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Sight Screen

Monday, September 12, 2005

Some non-ashes news (-worma)

As we all may have read by know, Murali Karthik took 10 wickets for Lancashire in their Division two game against Essex. Scorecard here

Taking ten wickets in a county game is surely not as big as an international achievement, and we all know Pak discards like Mahmood, Saqlain, Mushtaq keep doing it regularly. But still, to put it in perspective, some facts:

1) This is the same ground (don't know if its the same pitch) where Aus conceded 500+ runs to the Essex side

2) This Essex side is much stronger than the one Aus faced, since they have recalled their international imports like Flower brothers etc.

3) Wickets taken by Karthik in first innings: Andy Flower, Ronny Irani, James Foster, Andre Adams, Darren Gough

4) Wickets in second innings: W Jefferson, G Flower, A Flower, Gough, A Adams.

I guess, its important to keep an eye on his performance, since he is already our second choice in ODIs. If he keeps doing well, he may nudge Bhajji for the lone place. Even in tests he can keep Bhajji on his toes, even nudge him out, on current form.

Other news, Chappel says he is seeing positive results in Indian showing on the field. As you all already know my views on this, I do agree with him. Sure, its still no-where close to satisfactory, but Chappel also didn't say so. Its improving, is what he said, and compared to where we started in this season, there's no denying it.

And Aus A, touring Pak now, is facing a bit of a tough time in their first game. We all are aware that this A tour (and their U19 tour to India) can be important for CA, since they all looking for some long term prospects to take up the mantle from some of their current stars.

As I had mentioned earlier, Pak team has the lookup of their national side (throw in Inzy, and it looks like a re-conciliatory national team, fresh from an internal bust-up :). Even the Aus side is strong through Hodge, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Bracken, White(he should be closely watched)

Meanwhile, the other surprise, Bangladesh being made to bat first in their first test against SL, are 130/2 in 30 overs!


  • I was at the Chelmsford pitch and he bowled beautifully. I think its a great confidence booster for him and should be looked into at both forms of the game closely. Many of the county teams have taken notice and don't be surprised if he's signed for next season as well. Bhajji is out of form and has been hanging on with past performances for too long. There is an auro of arrogance with him, which isn't good if you aren't taking wickets. Its time we dropped Bhajji so that he can go and work on his game. Bhajji's performance in the county circuit this season was very ordinary to say the least.

    I was looking at batting averages and Ganguly was averaging around 65. Not too bad! I think he is in good nick just with some bad luck coming his way.

    Anyways, well done karthik!

    By Blogger jgohil, at 04:05  

  • jgohil, was it the same pitch used for the Aus game? (just trying to compare this with McGill's performance)?

    And yes, bhajji has gone down in his ODI performance quite a lot(even after considering that he is used defensively to some extent). Time to give Karthik a longer run in that version atleast. And in tests, bhajji should be made aware of the competition. I still think he bowls well in tests, even last season wasn't too bad. his county stint was bad(but thats understandable to some extent, as most of the Indian regular players haven't done well in counties, maybe due to casualness in their approach). Not so sure about bhajji's attitude problem, as our media is totally unreliable in that aspect

    About Ganguly, as Prem said, no point discussing that man anymore. Lets just wait and see what happens. And in any case, my views are probably well known here ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 04:15  

  • I feel India is not fit for sporting culture, given its geographic conditions and the culture. We are neither strong as Africans nor fit as Whites. Our weather is hot and humid and we cannot practice any sport for too much time in this weather. We are not built strong to play physically demanding games like Football, Rugby, basket ball, etc. Our culture teaches how to be relaxed and cool and calm, not competetive or aggressive. I feel chess is the ideal game for our country. We should not waste money and time on sports and better divert those to some useful things.

    By Blogger kishor_cool, at 04:41  

  • kishor cool,
    using your logic we should simply sit at home and do nothing else. as far as sporting culture goes, games like polo, karate were invented(if thats the right word in this context) in india. archery and hockey used to be our strongpoints. games like kabaddi are in our culture. it is kinda ridiculous to suggest that we arent cut out to be sporty using race as your defining paramteter. as for our culture teaching us to be cool calm and non agressive, try getting a ticket for a hit movie or a cricket match and you will see how contrary to coool calm and non agressive our true feelings are. i am not disrespecting your views just staing my disagreement with them

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 05:21  

  • kishor_cool I think you just got owned by k-slice. :-)

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 07:01  

  • In general, ganguly is always in good form against ordinary bowling. His batting averages against Pak, Aus, SA and WI is around 30 or even lesser.

    Just like Ganguly fans celebrated his useless scores for Glmorgan, Kartik fans should celebrate his 10 wickets. At least Kartik helped his team to win and got the wickets of some good batsmen.

    By Blogger G285, at 07:55  

  • hi..good blog

    By Blogger Ravi, at 09:39  

  • Prem et. al,
    it might be better to break cricket into two tier system. The top 8 teams play for the championship in the "world group" a given year (much like davis cup in tennis). the bottom two teams get chucked out and two new teams which did in the second tier enter the "world group".
    this way the quality of cricket will be high as well as the motivation to keep performing well.

