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Sight Screen

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Time for 'real' cricket - Ind-Zim: Open thread

Some news updates : LP Sahi, from his reliable sources, tells us that Yuvraj may get the nod ahead of Kaif. And that Balaji has an leg injury, may not play. Bhajji and Agarkar will fight it out for the place (meaning Kumble, Pathan, Khan are in starting lineup)

Match fixing related news, first reported in TOI (hence received with a pinch of salt) has turned out to be true indeed. Cricinfo and Rediff are the others having picked it up so far.

It mentions that below par performance of India and Nz resting key players in the league game are the main issues. IMO, either our entire last year was fixed, or we performed 'consistent' with our current form. Atleast it was similar to our performances in SL, with a bit of 'more' effort, not less. So, don't know where this is coming from. We'll soon find out.

Anyways.....open thread for the rest of the day...

431 Comments:

  • i hope for the sake of my sanity that this is merely a suspicion thahas no facts to back it up. if true i really will stop following the indian team. it makes no sense to watch a team play a game where theresult is already fixed.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 02:21  

  • k-slice...yeah I also hope so. But atleast my own gut feel is that this Indian team is not swimming in these murky waters. They may play bad cricket at times, but I don't feel they have such 'dealings'.

    By Blogger worma, at 02:35  

  • worma i hope you are right. but then again SRT has gone on record saying he doesnt know any Shobhan mehta yet has a picture with him(understandable) and got a big ass diamind necklace as a present from him at his own wedding. these players are finacially well off to say the least but one never knows when greed gets the better of a human being. another interesting point i noticed is that this entire fixing debate was opened up when that dance bar chick accused murli of accepting hawala payments. remember the $15000 found in attapatu's room? admittedly attapatu is rich to begin with and comes from one of sl's richest families but all he could do was deny it. i am really scared that these guys might actually find something and that really would be the end of cricket in india. well lets hope for the best but be prepared for the worst is the attitude im taking to this.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 02:48  

  • just so i dont get attacked i am not suggesting that SRT is involved in fixing. all i am pointing out is that he definitely knows bookies for some unknown rhyme or reason.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 02:49  

  • k-slice..dunnot about the SRT case details...did read abt it when it came out, but he said its a photo with a fan etc. Anyways, my personal opinion about SRT has always been that of his non-involvment. Remember...such intentional behaviour 'shows' on the screen...it never comes as a big surprise. The 'way' Azhar and Jadeja used to repeatedly get out in games...didn't we wll feel frustrated..didn't we feel how stupid of them to do it...etc etc. I personally never got that feeling with SRT, even when he played bad.

    And btw, about the whole bar girl thing, if I remember correctly, mid day was the first one to report it, and they also mentioned, in the same report, that the police said that from their info...there was money involved, girl involved...but the player(s) who met her and advised her to bet on SL loosing the game...they finally did not keep their promise...SL won the game(and she lost her customers money)? Right? Now, this can be a case of the players not being able to influence the game enough to make SL loose. Or it can also be a simple case betting, gambling...but no match fixing. And I personally don't give a damn about any cricketers 'social' life, as long they play the game right.

    I think the media should also make a strict distinction between betting/gambling and match-fixing. These are two very different issues, and I think our media, mostly deliberately, tends to mix them..for the obvious reason that the word match-fixing gets them more readership.

    By Blogger worma, at 03:05  

  • Worma,

    Agree with you MATCH FIXING is a term loosely used by Indian Media, the likes of TOI in particular.

    You are absolutely right when you say Betting / Gambling is totally different from actually indulging in Match Fixing.

    It is like a Professional from any walk of life wagers at the race courses does that make the person any less professional, unless that professional bets on a transaction that he is working on and then tries to FIX the result.

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 03:17  

  • worma
    agreed. but one one hand if the players even agreed to fix a match they should be canned and shipped to the moon. as far as betting goes i really think it shoul dbe legalized. i personally agree with you in that
    A. i dont give a fuck if people want to bet on games.
    b. similarly i couldnt care less what any player does when they are off the field as long as their performance onthe field isnt hindered by their actions off it.
    personally i beleive that a lot of players and former players got away scott free while azhar, jadeja and mongia became the fall guys. im not saying they dint fix matches. ofcourse they did. i remember in one match against pak a friend of mine called me from dubai and told me that azza would field horribly and get out for less that 10 runs. sure enough he dropped 3 and made 9 runs. i really feel kapil got away with his histrionics on bbc. ofcourse he got 400 wickets but having seen the man bet lacs on golf with him playing it isnt too far fetched to believe that he bet on cricket.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 03:20  

  • On SRT I can recall atleast 3 distinct occassions in the early 90's in Mumbai when he was still a kid and the way he was mobbed. It is very difficult for the likes of SRT / Dravid / Kumble who are essentially decent human beings to be rude to their fans. People just impose themselves on these guys and to get out in one piece from a mob some times they are forced to compromise into allowing pictures being taken with fans.

    I personally know people who are close to SRT, and these ppl are the kind who are not name droppers, they swear by the integrity of SRT at all times.

    The only criticism of SRT I have ever heard is his lack of understanding implications of ill adviced moves such as seeking duty exemptions etc, otherwise their is a huge amount of goodwill for SRT and his family and the good deeds that he does anonymously.

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 03:25  

  • k-slice..you seem to have some interesting stories! What's this one about Kapil betting in golf? Can you tell us something more? And how did your friend get to know this Azhar case? Was it that common knowledge during those times..even before the match?

    Yes I agree that there might have been other players also involved who got away scott free (but thats what happens in all such cases in soceity, there are a few high-profile scapegoats, setting example and fear in the community, for others to mend ways). Also, there is(and always was) a bias in the ICC against the subcontinent. Cronje got implicated only because the Indian administrators got proof against him, and since it was a legal issue, it couldn't be suppressed.

    But I dont agree that if the players mention about throwing a match to a bar-girl, they should be called 'match fixers'! We dont know in what context, and for what reasons they may be doing this. Let that also be part of the non-cricketing social life we dont want to touch. Ofcourse there can be checks and balances built in players contracts to make them behave a bit more responsibly in their social life also, making them aware that these are paranoid times. You dont mention match-fixing in public...like you dont mention 'bomb' on an airplane ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 03:32  

  • bedoon_esam: thanks for sharing that insight about SRT...just goes to strenghten my conviction(if that was possible) about SRT's integrity. But anyways..as I said..I have seen his game, more closely than any other cricketers...and even have felt disappointed with it at times...but never felt any part of it being 'inexplicable' or questionable in terms of commitment

    By Blogger worma, at 03:36  

  • Taibu has won the toss and elected to bat first

    By Blogger worma, at 03:41  

  • any clue who is in the india team

    By Blogger Avinash, at 03:45  

  • Wonder where Sahi is coming from. Rediff says Zaheer is injured and that Balaji is a sure starter.

