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Sight Screen

Friday, September 09, 2005

Open thread

Hey, guys... been browsing the Indian papers and unless I missed something major (which is likely -- since waking at 7 am yesterday, I haven't left office, or been to bed, yet) -- there is nothing going on that merits comment (Right, the top three Indian batsmen hit centuries -- yawn! More pertinent is the fact that the bowling of Zaheer and Balaji was positively underwhelming).
So, tell you what, will leave this thread open. You guys feel free to bring up any subject within reason, will keep popping in here with comments, where pertinent. The first such 'pop-in' in an hour's time from now, meanwhile, the floor is yours.


  • http://www.htcricket.com/htcricket/7826_1487067,001601080000.htm

    By Blogger Harsha, at 14:08  

  • http://www.htcricket.com/htcricket/7826_1487067,001601080000.htm

    Interesting article showing the sad administrative status of the tour. Hiralious that Agarkar had gone off all the way to J'berg before being called in!! Comical stuff again howing the unprofessionalism of BCCI and its administration

    By Blogger Harsha, at 14:10  

  • You think devious Agarkar may have a hand in Nehra's buttock sprain to get back into the test team:-)

    By Blogger babi, at 14:27  

  • Interesting stuff on Dravid's recent trend of getting bowled:


    By Blogger rp, at 14:44  

  • Oh hey, come on, guys -- this is the Board that once, famously, took measurements of the players ten days before they were to go on tour. And gave them their blazers, the day they landed in New Delhi AFTER the tour.:-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:50  

  • Will keep popping back in here off and on... for now, though, it's off. :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:52  

  • I think there are a few interesting storylines going on here - Ganguly and Laxman will be playing for their places in the team (though IMO, it's unfair on the latter as he had only one bad season and has been steadily becoming more consistent otherwise, compared to the former who's been poor for a while now). Dinesh Karthik will continue to be under the scanner and any mistakes will start calls for Dhoni to be brought in, even though DK has done a pretty handy job so far. Another interesting battle would be between Yuvraj and Kaif for the no. 6 slot. Considering that if Tendulkar comes back for the SL series and Ganguly struggles this tour, how Kaif or Yuvraj do will have a bearing on Ganguly's future. I found it interesting that Ganguly picked Yuvraj for the side game, despite Kaif being the most impressive batsman on this tour. Yuvraj failing at the no. 6 slot and Kaif not getting the shot at grabbing it would work out well for Ganguly.

    This reminds me of a very interesting conspiracy theory I read on a message board once which claimed that Akash Chopa would still be opening the batting if it weren't for Ganguly's insecurity. It's no secret that Sehwag prefers Chopra as his partner, because he complements Viru well (runs very well to get Viru off strike when he is struggling and usually sees out the better opening bowler). Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman also like the solidity that Chopra brings to the lineup, freeing them to build large totals. However, when Yuvraj batted beautifully in Pakistan at no. 6 and challenged Ganguly's spot, SG immediately raised the possibility of Yuvraj being an opener, thereby deflecting the latter's challenge away from his own spot and on to Chopra's. The result is that Chopra is out of the side, and Yuvraj is far from being established in it. Ganguly, surprise surprise, is still batting at no. 6, despite Yuvraj (and even Kaif) being better in recent times. It's not really that far-fetched, is it?

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 15:03  

  • Jeez!! Prem.. thats some story about the blazers!!

    By Blogger Harsha, at 15:06  

  • Did anybody had look at Dipti-Harish giving ratings to Indian players.They says Nehra is best bowler of both series.
    Well he was on SL tour but i dono what Nehra did on Zim tour.
    And they still crying for AA's allrounder tag,dono who else thought that way.

    This is my personnel opinion dono what others think but this guy Harish is terrible at times.

    BTW Murli kartik made Lancs debut with 5 for.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:10  

  • Prem....as vick pointed out on the other thread Rajaraman here thinks that the media has blown the 'review commitee' statement out of proportion. Its a pre-scheduled regular review meeting, which Chappel had known at the time of his appointment. What d'ya make of this? This seems to tug in quite an opposite direction from what we discussed?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:11  

  • GUys,

    Plz visit this link:


    I'd like to draw your atention to the fact that Warne is approx 300 rins shy of getting 3000 Test runs as a batsman. Does that necessarily make him a great all-rounder in the mold of a Sobers, Kapil or even a Shastri (3000+ runs and 300+ wickets)?


    By Blogger Sriraj, at 15:14  

  • Alvin:

    That's a nice little write-up on Scheming Sourav...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:15  

  • alvin, not knowing any facts about that chopra, yuv story..I wont comment on that...but one personal opinion...Chopra, unless he learns to score more runs, is not an opener we would like to return to. Sure he has the stability, but more is needed than just that. We, like all good test teams, need all our top 6 to be capable of getting big scores when they get set....and with the one dimensional blocking nature of Chopra, we were essentially down to 5 men trying to rake up the score.

    Ofcourse, Chopra was the answer to our opening instability problems...but looking beyond him was a 'progressive' move on the part of our team management. Whether it clicks or not.

    By Blogger worma, at 15:19  

  • Worma,
    hows gone??

    Yes that looks strange and possible.Did mahendu ordered them again to do this extra bit this time or if routine then use-less b'ze in past u never heard it(outcomes).

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:21  

  • maher..didn't get u man? can u please make it dumb that down for me :)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:23  

  • Isn't this guy Nehra a pain in the arse? :-) Is a muscle pull in the buttocks that serious that he had to pull out of the tour? Honestly, his few noteworthy bowling perfomances don't really compensate for the time he has spent off the field recuperating from or nursing different injuries. I think the whole lot should take a lesson from Kapil. I do not recall a time (maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong) when Kapil had an injury worth mentioning. And he had a much longer career than any of our current quickies. Maybe he did some things differently which could be worth emulating. Could it be we need to start conditioning our players when they are very young. India has just opened it's busy cricket schedule and lo behold! we have a casualty.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 15:24  

  • alvin, i was a big fan of chopra during the australian series, but as worma said, he struggled to score big. a couple of half centuries here and there would not be enough. on the other hand, gangs at that time was on the top. he had scored a century on the gabba and had a roller coaster tour to the oz-land. his place in the team was not in question. when yuvi scored and chopra struggled, it was obvious that in order to fit yuvi in, chopra has to go out. eventually gangs scored 77 until his pathetic running between the wicket costed him his wicket...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:25  

  • alvin: While I didn't get into conspiracy theories especially in re Chopra, I did raise the question of Yuvraj's elevation to opener, at the time it happened, and suggested that it was based on two simple facts: 1. Yuvraj, at the time, had made too strong a claim to a Test berth to be ignored; 2. The only way SG could avoid a direct face off was by deflecting him into some other berth and since VS, SRT, RD and VVS were too well entrenched, that meant SG's own... unless he could promote the theory of a left-right combo and push Yuvraj into that slot.

