then by default no matter what u cant drop Gangu.. And remember its a 7 match series against Lanka.. Which means Gangu will keep him place in the team no matter what for 7 more games..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:06  

  • Thing with Ganguly is that if you select him as captain, then u cant drop him. While u can still drop Sehwag even after u pick him in the squad. After SRT returns for the Nov series, he will hold one of the 2 openers slots. There after there isnt much room left for BOTH Ganguly and Sehwag.. But if both are in the team and Gangu is the captain, then by default no matter what u cant drop Gangu.. And remember its a 7 match series against Lanka.. Which means Gangu will keep him place in the team no matter what for 7 more games..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 16:06  

  • dark nights, is it because of this innings ? IMO they were already almost sure to retain him, as I said in the post also. Since its too much of a gamble to risk a newcomer into what is virtually a one-off match. Its a bigger gamble than counting on Hayden to come good.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:09  

  • tiger, yes you are right, I agree on the captaincy thing. But I dont think either Sehwag or he is going to be dropped, or atleast not on basis of what we have seen so far. lets wait and watch how they come out in the test matches also.

    And as long as ganguly is there in the 14, he will be the captain and also be there in 11. If he is dropped, then it would be complete drop (and btw, thats why they havent appointed him captain beyond this tour, isnt that so).

    I personally dont have an opinion, based on the team's performance so far, as to who should be 'dropped' (I would like to call it sitting on the fringe, having good bench streangth) when Sachin comes back. Maybe JP would be rested, because sachin can bowl in Indian conditions ? Maybe they would rotate players, esp going by how we progress in the series.

    But why do we want to think about Sachin's return ? And why try to find a weak link ? I hope we are able to rest an 'in-form' player by that time....because that would mean we have bench strength. Thats why its important that Rao and Raina also come into some kind of form, so that they can be used in the right roles when situation demands (e.g. when you have dravid missing a game, who do you call ? rao is likely being developed for that role, or when you need a stronger bowling option, drop a batsmen and take in JP etc etc)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:15  

  • meanwhile Sania departs. Her service game just fell apart after 5 games in first set.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:16  

  • Not a newcomer. But there were noises made by people like Steve Rixon suggesting dropping Hayden and promoting Katich at the top of the order. That still brings a newcomer alebit not at the top of the order. But this innings will surely givce Hayden and the team mgmt. some confidence- you cant discount that. It could well be a turning point. After all not everyone can be SG with no turning points- only consistent failures with the bat. :)

    Also read here.
    This was Steve waugh after 2001 ashes. England has players like afzaal and ormond then. He was looking forward to South Africa whome they annihilated later after New zealand's grand show at Perth. Waugh and bro Mark were also kicked from the One day side. Waugh says that county matches were unnecessary. And this time when Australia are in trouble, they look forward to these side matches to sort out things. How things, circumstance and opposition change!

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 16:26  

  • The latest performances of Rahul Dravid have me a little worried. You get the sense there is an unconscious rebellion happening from his part. Even during his rough patches, he has never seemed to have so many holes in his batting. Something is up. Can it be that his role on the team is not defined? No, I don't mean the No. 3 slot. It is the role of leader. Why he is not captain? I still cannot understand why he is not.

    Ganguly captaincy seems to be hailed by many as indisputable. This is a bunch of horse shit. With the game against Zim, he dismisses lacklustre performances by the top order as just natural occurances. Unacceptable. Where is the responsibility? He might be passionate on the field but not the leader that has a long term plan for each member of his team. This is not professional. We are not looking for a field captain that motivates his troops gallantly into battle, we need a general who sees the far road ahead. Dravid is cut from that cloth. Besides all that is Ganguly's batting form which is horrendous. I hate to use the word form because it means that at some point it is going to get better. I seriously doubt it. The guy was a great batsmen in the past but he is not now or will ever be. Ever. He is DONE. Every once in a while, some weak team will give him a bunch of runs so that his numbers look adequate. Adequate!

    I believe Ganguly is captain because of plain old corruption. He is buying his way into the team. And there enough idiots who rationalize his appointment as the team leader as something else so the question of corruption is never raised. Why is there not more said about this? Why is the press so silent? Prem, you should know people from the inside. Get the evidence and bust this guy. I cannot tell who you make hints to as being corrupted. But enough hints, it is time for some change and the only people who could do that are people like you. I like Harsha but he is enough clout yet chooses to be silent?

    By Blogger ahem, at 16:31  

  • yeah I know that one, about katich being promoted, but that even worse, katich is not exactly in prime form, but has looked to give some valuable stability to their lower middle order. They wouldnt take that away. And yes, some confidence surely, as he has spent time in the middle, so surely some confidence. But what I meant was that they had made their mind irrespective of this innings.

    And btw, Shane Warne said before this game that Aus would have preferred a rest instead of this tour game(although as a personal opinion I presume) so things havent changed as much from Waugh days. I dont think Aus were looking forward to this game either. Atleast I didnt read anything to this effect.

    And this may yet prove to be a turning point for Hayden (but didnt he score another century in a warmup game ?) or it may not. Saurav Ganguly has had similar success in county, and we are yet to see if that was a turning point or not (he hasn't played a test innings yet). Btw I think he also scored a big hundred in Ranji, last season. So these turning points, sometimes when they click you associate them, other times you dont. There's no proof of their effectiveness one way or the other.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:36  

  • ajit, Dravid has gone through this patches earlier. Similar, and even worse patches. In ODIs and also in tests (yeah it sounds unbelievable now, I know:) ). Nothing to do with captaincy I think. In fact this patch started in SL, remember ? At that time, we assume, that he was not aware of the captaincy issues.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:38  

  • Will there be any posts on the Sania Mirza-Sharapova match? It would be nice if someone posted something.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 16:39  

  • rishi, I dont feel I know enough of tennis to post anything :) Already wrote above some of my observations, but I guess most of you would have judged that much already. If you've watched the game, and write something, I can put it up as a post ?

