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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One more date, please

The dates for India's upcoming international engagements -- versus Sri Lanka and South Africa -- have been announced.
Now waiting for the board to announce one more date -- for an intensive, no distractions permitted, focussed three week camp that will bring the team, and a short list of about 20 of the leading probables, together to work on their fitness, and their game. Or will the board give in to the players, who tend to ask for 'a long break' to attend to 'personal commitments'?

64 Comments:

  • Given their past performance, people who asked for long breaks to attend personal commitments should be literally allowed a long break from playing for India. :)

    Geof.

    By Blogger Geoffrey George, at 13:40  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:51  

  • Hey Prem,

    Don't you think that all these "camps" would be unnecessary if the domestic cricket infrastructure was attended to. I'm constantly amazed by how many bums-on-seats I see even in high-school football and basketball in the US. Surely in a country as passionate about cricket as India, domestic cricket should be a lot bigger. In any case, if domestic cricket was played at even a slightly higher level, we would only need these camps for simulation and pre-acclimatization before foreign tours.

    Maharashtra is making all the right noises. I'd like to see the big teams like Mumbai, Karnataka and Hyderbad follow suit.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:52  

  • They had one long camp before the Lanka tour, didnt they? Kya hua? Koi fayda nahi..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:52  

  • Going by Chappel's report of attitude, indescipline etc in two consecutive tours, I'm sure that they would get a camp for him (as he would demand, undoubtedly).

    By Blogger worma, at 14:00  

  • Yes, camps would be needless were the domestic structure better -- but it isn't, so we unfortunately need these damn things

    Tiger, the reason why I would like one is this: GC had just taken over, and the first camp of his tenure (any coach's tenure) would by definition be exploratory.

    Donno about GC -- if it was me, I would have used that camp to just wander around, make notes, get a good look at some people I am not familiar with. I would not have, immediately after taking over, been thinking on radical lines.

    Since then, though, as coach I would have seen the team in the dressing room, during downtime, at team meetings, and out on the field.

    If I am halfway decent at what I do, I would by now have a fair idea of the personnel. And will finally be mentally ready to make hard decisions. Which is why I would primarily need a camp of this sort, really.

    The cricketing part of it, too, would make sense to me -- I would use this, boot camp style, as a shape up or get the fish out exercise, both physically and in terms of game play.

    And once this is done, I would eschew camps for some time to come. My goal ideally would be to work towards the Sri Lanka series -- I would want my team, both mentally and in terms of personnell, 80 per cent in place before the series begins.

    I would want to use that series to fine tune the remaining 20 per cent, get everyone slotted in right, get their job definitions clear, and get it across that there will be no excuses here on.

    The overarching goal for me would be to have the team up to par by the time the Lanka series ends -- and in top gear by the time South Africa gets here.

    Work it that way, and you don't really need any more long camps. But I would, IMHO, definitely seek one just now.

    Later, you guys

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:01  

  • What!!!! The dates have been anounced a FULL 50 days before the actual tournament starts!

    Wow, already signs of improvements from the BCCI..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 14:01  

  • wonder how long CHappel would try to rectify "disciplinary" issues before giving up himself.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:02  

  • Phew, just checked the dates and it doesn't say 2005 anywhere.

    For a moment I was worried...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 14:04  

  • There's sure going to be overdose of ODI's (on patta wickets)

    By Blogger Anand K, at 14:18  

  • Of the 12 games to be played, only 3 are on weekends Whereas 4 are on Mon & Tues.

    If only the BCCI had someone who could add something other than 3's..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 14:21  

  • Anand, these games are around Diwali.

    Remember Diwali = Gambling. the more games, the better

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 14:25  

  • anand- patta wickets make for good phataka - fireworks- quite apt for the Diwali!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:28  

  • • Oct. 25: Mohali
    • Oct. 28: Nagpur
    • Oct. 31: Vadodara
    • Nov. 3: Ahmedabad
    • Nov. 6: Jaipur or Jodhpur
    • Nov. 9: Rajkot
    • Nov. 12: Pune


    Ahmedabad to Rajkot is 3hr road trip, So why go back to j or j then come back to rajkot??
    Same for Pune and Nagpur.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 14:53  

  • Ganguly: India's worst ODI captain, world's ninth best
    Thursday September 8 2005 00:00

    Duhhhhh....


    http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IES20050907061148&Title=Sports&Topic=0&

    By Blogger Rajg, at 14:54  

  • Err, aren't we trying to treat our cricketers like inmates ? I am not against camps but IMO camps serve very little for the future and often cause distractions. How many times you have heard of a Shane Warne attend a Camp to rectify a problem, probably never, instead he goes to Tery Jenner to work with him. Imagine How much better Kumble could have been, If he had a coach like Jenner early in his career.

    In stead of having CAMPs, I would rather suggest GC & Board work with cricketers, identify their problems and then assign a coach to work with them. Harbhajan should be working with Bedi to learn to flight the ball, Nehra should be working with Azhar(or Whoever) on how to field. Dhoni should be learning with Kirmani/More/Mongia about wicketkeeping.

    I hope you get the point.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 15:14  

  • yes, Tiger and Saurabh - lot of phataka on patta pitches during Diwali!
    May be someone like Dhoni will blast and fetch some wins and all the ills will be swept under the carpet.