    By Blogger vshan, at 03:46  

  • There is nothing in these stories to provide more than vague hints about suspicions. The only concrete thing mentioned is the resting of Bond and Vettori, which hardly seems suspicious given that the match was meaningless (some would say all the matches in these kinds of tri-series are meaningless, but this was really was).

    By Blogger sunki, at 03:47  

  • The match fixing story is actually hilarious. I wonder which crazy guy would pay the Indian cricketers to lose?

    It could however be the other way around - maybe someone paid the NZ cricketers to lose to India! ;-)

    By Blogger vshan, at 03:48  

  • Yuvi and Zaheer playing. Sahi is once again on the money. :)

    By Blogger Jai, at 03:54  

  • vshan, that was my first reaction too LOL :)...but seriously, as sunki said, hardly anything concrete there. I wont be surprised if this whole thing fizzles out.

    and where on rediff did u read about Zaheer? This story on rediff also mentions Balaji's injury

    By Blogger worma, at 03:55  

  • jai who are the other bowlers

    By Blogger Avinash, at 03:55  

  • Good morning, guys..

    I think it would make sense to play Kaif. He showed great form in Zimbabwe and didnt do all that bad against Aus last year.

    By Blogger Raju, at 03:56  

  • worma,
    the azza tip was given to my friend by a bookie who used to perate out of some hotel in dubai.
    the kapil scene was at the US club golf course in bombay when he was playing with some industrialist and when they came to the club house they were figuring out who owed who what. my friend and i were sitting close by and almost shat a brick when we heard the amounts.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 03:56  

  • jai u watching? bhajji or agarkar?

    By Blogger worma, at 03:56  

  • k-slice..umm...nice juicy bits those..thanks ;)

    By Blogger worma, at 03:58  

  • 2 spinners... and Yuvi is in..

    By Blogger Raju, at 04:00  

  • worma
    any predictions on the zim score for today?

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 04:00  

  • surprised with selection of two spinners.. are both Nehra and Balaji injured??

    By Blogger Raju, at 04:01  

  • well...this is Bulawayo..not as helpful for bowling I think? And ain't gonna turn on day 1. Dunno how are the conditions though, am not watching.
    But still, if Pathan is fit, I feel they should not get more than 200-250

    By Blogger worma, at 04:02  

  • I think we are in for a long haul here unless ZK and IP can make early inroads. Am not a great fan of 2 spinner theory if we are going to play just 2 seamers. I had much rather play 3 seamers and 2 spinners and drop a batsmen (yuvi). Also ganguly may not be able to bowl much because he has a sore right elbow, so not sure if we got the team composition right. But I suspect IP will get a few upfront

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:02  

  • avinash, in Bulawayo I think its a good choice to play two spinners..aint much help for swing(that means Agarkar's not going to work).

    By Blogger worma, at 04:03  

  • Didnt see the pitch report, but not green at all.. that probably would have tempted SG to go in with 2 spinners. Sunny dry and windless day.. if at all the pitch will do something, it has to be for the first 30-40 mins..

    By Blogger Raju, at 04:05  

  • ZK starts with a new ball.. *SIGH*.. Old habits never die...

    By Blogger Raju, at 04:07  

  • Yes, I am watching. But since Zim is batting, I think I'll catch some sleep now. India is playing two spinners along with Pathan and Zaheer. Interesting to see Kaarthik sporting long hair....a la Dhoni. :)

    By Blogger Jai, at 04:14  

  • GP,
    Nehra is back in desh and Balaji is injured. Agarkar is always a risk. If the pitch is not all that lively, I think it's better to go with two spinners. Hopefully against Zim in a test match, Bhajji will find some rhythm. Shastri and the rest also supported the two spinners theory. So doesn't seem like a bad idea. Not sure about the early inroads because the pitch is a batting beauty.

    By Blogger Jai, at 04:18  

  • Worma never been a big fan of including AA in the tests as the 4th specialist bowler he is too wayward/ Until he improves on his basic line and length he cannot play as a specialist 4th bowler. If India choose to play 5 bowler then yes. But what on earth has happened to balaji? How can he get injured after 25 pathetic overs in a practice match? He has played just on ODI this season and he is injured, it is truly shocking

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:18  

  • avinash...if McG can get injured on the morning of a game by stepping on the ball...then whats wrong with Balaji getting injured...IMO no complaints as long as he did not carry the injury from here..its a physical sport...these things happen

    By Blogger worma, at 04:21  

  • Jai if we want to blood IP as an all rounder on the test level we can’t keep batting him at no. 8? And against whom do we plan to play him at no. 7, England or Australia.? This was the perfect series to play 5 bowlers, it is a weak opposition and SRT is missing. Plus if you are right then on a good batting strip why do we need an additional batsmen, wouldn’t 5 batsmen+ 1 WK+ a couple of guys who can bat like IP and AA be sufficient.

    The point is we have always had problems getting 20 wickets abroad when it does not turn a lot from day 1 and we have only one bowler who would figure in a world top 15 or 20 list so I feel we should regularly play 5 bowlers and the big boys VS, RD, VVS, SG, SRT must share the burden. One of the big four must try and open the innings. Else if SG continues to fail drop him and get in a proper specialist opener.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:24  

  • Yuvraj Singh's recent test career:

    14/10/2004 Aus Chennai 8 7*
    06/10/2004 Aus Bangalore 5 27
    13/04/2004 Pak Rawalpindi 47 DNB
    05/04/2004 Pak Lahore 112 12
    28/03/2004 Pak Multan 59 DNB

    Mohammad Kaif's recent Test career:
    03/11/2004 Aus Mumbai 2 25
    26/10/2004 Aus Nagpur 55 7
    14/10/2004 Aus Chennai 64 DNB

    Hmmm, MK plays the more recent Test's and does better against the (then) #1 team in the world. Also, he has struck a rich vein of form and is a better Test prospect (technique-wise), but still is left out for YS. Can someone enlighten me on this one?