    By Blogger worma, at 16:41  

  • warne wouldnt have played this game, everyone knew that. But you bet Mcgill was itching to bowl. And yes I cam across quite a few articles where people like Chappell said that the tour iteniary was poorly planned and that the australian acceptance of it smacked of arrogance.

    To find out just how important this tour match was from a selection point of view- read here. (http://foxsports.news.com.au/story/0,8659,16466210-5000061,00.html)

    About turning points, all i can say is that comparing Matthew Hayden with Saurav ganguly is a poor analogy. Hayden has scored 1000 test runs for 4 years. after reaching such a crescendo, his drought was expected- but even his very worst, like when he poked and prodded at Matthew Hoggard, he always looked an out of form batsman who may turn the corner any time soon. It would be a travesty to say Ganguly is out of form -an understatement of an undertstatement- hes pathetic. Let alone a crescendo, his test batting is like a dead trough with occasional sparks like Brisbane, 03.And the kind of opposition that the 2 have faced recently in international cricket is, ahem, not quite the same.

    I was also not associating any turning points with anything. I said that Hayden will go into the test match with a better frame of mind now with runs under belt than say in the case if he scored a duck in this match.So if he now runs into a rich vein of form from now on, you can say that he turned the corner from here on. As Gavaskar once said" Runs are always runs. " Put Ganguly's test performances against Hayden's in the last 4 years and you will see what I mean. And yes I mean test batting when i say batting, and not bullshit and meaningless odis. sadly , Ganguly, a past master of collaring weak bowling and oppoistions like Kenya seems to have lost that art too. If he scores a test hundred against Zimbabwe, saurav ganguly will temporarily silence his critics. But he wont answer the questions levelled against him.One can only say that he turned around the corner if he scores convincing and consistent test runs against meaningful opposition like England and Pakistan, teams which India play later in the year. Otherwise, it will just be another blimp in the graph of his consistent failures .

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 17:12  

  • sania has a killer forehand. to borrow from Ravi Shastri "It goes like a tracer bullet" unfortunately at the moment thats the only thing going for her.n
    for most of the game she matched sharpova shot for shot and had shapova on occacions on account of her forehand.
    her first serve is respectable but less said about her second serve the better. sharpova had enough time to move around, place herself, pick a spot and hammer the second serve almost every time. her inability to put in the first serve and the ineffective second serve made it very hard for her to hold serve.

    in the first set she was able to break sharpova once and on another occassion had 3 break points. by the end of the first set sharpova figured out sania's game; she started moving sania around the court and pounded service winners on sania's second serve(which was almost always). to her credit sania never flinched and made her opponent fight for the points

    sania impressed a lot of people with her showing but she is not gonna beat top ranked players unless she
    improves her fitness and be faster around the court
    be more consistent with her first serve and develop a more effective second serve

    By Blogger JD, at 17:13  

  • Sania's game was best put by the commentrators. STREAKY. Some brilliant backhands at the beginning of the first set, but then followed by poor first serves and lot of unforced errors.But first things first. girl has to slim down and work on her fitness and mobility. she looks too trigger happy and doesnt want to make her opponent move a lot. A final word of advice to sania from a tennis novice..

    Try getting most of your points in the first serve:)

    By Blogger sachin, at 17:14  

  • Worma
    Interesting discussion going on here.
    2 decisions to be made. whether to Drop SG as a captain and the second whether to drop him as a player also.

    If India wins in the final he has done what he set out to do even though he may not have contributed as a captain nor as a player. So do you continue him ? only to be found out on the next tour ?

    By Blogger Amit, at 17:22  

  • Please drop SG- period; taking up space of a batsman, can't develop a future captain beacuse of him- enough. Please drop him whether India wins or loses.

    And before I am labeled anti-SG; I think he was a great batsman and the best captain we had in his prime but he is just taking up space now.

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:50  

  • Once SRT returns, either Sehwag or Ganguly must be benched. Neither of these 2 guys have performed upto par as specialist batsmen. Kaif at 3, Dravid at 4, Yuvraj at 5, Dhoni at 6, Yadav at 7, Pathan at 8 appears to be deep batting lineup for India.

    As always there is a problem with bowlers. Harbhajan is not upto the mark in his bowling as he seldom picks wickets (maybe due to the defensive fields). Nehra and Pathan have been performing alright and if they become more consitent will solve a lot of problems. The problem is the 3rd pacer - Khan was outstanding till the WC and God knows what has happened to him ever since then. Agarkar had his chances and was a flop. India is still persisting with him and it is a big risk. Balaji does not inspire confidence in ODS either. I think the selectors missed a trick in not blooding VRV Singh or Munaf Patel for this series - they would have hardly fared worse than Agarkar and may have proved to be the answer.

    India's batting is going to sort itself out once SRT returns with increasing competition for slots. However, the bowling department looks bleak. Bhajji has no competition and hence is getting away with mediocre performances and Agarkar is only a stop gap replacement.

    By Blogger AA, at 18:17  

  • suraj...unfortunately the people who matter (the selectors) don't and can't take such sane decisions ... sg obviously has too much of clout to be wronged...the indian team has always been inconsistent...but sg is the captain of inconsistencies, his peaks average once every 3 years...things however won't change even after the current series....if India win, the selectors and sg will use that for his reinstatement as captain...if we lose, then the others should have performed badly too right? so it will be treated as a collective team failure ... strangely we all believe our past wins are because of sg's brilliant captaincy (we seem to confuse aggressive captaincy with sg taking off his shirt & arriving late for the toss & press conferences)... i wonder what sg has to say in the dressing room to motivate or admonish batsmen who have been failing of late (vs/rd etc)... what kind of conviction can he have when he himself needs loads of this

    By Blogger arun, at 18:19  

  • btw rd seems to be getting out bowled off inside edges very often...this has happened atleast twice in this series alone...must be playing with not enough soft hands...the rd of the last 2-3 years was excellent in this aspect and accumulated lots of singles by dropping the ball at his feet with soft hands... this seems to have deserted him now

    By Blogger arun, at 18:33  

  • Its pertinent to remember that Rahul Dravid also spent around 10 matches before he produced any decent knock.
    having said that you can't give every tom dick and harry an extended stay.. You need to balance the need for backing with the potential they promise.