    By Blogger Anand K, at 15:21  

  • This is not an encouraging sign for poor sachin:
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Surgery/Orthopedics/tb/1676

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:40  

  • Everytime our bowlers bowl badly in the FINAL of a tournament, blame the captain for it. At least by batting first, we posted a respectable total on the board. Or else the Kiwis would have scored 350+ by batting first and we would have lost the match there itself. What made us commit a few blunders for which the coach should be held responsible?

    a) What was the logic behind having Harbhajan as supersub and not Nehra? If we had fielded first, Harbhajan would have been supersubbed right in the beginning. If we were batting, you don't need the worst batsman in your line up. So why Nehra? With Harbhajan, who knows we may have got extra 10-15 runs.

    b) Venugopal Rao is known as a grafter, he can build an innings. So why send him ahead of Dhoni when the need of the hour was to keep the tempo going? Why send Agarkar ahead of Pathan when Pathan has proved his credentials time and again?

    c) Ideally, we should have had Karthik as the supersub. Just imagine the way our spinners bowled yesterday. With Karthik there, we could have easily substituted one of the fast bowlers.

    d) Alright, the supersub has to be decided before the start of the match and our fast bowlers have bowled reasonably well in this tournament. So how could one imagine that they will be butchered here? But when we realized that this pitch was assisting slow bowlers, why did we substitute Venugopal Rao? This guy bowls off spin and could have been handy. He has got enough first class wickets to his credit. Even Yuvraj who hasn't bowled at all in the past year or so was giving Astle a hard time. Why not sub Dravid instead?

    Is anyone raising these tactical blunders other than the perforfance of the players and the captain? What was the 'larger than life' coach doing?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:43  

  • dadagiri: all the points you have raised are decisions that the captain made...why does GC need to take blame for these tactical errors? Surely, he shares a responsibility in those decisions but the captain definitely takes a much larger share of the blame. Also, GC has been coach for 2 tournaments till date...surely he deserves more time to work with the players before he faces the hammer? But the same cannot be said abt SG...he has been captain for abt 5 years...what has he learnt abt his own players and how he can get them to do the right things?

    By Blogger rp, at 15:57  

  • and furthermore, the captain doesn't take the entire blame for the defeat...the team scored abt 20 runs short and the bowlers couldn't contain the initial onslaught...but, there were definitely a couple of key moments that SG had to turn things back into India's favor but he didn't pick them up...SG is a seasoned player and captain but surprisingly his on-field tactics don't reflect these aspects...and that's what is disappointing abt SG...

    By Blogger rp, at 16:06  

  • rp,
    I specifically mentioned about these points because they were NOT taken 'on the field'. So why do you think that SG made all these decisions? Do you think GC is the type of person who will just sit quiet and let SG or anyone else run the entire show? In that case, why have him in the first place? A Jimmy Amarnath would have been enough. And what does being there only for two tournaments have got to do with making tactical blunders? You can't put all the flaks on SG's shoulders. That's just simply not right. If the coach can't be held responsible when the team makes some big tactical blunders regarding super sub, team composition, then there's something seriouly wrong with our (the fans) thinking.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:08  

  • Also, I have no problem with you pointing about SG's on field tactics. But the points I have mentioned have nothing to do with it. That's why the coach should also be held accountable.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:09  

  • have you read this? I believe, now that the match is over, Bond won't have any interest in playing mindgames. So, must be more or less honest opinion?

    By Blogger worma, at 16:10  

  • Let's not make excuses for GC before he fails. It's his job to instil discipline and work out gameplans. He hasn't made a significant impact on either of those two aspects so far. I'm going to reserve judgement because it's too early for him to make a difference, but I'm not going to have the same opinion a year down the line, saying that the fault lies with the attitude of our players and not GC.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 16:15  

  • alvin I agree. In fact, I would wait till the end of this season, which is quite busy and tough for us, and then judge GC (with respect to the position he got the team in, not comparing it with what the team was in its peak days of Aus and Pak tours)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:18  

  • Alvin,
    Sorry I beg to differ. I am not hoping GC to make a big impact overnight as far as our performance is concerned and take the team from the 7th position to 2nd or 3rd. That's not I am expecting and I am not criticizing him for that. But when all the Indian fans are wondering why Nehra ahead of Harbhajan, then why can't I ask that same question to Chappell? Are you telling me that he's not aware that Harbhajan is a better bat than Nehra? If yes, then I've a problem with that. It was his job to find out during the camp and during these two series whether Nehra is a better batsman than Harbhajan or not. If Dravid was the captain and made the same choice, would you have said that because he's new to the job, that's why probably he made that mistake? Sorry bud, disagree. I can be tolerant with coach/captain who are new to the job, but depends on the issue, ain't it? I am sorry this was not one of those, you don't need to be at the helm for n number of months/years to learn that.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:22  

  • dadagiri: ofcourse they were 'on-field decisions'...by that i mean decisions made while the match is in progress...decision to send Rao ahead of Dhoni, subbing Rao with Bhajji...even if GC and SG had made a plan to sub Rao with Bhajji beforehand OR send Rao ahead of Dhoni, surely it was a decision that SG could have changed...the point being, GC didn't hold a gun to SG's head and say "take these decisions or else!"...SG makes the final decisions...he definitley takes a large share of the blame. And I didn't say GC doesn't deserve any blame...he does but a very small share...the bottom line is hold players, captains and your coach responsible and accountable...but, the coach does not make the final decisions when the match takes place.

    By Blogger rp, at 16:28  

  • I think more than anything the team needs a full-time therapist and maybe even a hypnotist. Hypnotise them - 'You are not playing in a final', 'You are playing in the Ranji trophy and not in a test match' etc. Or given the way the team has collapsed after Sehwag's departure, hypniotise them that Sehwag is still at the other end.

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 16:36  

  • Rp,
    How do you know that SG's decision was the final one? If GC hadn't made those suggestions, then you can hold SG responsible. If someone of GC's stature makes a suggestion, you are bound to listen, whether it's SG or someone else. I don't think they can overrule GC. Don't just go by the general notion that the captain's word is the final. Do you think Buchanan is just a puppet and the whole show is run by RP? That's the advantage of having someone of GC's stature so that the superstars would listen to him. GC has been praising Venu since he scored that half century against Murali's Sri Lanka. Anyways, my point is I don't think the coach's role is to just sit in front of the laptop, arrange training sessions and give reports to the board. If the coach is not held responsible even for 'off the field' decisions, then I don't see why I should have a coach in the first place.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:44  

  • One idea behind having Harbhajan as supersub was that in case India bowled first, Nehra can be bowled his quota of overs and then substituted by Harbhajan. This makes sure that India plays with one extra batsmen whatever be the result of toss.