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:26  

  • And just to stir things up :-) (sorry, worma, no malice intended!)

    Here is another set of numbers:
    24/03/2005 Pak Bangalore 1 2
    16/03/2005 Pak Kolkata 12 12
    08/03/2005 Pak Mohali 21 DNB
    17/12/2004 Ban Chittagong 88 DNB
    10/12/2004 Ban Dhaka 71 DNB
    28/11/2004 SA Kolkata 40 DNB
    20/11/2004 SA Kanpur 57 DNB
    14/10/2004 Aus Chennai 9 DNB
    06/10/2004 Aus Bangalore 45 5
    13/04/2004 Pak Rawalpindi 77 DNB
    02/01/2004 Aus Sydney 16 DNB

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:31  

  • jaunty ..I think one reason is that when Yuv was made to open, he was clearly told my team management that it wont count against his midddle order prospect (so that we dont end up with a VVS like case). I remember reading this from Ganguly/team-management at that time. So remove his opener innings and you see he is equally good(if not better) than kaif at that position. Also, he was the one given first chance, so he has the first claim on it.

    It was already injustice to him in the Aus series that when he 'supposedly' failed in the Chennai test, and in the next game they decided to get a regular opener, the middle order slot went to kaif...despite yuv being a success at that place....but still that was understandable to some extent, given Kaif's form...and that he had played aussie well at that time

    By Blogger worma, at 04:32  

  • jaunty..those numbers do not look bad at all...except for the bad Pak home series...sure they are not 'top class'...but still...

    whose are they ? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 04:34  

  • Harsha just mentioned that he watched Zaheer bowl in the nets yesterday, and ALL his deliveries were no-balls.

    Maddening, just maddening. You'd think a new coach would have straightened something as simple out.

    As Big Aristotle once paraphrase, "You are what you repeatedly do".

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:35  

  • Jaunty,

    as GP said, old habits never die.

    By Blogger Ananth, at 04:36  

  • Worma,

    I am bit surprised that IP cant get a breakthrough. How about his line and length ?

    By Blogger Ananth, at 04:37  

  • worma,
    Okay, I'll buy that reasoning for YS over MK. I had forgotten that YS was the "scapegoat" opener even in the Aussie series when SC came back but they could not afford to drop a guy who had just scored a century in the previous series against Pakistan. Cool.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:38  

  • ananth, not watching mate. But cricinfo does seem to suggest he's not getting the line correct. those watching here can elaborate more...

    By Blogger worma, at 04:38  

  • IP FINALLY gets a ball in the right spot. That was the Irfan of yesteryears (sad to be saying that about a boy barely in his 20's)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:39  

  • Worma MG is 35 a world class bowler and he had a freak freak injury. LB says his leg is “sore” leg that doesn’t typically indicate that he had a freak injury. That means his body is either worn out by excessive bowling or he is not fit. In any case not a very big fan of LB, the guy has to 1st decide what is his bowling action

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:40  

  • Oh...I am watching. Okay, here goes.

    Irfan is routinely swinging the ball (inswinger for a right-hander). However, the ball is shorter in length (i.e. climbs over the stumps when it passes) and therefore the batsmen are able to watch it away.

    Even as I type this, Sunny makes the same comment!!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:41  

  • jaunty..thanks for buying the argument ;)..but he didn't open because Ganguly came back. He opened because team management decided to do away with Chopra, and wanted a more positive opener. Ganguly was safe and secure in the test squad at this time. There was not even a slight hint of doubt over his position. Then, the team management asked Yuv to open, with the afore-mentioned promise...and he agreed.

    btw, I dont think Yuv has failed as an opener...he 'may' fail...but I feel its wrong when people say he's failed (Prem is one of them:) )

    By Blogger worma, at 04:41  

  • worma, YS originally came in because he had just scored a century, SC was coming into the team, and they did not want to drop him. AC's repeated failures to do more than see the shine off the ball provided the perfect opportunity to drop him and instate YS in the spot. Then when the Aussies toured they just continued with the same lineup but after Tendulkar and then things begin to get murky with people coming in (SRT, MK) and people leaving (YS).

    Taylor gone!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:45  

  • avinash...I don't know what is the problem with LB, and I couldnt make it out from our media reports (and he didn't 'say' anything, its what the media 'said'). I blame our media for not asking the right questions, and not reporting it in a clear manner, as compared to the Eng/Aus media about the McGrath thing. You may be right, he may be carrying an injury, all I say is lets be clear on it first.

    And I dont think this issue has got anything to do with how great or old a bowler is.

    By Blogger worma, at 04:45  

  • Nice sharp catch at short-leg by GG.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:45  

  • worma, I second that opinion about LB and injuries.

    Paraphrasing Sherlock Holmes, "It is unwise to formulate theories without obtaining all the facts"

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:47  

  • jaunty...the whole thing is..during this YS, AC and the opener affair..there was no question being raised about SG's place in the team. And no-one was suggesting, except SG himself, that it would be wrong to bench a guy who's just scored a century. SG may be batting pathetically right now, but please remember what he did and didn't say/do, and also where credit is due.

    By Blogger worma, at 04:49  

  • Older the bowler more prone to injury, greater the bowler more the team would accommodate him getting injured regularly. Plus to prove his greatness he must have got bucketful of wickets for the country in the past which would have taken a toll on his body, thus contributing to a fragile body making it more prone to injury ( take Jason Gillespie’s case a 30 year old with a body of a 36 year old). It is a lit like injured in the line of fire kind of a theory

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:50  

  • Zaheer is all over the place (a la Shabbir Ahmed) but when he gets it in the spot the batsmen have been a little lost.

    IP has been more predictable with his swing. BTW, whatever happened to the ball that goes straight through across the right-hander?

    I like his new haircut, though!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:50  

  • This guy HM can score very quickly is quite a talented. Stroke maker, sud be careful of him and must try and get him early. Early on he is quite vulnerable to the swinging ball

    By Blogger Avinash, at 04:51  

  • worma, my whole point was not to stir up an SC debate. Far from it; I was only interested in the YS-MK angle. (The scores for SC was entirely in jest!). In Pakistan, SC deserved to come back in the side at the expense of YS and it should have been left at that. There was no need to replace AC with a non-opener, thats all.

    I personally have never been a fan of makeshift openers (Though Hayden, Langer and Sehwag have made a career out of it).