    By Blogger Amit, at 19:12  

  • I think two games today showed us a lot - Two to tango - why it matters:


    two to tango

    Aussies had their last tour match completed with mixed answers for a few questions for themselves- they wanted to give the bowlers another go at the selection debate for the Oval Test. Did McGill get valuable match practice or got his confidence hammered? Question for Hayden was whether he is out of form or unable to cope up with the quality attack - the latter seems more likely. He ended up an excellent tour matches avg.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 19:15  

  • Indian fielders were a bit slow but there was a good run out by Yuvraj. Agarkar got seam movement and kept good lines in his first spell. RP Singh can swing the ball but lacks pace. Yadav and spinners struggled to bowl within field restrictions. JP came back well but both the spinners were mediocre or worse. Kartik was one dimensional in pace and wayward. Harbhajan was a bit better.

    Indian top order lacks any sense of purpose, application and responsibility. Even Kaif and Dravid are sub-optimal in the field restrictions and so it is beyond foolishness for Sehwag to go hunting for runs like the mad slogger Afridi. Immediately India is two down!! Rao gets bogged down as he did in SL with his unproductive sweep-shots. Yuvraj also struggled against spinners but he tends to anyway. With Dhoni, Yuvraj played in front more often and started to rotate the strike easily. He even hit a straight six.

    Chappell is lucky to have a fully functional lower order. Kaif still needs to score big runs and plenty of boundaries to secure the third spot. Replacements need to be readied for Sehwag (Gambhir?), Ganguly (Sachin) and Dravid (not Rao or Ganguly). There must be one decent spinner/ spin allrounder even in the ranks of India under-19!!

    Gambhir (!), Sachin, Kaif, Yuvraj, Dravid (or Sehwag), Dhoni, Yadav, Pathan, Nehra + two bowlers

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 19:59  

  • Ganguly is the best captain India has at the moment. Dravid is a strategist and not a captain. You need someone who can rally the troops and Ganguly can. GC will iron out Ganguly's flaws in batting and that will take some time. so instead of calling for his head, you should support him. But then again, majority of the people in this thread are anti-Ganguly anyways - not that am pro ganguly. I just like his captain capabilities.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 20:08  

  • Could you spare us the inanities with respect to your comments on the Australian side? Warne and McGrath has 1125 odd wickets between the two of them, therefore it is hardly incisive to say - "They learned that their bowlers, minus Warne and McGrath, are not as effective on flat tracks (read: they are not miracle workers)". Do I detect a hint of gloating at the misery of the mighty? Indians have a long, long, impossibly long way to catch up to the accomplishments of Australia. -- Rajiv

    By Blogger miyazaki, at 20:45  

  • miyazaki - agreed, "they learned that their bowlers.." stuff is unfounded.. the statement made me post this:
    Two to tango at

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:33  

  • Again, it seems the aussie naysayers r spelling the team's forthcoming doom without much thought rather prematurely.

    Worma/DarkKnights...a couple points:
    - Indian team 2003 (then ranked #2) played our A-game Down Under, with all our batsmen bar Sachin in fine nick thru the series. And all we could end up with was a drawn series..against a team without Warne and Mcgrath.
    - Australia has plenty of seam bowling resources available for them in the country: Clarke, Tait, Nicholson, Williams, Bracken. They will shine given time, not one or two tests, and I am confident that more baggy greens will be given out in the coming months.
    - Gilchrist, that once-in-a-lifetime player now has an immensely talented and well-groomed Haddin breathing down his neck. Its gonna happen possibly sooner that we thought.
    - Shane Warne/Mcgrath may be irreplaceable, but Aussie 2009, will be a different outfit. It may not have players that can bowl with both hands like John Buchanan opines, but they may very well have established, multi-dimensional players like Watson/Haddin/Cameron White/Clarke/Lee who can bat/bowl and field above par.

    Given the options they have, and the incredibly subtle yet highly effective selection policy their country possesses, I am betting on Aussie dominance well into 2010. The team to give them a run for their money finally, given our population...can only be India..never England. For that to happen, lots of things need to change however. We could start with firing those bunch of jokers we call our selectors. Optimistically, speaking, a stitch in time can yet save nine!

    By Blogger Mahesh, at 22:02  

  • do the rules allow for the captain to be the super-sub? if so we can finally play a game with a full team. and who knows, RD may also find it motivating to perform to his usual standards. it is sad to see the decline of SG.

    i agree with miyakazi and yacrik. to compare india with australia or england is more a reflection of our hopes and dreams than a realistic assessment of the team. you need a good system to create champions. a feudal, nepotistic corrupt and ineffecient administration cannot.

    By Blogger suresh bala, at 22:21  

  • It always matters if you want it to matter - nothing is a waste but the waste itself!

    Two to Tango at
    Two to Tango

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 22:51  

  • Regarding SG, I guess our thinktank (if there is any) made mistake of reinstating him as Captain. It would have been a lot better if Vice Captain continued as Captain until SG recovers it's form. It's always dilemma to drop a weak captain-player!

    And Veeru is like Hayden of OZ, humm, may be he is in better position than Hayden ;) So I can understand inertia of touching him.

    By Blogger Samir, at 22:58  

  • any thoughts on ICC Player of the year 2005?