    I think its too obvious thing that either GC or SG missed it. It was probably a well thought of decision, which backfired because Nehra lost his mind in when he came to batting.

    By Blogger Vikas, at 16:47  

  • Ashwin, good one. LOL

    By Blogger Vikas, at 16:48  

  • Vikas,
    Please yaar get your facts right at least. Do you even know that once a bowler completes his quota of overs, his sub can't bowl even a single ball? So what's the point of having Nehra subbed by Harbhajan if Harbhajan can't bowl at all? They would rather sub Nehra with a batsman. Makes sense?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:52  

  • dadagiri: You sort of said it yourself.....GC makes suggestions...SG makes decisions. And if GC makes a suggestion it does not neccessarily have to be the right one, right? And in that case, we don't want a captain who listens to whatever GC says right? The captain listens to his suggestions and decides whether to go along or trust his own instinct or whatever else is on offer...I think that's how it should be and is...I don't think SG is GC's puppet.

    By Blogger rp, at 16:52  

  • Dadagiri, I couldn't agree more. Everyone and their cousin knows that Bhajji is a better bat than Nehra. I think it was just a lapse on the part of both GC and SG (after all if one guy didn't realize it, surely the other one should have). I get the feeling SG and GC haven't really gotten their heads around the new changes. I do think that gameplanning should be GC's responsibility and he should spend some time understanding the implications of the supersub and powerplays for his team against various oppositions and in various situations (or have someone do it for him).

    My point was in response to someone's implication that GC cannot be expected to make much of a difference to a bunch of players with poor attitude. I believe it's GC's job to make a difference, else we might as well have hired Amarnath or any other Indian for the job (I actually though Patil should have been hired as assistant coach to Wright to take over as his successor). The deliverables that GC has identified are excellence through professionalism and work ethic. If we don't see an improvement (let alone excellence) at the end of a reasonable period, we shouldn't hesitate to say that GC has failed (though I hope we do see improvement). This "ghar ki murgi daal barabar" attitude is terribly outdated in an age where Indian cricket is a powerhouse, Indian scientists and engineers are the best in the world, and the "Hindu rate of growth" has been redefined.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 16:58  

  • Got it, missed that one.

    Definitely something wrong with team strategy if they can't sort these simple things out. Or they are not paying that much attention to this.

    By Blogger Vikas, at 16:59  

  • Rp, you are still not getting it. Technically, yes SG can overrule GC. But is that likely? I doubt it because of GC's stature. It's like having Gavaskar or Gaekwad as the caoch. Whom do you think the captain is going to trust and listen more? The kind of stature Sunny have amongst the players is unparallel. So obviously if he makes a suggestion, it will be hard for anyone to overrule it. The same applies to GC. Moreover, GC and SG shares a good rapport and SG's respect for GC is well known. IMHO, I think GC can overrule SG, but the reverse is not likely...at least not right now. If GC loses his clout in the team like Wright did in his later years, then it will be different. But right now, he has just started. And moreover, and the MOST important factor here, SG's captaincy is on the line. He was not the captain in GC's first series. If I were in SG's shoes (not in the best of form, captaincy on the line), I will think 100 times before overruling GC. Don't just go by the theory that 'a captain's decision is the final and he can overrule the coach'. Consider all the things - who is the captain, who is the coach, what's the scenario and you will get a clear picture.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 17:02  

  • All the issues raised about tactical errors by Dadgiri are so correct that you would think that he is a genius. But the sad part is that it doesn't take a genius to figure out the tactics that were neccesary to win this match. not complicated keep it simple and stupid-
    -strong position, need to hit- send a hitter ( Dhoni)
    -pitch playing slow, hard to hit against spinners- use any available instead of subbing them
    - supersub rule; use it to keep out the worst batsman- could have given those extra runs that can make a difference in the margin of victory

    One thing I do disagree with you on Dadagiri is the blame on GC- he has often said that his job is before the game- in preparing the players but th ecaptain takes charge once the match starts Not sure is this is the best approach but this is how cricket , compared to other sports, works. The fault fo rthese errors does lie with SG squarely.

    Bottom line- india is not a team that is ever going to dominate the cricket world and roll over the opponents- it will take small things done right here and there - scoring those 10 extra runs, saving those 2 expensive overs or catching those 2 catches to help them win after they keep the match close.

    But somehow this does not happen- once in a blue moon a Yuvi and Kaif combine to score a spectacular victory or we rely on SRT ( inhis prime) or VS' masterplay to score a victory and forget about the little things that have not improved and don't show any signs of improving.

    I love cricket like many more in India but frankly it is a big turn-off now with the same mistakes over and over.

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:05  

  • Prem,

    Worma has pointed to a link on Cricinfo covering BCCI Presidents interview to a TV channel where he has made all the right noises about a through review and what not.

    Sunny, Shastri, Venkatraghavan and Chappel are gonna conduct the 5 day review.

    The thing to do for person of Prem's stature in cricket reporting is to get the inside information on what goes ON in this review.

    Promise us Prem u will use all your guile, charm, links, genius, cajoling, threatening and whatever else you hacks do to get us the gory details from this review.

    And Dadagiri no matter who is to blame Chappel perhaps still has some lee way but Ganguly has to go NOW period, Communists in Kolkatta can call a BANDH if they so please but Ganguly should hang come wat may.