    Drew the usual load of flak. What bugged me, though, was when asked about it at the time, I suggested that it would be another Laxman-style case -- Yuvi would fail as an opener, and that would be curtains for his Test career. Almost happened with VVS if you remember -- they made him open, he flopped big time, they dumped him. He managed to fight his way back with a series of double and triple hundreds -- and once in, played that innings in Calcutta that made him for life; but that is not to say Yuvi would be as fortunate.

    As it turned out, that is what did happen -- Yuvi failed in the opening slot (in the very very few chances he got) and lo, he is out -- no consideration of his merits for a berth lower down, mind.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:26  

  • alvin: Interestingly, I've had the same thoughts ever since YS was asked to open. I would go a step further and say that SG trying to protect his spot by making YS open the innings may have split the team's unity. It's interesting to note that, a lot of the ego issues between SG and Wright emerged after this too.

    I've also heard that VVS Laxman's place has been under scanner inspite of some creditable performances due to politics by the SG section. I read that the section of media that support SG have been painting anti-VVS pictures for some time now.

    I don't know how true all of this is, but there's no doubt in my mind that SG has played his fair share of politics too...but that's stating the obvious right? Indian cricket and politics always walk hand-in-hand.

    By Blogger rp, at 15:27  

  • hjrsingh whenver nehra plays, he has 1 foot on the physio's chair (ek pao kabar me). he plays on then skips one until he is gone for a while. didn't gloster already mention that he had a niggle during the camp before the lanka tour. i am surprized at the creativity of AN, last time he had back spasm, ankle but this time its the buttocks!! what else is left Mr. Ashish Nehra? I hope u will be even more creative next time.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:29  

  • worma: Um...without getting into a he said, she said situation here, consider this: If a review committee of this nature (remember the terms of reference, announced by the BCCI president himself -- repeated failures, performance of captain, fitness of players) had been pre-scheduled at the time Greg C took over, you mean the BCCI knew, way back then, that India would continue to flop, that the captain would continue to fail, and that in general, fitness sucked?

    Strange! :-) There could well have been a thought, at the time GC took over, to do a review after the Zimbabwe tour, a stock taking exercise. But it defeats logic to suggest that this particular review, with these frames of reference, was actually pre-ordained, no?

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:30  

  • worma,
    i was talking about rajaraman column.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 15:30  

  • *laughing at the remarks about Nehra, here* Reminds me of Ian Botham commenting about an English player (was it Collingwood? Nah... can't for the moment remember who, though) who was prone to coming up with some 'niggle' or the other: The guy, Both said, suffers from every malady except the monthly periods.

    On another occasion, when some player said ooo, there is this thing in my back, Both went Damn right there is a thing in your back, it's called a spine.

    Seriously, though, if you notice Nehra's injuries, they all come in that core area -- the waist-hip region. And it's going to be a problem throughout his career, IMHO -- his ridiculous delivery stride invites trouble, given the stress it puts on the groin area.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:35  

  • prem, I am surprized with the selection policy here. if he was injured, why not let him a couple more months (like SRT) to recover rather than doing a periodic maintenance on him. why don't we give that guy some time to get completely fit. is he the reason for making consistent forays in the team (because of competition) or is the management forcing him to do it?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:39  

  • maher, ok. same question we all are at. Prem, in Rajaraman's column, the main thing is this part Nearly everyone seems to have forgotten that the decision to have the coach meet the panel regularly was made in June. The panel was first constituted to interview candidates and appoint a coach for the Indian team. It was then suggested that the committee be kept in place as a facilitator for Chappell Do you remember if this is true? Because if so, then its quite possible that Mahendra, when caught in a tight corner on live camera, just blurted out the words which, to his knowledge, fitted the already known and agreed agenda of regular meetings between the panel and GC (whether the date itself was decided or just made up, doesnt really matter).

    Prem, by the way, it wasn't 'announced' as such by the BCCI president, if you're not aware with the terms of reference, it was an 'answer' to some questions on this tv program (aapki adalat or some such). So it wasn't as if Mahendra called up a PC to say that he has formulated this plan etc.

    And the frames of reference is exactly what Rajaraman's pointing out to be exaggerated by the press release of the tv channel (on the basis of what was spoken in a tv show. That itself is fishy..why have a press release based on tv program, not even an interview). I'm sure there are some people here who saw the program? Prem, what about the rediff version of the story, is that taken from the tv channel's release or on basis of the actual program viewing?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:41  

  • It's a funny thing -- coaching today has become so damned inventive; but sometimes, I wonder if some at least of the older ways weren't more effective?

    I mean, with Nehra, his problem is obvious, and two-fold -- one, he 'splits' way too much, and if you think about it, after extending so much, to then swivel into the follow through means he is literally using the muscles in the hip-groin region to power him through. What exacerbates the problem is his penchant for pointing one toe at the sightscreen behind his back and the other at the batsman -- again, aggravating that split.

    Made me think of unorthodox cures/training methods. Like when in school, at some point I got into the habit of either stomping on the stumps, or hitting it with my bat. Thing is, I loved back foot shots -- somehow, at one point, developed the habit of going an inch or three too far back.

    Knew what was wrong, but somehow, kept doing it. So one day Venkat, who was our coach then, sticks me in the net, has guys bowling short and fast at me from 18 paces. Only, he made a little pyramid of marbles, an inch and half in front of off stump.

    Deal was, if I so much as touched that thing, the marbles would roll. And that meant I had, with pads on and bat held overhead, to sprint around the ground, then come take guard again.

    Believe me, after doing four rounds, those marbles never moved, they might as well have been superglued there.

    It's like grandma's cold remedy I guess -- sometimes, these home remedies actually work better than new fangled methods

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:43  

  • Prem: Meanwhile, do you think Kaif is likely to be included for the 1st test? It looks highly unlikely to me. But what has Kaif done wrong? Nothing. Surely GC must know what Kaif has done lately in tests and deserves a place ahead of SG or YS.

    By Blogger rp, at 15:43  

  • Prem...on Nehra's delivery stride..did u notice Tait has a similar 'split' in his foot...pointing in opp direction !!!

    And generally, Nehra is not the only international quick bowler with fitness problem. Bond, Cairns, Tuffey, Akhtar, Anderson and many others seem to have it regularily. Anderson has a similar story to some of our own bowlers...Eng coach tried to change his action...ruined his confidence for a while...

    By Blogger worma, at 15:44  

  • mayur: But see, that's the thing. He can spend ten years off, he will never get towhere he is free of breakdowns.

    Like, if I have tendonitis, that is a condition that needs treatment, and rehab. But once you go through that, it is not like I pick up a bat and it comes back.

    In Nehra's case, he gets injured in the ankle (mainly the leading ankle, cos of that unnatural stride), lower back, groin, butt -- all thanks to the bowling action.

    So he goes off and for a week he doesnt bowl, the pain goes away. He is effectively recovered -- but let him bowl 20 overs and bingo, there it comes again.