    The ICC is set to announce the Player of the year in Australia on 11 October during the super series. The judging period for the ICC Awards is 1 August 2004 to 31 July 2005 .

    ICC player of the year

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 23:01  

  • agreed sameer - about SG.
    who is going to be the player of year?

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 23:02  

  • Worma, Dravid as a player is in a different class than he was earlier in his career. The slide in SL is not the same as his batting currently. Dravid has always had problem with footwork especially in front of the middle stump. But this performance is unlike any other, his body language is not the same. Ignore the numbers for a second and please examine the man and how he walks to the crease and how he did even in his "slide" in SL. And I am not saying this is a conscious choice but I have always felt even when he has struggled he has been a positive cricket player, even in defense. A silent defiance.

    Some comments stated here indicate we need Ganguly because he motivates his players. Hmmm, put yourself in the shoes of any of the batsmen -- my job security is based on my job performance. However, the same rule does not apply to my captain. Feel a little angry. Lose a little respect. Giving speeches or Ganguly magic-style leadership does not work consistently. Because after a certain amount of playing together, each speech drowns the other out. Inconsistency is bred. Leadership is more than just motivation. Consistency comes to those who form a habit of doing something, habit from roles, roles created by a plan. What is Ganguly going to offer his players "let us do it guys, we really need to win," and the response "Chief, I have already heard it, as matter of fact, my laundry lady gave me that spiel yesterday." Kaif and Yuvraj by now know what needs to be done. Dravid, Sachin have known. The younger players need some motivation not in the area "let us win one for india" but instead "i need you to be more consistent by (doing this and that)" In order for geniuses (on and off the field), there has to be a certain relaxation of the mind to think (Science cannot repeat this enough). Constant agitation, namely passionate pleaing, is not going to cut it. If the world cup is to come to India, Cool headed Dravid should be appointed captain.

    By Blogger ahem, at 00:03  

  • Guys,

    Might want to check out Cricket 24X7's current posting for more insights into BCCI'S modus operandi... Good read.


    By Blogger mban11, at 01:58  

  • guys why not forget ganguly AND dravid as far as captaincy goes. lets look for a third alternative that does not spell sehwag. i remember when azhar was made captain he was a virtual nobody as far as intra team leadership went. maybe its about time to give someone relatively new the baton. atleast in one dayers why not try someone like kaif? he has mad experience as far as captaincy goes and has even won a u-19 wc. i understand that its way different from real international cricket but the guy really can do something. besides since ganguly is a tumour we dont need and dravid is apparently a strategist(im quoting someone from this blog) lets try kaif or evenmaybe pathan?? i strongly beleive that we should follow a 2 captain strategy.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 02:19  

  • Agree with you Ajit, totally, the body language of Dravid tells it all, he seems somewhat disturbed and quiet. If anyone has a doubt, watch him fielding or walking to the wicket next time. There's also an evident 'distance' between Ganguly & Dravid on the field, notice how Ganguly discussed with Kaif (and not Dravid) during Zimb's slog overs yest. With the youngsters (Kaif, Yuvraj, Pathan, etc,.) more or less coming of age under Chappel, the need now is for a thinking rather than an inspiring leader.

    By Blogger mohd iqbal, at 03:41  

  • Hi Guys, just got back from a webless weekend. feels weird not being in touch with the world...

    Too bad about Saniya. Good while she lasted, but I guess she has a better chance of winning a grand slam then Ganguly scoring a century. Good to see him and Shewag continue their form.

    And Hayden? On one end, that guy avaerages 103.5, 3 100's, 3 50's in six and on the other he averages 22.5 in 8 innings with a top score or 36. Hard to believe the stats belong to the same guy in the same summer. Amazing...

    And lastly, this comment caught my eye.

    Coach John Buchanan remained pleased with the efforts his bowlers showed, however.

    "Generally, I thought we bowled and fielded well," he said. "There were positives from all of them. It is important we go through the physical demands of the game and all of our bowlers did that OK."

    This after Essex scored 504/4 in 105 overs. This 'New Australia' sure beats 'Old England' hands down. At least they were not whining about the benign nature of the wicket....

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 03:45  

  • Another word of advice for Sania from a tennis novice:

    Don't watch Indian cricket... :)

    By Blogger Shakeel Abedi, at 03:47  

  • I would prefer one of the following two options:

    (1) Ganguly gets back to roaring form and plays a brilliant innings (even against Bond) and leads India to a victory.
    (2) Ganguly continue with his wretched form and India loses.

    Option (1) is obviously better - gets your top ODI player back to form and India wins a fina (at last!)

    Optio (2) is wishful - if Ganguly fails and India goes on to win, then our BCCI babus will find one more reason to make him captain yet again and retain him in the side. As Chapell said, it is not the victory that matters. If we are to focus on rebuilding this team before the next WC, we should either get Ganguly back in form now in this series or AXE him.

    So - tomorrow my interest in the game would be restricted to the period Ganguly is batting. If he fails, I would start praying that India too loses. :-) (I wish someone could bribe the guys to tank the moment Ganguly gets out cheaply.)

    By Blogger vshan, at 04:06  

  • Surabh, welcome back. I though Buchanan did mention the flat track and fast outfield in the same article. Can't seem to find it now.

    And about poor form of Sehwag and Ganguly (also Dravid)...well what can I say....maybe this. Now we 'know' that Kaif is in good form. He got a good delivery today, and was out early, but thats ok because we 'know' already that he's in good form, right ? What if he had got a similar delivery early in his innings, last time around ? Think about it. And no this is not about any particular player, its more on the ways in which we form our opinions (in cricketing context, I don't intend to start a philosophical argument. Not on a monday morning atleast :-) )

    By Blogger worma, at 04:07  

  • worma - you dont need to see the final scorecard to 'know' whether a player is in form. Just an over or two would tell you even if the person scores a hundred. Tendulkar scored those runs last year even when he was out of form. It was clear from the way he was stroking the ball with tentative nudges and pushes.