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 17:35  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:52  

  • Prem:

    Conditioning camps sound good and no doubt there are members in the Indian team whose physical fitness is still not up to par. But, with all due respect to Greg Chappell, this is NOT what ails India. The Indian team needs a kick in the pants to wake them from the stupor into which they have sunk. Harsha makes a good point where he says there are two kinds of players - one that play for winning matches and the other that play for saying in the team. The only kick in the posterior that would have weight is financial. The Board should fine the team as a whole for losing matches. Only then will they wake up and smell the coffee. I know, I know, the mirthfulness of this suggestion is terrific, but if implemented, will work. As for the perormance review committee - do you think a committee peopled by notorious safe-players like Gavaskar and Shastri will make any radical suggestions? The doubtfulness is terrific.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 17:56  

  • Prem you said focussed three week camp that will bring the team, and a short list of about 20 of the leading probables, together to work on their fitness, and their game. - But are we sure, that after that camp, and with the new recruits, we are going to win the SL series? If not, then do we have the patience to trust the man we have appointed to get us the results in the long term? If yes, then do we remember what this guy said about the SL and Zim series?..words like 'experiment' and 'fine tuning' 'not to judge on results' etc come to mind.

    Anyway, so if we dont win that series also...are we again going to have a similar exercise? What is it we are looking for? Now, I agree that if the man we have trusted with brining about the changes has some issues...so if GC brings out his report and needs action on those, fine. But why, otherwise, a review? Is GC asking for it? I am not sure that, besides the issues that he may have mentioned in his reports, GC himself is so 'alarmed' with the happenings? Or do you think he would be?

    I also think, its a good idea to get a list of details, finer details, of what we expect from this team in various aspects of its performance now, and in the coming SL series. And I mean the specific details.

    Also, it would be a very good idea to have some kind of similar wish-list of what we expect the review commitee to do in terms of results? Chuck someone, replace someone, to admonish someone etc etc. With names and action. Lets first see how much of these expectations can we agree upon here, and then use it for the future reference, come September 25th.

    What say ?

    By Blogger worma, at 18:00  

  • Now that the congress is or will be in session, political commentators are suggesting that the fingerpointing will begin. Who is responsible for Katrina and its after effects. We, the Indian fans, are going through the same at the moment. The fact is that dada made some bigtime blunders on the field like persisting with AA or AN a little longer, asking AN to field at long-on, taking off Viru just when the kiwis started to stumble and so on so forth. Bond suggested that we did not score enough runs and shut out the kiwis. All the different analyst have their own opinion about the reason we lost. Scaegoat hunting huh? But the bottom line is that WE lost. That’s it!! INDIA LOST the game. I kind of understand where dadagiri is coming from because when I checked the blog after the game yesterday, the comments made me feel that dada is the reason for our defeat. Just like the scared Ponting today said that he should not be made the scapegoat for Ashes loss, this defeat seems to be due to dada and dada only. Is that true? Dadagiri questions the role of GC, but I would definitely give him a lot more time to settle down before we make a decision of whether he is good or bad. The biggest reason is that SG has this knife hanging over his neck by BCCI, if he doesn’t performs he will be replaced by Dravid. That seems to have instigated a competition between RD and SG. At least from the comments some guys made that RD is not at all in the decision process on the field leads me to believe that all is not well in the camp. BCCI definitely has to share the burden of the defeat. With BCCI, should come the team management that includes SG, GC and all the senior players in the team. The last rung is the players themselves. I almost forgot the selectors too i.e. was dropping Zaheer a good move or selecting AA, etc. This whole unit is not performing. I don’t think it is either SG or GC or AA or IK’s fault. The team is not just the one on the field, but this whole setup is struggling. I personal opinion is that don’t look for scapegoats in these results. It took a time for the Wright-SG team to fire, but once they did they simply roared. Should we give some more time to GC-SG combo? Mahendra was asked the question that whether Dravid should be selected or is his place in the team is under fire? People (not this blog) were blaming the defeat on Dravid and his lack of form. What a ridiculous question, but should SG be selected would have been a ridiculous question after the Pak series, wouldn’t it? I think the one person that has the authority to fix this is Mr. Dollarmia as he is responsible as the head of the organization but I am sure he is too busy running after money. If this team keeps on losing, then as Suraj said fans are going to loose interest and the next thing might happen is that something else might end up replacing cricket – which is what happened in England in the last decade. The loss of revenue is going to hurt him real bad. I think the BCCI should take responsibility for every loss. They should feel the pinch. They should wonder whether Jadhav was the correct replacement for SRT or whether to persist with the zonal selection policy. Those guys staying in the US (or just abroad) understand the simple fact that people struggle with the time change. Zim is on the other side of the globe, so should we give them at least a week to settle down or is 2 days enough. Mahendra should be measured by the success or failure of the Indian team just like SG or GC is held responsible. I would think the responsibility hierarchy would be BCCI, team management (SG, GC, seniors) and the players in descending order.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 18:03  

  • As a thought exercise, why don't some of us pool in our thoughts about how the supersub should be used. I'm not sure I'm a 100% on the rule, but this is how I understand it-

    - The supersub needs to be named before the toss
    - Once he comes in, he cannot be re-subbed (i.e. it's not a rolling substitution)
    - All the restrictions that applied tot he player he replaced, will apply to him too (i.e. if the guy he replaced has bowled 6 overs, the sub can only bowl 4 more; if the guy he replaced is out, the sub cannot bat; I wonder if a batsman can be substituted in the middle of his innings)

    Let's consider the 2 cases each - India bats first and bowls first - and the 4 sub-cases - your supersub (SS) is either a specialist bat, bowler, allrounder, or wicket-keeper. Equally important is the guy he's substituting.