    So unlike with SRT, extended rehab is not part of the solution here

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:46  

  • rp why does it look unlikely to you? Kaif's probably not playing this game because they considered him to have had enough time in the middle, probably the only one in this team. There were talks of resting him in the league game against Zim also...they didnt ultimately. I would think his would be the first name to go down in playing 11 ??

    By Blogger worma, at 15:47  

  • worma: will check with deepti and harish. or ask them to find out more.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:49  

  • rp: I would think Kaif will play; in fact, said as much yesterday on that radio thingy.

    His being rested, like worma pointed out, is more likely because the management figured he didnt really need time in the middle, and it made more sense to try some of the peripherals out

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 15:51  

  • ok thx. Meanwhile, no comments on Ashes...two days ? Eng going defensive with one bowler short? Aus coming to senses...too late already ? And Hayden....does it look like 'sunset' for him also ? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:52  

  • good point prem!! but one question still remains is inability of the coaching staff to spot the very problem. why is it so? or is nehra ignoring them? the next 3-4 years r very important of his career and if he spends half of it on the sidelines, then he is gone. even he must be very frustated with this. can we get someone like reid to work with him on his action. come-on, the problem is pretty obvious. if reid is not interested in travelling to india, send nehra to australia and get him fixed for good. don't u agree? even wasim wud be ready to work with him. it is sounding like a never ending problem, but this has to stop somewhere until we end up loosing an imp resource like him.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:55  

  • worma: It looks unlikely, since I thought they would have given him practise before the game. I don't see the reason for resting him even if he has spent the most time in the middle. It's not as though Kaif is a settled, experienced test match player...surely he could use the practise to assess his game and do some fine-tuning before the tests begin?

    If they thought that Kaif will play in the XI but could use a break, then I'm afraid that doesn't seem right either. If RD had had a good series and if they decided t rest him, then that would be fine. RD is an experienced campaigner and he would/should be ablt to make the switch from ODIs to tests quickly. But Kaif doesn't have that experience...and that's why I am perplexed at the decision to 'rest' him.

    By Blogger rp, at 16:03  

  • worma,
    As i'm not watching any ckt here wants to know what going on with hayden??i mean is he out of sorts ,having problem with swings(story tell they all do),or he in gangs mood means tough to come come back??
    read other day as u posted what he himself thinks.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:08  

  • mayur: I dont know for sure. What I can deduce, though, is this -- Nehra gets his nip and movement from that action (sort of like Debu Mohanty used that front on style and looping run to make the ball go both ways).

    The cure to his problem is changing the run up, more particularly the delivery stride -- but what if the guy cant bowl any other way?

    You can fine tune an action -- but you can't actually rewire it -- which could be whythe question of coaching him out of that style hasn't come up.

    What beats me is how come whoever coached him in his early years never spotted something this obvious.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:09  

  • Chopra never got a fail deal. Granted he didn't solidify his position even when he was well set.

    Your analysis of SG's schemes' is spot on. good work.


    By Blogger RM, at 16:10  

  • rp..what experience....i thought we were thinking that not much should be read into this practise game....its hardly as much as a tough match practise...all it gives is some 'confidence' to the ones who spent some time in the middle....now Kaif has done it against better attacks...and as Prem also said...chance for peripherals is more important. Wont you want Jadhav and Yuvraj (the two supposed reserves in Kaif plays) to have some time in the middle....what if Sehwag or GG falls sick on game morning..you wanna rush jadhav directly into a test match ?

    And btw, while we discuss this, lets see even if those in the team all get a hit in the middle.....Lax is holding strong...RD is playing...ganguly is due....and then Yuv or Jadhav get to bat. Meanwhile, its the last day....we may wanna have a bowl again?....so...who all get chances?....I personally would not read anything from this game. Not about selection, not about RD's 'return' to form....and no, not even about ZK being 'innefective' still

    By Blogger worma, at 16:10  

  • worma: Ah, Ashes. I mean, I had to sit up all night... been up in fcat since yesterday morning. So had the thing running, and was watching as much as I could. Nice tight, tense game -- I wonder if it is a bit too tense, though. Both teams are playing gritty stuff -- but if the intensity is sky high, the quality of individual play, honorably excepting Warney, is way down.

    Would be nice if we could get the full three days in and tht reminds me, whatever happened to the ICC edict that play ahs to start earlier to make up for lost time?

    Likely the boards didnt write it into the tour conditions

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:12  

  • Prem! Not to harp back to captaincy issue, but this is not about being pro, anti gangs debate. Personally, I think gangs lost us a few important matches coz of lackluster captaincy with Aus & Pak. But, I am also not so sure of our other alternative Dravid. While he might be a good on-field captain, I get a feeling that he tends to go into mental knots about minor things and takes a while to get out of it. Two instances I remember are, his slump for almost 3-4 matches immediately following his 'ball tampering' issue in Aus, second is his recent slump after the musical chairs played by the selectors. Also, His career start of kind of sluggish coz he is a perfectionist and tends to worry too much about the previous ball etc. Of course , to his credit he came out of it with sheer hard work. But, looking from a distance I get the feeling that he might have a tendency to go into a shell when faced with problems/challenge unlike say a Sachin or Sehwag who might go into offense. Or like say a Warne who is able to perform at his optimum ability inspite of his major personal problems.

    In view of your various interactions with Dravid, do you think this is a fair assessment?

    By Blogger flute, at 16:13  

  • prem, there is one more thing I wanted to bring up since reading ur post yesterday about using the available resources. since kaif has been thrusted into #3 position by GC, he has done well but u questioned kaif’s role and along with him RD’s role. u raised a valid point about the confusion about the roles expected to be executed.

    well, right from the beginning GC wanted flexibility in his batting line. in his experiment, what he has achieved is that he found another option for RD. there is no way RD can ever be replaced, but in ODIs India struggles when RD gets out early. Now what he has created is basically 2 RDs, one fails the other takes up the baton and forges ahead. This will allow GC the flexibility to decide his lineup. MK has done a decent job at #7 position, but now we know that he can do a better job at #3 or #4 position where grafting the runs is important (we always knew that, but now we have a proof). On the other hand, RD can play his natural game of rotating the strike. The time between 10 - 40 overs should be about singles and accumulation. At anytime if the management thinks that we are doing good (say 160 for 2) then MK can start taking risk (his #7 role) and RD can stay around. If one of them falls early in the innings, then the other can take of the job of accumulation and stay the course till the very end and support stroke-makers like MD and YS. I think this is a brilliant strategy and has paid off. MK also looks much better than RD at #3 position since he has the ability to play a lot more shots during the power-plays. the only reason I can think of sending Rd at #3 is where we have seaming tracks, but keep 2007 in mind this seems like a good strategy.

    What rao is doing in the side, as u suggested, is a mistery.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:13  

  • prem,
    does some kind of pace should have min xx yards run-up?

    On current lot i like AA's action most.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:13  

  • Why can't we take the committee at face value? Greg can have an input with people who are generally sympathetic to him (as they appointed him). The committee supersedes the selectors and takes a strategic view. So, it reviews the use of funding, any shortfalls in resources and any aspects of cricketing performances. BTW, read my comments under "India needs".