    Ganguly is clearly out of form and Sehwag has been this for quite some time in the ODIs. It is time we axe Ganguly and push Sehwag down the order. I am sure these two moves would do wonders to our batting.

    By Blogger vshan, at 04:15  

  • yes vshan we should know by seeing the player bat. Can you tell me, from this last Ind-Zim game, what exactly did you see to tell you that Ganguly was out of form ?
    And isn't it so that we were criticising Kaif and Yuv till recently ? What if Yuv had got a good ball early on ? How would we have known ? I thought in the entire SL series and here, Yuv looked more uncomfortable at the crease than Ganguly ! (he himself says that he had to work hard early on)

    By Blogger worma, at 04:19  

  • or are we so judgmental and cynical to assume that although ganguly was playing right from the middle of the bat (unlike the sachin nudges and pushes) he would still have got out even if someone had not held his spectacular catch ?

    Like we are cynical to assume, these days, that once India is 4 down for so few runs, we are going to loose to Zim ? As many people were assuming yesterday ? That we are going to make heroes out of Zim, because thats what we do.(and neve mind the fact that Nz got allout against them)

    By Blogger worma, at 04:21  

  • Worma, I agree cricket is a game of chance, but...

    I think Shewag will come good but not sure about Ganguly. His time, like Hayden's, is past and I think it's not a case of form but cricket.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 04:22  

  • ..and what were we saying about yuvraj until recently...one hundred and he is satisfied...what if he had got a good delivery early on yesterday (as Kaif did) ? Would we still have thought that ok yuvraj seems to be in form, he is getting more mature, applying himself in the middle, working hard ? Would we have thought all this had be got out early ? By looking at his game and judging ? And not going by the scoreline.

    By Blogger worma, at 04:23  

  • worma - I saw Ganguly against NZ (sans Bond) and I did not like the way he played some shots. There was a gentle short ball on the leg side from Adams(I guess?) and Gangs made a ugly swipe at it - it took the glove and made its way to fine leg. He was clearly bothered by a short ball even from a trundler.

    I did not see yesterday's match. so cannot comment.

    Regarding Yuv - I dont think he is top form - not yet. I would wait to see. He last scored against the lowly WI. And now against the lowly Zims. Not convincing.

    Kaif has been playing well since SL. At least he was stroking the ball well and was his usual busy stuff picking quick runs by running between the wickets. I did not see a form slump in him.

    Dravid - he was in good form in SL. I dont know what has happened in the meantime -maybe the captaincy issue is bothering him? His away from body shots have repeatedly led to him getting played on. Just indicated a distracted mind.

    Sehwag - I would prefer him in the middle order. I dont think he is going to click consistently at the top.

    By Blogger vshan, at 04:25  

  • saurabh, thats the problem. The Aussies do not see it as a game of chance (atleast not as much as we do). They see it more logically. They see some method even in the 20 or so runs that Hayden scored in last innings of Trent Bridge and think that he seems to be getting his touch back (yes I read this, Langer saying about Hayden). They discount the chance factor as much as possible. They know anyone, even in prime of form, can get a good ball early on. They know anyone, even in the best of form, can be outdone by a spectacular catch.

    To me, the 'looking at the game' part of the best judge, as vshan says. And going by that, SG looks more likely to come back today than Hayden.

    And I still believe that Hayden would(and should) be persisted with.

    By Blogger worma, at 04:27  

  • vshan I agree ganguly is not playing the short ball well enough. but is that reason enough to drop him ? have you seen any other player in the world being targetted with short ball so much ? Would they all be comfortable ?

    Or consider this, to date I haven't seen yuv play spin with any confidence ! Even in this century, he played the spinners so carefully, looking ugly each time he made a swipe. Should we drop him for that ? You dont drop any player (not someone of proven value atleast) because he cannot play only one kind of delivery. I dont know ANY player in any team who has been dropped just because of that !

    And honestl, tell me, besides that short delivery (which he is still figuring out how to play) how uncomfortable did Ganguly seem in this series to you ? Ofcourse he was troubled by Bond in that one over, and who wouldn't ?

    And btw, I seriously meant that comment as a generic statement, talking about not only Ganguly, but in general how we judge our players. Eg Kaif, Yuvraj etc etc (and now the way we want to throw out Rao)

    By Blogger worma, at 04:32  

  • Worma, though it looks like Hayden has got a good start and then got out to 'one ball', the fact is that he starts struggling when the ball starts reversing and loses his confidence. That to me is not an issue of form but a flaw in his technique.

    Benaud made this observation in the last Test "And this is the point when he starts struggling" And bingo; 2 overs later he was gone...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 04:35  

  • Worma, Hayden will be presisted with because the Aussies did not come with a back-up plan!!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 04:36  

  • But he was struggling loooong before the start of Ashes (as I pointed out long time back in some comments, his failure in tests is longer than Ganguly's !)...so why did they bring him at all ? And why did they bring him without backup plan ?

    And the thing is, even if Hayden is in his prime form, he would not score well in all his innings against this attack in these conditions. So, his second innings in Trent Bridge, his team mates thought he looked like getting back (and yes, to me also he seemed more comfortable) and he didn't get out to reverse. So, the point being, he may be coming back to form(or he may already be there almost) but how would we know from the results, cos he still got out cheaply. Thats my point.

    By Blogger worma, at 04:40  

  • Define form? It's abstract if you add the 'what if'...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 04:44  

  • Hayden's slump started long back and given that I am surprised how the Aussies landed in England without plan B. similarly, the bowling was exposed way back in 2003 when the Indians took the Aussie attack apart. Their main strength was in McG and Warne. So it is surprising how come they did took Kasper and Gillie in the team with hardly any back to fall back on! Just Tait? Surely another fast bowler in the place of McGill would have helped adress some of these issues. McGill has been a passenger on tour.