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:54  

  • Avinash, even as you say it, HM hits a lovely off-drive.

    (BTW, apart from Kapil Dev I cannot recall a single batsman who did not appear to be a nervous starter! :-)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:57  

  • And another one - this time a flick-drive to midwicket by HM.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 04:57  

  • Oooooh..IP nearly yorks HM! Beauty. IP is beginning to pitch it up now. Good.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:00  

  • Am I talking to myself? Hmmmm.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:00  

  • Beautiful cover drive by HM. Avinash, this is ominous!!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:01  

  • HM was the youngest batsman ever to score a century on his Test debut, at 17 years and 254 days. (since surpassed by Ashraful). And then he took a 3 year break to puruse his education. Smart move.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:03  

  • India over rate: 13 overs per hour. If SG gets into trouble, he should order the DVD of the Ashes and play it to the adjucator and ask for a level playing field when it comes to fines and punishments.

    (Not that ANYTHING of the sor thas happened. Just fancifully looking ahead).

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:05  

  • Jaunty me listening rather reading, smart move indeed by HM. One more guy who is really a great starter is steve tikolo from Kenya, he can smash a cover drive on the up 1st ball. The worst starter I have seen is ijaz ahmed

    By Blogger Avinash, at 05:07  

  • Jaunty,

    But with 2 spinners he should be able to makeup the over rate

    By Blogger Ananth, at 05:08  

  • Overseas Test match cricket is back on all India Radio.At least AIR has been able to understand our strength.and by the way Five live was at the oval,as was the TMS.

    By Blogger Nearly Man, at 05:08  

  • Avinash, oh, I know. I'm not worried on that front. Unlike Shane Warne, our spinners do not need 400 years per over.

    HM gone...pulled out of a pull shot (pun intended) and gloves it through to the keeper. ZK makes merry!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:10  

  • May sound cleched, but the drop in pace of Zaheer and Pathan is quite alarming. I dont think either of them have bowled at 135k's so far and in conditions where the ball does not swing or seam they are going to be taken to the cleaners.We all know that Zaheer used to bowl quick at the start of his career and even Pathan i remember in that debut series against Australia was clocked at 88 miles. Just wonder what is wrong with this pace aspect now and what the reason is for the drop in pace.

    By Blogger Harsha, at 05:10  

  • Good morning everyone!

    Just as I was about to predict a first innings total of 300 plus for Zimbabwe (and trouble for India), the second wkt falls.

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:11  

  • Good morning (very early morning) sujata.

    harsha, I wonder whether the repeated injuries have caused them to slow down (not that it appears to have helped with the side straisn or the groin pulls).

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:12  

  • Harsha, the lack of speed may be dur to injuries and the bowlers trying to avoid more such injuries/burnouts

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:13  

  • HI Jaunty, very early yes!

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:14  

  • Due to an inability to subtract properly from GMT I assumed the game was starting at 2am and have been up since then. Feeling sleepy now!! :-)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:15  

  • sujata,

    what is your prediction now after the fall of 2nd wkt ?

    By Blogger Ananth, at 05:16  

  • This Indian attack has two of india's best all time bowlers.Both Kumble and Harbhajan have more than four wickets per test.

    By Blogger Nearly Man, at 05:17  

  • Aleem Dar is a notoriuos not-outer (ask Shane Warne) and he shows it here again.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:17  

  • Thanks Sujatha. But looking at speeds like that makes our bowling attack really look very ordinary esp in conditions that dont help you. We need a bit more zing and a bit more steam from somewhere. VRV Singh could be the answer - this bloke is known to bowl at about 145k. I know pace isnt everything and does not guarantee success but looking at Pathan and Zaheer, cant help but feel that we can do with some sting. Wonder what has happened to Munaf Patel after all the hype a few seasons back.

    By Blogger Harsha, at 05:18  

  • worma / jaunty:

    This is an extract from Rediff:

    Parthiv likely to open

    Faisal Shariff in Rawalpindi | April 13, 2004 12:09 IST
    Last Updated: April 13, 2004 17:06 IST

    Parthiv Patel is all set to open India's first innings in the third Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi.

    According to a source, India skipper Sourav Ganguly wanted Rahul Dravid to open with Virender Sehwag but then decided to ask Patel. If Patel fails he will ask Yuvraj Singh to open in the second innings.

    At a press conference on Monday morning Ganguly said either Yuvraj or he would open the innings. He announced the exclusion of Akash Chopra from the playing eleven and said he would still continue to be in the scheme of things for India's Test team.

    The decision to fall back on Parthiv is to ensure that India bats deep.


    And this one from Match Report of 1st day of 3rd Test:

    Morning session

    India made two changes from the side that lost the second Test, dropping opener Akash Chopra to accommodate Sourav Ganguly, who missed the first two Tests due to a back injury, sustained in last month's fifth One-Day International,


    These 2 extracts clearly show that the only reason to drop Akash Chopra was to bring back Ganguly in the team. SG was not looking for a better opener. As he himself said that he thought of himself, RD and Parthiv as possible openers but the sent YS to open.

    The reason given for dropping AC was that how can we keep YS out of team when he scored a 100. What brings suspicion to mind is that why was YS asked to open?? I could not find any article in Rediff archive that said that YS was promised that his position in team would be safe irrespective of how he performed as an opener. So I don't believe that SG wanted to replace AC with a more positive opener. You don't change openers while a test series is in progress. You do that before or after the series. The only reason I can think, of sending YS to open, is that middle order was getting crowded because of YS scoring a 100.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:18  

  • Well, looks like the elbow is not that big a concern - Ganguly is bowling. And immediately the statuesque Duffin tries to force a ball on the off-side. Ah, a drop from the express pace of IP to the trundling SG has really boosted Duffin's confidence! :-)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:21  

  • I can't believe Yuvraj was selected aheead of Kaif

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 05:21  

  • Jaunty, lol, i don't know why cricinfo can't do us the favor and mention timings from USA to Japan.

    Ananth, hard to say, maybe 250 max. The spinners will be hard to handle for the Zim batsmen.

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:22  

  • ruchir, thanks. But in the end it is all moot. Speculating about people's intentions 2 years after the event will only stir a hornets nest. No matter what we think - the selectors and the think tank operate on their own accord. All we can do is sit here and pluck the few remaining hairs from our heads!