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 16:15  

  • maher, from what I have watched Hayden this series.....totally at sea against quality pace bowling...esp with any kind of movement swing or seam. His problem being he doesn't (or didn't) want to change his bully ways of standing out of crease, plonking the foot further down...doesnt have enough time to read the movement, or reach to pace.

    But thats just his problem this series...he's been struggling for a while....against pace and spin (in the tour to india). In India they seemed to have done good homework on his sweep and overall onside play. Dunno about Nz and Pak series..didnt watch(pak again had pace and movement in their attack).

    Prem...others can throw more light

    By Blogger worma, at 16:15  

  • Worma,

    So is it same thing that Harsha mentioned for saurav this week.
    he can get plenty agaisnt decent bowling but struggle agnst quality bowling.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:19  

  • flute: Sure, a fair enough assessment. But against that, he will work himself out of a slump -- in fact, I can't think of a single series outside of this one that has seen him fail to score even once; the other good thing about him is, he is willing to work with anyone who he thinks can tell him something he doesnt know. Which leads me to believe that he would be better at working with a strategy-savvy coach, simply because he will listen and if the advice is good, he will follow it -- as opposed to SG, who would go out there and do his own thing on the grounds that he was backing his instincts.

    One thing, though -- I think this is the perfect time to chose your long term captain (or captains, if you want one for each form) and groom him. So I would see RD as purely an interim skipper, with the long term guy as his apprentice.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:19  

  • Prem..agreed about the quality of the game....most of the Eng batsmen seemed to be too determined (sort of like our team in the WC finals...or some other games ;-) ). But Aus, I thought, kept it simple. They didnt have to do much, McG holding and Warney killing. And then their own batting....well this, atleast to me, was expected. They are just carrying on from Trent Bridge 2nd innings, where without Jones they got their much needed respite periods. And Eng seem to have played into their hands. Anyways.....wait for you take on the finer points....whenever it comes!

    Also...wait for your overall thoughts on the series...esp from Eng perspective...their team deconstructed..their buildup and prospects for the Pak and later Ind tour etc.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:21  

  • Worma,
    What you think of Warne as captain??better than ponting??

    Interestingly couple of days back Chappel slammed Buchanan and said Ponting will be better served if he takes advices from warne-Mcg.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:22  

  • worma: Yeah, will -- after this series ends. Screw up is, I am likely to be off the map the next two days; heading off to a friend's place for the weekend, tonight.

    Will, though, jot down the random thoughts I did have, next week after the Ashes have been won and lost.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:25  

  • worma: I'm not at all saying that much has to be read into this practise match. But you seem to think that switching to test match mode from ODIs is the easiest thing in the world...I tend to disagree. Also, it's fine to give other blokes a chance to get confidence...but certainly not at the expense of your in-form batsman who hasn't yet cemented a place in the team! Sure, Kaif's confident but that's for ODIs...this is a different ball game and your batting requires you to modify your approach and test your judgement.

    And it certainly seems you are afraid that someone in the team is going to fall sick! :)
    But not sure that someone getting sick or injured is the right justification for this...I rather like the approach of "Don't bother abt what's not in your control, make sure you make the right decisions abt things that are."

    By Blogger rp, at 16:26  

  • maher, one good thing about warne is that he can lead by example. i am not sure about how good a tactitian he is, but the bottom line is that he is too old to be an Aussie captain. he lost it when Ponting was appointed as the captain to succeed Waugh. the Aussie management wud rather thrust someone like clarke in the role and ask Ponting, warne to be his mentor. that guy definite has the correct attitude to cricket, but has to watch out for the back niggles. no matter what happens here, Ponting is gone for sure. clarke definitely has in him the ability to succeed at this level. no one wud have thought that he wud score a century in his debut test on the sub-continental wickets (bangalore), score a century on his debut test in oz-land and almost score a century when he made his Ashes debut.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:27  

  • Prem,
    on this captancy issue we talked lot when they choose SG again.
    I was agree with u that they hurried for SG.My feeling at time was that it will hurt SG more then RD b'ze if he fails now then it will all over for him(and might just happen for ODIs)

    He could have failed under RD have survived bit longer.I guess he was very insecure in his mind when serving ban.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:28  

  • thanks for the reply Prem. One more thought, what do you think of Sachin's captaincy abilities? The general feeling seems to be that he did not get his team and had no cooperation from the selectors but there is also this view from Harsha Bogle that Sachin tends to expect too much from each individual since he never had to struggle for performance etc. what's your take?
    How about Anil Kumble? John Wright thought he is the best captaincy material we have? I don't know about selectors but alteast in this forum, the debate seems to have simply excluded all other options and is focussed only on Gangs & Dravid. My gut feeling is Kaif(ODI) & Laxman(tests) will make good captains. Can you share your thoughts on this ?

    What do you all think ?

    By Blogger flute, at 16:29  

  • thanks for the reply Prem. One mor

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16:30  

  • maher...I, and most others, should not know what Ponting is capable of, as a captain. This is the first time (besides probably the Waugh tour of India) that Aus has actually 'needed' a captain.

    Also, most of the analysis of captaincy, around the ashes, seems to be around field placements. So Ponting is being criticised for being over defesive, while Vaughan praised for some innovative field positions (but also criticised by the likes of Brearly for being over defensive at times, with specific examples given). Sure Warne is more 'alive' in the field, and as I pointed out in one of my posts today, seemed to be controlling the whole show in that Trent Bridge last act.

    But captaincy is not just that, is it. Dunno how motivational Warne would be, how much can he relate with 'lesser' mortals...how much can he back his guys....how ruthless can he be. Being clever and skillfull in personal aspects of sports is different from being a good captain. Eg. take Sachin...probably one of the smartest cricketer when on the field ? Does that mean he would succeed in all aspects of captaincy ? (even if, unlike his last captaincy term, the BCCI etc back him fully?)

    My personal opinion, Warney may have been a better captain....but there's no way of finding out :)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:32  

  • mayur,

    i was talking about instead ponting at that time not now.media suggested his non-cricket issues stripped his chances and vice ct too.
    if you read his field placings u will find how good technician he is.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:32  

  • maher: not really, no. At least, it is not direct corelation, as in you run x yards and bowl at y pace.

    classic case is holding. he bowled off a 42 yard run and was fearsome -- but when he cut it down to less than half, it wasn't like he lost significant pace.