    The only thing that was unexpected and might have slipped from planning was Gilchrist. This dude was in awesome form for so long that it was difficult to predict his drastic drop both in front and behind the wickets.

    By Blogger vshan, at 04:53  

  • I think the Aussies (and most everyone) under estimated this English side and come here with predictions of '5-0'. so there was very little planning and

    Simon Hughes had written an excellent article about what went wrong with the aussies and how they have continued to ignore the writing on the wall. Will try to dig it out...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:01  

  • So how many of us think we are 'die hard' cricket fans? I know it's not fair to compare in terms of who can spend how much to watch the game (as we all have our own financial limitations), but I though this was worth sharing;

    "One fan has even rented a flat overlooking the Oval - paying £23,000 for five days - in an attempt to see the live action of what could potentially be one of the nation's greatest sporting moments in 40 years"

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:16  

  • vshan, the Aussies wanted to 'persist' with Hayden...because there is threshhold before dumping a proven performer. Hayden, in their judgment, had not yet crossed that threshhold. But yes, a plan B (a reserve opener) might have been good. Dunno if they have on ready.
    About the bowlers, well Gillespie and Kasper were not in bad for before this tour. They had planned for two reserve fast bowlers in Lee and Tait. That was enough, or atleast that was the max they could have done.

    Agree about Gilchrist, and that is my basis for saying that to some extent all good players would also struggle against this attack. He has been extra bothered because Flintoff has found the right code. He has to work on that.

    Saurabh, sure they would have thought of 5-0 but if they had ignored the potency of Eng attack then they were foolish. Btw I dont think they believed that (you know Aus were the first ones to point out that Harmison would be a great bowler, after the last ashes series, so they should have known that he has matured, and also gone by his success against other sides. And freddie they themselves rated highest in this Eng lineup). What I think they didnt account for was teh quality of backup attack in Jones and Hoggard. They hoped for some respite when harmy and freddie are tired, and they are not getting that now.

    And about defining form....sure its abstract. Doesnt depend on results...or atleast it shouldnt in the short term. In the short term (or immediate term) you have to 'look' and judge. Like the aussies do with Hayden or Gilchrist etc. In the long run you need to go by results also, you cannot just keep looking and saying that 'hey this dude looks like he will come good any day now'. But how long should you persist, that depends on what is the value of the player you are talking about. What is he going to bring to you, if he comes good ? The bigger the offering, the bigger the gamble you have to take on persistence.

    By Blogger worma, at 05:23  

  • LOL :)....well I'm die-hard...but don't have that kind money to blow up :))(even if I did, I think my wife would kill me, if I did that ;-) )

    By Blogger worma, at 05:25  

  • Agree on you last point "bigger the offering, the bigger the gamble you have to take on persistence"

    Hence it is a bit unfair to compare Hayden and Ganguly. Ganguly's value as a batsman is far less then Hayden's (or Gilchrist for that matter).

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:33  

  • worma, imagine that guy's face if it rains or the Aussies win in 2 days :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:34  

  • read the hysteria surrounding cricket here. It's amazing...


    I think many people have not yet acknowlegded it but the seeds of this were sown 3 years ago with the birth of Twenty20 cricket. It was a means for people to tune in and watch cricket and start understanding the game.

    And the came the Ashes...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 05:37  

  • Ganguly's value as a batsmen in ODIs is much more than that of Hayden (who was hardly ever a great ODI player, even in his peak) or Gilchrist (who at his peak was probably as good, but no more, than Ganguly. IMO not as good as Ganguly).

    In test matches, sure their offering is bigger (hence, I think persistence with Hayden is longer than that with Ganguly) but in test matches Ganguly gets a slight tilt in his favour because of the proven captaincy talent that he brings.

    By Blogger worma, at 05:42  

  • yeah saurabh, good report that one. But what about this line Traditionally, cricket has not been followed by women. Is this correct for UK ? We know in Ind there is a big following in women and children. So, which sport is popular in women in UK ? I thought they despised football ?

    And that guy must've hired that flat on a money-return policy :)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:46  

  • ..and oh...Brearly says this in the same report "We are on the verge of being the best team in the world.. This is what I hate...heard it from Boycott, Greig etc on tv also. They think this is the World Cup final of test cricket. And defeating Aus would make them the best in the world !...I hope they are not serious, or alteast think about this emotion more carefully when the whole thing is over (and they have won the series)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:50  

  • worma - its good that England get it into them. We can them pummel them at home and make the point. It is easier to beat a team that believes it is on top when they actually are not. :-)

    By Blogger vshan, at 06:02  

  • Dear Worma,

    You sure got me little confused about what you want to say about "how to judge players".

    Am not sure whether you are saying –
    Mr. X too would have looked out-of-form had he got out early because of a great delivery or great catch received -OR-
    Mr.Y would have regained form had he not been dismissed by that great delivery or great catch.
    If that’s what you are saying, then you are laying too much emphasis on "chance".

    No one would try to judge people based on 1 or 2 innings, and when you try to judge someone on the basis of a good number of innings, you can safely eliminate the bias brought in by luck. Now, what is a good number of innings? it should not be less than, say, 5 or 6. Let’s take 10, it will be highly unlikely that any one would be undone by luck over a span of 10 innings. Hence, stats (of recent past) are a reasonable indicator of talent & form of a player. Stats won’t tell you the complete story, but they are a reasonable proxy. 10 matches should be good enough to even regain form (assuming that talent is always there). Most good players do that. Now comes the most critical question - If you are confident of a player's talent (i.e. class), how many matches will you allow him to regain form?