    A. India bats first

    i. SS is a batsman - SS will have to be pressed into service immediately thus negating the advantage of an SS. Nothing gained
    ii. SS is a bowler - SS can replace whichever of your batsmen is the worst fielder. Advantage is that we can now play a batsman that is a terrible fielder (Laxman comes to mind). Gained an extra bowler to defend a target.
    iii. SS is an allrounder - Assuming the allrounder to be someone that's not as good as the specialist batsmen or bowlers, he will be used as a specialist bowler SS. Half a bowler gained to defend a target. Another scenario is if he is an aggressive batsman, he could be replace a slow specialist batsman. For instance, if Yadav is the SS and Rao/Laxman is the last specialist batsman. 4 overs to go and a wicket falls that would bring Rao/Laxman to the crease. Yadav could replace them right there and be more useful as a batsman too. In this scenario, we gain half a bowler and a full batsman, not to mention it allows us to play 7 specialist batsmen without worrying about wasting one of them.
    iv. SS is a keeper - This may not make too much sense since Dhoni is important in both innings. But in the interests of the exercise, let's consider it. This scneario would allow us to play a keeper who is not a good batsman and sub him in after the first innings. Gained an extra batsman to set a target.

    B. India bowls first

    i. SS is a batsman - SS can replace the worst batsman in the side after the first innings (or even before the break if the worst batsman is not needed on the field and is a worse fielder than the SS, e.g. Raina replaceing Nehra after the latter has bowled out). Extra batsman gained to chase down a target.
    ii. SS is a bowler - He would have to be pressed into service immediately, negating the advantage of the extra player. Nothing gained.
    iii. SS is an allrounder - Again assuming the allrounder to be half a batsman and half a bowler, he replaces the worst batsman in the side after the innings break. Half a batsman gained. Also in the scnario where the allrounder is the type of bowler that suits the conditions more than the spcialist (e.g. spinning allrounder can replace Nehra on a pitch that assists spin) or when the specialist is having an off-day (very likely with our seamers), he can come in a be anywhere from a one-tenth to a full bowler extra in addition to being half a batsman extra.
    iv. Keeper - He would have to pressed into service immediately, negating the extra player advantage.

    Observations -

    1. The SS as a keeper is superfluous for two reasons - Dhoni is important in both innings and even if we had a keeper who couldn't bat, he'd be similar to the case where the SS is a specialist bowler.
    2. If the SS is a specialist, we either gain an extra specialist or gain nothing depending on the outcome of the toss.
    3. If the SS is an allrounder, we usually gain an extra half-resource to defend or chase a target.

    I think it boils down to whether you would take the extra half-player or try to gamble on the toss to get the full extra player. If you do gamble, would you hedge your bets - select the supersub for a scnario where you bowl second if you want to bat first and vice-versa - or go all-out again - select a supersub for the scnario that you want to happen? Do you take into consideration what the opposition is likely to do?

    I think I would, by and large, go for the allrounder as the supersub - a spinning allrounder on turning tracks, a seaming one on bouncy/seaming ones, and the better player on neutral tracks - unless there is a specific condition to warrant a specialist.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 18:15  

  • Suraj,
    I don't think a coach's job is to just prepare the players before the game starts. In fact, I'll go far and say that it's his responsibility to even send information to the field when the team is fielding if he feels that the captain is not getting his acts right. Just like you often see Sachin or Dravid walking up to the captain and suggesting something. After all, a coach is also part of the team thinktank and should be offering suggestions when the match is in progress. I often wonder when the team is batting and the batsmen gets many suggestions sent from the dressing room through the twelveth man, then why can't the same happen when the team is fielding? Now the coach's role will become even more imporatnt with the rules changing so much. It's almost impossible for one person (the captain) to handle everything. If a captain has to run the entire show including the ones off the field, then we should soon see the introduction of non-playing captains. Also Suraj, I don't think that cricket is run only by the captain. How do you know for sure that the coach doesn't offer any suggestion or make any decision once the game starts? I am not only referring to Indian cricket, but the world cricket in general. Do you know for sure that the Buchanans and the Fletchers are not involved once the game starts? Do you think that Duncan Fletcher didn't offer any suggestion to Vaughan during the entire Ashes series once the test had started? Is it even believable?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 18:22  

  • Mayur,
    I am NOT saying that we should JUDGE GC as a 'coach' right now. Of course he should be judged over a period of time. All I am pointing out is that I BELIEVE that for all the decisions which were taken off the field, along with the captain, the coach also should be held accountable. Now if you believe that GC or the team management (GC is a part of it) would not have made the mistakes that I have pointed out only if he was there for a longer period of time (meaning not judge him for his actions now), then I am sorry I don't agree. Let me explain.

    Quite a few people agreed with the points I have made. Some of them even agreed to some of the points that have been raised here when the game was on. So it's safe to assume that if any of you were the coach of India, you would have thought against these decisions. Right? Now let's assume that you got this job instead of GC and you also got the job at the same time as GC. Now tell me how on earth giving you enough time (say 1 or more year) will change your decision? Prem pointed out about Harbhajan as SS instead of Nehra. Harsha pointed out Venu's off-spin. Some of us felt about some other issues. Mind you, none of these were said on hindsight after the game was lost. So my point is why GC needed time in order to avoid these tactical blunders (assuming he committed these and some of you saying he should be given time)?

    To sum it up, I am not saying GC is a bad coach or something of that sort. But if he has made some tactical blunders, then I also think it has nothing to do with him being new to the job. He has got an ocean of experience and that's why we have hired him. I can live with it if I see India losing a match due to the players inabilities. But it hurts when you see tactical blunders being made from the dressing room. We are fans, not paid prefessionals. It's the job of those people to figure out how the supersub rule works and who is your best player for that.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 18:38  

  • dadagiri:

    I read your comments about how much blame needs to go to the captain and how much to coach. I also noted that you said that you are not against GC as coach, want to hold him responsible for "not sending instructions" to SG while india was fielding.

    I watched the final live and I saw more than a couple of times that some players fielding on the boundary were getting bottles from 12th man and they were talking seriously.