    Ganguly bowled a good over. Nice line and length. Too bad he lacks the speed to worry them.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:23  

  • true, jaunty.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:25  

  • What was that from Ganguly???!!:-)

    By Blogger Harsha, at 05:25  

  • sujata, what got me was the "army" time. When I checked on cricinfo last night the GMT time was 20:00. I subtracted incorrectly and made an adjustment for 8:00 am GMT and .....

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:26  

  • what the f**k did SG do? He casually watched the ball go past him for 4 at mid on without even moving!!!

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:26  

  • Bounce for Kumble! Oooh...I suspect it is a matter of time before he adds to his tally.

    harsha, no kidding! Every ball by SG was in the mid-just outside off stump corridor.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:27  

  • Harsha, exactly, while speed is not everything, one of the things a fast bowler is supposed to do is bowl fast! aT least once or twice in an over. Yeah, just where IS Munaf? He was hyped up and not given a single chance in the international arena??

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:28  

  • ruchir, do you think he had a flashback to the ODI in Pakistan where he injured himself while going for a similar ball? Still does not excuse the act, though.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:29  

  • SG is really leading from the front, now Zaheer has decided to copy the captain and let one go for 4

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:30  

  • I really suggest that GC start implementing fines or punishments over aviodable misfieldings in the field. Best would be to drop a player for a match after 2-3 warnings and making it public that he has been dropped as a punishment for repeated failures in field.

    Our cricketer dread public humiliation.

    As I was typing, Zaheer lets ball go thru his legs for 4 at boundary off Bhajji. Another example of why we need draconian punishments to improve our fielding standards.....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:30  

  • This is sad...Zaheer misfields..what is he doing on the field anyway? Shouldn't he be taking a "bathroom break" while Kaif is on the field, a la Harmison? :-)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:30  

  • I predict that Kumble will get Duffin, whenever he bowls to him.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:31  

  • jaunty:

    There can be 2 reasons for Ganguly to do that (mis)field.

    1. He is plain lazy and does not want to move.

    2. He knows that he maay be playing his last series so he does not care what he does. He is going to retire anyway.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:32  

  • The fitness of SG seems to be going from bad to worse. This guy is in no position to play international cricket anymore and its really sad to see no one really ready to crack the whip on the senior players when it comes to fitness. John Wright was pretty laidback when it came to the seniors in the team and looks like GC is following suit. SG im sorry, but the time has come to either improve now or bow out.

    By Blogger Harsha, at 05:34  

  • Indian fielding does not inspire any confidence. We have 4 really bad fielders, SG, AN, VVS, AK The rest are moody if they put in full efforts they are ok. Only MK, YS and AA can be categorized as good fielders

    By Blogger Avinash, at 05:34  

  • ok..me back..and looks like we pulled out the spin rabbit as quick as Ponting :) Is that the order for rest of the day??..

    By Blogger worma, at 05:35  

  • ruchir, lol.

    More seriously, looking at the Indians, they seem to be in the frame of mind that it is a matter of time before Zimbabwe pads their stats. The energy level seems quite low.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:35  

  • worma, the 2 "fast" bowlers have had their spell. SG had no option but to bring on his other two bowlers - they happened to be spinners.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:37  

  • Zaheer, Nehra, Ganguly, Kumble are known bad fielders. VVS and Sehwag drop catches regularly. Dhoni is indifferent behind wkts. Of late, RD has also gone down in fielding standards.

    I wonder, what exactly is being done to improve these guys? They are the same that they were 2 years ago. Why are they not getting an ultimatum that unless they improve their fielding, their selection will remain suspect.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:37  

  • Though at the rate at which IP and ZK are losing pace, soon Kumble may be India's soliary pace bowler.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:38  

  • ruchir, thats just it - do you think they FEAR that ultimatum, if they know it is not likely to be enforced?

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:38  

  • yeah but what about Ganguly....I thought he bowled pretty tight?

    By Blogger worma, at 05:39  

  • ruchir VVS is a very very good slip fielder

    By Blogger worma, at 05:39  

  • worma
    even with you around(and i am sure you will come out all guns blazing in his defence!) Sg is playing his last series as captain and insha allah as a player as well. for fucks sake this guy has gone so far down the tube that the only way out is to quit and stop taking up space.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 05:40  

  • Mohd Rafiq takes a five-for against SL...this guy is good!

    By Blogger worma, at 05:40  

  • k-slice...peace...non-violence..no guns blazing ;)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:41  

  • I agree about GC seeming to be too lax - either that or Indian politics have made him helpless too.

    Body language of the players is not encouraging. Unless a bunch of wickets fall in a clump these guys just give up. Or Maybe their minds are on the ICC anti corruption unit poking around in Delhi -

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:41  

  • worma:

    I remember VVS dropping 4 catches in slips in one test against either AUS or PAK. My point is that fielding of these guys is going down slowly but surely.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:41  

  • worma, SG's speed was no threat at all. Duffin started moving his feet and forcefully pushing the ball around (though not for runs). And since he was not getting too much swing, he went straightaway to his spinners.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:42  

  • sujata as someone pointed out earlier i think its some folks in christchurch who are worried about the anti corruption guys in delhi. i am going into complete denial that any of our cricketers are involved. you can thank worma for that!

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 05:43  

  • sujata...any updates on that investigation? Any specific matches of India in mind for them? I mean, we just lost 2 games to Nz, and both for obvious reasons...didnt look like fixing?

    By Blogger worma, at 05:43  

  • jaunty:

    When I say use ultimatum, I of course mean to implement it too. :-)

    Without the fear of punishment being implemented, our fielding will only get worse...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 05:43  

  • ruchir..ok agreed he may have had a bad game..(although dont seem to rem watching, but then I missed a few of those games). But I dont think his general level of slip catching has gone down. he has teh natural technique...not sure if that would 'go'

    By Blogger worma, at 05:45  

  • k-slice, even if our cricketers aren't involved I bet they're still sweating, wondering what will turn up.