    My answer would be: once the loss-of-form is evident, I will give him 3-4 matches to scratch his way back to form, and if he at least shows signs of regaining form (scoring a good 20, 30 and dismissed by a great catch or sudden rush of blood) I will give him a couple of more matches. Assuming that the original loss-of-form was ascertained over a span of 5-6 runless innings (and then 3-4 matches to regain form, and 2 more matches to convert 20s,30s to big scores), I would give an established player a max of 10-12 matches, and then dump him. BTW, I said established player here because a new player would n’t have been allowed 5-6 runless innings in the first place :-(

    Now look at the following stats (the runs scored in the last 15 innings):

    Ganguly: 0, 22, 55, 22, 0, 9, 4, 18, 51, 2, 26, 5, 20, 19, 2 (latest)
    Yuvraj: 69, 16, 15, 1, 35, 18, 13, 12, 28, 110, 42, 1, 53, 22, 120 (latest)
    Kaif: 7, 0, 32, 5, 78, 4, 8, 24, 34, 83, 31, 9, 65, 102, 8 (latest)
    Laxman: 20, 107, 14, 1, 12, 37, DNB, 29, 33, 9, 79, 3, 43, 22, 7 (latest)

    Compared to Ganguly’s stats, you would n’t even label those of Yuvraj and Kaif (even Laxman) as loss-of-form :-(

    Applying my theory, Ganguly has lost form much before SL tour, and should have turned the corner after his 51 in SL. But he has gone another 6 innings without a big score. As I said before stats don’t reveal the complete picture, but Ganguly has even “looked” like having re-discovered his touch – in the last few innings.

    You may feel Ganguly is a great captain and hence be given that extra time, but I find it amusing that you are trying to rationalize Ganguly’s performance, by saying – “what would have happened if yuvraj got out early”, “what would have happened if kaif got out early” etc.

    By Blogger Nag, at 06:04  

  • small correction to my last post:

    in the penultimate sentence, I meant to say that "Ganguly has not even “looked” like having re-discovered his touch – in the last few innings."

    By Blogger Nag, at 06:09  

  • dear nag,

    One simple question. Why did you choose only 15 innings ?

    By Blogger worma, at 06:09  

  • And to me, Ganguly has looked more comfortable than RD, Yuv, Kaif early on in their innings.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:10  

  • worma...i think you over-rate sg's captaincy when you give him the edge over hayden in tests...purely on batting merits, sg does not even come close to hayden...and as far as captaincy goes, how do you know hayden would not have been a great captain...he never go the chance ... sg got the chance, but more importantly, he got a great set of players in srt, rd, ak, srinath etc (& many would say the backing of dalmiya)... yes to his credit he did back youngsters, but i'm sure every captain would back talent...sg cannot become great just because he did so...anyways his record after assuming captaincy has been going down all the time...it shows he can't handle both captaincy and batting...

    By Blogger arun, at 06:24  

  • I chose last 15 innings to compare the stats of Gangs, Yuvi and Kaif in view of my belief that 10-12 innings are good enough for a good player to break back into form. I chose Gangs, Yuvi and Kaif because at the begining of this series all 3 of them are supposedly out-of-form. I had also dug up Laxman's stats to point out how good even Laxman's figures are compared to Gangs.

    I feel that Yuvi and Kaif too were as tentative as Ganguly at the begining their innings (presumably because of lack-of-form), but they scratched aroud and then registered good scores. What I can not understand is why Ganguly wasn't able to do that in ANY of the last 6 innings.

    By Blogger Nag, at 06:25  

  • Worma, Point about women in this country; You got to take this with a pinch of salt. In a country where the media has been so obsessed with Football, its difficult to figure about the truth behind their 'facts and figures'.

    As I mentioned to a friend of mine 3 years ago "Cricket is not as dead as the media makes it out to be in this country. Since 2000, I have found it difficult to buy tickets for any ODI game featuring England and most Test Matches have been sold out for the first 3 days (except the one which feature Bangladesh and Zimbabwe)".

    I think the problem with cricket is the cynism that surrounds the game. Also, when people talk of the 'death' of English cricket, they normally refer to the domestic game (which ironically has more viewers and following than that of any other country including India).

    As for the comments by Mike Brearly, Boycott, etc., I can't see much fault in their reasoning. England have beaten most teams they have played in the last 2-3 so if they do beat the Aussies, they deserve to think they are 'nearly' the Best team in the world.

    Now don't tell me its India....

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:25  

  • Why only 15? Well - to have a statistically significant number you need a considerable sample size. Most Run Tests make a good test when the sample sizes are larger than 15.

    A Run Test is a non-parametric test that is used to test a hypothesis of how consistent a series of numbers are. It works on the run of scores in the sample.

    By Blogger vshan, at 06:28  

  • this Eng team has atleast not beaten SL (home), Ind (home and away), Pak (home and away), Aus (away). And they are close to best ? Dude they need to do this, and probably do it a few times over before they think of being best.

    And note I am not talking about being the dominant team (like Aus of past) because for that they would need to do the above MANY times over.

    I dont know how much of the above list would they need to become ICC num 1, but surely some of it.

    The best team in the world is Aus. Eng beating them closes the gap. That is the simple fact, going by any logic you want to put up.

    India is third...and way behind second in some aspects. Lets first hope we retain that third spot by end of this season. that should be the target, and IMO that wud be an achievement. We can build on that.

    Nag, 10-12 innings is not enough. You defeat the whole point of this debate...i wrote above that the 'thresh-hold' of allowance (which means how many failed innings you shud persist with) depends on the perceived value of the player. You cannot say x innings is enough for EVERYONE. Then that means that past performance of player(which proves his value, and the offering he brings on the table) is hardly of any value ?

    Example: If sachin tendulkar scores less than 20 runs in 15 consecutive ODI innings would you drop him ? If yes, then its your loss, what more can I say.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:33  

  • Thanks vshan,

    it came to me as an after thought that 15 is the smallest statistically signficant number (or was it 12, I should ask our bio-statstician). The actual reason I chose that was because it adequately covers 10-12 match theory of mine, and secondly because "statsguru" at cricinfo website has options like 5,10,15 etc.