    I would imagine that at this point the 12th man was passing on the instructions from GC to SG via the fielder. So, you can not hold GC responsible for NOT SENDING the instruction when SG was making tactical errors!!! As other pointed out, it is upto SG to listen or not listen to GC's suggestions. It is pretty obvious that SG DARED to ignore them (unlike what you think, that SG will not dare to ignore GC).

    So, my point is that it is wrong to assume that GC never passed any instructions to SG while match was on. SG is the captain on the field. If he choose to ignore the instructions OR apply them late then it can not be held as GC's fault. Fault lies with SG.

    Take this example, Sehwag bowled his first 2 overs well. That would have been the time when GC would have expect for SG to apply 3rd powerplay. He does not do it. Imagine now, that GC tries to send the message thru 12th man via fielder. This message can not reach SG immediately, right at that moment. It will take end of over to reach. Then, SG can not implement it immediately. He will have to think over it for 5 minutes. He can not stop the match for those 5 minutes 'cause he has been banned already. So, what is the net result? SG is dreadfully late in implementing the 3rd powerplay and applies it late when damage is more than half done. It is at this point that we needed SG to do the right thing but he missed it.

    GC, as coach, can instruct SG while fielding on long term strategy or planning; things that need to be done in next 10-15 overs. But what happened in finals was about NOT TAKING correct steps IMMEDIATELY!!! I fell that it is not so easy for a coach to keep sending messages to the captain while team is fielding. The way SG was captaining, we would have required GC to send messages after every other over. That was just not possible.

    You may say that what proof do I have that when 12th man was chatting with the fielder he was passing instructions? I don't have any, I am assuming that can be the BEST reason for them to talk. If you choose not to agree then I will say that there is no proof that GC DID NOT pass instructions.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 20:13  

  • I am worried that this guy Ravi Sashtri is getting involved in every pahse of the Indian Cricket - coach selection earlier , now team review. He is loser in all aspects of cricket. His thought process will be the same.

    I wont be surprised if GC fails as Indian coach - his selction involved inputs from this guy also.

    By Blogger Nambi, at 20:53  

  • dadagiri and Ruchir:

    It's all speculation whether or not suggestions were given to SG or not...no one knows what messages were passed and till we get any concrete info, all our discussion will lead to nothing.

    Again, I agree with ur view dadagiri: GC should not have missed those key issues...but I guess we will never know if he noted them or not.

    But I don't agree with the view that GC's suggestions are unopposable...sure SG respects him...but just because you respect someone, doesn't mean you believe/follow everything that they say right? I would have said the same thing if Sunny was the coach or even if Tendulkar was the coach. So if SG opposed GC's suggestions, there's nothing wrong in that as long as gave serious consideration to them. What would be wrong: To not learn from the mistakes made. Now, we still do not know what the exactly took place between those two...so it's useless to say either SG opposed GC OR SG didn't get good advice from GC.

    But the fact of the matter remains...SG's captaincy/ability to make real-time decisions was extremely poor...and for this he must face the flak. This poor-decision-making ability is a known issue and must be addressed quickly.

    If GC missed these issues he should face some flak too...but this is unknown and hence cannot be addressed till the facts are out in the open.

    By Blogger rp, at 21:11  

  • ruchir - good points.. BUT what about errors committed when GC and SG were both in the dressing room? As in before the match when they selected the Super sub? Why Nehra and not Bhajji -doesnt make sense. Then while batting, why not send Pathan ahead of Agarkar and why not send Dhoni when need was to hit out? Those errors certainly cant be put down to gap in communication, no?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 21:12  

  • Ruchir,
    Tell me one thing. Since you claim to have read my posts, tell me which of these points required GC to send instructions to SG on the field?

    a) What was the logic behind having Harbhajan as supersub and not Nehra? If we had fielded first, Harbhajan would have been supersubbed right in the beginning. If we were batting, you don't need the worst batsman in your line up. So why Nehra? With Harbhajan, who knows we may have got extra 10-15 runs.

    b) Venugopal Rao is known as a grafter, he can build an innings. So why send him ahead of Dhoni when the need of the hour was to keep the tempo going? Why send Agarkar ahead of Pathan when Pathan has proved his credentials time and again?

    c) Ideally, we should have had Karthik as the supersub. Just imagine the way our spinners bowled yesterday. With Karthik there, we could have easily substituted one of the fast bowlers.

    d) Alright, the supersub has to be decided before the start of the match and our fast bowlers have bowled reasonably well in this tournament. So how could one imagine that they will be butchered here? But when we realized that this pitch was assisting slow bowlers, why did we substitute Venugopal Rao? This guy bowls off spin and could have been handy. He has got enough first class wickets to his credit. Even Yuvraj who hasn't bowled at all in the past year or so was giving Astle a hard time. Why not sub Dravid instead?

    Dude, if you want to argue, at least do that logically. What you pointed out was just 'one of my comments'. But I have been harping on these very points all along on this blog. Agree? And I have also said that I want to hold the coach responsible for these because since me, you, others, Prem etc. can think about these issues without being ever part of the team, why does GC need time to settle down to realize these blunders? I don't believe settling in has anything to do with them.