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:45  

  • k-slice..my 'denial' was based on reasoning...based on what we saw on the screen...but I'm open to suggestions, with reasons, of wrong-doings :)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:46  

  • VVS is great in slips but very inconsistent. Remember India vs aus final in the .the ind-aus-NZ triangular played in india. In the final this guy dropped 5-6 catches and took a stunner. Why didn’t we sub him that day and kept hi in catching positions is a mystery to me. Problem is you cannot be a great slip fielder and nothing else anymore especially in ODI’s/ in tests it is ok, bcoz u will always have a slip, atleast 80-90 % of the times.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 05:46  

  • yes avinash, in ODIs you cant hide behind slip catching

    By Blogger worma, at 05:48  

  • Before we get a bit too far with this train of thought:

    My impression was that there was a suggestion of impropriety about the ODI matches in Zimbabwe because there was a lot of betting going on which, unless I am mistaken and things have changed in the 12 years I have been gone, is illegal in India. In England where betting on the game is legal, (betfair even sponsored the coverage on the net, I believe, and cricinfo endorses them), the stigma of "match-fixing" is not rearing its head.

    What I am trying to say in a convoluted way is this: Betting on a game (illegally) and match fixing are two different beasts. I wonder if the media is confusing the two issues here...just curious since all the information I have is 4th or 5th hand, anyway!!

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:48  

  • dwhy woudl they sweat then? unless you mean that this might lead to some other skeleton coming out of the closet. but i doubt that would happen given that the enquiry is specific to the tri series.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 05:49  

  • jaunty, exactly my thoughts on this affair, right at the beginning of this thread

    By Blogger worma, at 05:49  

  • worma, I know, I was just reitrating it..:-)

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:51  

  • Worma, as you mentioned earlier India has lost everything in the past one year, so hard to tell which match was fixed...haha

    I can think of so many matches that went the other way, like when Pakistan visited and we lost the tests, unbelievable. But who in this team would take money to throw a match? SG, RD, VS, VVS..they have money already, and they play for pride, I could have sworn.

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:51  

  • If zim bat sensibly I think they can reach 400 this innings, they bat deep and they have a few interesting players to follow in TT,HS, AB,CC and KD. This guy KD got a 60 in the tour game and even Ewing can bat reasonably, so they may not have great batsmen but they bat deep and if everyone to follow and the guys on the crease contribute and one or two make a big one then 400 is possible

    By Blogger Avinash, at 05:52  

  • Why does Harbhajan not like to bowl round the wicket to a leftie?

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:52  

  • sujata, exactly...I dont believe anyone in this team would throw a game(yours might be based on more insight). And even the close matches which went the other way, we could 'see' the reasons on the screen. And if these guys were acting, then I do think some of them deserve a national award(well...atleast more than Saif anyway;)

    By Blogger worma, at 05:54  

  • yes avinash, if Zim gets 400 they India will be pshcyhed and if Streak gets a couple of wickeks early. thats it.

    By Blogger Ananth, at 05:55  

  • Jaunty, I dont; think it's betting these officials are investigating, it's proper match fixing with money taken to throw matches. There must have been some smoke somewhere.

    What I found funny was Mahendra denying he had any knowledge of these officials being in town. And nary a peep about the so called Player Review he was supposed to instigate. I feel Indian cricket is due for another overhaul and maybe a scandal might fix it like it did the last time!

    By Blogger Sujata, at 05:56  

  • 5 minutes to lunch...*yawn* Time to sleep and hope that while I sleep the bowlers awaken.

    sujata, yes it appears that the Augean stables need to be cleaned again.

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:58  

  • sujata, but overhaul in the administrative terms..right? because atleast the players, in their playing intentions, seem to be on the right track.

    And about that player review..did you read Rajaraman article from outlook? If that is true, then this review was a regular formality planned long in advance, isnt it? And maybe Mahendra got some heat from higher up on speaking out too much ? Maybe even GC wouldn't have been happy that his report to Mahendra(I assume confidential) was mentioned...

    By Blogger worma, at 05:59  

  • Bhaji, where is the teesra ?

    By Blogger Ananth, at 05:59  

  • sujata, then that raises the point. If NZ players are the ones implicated (as one of the previous posts suggests) what are the corruption cops doing in Delhi?

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 05:59  

  • Worma, on the other hand I don't wear rose tinted glasses, not after Hansie Cronje. Could you have ever guessed Azhar had such great acting skills?

    By Blogger Sujata, at 06:00  

  • sujata, I left India in '93, and since cricket on the Internet was not where it is today I missed the whole match fixing fiasco. By the time I got back in full touch (visual and audio) the current team was in place. I still carry an autograph of Azhar's in my wallet and remember him being so humble and respectful about giving the autograph that I still hope against hope that the allegations are false, since he seemed beyond reproach. :-(

    By Blogger Jaunty Quicksand, at 06:03  

  • Worma, you really think the BCCI will clean up its act unless pushed?

    Jaunty, it's always the Delhi police who has the clues and tips, it seems.

    And the spinners are ineffective too. The appealing has been quite timid too - where's the old belligerant SG?

    By Blogger Sujata, at 06:04  

  • sujata, agreed...its foolish to just ignore the whole thing. But I still like to think that these are compartively better times. Unlike Azhar's days when all activity, including what the captain thought and planned and did, was behind the scenes. Where we only got, by way of explanation, 'boys played well' and 'boys played badly'. We were left guessing their intentions in ALL their actions, even the good ones. Here atleast the entire team openly speaks out on what they did, when and why.

    And then to think GC came all this way for this...seems a bit unlikely. And I wudn't think such things are possible without the coach's awareness (if not compliance).

    By Blogger worma, at 06:05  

  • Yeah.. Azhar and his acting skills.. - special lessons from Bijlani I guess (she wasn't getting much work on her own)...
    BTW, Dinesh Karthik seems to be trying really hard to do better than what Dhoni did in the one-dayers - for starters, he has stopped getting hair-cuts.

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 06:05  

  • No Sujata, I dont think the BCCI will clean up its act....even after considerable push. But atleast the players seem to be playing a straight game. Small mercies...

    By Blogger worma, at 06:06  

  • Worma, these guys are inept, not corrupt, you're right. Although I think they're corrupted morally with all that adulation.

    By Blogger Sujata, at 06:10  

  • sujata LOL :)...I think we can live with that. Its a world-wide phenomenon in their breed.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:12  

  • ya guys watching the English players on the open top bus? Am suddenly getting the feed for that from nowhere.. Pretty good images.. Everyone getting on board along with their families. The women cricketers who won the Ashes are also on board. Kevin P walked in without a partner, but a huge beer pitcher in hand..