    It's what coaches tell you when you are learning the art -- it's not how far you run, or how fast, the trick is to gain momentum in that run, to 'gather' that momentum into the delivery stride, and to then translate it into the ball.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:33  

  • prem,

    i think Akram did it too,lately.
    i thought it may leave too much for body to create it alltogether, if guy wants to bowl just fast.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:38  

  • rp, would have agreed with all you said, had this not been a test series against this current Zim side, and had this practise match been against any other team than a second(or third?) string team of that current Zim side :-)

    Prem...will wait for the notes. Eng team is the current buzz..to break them down...and get some points on their subcontinent tours would be great. Hope you get time to watch this game during your trip. There might be a lot of drama left in this series yet!

    mayur, are you sure Ponting is gone? IMO, not yet. CA may seriously start thinking of alternatives (other than the dummy they have planted in Gilchrist)...but gone?...not yet

    By Blogger worma, at 16:40  

  • Prem,
    dono about earlier years so if you can put some thoughts on kapil and sunil's captaincy's??
    Any personnel experiences??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:40  

  • maher: actually, that leads to an interesting thought. You can try it if you like: Take a ball, mark out the stumps, the pitch, the bowling crease. Mark your run up. Run in and bowl -- and remember, the ball has to be well directed, and you can't overstep.

    Do that a few times, till you have a mental memory of how it all feels.

    Then scratch stumps, scratch bowling crease, everything -- take the ball, run in, let your body find its own rhythm and pace, and -- since there is no bowling crease, or stumps to aim at -- just run in the way it feels natural to you and at some point, you will find yourself automatically moving into the delivery stride.

    Keep doing that... running in easy, and releasing when it feels right.

    First up, you'll see you get more pace and control the second way, than the first. Which tells you that is your best run up... now all you have to do is do it till you get to where it feels very very natural, THEN measure that run -- and use that measure plus a pace to mark your run up.

    More often than not, you will be bang on.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:41  

  • Unbelievable! this is too fanatic


    By Blogger suraj, at 16:42  

  • maher, quite right, Akram cut down his run-up. But then he used his raw power of the body, without the momentum, so much....must've been one of the reasons for his back problems. And btw, I remeber his bowling from 5 paces in some match (ODI)..with same pace and effectiveness!

    By Blogger worma, at 16:42  

  • maher: not really. for instance, look at the velocity a javelin thrower generates. Or better still, a shot putter. Or, as you say, Akram.

    In fact, Akram is the best example -- look what he does, he sprints into his bowling stride, and makes the whole thing part of an organic whole -- the run in, delivery stride, release. So there is no friction -- momentum gained is momentum used. And it was not like he put more strain on his body, doing this, than most fast bowlers.

    actually, tell you what, if you want to see what a fast bowler really really is all about, try and gt hold of a michael holding video. from his early days when he bowled off his full run.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:44  

  • worma, the way CA dismissed Waugh after the vb series led me to think that he will be gone. it is their no non-sense strategy. as u said in ur previous post, this was the first time the Aussies wanted a captain and they just havn't got it. he does not seem to be ruthless and smart on the field. this is all from what i read on websites. i haven't really seem a single game. even ponting has the same feeling as per his recent interviews on the web.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:45  

  • worma,
    once i saw saqlain trying to surprise batsman( bowled medium pace with his usual spin run up)

    And then when back on his field position.he was struggling to stand straight.wasnt serious but definitely affected.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:46  

  • worma: I can use the same argument and say "Who needs confidence going into a match against this Zim team? Such teams are meant to bring back form of players who lack it!". So I'm not convinced with your reasoning...but we can always agree to differ! :)

    By Blogger rp, at 16:47  

  • Prem:

    Any news on Vinod Kambli's illness?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:49  

  • Oh shoot, got to run. See ya guys later -- am off tomorrow and the day after, back again Monday

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:51  

  • maher thas funny :)...even more than the Warne bouncers!

    mayur, Waugh was anyway going to go, and that VB series because a catalyst. Ponting was being groomed to take over. While now, Ponting didn't have the slightest shadow of doubt on his captaincy prior to this series. So this one series cannot make them replace him. It can make them start thinking of possible future scenarios, and start preparing. And Gilchrist, even when in good form, wasn't the future for them. Now even less so. And you're right about Ponting not being ruthless, although what he himself admitted to was something else.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:51  

  • ruchir: no, nothing yet. weird, no one issaying anything

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 16:51  

  • Prem,

    Yes,i understood your point what i am saying is if bowler who normally bowls at 125km tries to bowl 145, does he has to understand any change he will need for that extra effort?
    Seen some bowlers go for just pace and lose everything.

    Same way they do that rolling thing when bowls slower or off-cutters u say.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:52  

  • rp...going by that argument also..you still gotta field atleast 11 players there ! But anyways, break on this with agreed disagreement. And lets hope Kaif's there at the start of the game on tuesday.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:54  

  • worma,mayur,,,

    i dont think aussies have any issue on captaincy.they dont change captains that often.if ponting keeps his usual form then be sure he will be there untill he could not find place in team.
    Gilly is having his own problems too.
    If team as whole is not on top then its tough see captains ruthlessness.he needs weapons to showcase.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 16:58  

  • worma, why do u think waugh was going to go. the only reason i think wud be his age, his performance was amazing. for a person with a career average of 32.9, he was averaging 42.86 with the bat. with the ball he was averaging 29.33

    as a captain he had a 72% win/loss ratio in his last 25 games. gangs wud have drooled to get such a number. it was more of a ruthless decision by ca to chop off the old branches when the other branches (warne, mcg, gilly) are green enough to support ponting.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:59  

  • maher..true they wont change him. doesnt mean he has no problems. sure they are showing more because the team is collectively down...

    By Blogger worma, at 17:00  

  • yep mayur...only the age thing. And VB loss gave them good reason to latch on to (Waugh didn't use to give them too many chances :-) ). If only they knew what they were replacing him with..;-))

    By Blogger worma, at 17:03  

  • mayur,
    i dont think he was in great form lately.and he wasn't purely sacked too.
    he himself understood the need of hour and decided to hang up.
    On other hand in ODIs he lost his place as well so that's solution CA had.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 17:04  

  • Worma,
    so hows Jarkko in fin??

    By Blogger MAHER, at 17:05  

  • maher and worma,
    aussies don't change captains often because they were blessed with amazing individuals like border, taylor and waugh. who needs a change whene everything is going well. ca definitely gets the credit for selecting the correct guys, but this time they have failed. they have just close the wrong guy. they should not make a quick decision, but soon they will have to.
    just think about the reasons ponting wud retain his place as a captain. Can he rebuild the team like border? can he make them ruthless? if yes, then he shud be allowed to stay otherwise he shud not. no matter what situation wud be, waugh wud have never said something like 'don't blame me for this, blame all'. besides that 156, ponting was unable to do a waugh at anytime during the series. i don't know, but what do u guys think wud be the reasons to keep him?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:06  

  • maher, u mean to say waugh lost his place in the ODI team on form ? are you sure he was their 'worst' batsman in that lineup ? dont tell me...I'll have to dig out the stats, but thats not what I remember.