    By Blogger Nag, at 06:35  

  • Dear Worma,

    I agree that the 'threshold of allowance" to be given to a player should be based on his percieved value to the team. That's why I remarked that a new player (who value is not yet established) will not be allowed 5-6 runless innings, he will be dumped much before that. But, for an established player 10-12 innings should be good enough, especially if the player is good enough.

    Now, I don't rate Ganguly's percieved value to the team very high, at least now. Let's not confuse with Ganguly's contribution to the team in 1997-2002 with his "percieved value" to the team now.

    By Blogger Nag, at 06:43  

  • the perceived value of ganguly is that he will be able to retain that old form (when he became better than sachin in ODIs for a period!). Whether that perceived value becomes reality or not, that is the 'gamble'. Thats why its called 'perceived' value !!!!

    Note, the perceived value has nothing to do with current form.

    Also, as you say "10-12 innings for esablished player"..again you are generalising. Each and every player has to be judged separately, and a threshhold defined just for him. Look at my example question above (regarding sachin)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:47  

  • Worma, Are you telling me that after this performace, the Aussies are better then England???

    Again, I am not saying they are better then the Aussies were in the last five years but they should definately be rated as the best team in the world after this series (Provided they win the last Test).

    As for the ICC ranking, I personally think it is flawed because it considers too long a period for the rating/ranking. Remember the early 2000's. West Indies were being thrashed left-right and centre but were still ranked higher than England and India because they had a great 'history'. So it will be at least a year before the Aussies will be displaced from the ICC table because of their history.

    If you do have some time, read the series of Articles I wrote for rediff back in March 2002 highlighting the flaws in the ICC ranking).






    Not trying to brag, but I haven'yet changed my opinion about this ranking because I want to prove that England are better then the Aussies. In fact, back then I had argued the reverse (if South Africa were to beat the Aussies, they would be ranked number 1 according to the ICX ranking, which in my opinion was wrong).

    For the record, England had to beat Australia 5-0 to go ahead in the table...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 06:49  

  • yes there are some flaws in ICC ranking, and I think rediff have themselves come out with better ranking system. I dont think Eng would be num 1 in that also ?

    But tell me something, is this a world cup final between Eng and Aus ? No, right ? Its not a world championship they are winning. All this is, is just another test series. So Eng beat Aus, doesnt mean they become better than them (just because they beat a few other teams also shouldnt alter this judgement, unless they had beaten everyone else).

    My point is, you come out with any rating system, and I can bet that Aus would still be higher than Eng. That means they are a better team in the long run ! In the current context sure THIS eng team is better than THIS Aus team at THIS point of time. But as you can see, that statement sounds so ridiculous, hence devise a rating system.

    Either rating system, or play a world championship of test, which if won by Eng, gives them right to be called best in the world.

    Look at it this way, if SL beat Aus today in an ODI series (I believe SL are num 2 ?) would they become the best ODI team in the world ? NO, right ? You either look at ratings (whichever are best in your opinion) or a World Cup winner to give that 'best in the world' title. So how come you are using one series to judge test matches ?

    By Blogger worma, at 06:58  

  • Worma, It's important to distuingish between a Champion, the highest rated team in the world and THE TEAM OF THE MOMENT (all three can be different at any given point in time). And the "MOMENT" is something you and I can freely define to Suite our points of view (One day, one week, two months, one year, etc). In my opinion I define it as 6-12 months for ODI's and 1-2 years in Tests.

    While England's record in ODI against Australia in the last 12 months is great (won 4 , lost 4) I still don't rate them a good ODI side simply because they haven't been consistent in the same period.

    On the other hand, when it comes to Test Matches, in the last 2 years, their record is as good as the Aussies and ON CURRENT FORM, are a better side as well...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 08:11  

  • Saurabh you say ...when it comes to Test Matches, in the last 2 years, their record is as good as the Aussies and ON CURRENT FORM, are a better side as well... - Don't you see the ambiguity here ? You are comparing the Eng achievement in last 2 years with Aussie in CURRENT FORM ? Why ? Compare it with Aussies achievement in two years ? Apple to apple :-)

    Btw, I agree, if you define the 'team of the moment' thing...Eng are better. But just during the moment (because Aus seem to be down).

    Btw when Aus were good, when they were best, they had actual RESULTS against ALL oppositions to claim their superiority, unlike Eng who have only half of those results.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:53  

  • OK boss, I will rephrase my comment "In the last 2 years there is very little difference between the Aussies and English Teams. So if on current form England are are better, that makes them a better team" :-)

    And again, I am not comparing this English side with the overall performance of the Aussies for the last 4 years or so (or even one to one in terms of players). I agree they have miles to go (beat india in india, etc) and are some way away from producing guys like Warne, Gichrist, McGrath etc etc) but that's a different discussion...

    Also 'Aussies seem to be down". Wonder if they are really down or are being made to look 'down' by a better side...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:54  

  • Worma,

    Form in relation to Ganguly is irrelevant especially if you use that to compare it to players like Kaif, Yuv or Sehwag. Sehway might go through a lean patch but there is no one that doubts that he is going to ripping some bowlers apart some time in the near future. He is still aggressive, he is still a very good batsmen. Form at his point in his career becomes a moot point because by now he is supposed to be able to work through that. Yuv and Kaif are young players, they are still growing out. To them form should be relevant in terms of selection. But Ganguly is not just out of form, his skill level is not the same. People lose skills everyday. You can get them back but it gets harder as you get older and the baggage Ganguly has. Ganguly did not work his way back into the team. He bought his way back in!!! He has no confidence in his skills.

    And your comments of Ganguly looking good in the last game. I guess we were not watching the same game.

    By Blogger ahem, at 14:22  

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