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 06:14  

  • As I have harped since morning, we should have played 5 bowlers in this series. If a zim batting line up can trouble us like this then imagine how do we plan to tackle aussies or eng on their home soil with a 2+2 attack? Unless we bat first and score 400 plus we can say good bye to these games, it would either be a loss or a draw. Surely we can’t afford that. Even in headingly where we played 2+2 remember we had bangar who vitally added to the balance of the side, especially in English conditions. And how do we plan to tackle SL at home, make turning tracks for murali and herath and chandana or seaming pitches for vass, zoysa, Fernando and malinga?

    I think we are better off making good cricket pitches that take turn from end of day 4 and have something in it for the quicks with good bounce and encourage stroke play. I think we will have to play 5 bowlers then to win else we can forget the series. Bcoz apart from vass their rest of the quicks are quite inexperienced and their batsmen will struggle against good fast bowling. That is true with our boys too but I would rather back our so called great 5 to come good, surely if these boys are so good as we think they are man to man they are better. I mean VS and Sanath are equal, between Attapattu and RD , RD wins, between SRT and Jayawardena SRT wins hands down, between SG and Sangakarra I would take sangakarra and between VVS and samarweera it has to be VVS. Even if you look at it as dilshan versus our keeper and Dilshan wins it is still be 3-2 for us with VS and jayasuriya in a tie. That is were our (perceived_ strength lies so I would make good wickets assisting quicks and play 5 bowlers and expect these big 5 to deliver.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 06:26  

  • As I have harped since morning, we should have played 5 bowlers in this series. If a zim batting line up can trouble us like this then imagine how do we plan to tackle aussies or eng on their home soil with a 2+2 attack? Unless we bat first and score 400 plus we can say good bye to these games, it would either be a loss or a draw. Surely we can’t afford that. Even in headingly where we played 2+2 remember we had bangar who vitally added to the balance of the side, especially in English conditions. And how do we plan to tackle SL at home, make turning tracks for murali and herath and chandana or seaming pitches for vass, zoysa, Fernando and malinga?

    I think we are better off making good cricket pitches that take turn from end of day 4 and have something in it for the quicks with good bounce and encourage stroke play. I think we will have to play 5 bowlers then to win else we can forget the series. Bcoz apart from vass their rest of the quicks are quite inexperienced and their batsmen will struggle against good fast bowling. That is true with our boys too but I would rather back our so called great 5 to come good, surely if these boys are so good as we think they are man to man they are better. I mean VS and Sanath are equal, between Attapattu and RD , RD wins, between SRT and Jayawardena SRT wins hands down, between SG and Sangakarra I would take sangakarra and between VVS and samarweera it has to be VVS. Even if you look at it as dilshan versus our keeper and Dilshan wins it is still be 3-2 for us with VS and jayasuriya in a tie. That is were our (perceived_ strength lies so I would make good wickets assisting quicks and play 5 bowlers and expect these big 5 to deliver.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 06:26  

  • avinash, lets wait and watch how this game goes. Weak sides like Zim, Bdesh etc have the habit of toppling in bulk...so a 66/2 can potentially be 110/6 or some such, in quick time.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:31  

  • Woww..YS made it into XI, with little help from his buddy SG. MK must be a disappointed guy. After recent MK bating perf., everyone expected him to be in Test team.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:33  

  • vishnupavan where can i access it? is it a paid service?

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 06:39  

  • k-slice.. am watching the Ind-Zim match on sportingstreams.. They showed the open-top bus this during the lunch break..

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 06:48  

  • right on vishnupawan. thanks a lot.

    By Blogger K-Slice, at 06:50  

  • Cannot believe how toothless Indian bowling is. We are unable to dislodge the Zim batsmen!!!

    I am off. I cannot tolerate this torture anymore.

    By Blogger vshan, at 06:56  

  • My prediction ::

    Zimbabwe 285 all out,
    India 180/6 ...karthik and laxman to save India from then on...

    Remember... u heard it first here... :)

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 07:03  

  • Is there a reason why Ganguly does not like to bowl Bhajji and Kumble together?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 07:05  

  • I think we should ask LP Sahi

    By Blogger Toney, at 07:07  

  • toney:

    ha ha ha...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 07:09  

  • ruchir, he brought them together in the first spell...through to lunch. Do you want them to bowl in tandem all the time? And the pacers in tandem, by default, then?

    By Blogger worma, at 07:10  

  • I think SG shud be bowling Viru now... Anywayz he is in better bowling form than Bhajji...

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 07:13  

  • So much for our current spin greats!

    Warne, on 1st day English pitches consistently broke through within first 5 overs he bowled. And that against a lineup of Strauss, Trescothik and Vaughn.

    Bhajji and Kumble are bowling to the likes of Duffin (who?), can't break through in 14 overs bowled between them !! That too after Zaheer providing the early breakthrough. For once, Warne didn't have that luxury either!!

    Murali, given the ball in the eighth over, B'desh 35/1 in their second essay, reduced them to 35/3 , 6 balls later.

    If kumble and bhajji are the best spinners in india on form today, we're in trouble, big time.

    By Blogger Amit, at 07:13  

  • India is missing Sachin here..

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:14  

  • Worma,
    DO u really think india is no#3 in the world with teh kind of bowling attack we have ... (we had a discussion also a month back on this)
    i am not saying that zim is going to cross 300,but still even if india get zim all out for 200, can we pat ourselves back for the bowling fire power we have ...

    Our strike (fast) bowlers are bowling in the 125-132 mark ... iT is not just being "fast" alone that will win us matches,but atleast one guy shld be fast.
    Here all our fast bowlers are in the same pace (125 -135 mark) and everybody relies on just swing. This does not augur well.
    I am really interested in seeing how ind-sl test matches will go ...
    Hopefully it is not a drawn series where everybody boosts tehir averages

    By Blogger rajesh, at 07:15  

  • India must control Zim runrate...within 2...2.61 is a bit too high.

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:16  

  • rajesh, we are not world num3 in bowling. Thats test match ranking. And you devise your own formula, I'm sure it will still come out as number three. Ofcourse you can't judge one team (or individual's) best performance against anothers worst performance, just because they happened in the same time!

    And more-over...what we discussed, I clearly remember, was on the Indian team which finished the last test season. If they turn out to be pathetic this season, they will fall down in rankings, dont worry.

    As far as need for 'fast bowler' goes....Zimbabwe made 200+ in BOTH their innings in their recent test against Nz here. And they had Bond...in form too.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:21  

  • Not watching live. How about the pitch like, is this a batting beauty ?

    By Blogger Ananth, at 07:25  

  • ..ooh...was that a missed stumping by karthik?