    And its not as if thats the only time CA has done it. Most recent example...Bevan

    By Blogger worma, at 17:07  

  • maherI just put forth the statistics for the last 25 games in from of u. he was in awesome form. he was averaging much higher than he usual. his win/loss % was 72% in the last 25.
    age was the only reason. thats ruthlessness by the CA!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:09  

  • worma,

    dono stats but think so.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 17:10  

  • mayur...they groom the captain...they have good players like any other country...they develope the chosen ones over time....(which is what is missing at this stage). And he will go in time...but not yet. And esp now that he is still their best as a player..and one of the younger guys of the lot. They dont have ex-captains in the team.

    maher, you mean the hockey guy? Sorry dude, am not much into that game...these guys here are crazy about it. Play it in summers also (a roller blade version of it:). Am sure they know all about who are playing in US league...etc

    By Blogger worma, at 17:11  

  • i still remember the picture of a dissapointed waugh after being sacked. that said it all. it was clear that he was saying 'i don't believe u did that to me'

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:12  

  • worma,

    i love hocky too.
    was talking this jarkko Nimienen,last night wathed him (early) Hewitt as he was surprisely good.

    By Blogger MAHER, at 17:14  

  • ooh maher Nimienen..thats how I know him..too many Jarkko's around :)...yeah he's quite big here...there were few tired faces in office today....his game went laaate into the night, thats why

    mayur...remember he even tried desperately to get back into the WC03 squad ?...he even said, at Warne's early return, that he still thought he had a chance...really desperate

    By Blogger worma, at 17:19  

  • Prem: Couldn't agree more about VVS Laxman. That opening experiment nearly ended his career, though his 167 came in at that spot. As for those calling him a blocker and someone who doesn't score runs, it is frequently forgotten that he got into the 40s in almost every game. More importantly, the partnerships were closer to 100 more often than not. THe only season he played, India faced NZ, Australia and Pakistan. He got 2 50s in the 2 tests against NZ. Aus and Pak are probably the 2 tughest attacks for an opener to go up against. Had he played the lesser teams, he would have cashed in tooand would have had the confidence to go on a d build bigger scores. Also, in a line-up that features guys like SRT, RD and VVS, one doesn't have to score big necessarily. He was obviously giving the team something other openers weren't. It's a no-brainer in my opinion.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 17:35  

  • maher, mayur...am outta here guys. See you tomorrow at the ashes thread. Hope for a decent day's game.

    By Blogger worma, at 17:38  

  • worma,

    yep,have a good night...

    By Blogger MAHER, at 17:47  

  • What is this you guys talking about of Kaif being droped for this game? I read that they are aplying with all available memebers (12 excluding bhajji and Aggie). While Zim side is playing with 13 players. And that was the reason why the game wasnt given first class status.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:50  

  • Oh btw if kaif comes out to bat tomorrow, will some of you stop talking about consipiracy theroies?

    And whoever is talking about gangs moving Yuvi to the opening slot because his own position was under threat havent followed Ausie and pak tour. In both these tours Gangs made plenty of runs.

    And whoever is talking about Yuvi failing in the oepning slot againt didnt follow the game. In only inning he got out was to Warne he did handle the MG and Gilly. And in the next inning he didnt get a chance to complete it. So where was the failure?
    Yes he couldnt continue in the same position because we had old timers conservatives like Gavaskar being part of management.
    The fact is we dont know if that exp of gangs was gonna be successful or not. So stop blaming him for that. And yeah he made sure that Yuvi still is there unlike SRT/Azhar who couldnt save VVS's spot once he failed as an opener. Of BTW it wasnt SCg at that time who made VVSL to open the inning. So whose spot was under threat at that time?
    Prem plz do throw some light on it.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:56  

  • Flute,
    On the captaincy issue i can't agree with you more. i think the threee best would-be-captains in India are Laxman, kaif and Kumble. Since Kumble has lost his ODI position, it is futile to discuss his captaincy though he might have been a really good captaincy material. I think, if selectors are looking for some stop-gap solutions, then laxman is a good alternative. Experts have appreciated his captaincy of Hyderabad. He remains calm and generally performs well given some responsibility.The problem is that his place in ODIs is not sure. That leaves us to kaif, who I think is the best of younger lot to be a captain. he was captain of the under-19 side that won the world cup. He can be a good motivator. As a good fielder, he can inspire others to be more athletic in the field. In the batting line up he adds solidity. To me he ranks ahead of Sehwag as a captaincy material since Sehwag is one player who would be better left alone at the moment.

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 20:01  

  • Wah bhai wah, so people are not only satisfied with criticizing SG's batting and captaincy, now it has been elevated to the next level - conspiracy. Woh kahawat hain na - jab haathi keechad mein girta hain toh saala chinti bhi laath maarta hain. Arre chhitiyon, Yuvraj didn't replace Sunil Gavaskar at the top, he merely replaced one Akash Chopra, who happenes to be Prem's favorite cricketer columnist. Chopra was giving us 30-40 runs consuming 200 balls. What's the harm in trying Yuvraj at the top in his place rather than leaving him out because there's no slot in the middle order. As Vick pointed out, SG was successful down under and made 77 in the only innings he played in the Pak tour. In Australia, he also protected Sachin and came ahead of him in the third test. What a short term memory you people have. Yuvraj can't be termed as a failure as an opener since he didn't get enough chance. But how did we know that he won't be as successful as Sehwag? I am sure certain pandits will now claim their predictions came true for Sehwag. Just imagine the combo of Sehwag and Yuvraj at the top. The SG bashers will claim that he was trying to save his ass. Glad that he did, otherwise we may not have discovered Sehwag the opener and he would have never scored that 309 !! SG is not only the most successful captain of India, he is a visionary.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 20:16  

  • Kumble seems to impress in the first class game in zime...he would be india's trump card in zimbabwe especially if the conditions are not good for seaming conditions. By now, its pretty evident that nehra and pathan are good only when bowl swings and seams. Both have to include some variations in their armoury to be successful at this level. One thing to note about Kumble in last 2-3 years is that his bowling abroad has improved significantly. I remember his spells in headingley, multan and sydney. Does it have anything to do with his sitting outside ODIs?? I wonder...

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 20:17  

  • Also, I believe someone while trying to justify Chopra's selection also commented that Sehwag feels most comfortable playing with Chopra. I see. So that's why Chopra should be retained because Lord Sehwag prefers him. Should we also check with Lord Pathan whom does he prefer at the other end? Should it be Zaheer, Nehra, Balaji or Agarkar? Should we not consult Lord Kumble whether he's happy with Bhajji at the other end or should Bhajji be replaced?

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 20:26  

  • haaahaaa

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 20:27  

  • what a day... everything in balance!

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 20:49  

  • I agree with u dadagiri,most of the conversations seemed to have li'l substance except bashing up SG blindly...and u can't blame these guys when we've prem panicker leading the way. Courtsey rediff, people like prem and deepti call themselves cricket journalist which is utmost hillarious.

    By Blogger back2grave, at 20:56  

  • back2grave - no doubt about that... it's pathetic.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 20:58  

  • what has SG done lately, btw??

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 20:58  

  • chopra is not even county cricketer..his club cricketer.