    Reagrding your point about instructions being sent, do you know for a fact that GC was sending some other instructions and SG dared to ignore them? Can you tell me how did you reach this conclusion? For example, how do you know for sure that it was not GC's idea to remove VS after just two overs? I mean it may well be SG's idea, but how can you be so sure about that? When you saw the waterguy passing instructions, how do you know watching on TV what those instructions were? Basically what you are saying here is that all the wrong decisions were taken by SG although GC and the rest tried their best to advise him otherwise. Am I right?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 21:18  

  • Supersub has been totally misunderstood - it's not been used correctly. I would argue there has been misuse of it.

    for more:

    ODI supersub

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:22  

  • for example, the supersub should have replaced a bowler for bowler;
    AA/IP/AN replaced by M Karthik - that did not happen.
    H Singh should have been in the original team. If 6 batters can't win the game, 7th won't. has been proved again and again - unless you have someone of McGrath quality, you need all main 4 bowlers firing.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:25  

  • There are only 50 overs to bat - 6 batsmen and 5 others who can throw the bat around for a few overs should be good.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:27  

  • What's the point of a camp ! 20 probables and select people like Rao and SG...
    What we need is people who enjoy cricket not burdened by it.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:30  

  • dadagiri - where is mamagiri?

    you make good points - it's hard to be sensible and logical;
    most of the time we end up picking the easy path - one that does not make sense and logic.
    For example, Prem - he wants a fitness camp for 20 people.
    What are they going to do there? oh man... we take sports too seriously.. it's for fun and fitness.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:35  

  • why does everyone need to be in strategy and coaching...
    Look at this - all this planning will work only against not so good players according to I Chappel.
    believe him - he has played some top class cricket as opposed to arm-chair pundits who never held a bat.

    He says -
    Referring to Buchanan's often-questioned and relatively limited playing experience - he played seven Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland in 1978-79 -
    Chappell said that experience couldn't prepare him for the challenges of Test cricket.

    "All this crap I hear about plans now, everybody has a plan when they go out and the plans that come off, they only come off all the time because you are up against a mediocre player. "But if you are bowling to [Garry] Sobers or Viv Richards, you better have seven or eight plans and you better be ready to run right through them four or five times in a day, and be able to suddenly develop another plan when you might see something a bit different."

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:39  

  • dadagiri:

    You said: Reagrding your point about instructions being sent, do you know for a fact that GC was sending some other instructions and SG dared to ignore them?

    Reply: This was my point too and I said that you may not want to belive this. I can't prove that GC sent instructions and you can't prove that GC did NOT send them. So it is my assumption against your. I will believe mine and you will believe yours. But I still say that the only reason of 12th man to talk seriously to the boundary fielder would be to pass instructions. If you can think of any better reason tell me.


    You say: But when we realized that this pitch was assisting slow bowlers, why did we substitute Venugopal Rao?

    Reply: Dude, are you saying that you seriously think that Rao could have bowled better than Bhajji? If no, then why raise this point? If yes, then you need a reality check.


    You said: Venugopal Rao is known as a grafter, he can build an innings. So why send him ahead of Dhoni when the need of the hour was to keep the tempo going? Why send Agarkar ahead of Pathan when Pathan has proved his credentials time and again?

    Reply: Again, when these dicision were being taken, SG and GC were both in the dressing room. So, was Dravid. So was the manager. These 4 constitute the team management (I think). So tell me this. GC say that send Rao before Dhoni and Agarkar before Pathan and all other 3 buys accept this without objecting???? Are you serious??? Do you think this is possible??? Don't you think that if other 3 guys could correct GC they would NOT have done so??? Man, Damn.... You are making GC out to be some kind of a Hitler are you not?? Do you think that GC will make these visible BLUNDERS and no one from the team will speak up???? If SG and Dravid accepted these horible blunders from GC then they should be slapped with torn shoes, in public, because they ARE the team and know the TEAM better than GC. You see what I am saying????


    You said: Ideally, we should have had Karthik as the supersub.

    Reply: This is your point of view so I won't comment on that. I am keeping my replied to what actually happened in the match.

    You are making these "assumption" of what GC did and did not do without the knowledge of what happened that led to these dicisions being taken.

    You are agreeing that GC is an intelligent person. So how can you think that he does not know the difference in the batting of Nehra and Bhajji? Does he not know the style of batting of Rao and Dhoni OR Agarkar and Pathan?? You are clearly making the assumption that GC made these "horribl blunders" all by himself and no one in the team so much as objected to them??? I find that impossible to believe.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 22:31  

  • Honestly speaking, if I was the coach, my focus of a 3-week camp would be just the basics - fitness, fielding, catching, throwing. Thats it no bowling and batting!!!! These guys know how to do that, what they need is some backbone and a kick up their ass!!!For those folks who know football.. a la Bear Bryant treatment

    By Blogger KB, at 22:54  

  • kb:

    Agree with that. Actually, what some of them need is a kick up their front. I can't understand how, a person like Dravid, can loose form in a matter of weeks? The only reason that looks logical is loosing captaincy and Kaif taking up No.3 spot. Dravid does not seem to accept this change has gone in depression. Rao has failed 3 times in 4 outings in ZIM. SG did little except 31 in Finals. Bhajji sucked in bowling. These guys need a kick in the front to wake them up from their slumber...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 23:16  

  • Prem,
    While the conditioning and fitness camps are definitely a concern, what concerns me more is the way in which BCCI is going ahead and scheduling ODIs. 7 ODIs against SL, 5 against SA, I read somewhere that BCCI is planning a triangular with India, Pak and Aus, 7 ODIs against Eng next year.
    What about test cricket? India has played just 3 tests this year. Add to that 2 tests against ZIM this month and 3 against SL sometime in Nov-Dec. 8 tests in a year? How can that be enough? When was the last time India played a 5 test series? 91-92 tour of Australia?