    By Blogger Ravi, at 09:43  

  • Rahul Dravid has called Murali Karthik the best spinner in the country on a couple of occasions. While he alone knows how much he believes that to be true, the fact is that whenever Karthik has played under Dravid he has bowled exceedingly well. It's good to see him do well, but let's keep in mind these are English batsmen we're talking about. They are about as technically adept at playing spin bowling as Devang Gandhi was at playing pace.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:15  

  • Another point to ponder - With the likes of Karthik and Saqlain playing in England's domestic circuit and coaches like Terry Jenner around, England's dark ages of spin may soon be over. I can't understand why Indian domestic sides don't bring in overseas players to help raise the level of their team, provide valuable guidance to their youngsters, and bring in the crowds. Imagine Mumbai bringing in a Brian Lara for a season (the prospect of watching Tendulkar and Lara play on the same side would fill Wankhede more often than not) or Hyderabad bringing in Brett Lee (their new ground has a bouncy pitch, but Hyd'bad has no fast bowlers of note to exploit it). Imagine the crowds flocking, the level of cricket going up and domestic cricket becoming a little more high-profile. With India's rising value in the world and huge endorsement opportunities that await international cricketers in India, it shouldn't be too hard to convince them to come spend a season or two here.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:36  

  • Alvin which conspiracy do you think is behind Karthik not being able to perform under Ganguly? Do you think it is because Ganguly is taking money from Bhajji to keep his place safe in the team?

    By Blogger Vick, at 14:04  

  • alvin, did you note a certain Mr Andy Flower in that lot? ;)...and anyways, bhajji had a county stint against same eng blokes....I dont remember him finishing any matches? I am not saying that bhajji is bad(he may be, or he was just not putting his whole in county games, and I wont blame him for that), but just putting things in perspective. Also, as you would have read in the post, he was bowling on the same ground where recently McGill and co went for 500 runs.

    And I also think that conspiracy theory is rubbish. firstly, as vick said, there is no 'reason' for ganguly to not play his best spinner(since bhajji does not have a vote in deciding captain)...and secondly...its not as if bhajji gets the first go all the time...heck ganguly even tried kumble many times above bhajji...and I think we all know ganguly is not a big fan of kumble (esp in ODIs). And whenever karthik has played under Ganguly....I have seen him get same sort of chances as bhajji (or any other spinner in his place) would be getting. Its not asif Ganguly gets karthik to operate in the worst scenarios

    By Blogger worma, at 15:13  

  • alvin, Eng's dark age in spin is over ? Well, we'll soon find out, they're coming to Pak and then Ind this winter. And meanwhile, Warne filled his bag with 40 wkts in the series....Jenner and Merlyn not withstanding :)

    By Blogger worma, at 15:14  

  • Jeez! C'mon guys, not everything I say is a conspiracy theory. I realize that's probably what people expect from me here, so I'll explicitly say "conspiracy theory" any time I offer one. Now I must be getting really good at being cryptic since worma interprets my post as being pro-Bhajji and Vick (Falcons fan?) interprets my comment as being ant-Bhajji. The funny part is I didn't even mention Bhajji!

    Anyways, here's the demystified version -

    Vick - I'm not saying Ganguly hates Karthik (it may be true, but I'm not saying it). I'm saying Dravid has a higher opinion of Karthik than Ganguly does. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion based on cricketing reasons without hating someone, aren't they? Ganguly probably reads the game differently from Dravid.

    Worma - Flower's wicket is very impressive indeed. In fact the whole performance was very impressive. I was just sounding a note of caution. As for Karthik v/s Bhajji, see what I say to Vick above. Also, I'm just pointing out an observation (that Karthik bowls better under Dravid than under Ganguly). I wasn't implying anything. Ganguly may have given equal chances to Karthik, but maybe he doesn't set the same kind of fields as Dravid does or doesn't have the kind of confidence from Ganguly as he does from Dravid (probably because Ganguly doesn't rate him the way Dravid does).

    Worma II - I said and I quote "England's dark ages of spin may soon be over". The point is they're moving in the right direction. What are we doing to make sure the fast bowling component of our game (bowling it and facing it) gets a lift?

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 17:18  

  • alvin, I did not take bhajji reference from you. All mention of bhajji was my own to put my own point. And ok, I took the conspiracy word from Vick's comment, my mistake. My point anyway was that I dont feel that Ganguly does anything different with karthik than Dravid, so if karthik has had a few good performances under Dravid, it can be due to lack of understanding of Karthik as a bowler(as you also said) or maybe plain co-incidence.

    And I was using the bhajji example here to the effect that Ganguly has tried to use his best spinner on the day (and there is some gut feeling, some net session watching etc involved in this too)..and sometimes that has turned out to be kumble ahead of bhajji, so be it.

    And yes, your point taken about being cautious. As I mentioned in the post itself, I know it doesnt count as much as international wickets (some of those interntional batsmen are also not as serious in these games, I can believe that, if told).

    About Englands's dark age of spin being over, well I frankly did not see ANY sign of that! I am sure if SL visits Eng today, Murali would get a truckload of wickets!!! I did not see any technical or mental advancement in the Eng batsmen as far as handling spin was concerned. Well, anyway, we will get to judge this soon, when they visit India (not sure about Pakistan, since their spin attack can often be indisciplined, or plain ineffective!...if they had any sense of urgency for this Eng tour, they would call up Mushtaq..who is still taking loads of wkt in county, and also is a brilliant leg spinner...and Eng batsmen may be psychologically wary of legspinners for some time:)

    Irrespective of what Eng is doing for their spin, and how successful it is, I still agree that we should do something for our fast bowling issues. I believe our current crop of batsmen are good in playing pace, and the younger lot do go to Aus on scholarships. I do believe that some of the younger lot like Yuv, Raina, Raidu etc seem to be good players of pace (as compared to spin). In bowling also we have the academies...how well we utilise them is another aspect. The entire lot of current SL pace bowlers, as Prem once pointed out, has bred in our pace academy.

    Anyways...would love to hear your take on our pace bowling woes..??

    By Blogger worma, at 18:20  

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