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:01  

  • To guys who r shouting for Chopra conspiracy, look at his domestic performance last yr...I guess,if yuvraj needs 10 innings to settle down as an opener,its worth than persisting with Chopra.

    By Blogger back2grave, at 21:08  

  • time to move on... from chopda/ys affair. it is Gambhir now. not a bad choice

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 21:10  

  • Once again, a seemingly harmless discussion has been turned into an SG matter, dont know how you guys can twist someone else's words so well. Prem only suggested that it was a possibility that there was more to YS opening than meets the eye. And I dont think he was the one who started the topic.

    If SG thought that Chopra wasnt really adding any value to the batting, consider the excellent platform that RD and RD got throughout that Aus series. What do you think was the reason? It surely wasnt VS alone batting and holding one end up. The good starts that AC and VS gave definitely helped the rest of the batsmen. I am not asking for Chopra to return, Gambhir seems like a good prospect.

    But what did YS show that got him the opener's role? He was in great form as a middle-order batsman but so what, the Aussies missed a whole generation of players because this current crop was so good. The aim is to choose the best eleven and YS skills were not of playing the new ball in tests. He may have done justice to a selection to the middle-order but if teams were chosen on merit alone and if the Indian middle-order was fulll, then he had to wait his turn. Or he had to wait till one of the batsmen in the niddle order was indisposed for one reason or the other.

    Let me ask all you SG fans. Why didnt SG think of getting himself to the top of the order for tests? After all. his 10K runs at the top in ODIs have been mentioned several times on this blog alone. He has also always put the team (??) above self and famously said how he "sacrificed" his opener's slot for SRT when he returned. If he could take (up) such sacrifices, why didnt he do this too? SG opening and YS coming in the middle-order might have been worthwhile...
    Dont make SG a saint even before he retires from cricket. Conspiracy or not, he doesnt deserve the kind of adulation that some of you guys have to offer.

    By Blogger Toney, at 23:56  

  • corretion, "RD and RD" to "RD and VVS"

    By Blogger Toney, at 23:56  

  • dadagiri:

    I read your comments on SG's conspiracy on pushing YS into opening.

    You said that SG was a visionary as 'cause of him we got VS as an opener and who is to say that YS would not blossom as an opener too.

    As far as I remember, before VS was pormoted to opener, we had tried about 15 different openers (SS Das, Deepdas Gupta, S Ramesh, Wasim Jaffer, Vikram Rathore, MSK Prasad, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Dinesh Gandhi etc. etc.) and none of them was persisted with for one reason or another (most common being failure). When VS came on the scene, he had the reputation of being a big hitter and was quickly promoted to opening in ODIs. I clearly remember Prem and many other commentrators commenting that if VS was good enough to open in ODIs then he should be given a chance to open in Tests too, since he was in the Test team and he wouldn't be any worse than other openers that had been tried already.

    You would also remember that at that time, Dravid, Sachin, VVS and Ganguly himself had refused to promote themselves in the opening position in Tests. Thus VS was the only remaining candidate who had to accept as he was brand new in the Test team. No one till date, has said that it was Ganguly who foresaw that VS would be a damn good opener.

    VS was promoted to opening positions by DEFAULT and POLITICS and CAOWARDICE. Top 4, at that time, had simply refused to take responsibility for team's benefit. I would call Ganguly (and others) COWARD and not a visionary.

    You say SG was trying out YS as an opener to find a solution. I ask you this: Why try out a middle order player as an opener when others like RD and VVS were tried and failed??? Don't give me the bullshit about VS being a middler order and promoted as opener because VS was already an opener in ODIs when he started opening in Tests. YS had never ever opened for India before. Why did SG play out this nonsense with YS??

    The only explanation that seems logical is that middle order was getting very crowded and SG did not want any competition for himself that would threaten his place. So, with the excuse of trying out YS, he promoted him to opening; knowing that this will most certainly destroy YS's career in Tests.

    But why would SG care for YS's career as long as he was safe!!! Don't be in a misconception that SG is a visionary and always thinks for the best of the team. He did so when he got captaincy. But that was because he was sure of his place in the team. For last 2 years he has been threatened for his place in the team, owing to his loss of form. That is when all the politics has started.

    He very conviniently says that he promoted himslef in Sachin's place to shield him. Tell me this: Why can't he promote himself to opening slot? This way he will shield Sachin and will solve the opening problem? But no. SG won't do that because there is a chance of failure. So? Better to let someone else faile then himself.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 01:33  

  • ICC has finally agreed to revisit the substitution rule!!! Wonder why it is when AUS or ENG complain something happens?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 01:58  

  • Oh my god! Who are you? A blog with 290 comments posted? I feel TERRIBLE.. how can i up my coolness quotient:)!!!?

    By Blogger hickey, at 02:48  

  • same old SG controversy- he said she said. Dadagiri- even though I feel SG has lost his utility in the team, I don't neccessarily buy into the conspiracy theory. All I feel is that every captain has certain favourites (probably based on what they see in the player) and Yuvi had been SG's favorite- he sincerely believed that Yuvi can deliver- and promoted him because of this reason.

    But your calling SG a visionary is hilarious- don't be mistaken SG doesn't foresee everything great that happens with the team- lot of changes are trial and error. Ruchir already pointed out the no. of openers that were tried. Similarly Dhoni was promoted to no.3 for a while-worked at times and didn't work at other.

    Bottomline SG was undoubtedly a good captain and the team did well when each player performed- now its not doing well because all players are failing with SG leading the non-performing group.

    Nothing visionary!!!

    By Blogger suraj, at 02:50  

  • Hello Prem, see this from Sanjay Jha (cricketnext): http://www.cricketnext.com/features1/sanjayjha/sanjayjha152.htm

    By Blogger mohd iqbal, at 03:16  

  • Hello Prem,

    2 Points

    1) Have you noticed in the current Ashes series that consistently the play has been extended beyond schedule time (irrespective of whether AUS or ENG bowling, and weather). Why has ICC not taken any action regarding this? We have seen that some time even warne has taken more 5 mins to complete an over.

    2) Bajji

    Why is he in the Indian One day side? What noteworthy thing he has done since last one year on this front. He is struggling on the same pitch where Part-timers creating havoc with batsmen.

    By Blogger deeps, at 04:56  

  • Once again, a seemingly harmless discussion has been turned into an SG matter, dont know how you guys can twist someone else's words so well. Prem only suggested that it was a possibility that there was more to YS opening than meets the eye. And I dont think he was the one who started the topic.

    ---->>> Toney, have courage to state facts. Who started the conspiracy theories? Which SG fan did that can you point out? As I have stated in my first post on this thread, some of you have so much hatred for SG that it's not enough for you guys to limit yourself to just criticize his batting and captaincy. Doesn't matter whether Prem 'only' suggested or someone else did, I didn't take any name in my reply. What do you guys expect? You will keep on going with your rants and everyone else will just keep quiet?