    By Blogger Thirdman, at 00:00  

  • Guys
    having read whats been blogged so far i agree completely with yacric. this is just a game, and it shoul dbe treated as just that. similarly as in a game of club cricket, when a team fails it is veryones fault but there are always some equals who are more equal than others. in this case that woul dbe SG. to blame him squarely for the loss is rather unfair but he definitely needs to cop some of the flak. i understand that GC is new and needs time to figure stuf fout but lets have a set period for this. it cant be indefinite. eventually all he can do is take the horses to water, drinking is their perogative. if thats the case as someone suggested lets have people in the team who are happy to play rather then burdened. i have no problem with our cricketers making money through commercials etc but let them not forget what their real job is. anothe rpoint i would like to raise is that the 5 member review team is actually worth the while. even if Ravi Shastri is on it. the reaosn being that since this has already eben announced they will actually have to do something. i hope there are some heads that role. the only problem is that the review is after the test series(if i have my dates right). the same players who meesed up in the ODI series might crack tons against a lowly ZIM side and then it woul dbe papering over the cracks.i stil think that we should relieve SG of the burden of captaincy and have him in the side purely as a batsmen.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 01:06  

  • Ruchir,
    Sorry about the late reply. Was watching the US Open QF between Agassi and Blake. What a match !! Anyways, here's my replies.


    You said: Reagrding your point about instructions being sent, do you know for a fact that GC was sending some other instructions and SG dared to ignore them?

    Reply: This was my point too and I said that you may not want to belive this. I can't prove that GC sent instructions and you can't prove that GC did NOT send them. So it is my assumption against your. I will believe mine and you will believe yours. But I still say that the only reason of 12th man to talk seriously to the boundary fielder would be to pass instructions. If you can think of any better reason tell me.


    --->>>>> Fair enough. But I asked you a question in my last post reagrding your accusation that SG didn't follow instructions. Just because you saw some players passing instructions, how can you assume that SG didn't follow them? Or do you simply believe that GC can't pass wrong instructions? Or it has to be SG who failed to follow them? Why 'assume' this?


    You say: But when we realized that this pitch was assisting slow bowlers, why did we substitute Venugopal Rao?

    Reply: Dude, are you saying that you seriously think that Rao could have bowled better than Bhajji? If no, then why raise this point? If yes, then you need a reality check.


    ---->>>>>> No, I am not saying anything. This was said by Harsha on air. Did you think before the match that Yuvraj and Sehwag would prove to be better than Harbhajan? But they bowled better. But if you have read all the sentences from that paragraph in my post, then you should have known that I didn't suggest that Rao should have been used as a bowler 'instead of' Bhajji. I clearly said he 'could have been' used in place of Dravid. Anything wrong with that? The only other batsman who doesn't bowl is Kaif. But he's a better fielder than Dravid. That's why I mentioned the name of Dravid.


    You said: Venugopal Rao is known as a grafter, he can build an innings. So why send him ahead of Dhoni when the need of the hour was to keep the tempo going? Why send Agarkar ahead of Pathan when Pathan has proved his credentials time and again?

    Reply: Again, when these dicision were being taken, SG and GC were both in the dressing room. So, was Dravid. So was the manager. These 4 constitute the team management (I think). So tell me this. GC say that send Rao before Dhoni and Agarkar before Pathan and all other 3 buys accept this without objecting???? Are you serious??? Do you think this is possible??? Don't you think that if other 3 guys could correct GC they would NOT have done so??? Man, Damn.... You are making GC out to be some kind of a Hitler are you not?? Do you think that GC will make these visible BLUNDERS and no one from the team will speak up???? If SG and Dravid accepted these horible blunders from GC then they should be slapped with torn shoes, in public, because they ARE the team and know the TEAM better than GC. You see what I am saying????


    ---->>>> I am fine with your observations on this point. So now you aclnowledge the word 'Team Management' !!! Kindly remember this all important word while blaming the captain for everything next time. In fact, in your first post, you were adamant that it was SG who didn't follow the instructions. I do agree that there's team management which includes the coach, the captain and the VC. But unlike the coach, the other two have to take part in the game. Thus, I will expect the coach to be more proactive while making strategies in the dressing room. It's not an unrealistic expectation either. I don't think the coach's role is limited to arranging fitness sessions, sitting in front of the laptop for video analysis and sending reports to the BCCI. In fact, more than the captain and the VC, the coach plays the most important role for chalking out strategies etc. Since this happened off the field, you can't pass the entire buck to SG. But you have to at least agree that GC was part to that decision making.


    You are making these "assumption" of what GC did and did not do without the knowledge of what happened that led to these dicisions being taken.


    ---->>> And you have hard facts that SG didn't follow instructions, right? When I first started posting on this blog today, a lot of people were blaming everything on SG. That's why I raised those questions. I just wanted to show that a lot of blunders were committed in the dressing room. So don't blame the captain for them because you have a coach sitting there.


    You are agreeing that GC is an intelligent person. So how can you think that he does not know the difference in the batting of Nehra and Bhajji? Does he not know the style of batting of Rao and Dhoni OR Agarkar and Pathan?? You are clearly making the assumption that GC made these "horribl blunders" all by himself and no one in the team so much as objected to them??? I find that impossible to believe.

    ----->>>> My reply will be same as my reply in the earlier paragraph. I'll also add a few things which I've already mentioned in various posts under this thread. First of all, we all are familiar with the larger than life figure of GC and how he's a no-nonsense guy. He has already submitted two reports with a lot of negative comments about various players. He's very well respected for his vast knowledge and experience. I find it hard to believe that he will sit quiet and see the captain and the VC making horrible decisions. After all, his performance is also reflected on the team's performance. Now you may beg to differ. But I will again say that GC just didn't sit there and decided to keep mum when he didn't agree with SG and RD. That's so unlike GC. That's why my 'assumptions' are:

    a) He himself made those decisions. I have already said that captaincy being on the line multiplied by poor personal form, SG will find it extremely difficult to overrule GC's decision

    or

    b) If the decisions were made by SG and RD, then GC was very much part to those decisions. Don't compare GC to Wright in later years, as yet.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 01:46  

  • So much talk abt SG being the worst captain and we having lost'x' number of matches in the final...we are chokers,jokers,blah,blah,blah...

    I have one Ques..How many finals did we enter before SG took over as captain and how many did we win..All captains put together.Can someone get these stats out,pls. Will make an interesting comparison.

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 02:04  

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