    If SG thought that Chopra wasnt really adding any value to the batting, consider the excellent platform that RD and RD got throughout that Aus series. What do you think was the reason? It surely wasnt VS alone batting and holding one end up. The good starts that AC and VS gave definitely helped the rest of the batsmen. I am not asking for Chopra to return, Gambhir seems like a good prospect.

    ---->>> Yes, Gambhir does look like a good prospect. Has anyone denied that? But what 'was' the harm in trying YS at the top? After all, we did the same with Sehwag and the gamble paid off. Today what Bhajji did against the Aussies in 01 series is part of history. But let me tell you if he had failed, most of the people would have crucified Ganguly for trying out someone who was known for his indiscipline and was thrown out of the NCA. One needs to experiment, all of which may not succeed. Had Yuvi been as successful (I still think he would have been, if he had got enough chances at the top), then nobody would have raised these questions.

    But what did YS show that got him the opener's role? He was in great form as a middle-order batsman but so what, the Aussies missed a whole generation of players because this current crop was so good. The aim is to choose the best eleven and YS skills were not of playing the new ball in tests. He may have done justice to a selection to the middle-order but if teams were chosen on merit alone and if the Indian middle-order was fulll, then he had to wait his turn. Or he had to wait till one of the batsmen in the niddle order was indisposed for one reason or the other.

    ---->>>> That's just one way to look at it. The other way would be what the management did. You may not have enough trust on YS, but obviously Ganguly does. And why only YS, he has put similar faith on many players. Just check out MK's horrible performance last year, yet we persisted with him. Look at his form right now. You may argue that YS has shortcomings at the top, I feel even VS has serious shortcomings. But that didn't stop him for murdering all kind of attacks. The management knows these players in and out than you and me. So if they take a decision, one has to trust them. You can't question every decision they take just because you don't agree with them.

    Let me ask all you SG fans. Why didnt SG think of getting himself to the top of the order for tests? After all. his 10K runs at the top in ODIs have been mentioned several times on this blog alone. He has also always put the team (??) above self and famously said how he "sacrificed" his opener's slot for SRT when he returned. If he could take (up) such sacrifices, why didnt he do this too? SG opening and YS coming in the middle-order might have been worthwhile...

    ---->>> SRT has also been one of the most successful openers in ODI, but did he open in tests? Why not? It's not only a question of putting team above self, the question is whether he thinks he can do the job. Obviously he thinks that he can't. RD's batting is perfectly suited for an opener's role. So why doesn't he open the innings? Will you say he's not willing to put the team above self? Just because SG didn't open in tests, it doesn't mean that he didn't make any sacrifice for the team. WHo promoted Sehwag at the top of the order in ODIs thus breaking the most successful opening combination? Don't be sarcastic.

    Dont make SG a saint even before he retires from cricket. Conspiracy or not, he doesnt deserve the kind of adulation that some of you guys have to offer.

    --->>> I see. So it's ok for the likes of you to come here and bash SG every single day. And if you defend him, you are treating him like a saint. What a fantastic logic. Who are you to decide what he deserves and what he doesn't? If there are enough fans who still defend SG, then let me tell you he has done enough in his career to deserve that kind of support. May be guys like you need to take a hard look at yourself rather than advising others about how to treat SG. Alright? Get a grip over your hatred.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 12:50  

  • To dadagiri and the other Ganguly-homies:

    A conspiracy theory is not something one wholeheartedly believes. If I really believed that entirely, I would have called it an explanation, not a theory, I thought it was somewhat amusing, with some element of truth in it.

    As to the facts -

    1. Sehwag had established himself as one of hte premier ODI bats at the time and had done well in the couple of test innings he played. India was basically trying everything they could at the time. Jaffer and Das were the default openers at the time and Das was horribly out of form. A lot of experts suggested VS be given a shot. I remember reading somewhere that Gavaskar recommended it heavily, with the idea that VS is an all-or-nothing guy, a decisive strokemaker - he doesn't prod at the ball (which is one of the foremost qualitites for an opener) and has otherwise compact technique (his game is based on Gavaskar's protege, so that's hardly surprising). Ganguly is an excellent leader of men, but most of his tactics come from outside, mainly Wright, Dravid and Tendulkar.

    2. I have nothing against Ganguly. I think he was an excellent captain who brought Team India to this level. His only fault was stubbornness with certain selections, and the likes of Murali Karthik, Sadagopan Ramesh, Hemang Badani suffered as a result. However, when he was winning that was excused. But now, I constantly get the feeling that he doesn't have it in him to take us to the next level. His strength is team-building, not consolidation. I strongly believe that it takes a different mindset to take a tea mfrom the lowest rungs to a competitive level, and quite another to turn an above-average team to the best in the world.Examples of this abound - Border could only take Australia so far, it was Taylo rand later Waugh who cemeted them as the best team in the world (Border and Taylor had drastically different styles of captaincy), similarly Hussain and Vaughn. If you've follow the NFL, this is a very common phenomenon - some coaches are known to be good rebuilders and some are good at winning championships. A case in point are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They had been a very good team for a long time under Tony Dungy, but didn't win anything. Jon Gruden came along and won the championship the first or second year with the team Dungy built. Many TB fans still credit Dungy with that championship, but the bottomline was he was sacked because he couldn't make that final step. It should come as no surprise that his current team, Indianapolis Colts followed a similar path - he built it from a below-average team to one of the league's elite. But they are now afflicted with the same problem - they haven't won a championship, despite getting close every time for the past 3 years. I do believe it's time SG to hand over the baton. Aus and Eng did this without any fuss. We're the only ones getting all emotional about it. We should learn to question his present value without undermining his past achievements. He is, without a doubt, the best captain India has ever had, but it's time to move on.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 12:56  

  • dadagiri: it's not about "hatred". That's too strong a word. I won't deny that there are some who hate certain players and criticise them no matter what. However, most fans have the interests of Indian cricket at heart. we just differ in what we think would be best for our team. I was one of Ganguly's most ardent supporters - both of his captaincy and his batting (I think he can still walk into many teams in the world, but this country has quite a few batsmen more capable than him at present), but I don't think he is the right choice for us right now. He is still a very good captain and one of the best man-managers around, but the need of the hour is not a man-manager, but a solid strategist and competitor If India were an unstable team right now, I would still be saying SG should lead, but it's not, it's a very stable team. We need someone who can get us to win more consistently. You may or may not agree with me, but please do not question my motivation. Not everyone diagreeing with you is automatically a "Ganguly-hater".

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:06  

  • Alvin,
    Don't worry. I can distinguish between a genuine cricketing reason and pure bashing. If one is terming Ganguly a coward and accusing him of playing politics, then he/she can surely be termed a 'hater'. I mean when Toney can suggest that defending SG is like treating him like a saint, what the opposite would be? Check out the responses of people who want SG out and provided cricketing reasons for it and the responses of those few who have thrown accusations against him. It's not difficult to distinguish between the two my friend and believe me, I don't term every Ganguly critic as Ganguly basher.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 13:38  

  • Fair enough

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 10:22  

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