    By Blogger worma, at 07:26  

  • "Duffin" scores a half century on debut

    By Blogger Kansultant, at 07:27  

  • it is warne's 36th B'day today.. day after losing the ashes.. not exactly how he would have wanted to celebrate it..

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 07:30  

  • pathan struck finally

    By Blogger Ananth, at 07:33  

  • Worma, no.3 or 8 doesn't matter as long as there is some improvement over the past year :-)

    Seriously, how do Kumble and Bhajji stack up in terms of providing the breakthrough in recent times? Against Pak at home they definitely struggled. Kumble has had forgettable outings in Zim previously too!

    And as said previousle on this thread, beats me why we aren'y playing 5 bowlers!

    By Blogger Amit, at 07:34  

  • "For me it was a nice touch for them to say 'we wish you were English'" - Shane Warne (saluting the crowd) yesterday after the game.
    If he were English, he would have been celebrating his Birthday drinking (with his mate KP - just watched KP get on to the bus with a pitcher full of beer in hand) on an open top bus. Well, if he were English, England would have been celebrating the whole of the past decade.

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 07:34  

  • Duffin gone!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:36  

  • England is more of an International team......I wish India played pakistanis, sri lankans, etc...similarly!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:39  

  • ..vishnupavan...if he were english he could have been frustrated by their failures over the past decade, tired of carrying them around...and given up ;-))...I was just thinking yesterday, that Warne, this series, got a taste of what it means to be a Lara or a Tendulkar...to 'stand tall amongst ruins'..as those two have done in past years!

    amit, frankly, I dont think Ind test team has 'improved' over the past season...maybe come down a bit...but they're still pretty good. Kumble had a good last season, even bhajji a decent one. And forget the kumble who came here last time around...he was then pretty ordinary outside the subcontinent. He's improved a lot since then, not great, but effective.

    And lets stop keeping Shane Warne in our mind each time we talk of spin bowling ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:40  

  • Its high time Saurav brings back Kumble....Taibu will have a tough time against our spin duo....mark it!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 07:42  

  • Pathan struck again

    By Blogger Ananth, at 07:43  

  • is it bajji bowling btfully or kumble bowling pathetically.
    Bajji's 16 to kumble's 6 ... Who is bowling better guys ......

    By Blogger rajesh, at 08:01  

  • rajesh..dunno abt that..but atleast Zaheer seems to have lost the plot...constantly bowling down the leg side (even in the spell before he was replaced by Pathan)

    By Blogger worma, at 08:06  

  • just came in...

    can anyone please update why kumble has bowled only 6 overs?

    By Blogger Yule, at 08:12  

  • yule:

    Because Ganguly does not like Kumble....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 08:19  

  • gangs seems intent to prove his critics wrong...why did he select anil if he wasn't gonna use him.

    By Blogger JK, at 08:20  

  • Yule.. Kumble scored a half century in the practice game and Ganguly thinks that was way out of line...

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 08:21  

  • zaheer is out of breath after 3 overs...he is obviously eager to retain his fitness.

    By Blogger JK, at 08:22  

  • Do we have to play 6 batsmen even against Zimbabwe? We have Dinesh and Pathan to lend support in batting.

    Cant we play 5 bowlers or is it that we dont have 5 fit bowlers or is it that we dont have confidence in our batting stalwarts!

    By Blogger Raghu, at 08:25  

  • raghu, r u implying that gangs is a batsman. he is specialist captain only. :)

    By Blogger JK, at 08:30  

  • raghu:

    Batsmen like VVS and SG desperately need batting practice. We could have rested RD but he was in awful form in ODI series so maybe that's why they played him. VS need some practice too. GG is playing tests only so no need to rest him. We could have rested Yuvraj and played an extra bowler but then YS is SG's blue eyed boy, soooo....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 08:33  

  • Oh...So boring. This blog is getting so stereotyped on the SG beating. Just bcos he is owefully out of form, he becomes everyone favorite whipping boy. I bet(no not fixing)that this blog cannot survive 15 comments without getting SG in..Let's check this out guys...The count starts from the first comment posted after mine..Cheers

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:38  

  • Ruchir Joshi

    Arte you implying that SG can't have a team with YS

    By Blogger jaiho, at 08:39  

  • Well as of now it doesn't look like that Indian bowlers can take 10 wickets

    By Blogger jaiho, at 08:40  

  • Here is the prime example of why most of the times we find a test match drifting away from us.

    When Kumble and Bhajji were bowling together in their first spell, they put tremendous pressure on batsmen. Lots of play and miss. But after lunch, for some reason, Ganguly did not bring them together. It was bhajji with a pacer and now, Kumble with Sehwag.

    I can't understand why Ganguly does not give both of them one or two long spells together. Batsmen are bound to make mistake against them.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 08:40  

  • ravi,
    u seems to be really too much pro-sG...
    Take it easy man ...

    By Blogger rajesh, at 08:40  

  • didn't new zealand bowl out zimbabwe for around 200 in all the matches. i mean, man for man, new zealand doesn't seem to be a better bowling side than india - other than bond. so what is missing?

    By Blogger JK, at 08:41  

  • ..and yet, somehow, it was bhajji with pacer that got us two wkts in 3 ovrs!

    By Blogger worma, at 08:41  

  • jaiho:

    What I am saying is that in this test match, YS would have been the only batsman who could have been rested in favor of a bowler. But we did not do that. Why? The only reason I can think of is that Ganguly wanted to keep him in.

    I don't know if SG can have a team without YS or not. Tomorrow, if selectors don't select YS at all then Ganguly will have to play without him, wouldn't he?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 08:44  

  • jk,

    there is still a chance that they might get all out below 200..

    ..

    By Blogger Yule, at 08:45  

  • Just woke up and checked out the scorecard.. reading comments to get upto speed.

    No idea why Yuvraj would be in ahead of Kaif. In terms of recent form and general playing style, one would think this is the ideal time to give Kaif some test cricket experience. But I suppose that none of us will know the answer to that mystery.

    I'm just looking at the Indian squad page in Cricinfo. With Balaji injured, I would say this is our best bowling attack from the squad. I would rather not see Agarkar back in Test cricket. If we absolutely have to keep persisting with him, at least let it remain in the one-day realm.

    Zimb 167/4 at tea. NZ had them 93 all out or something in their first innings. Is this a sign of Zimbabwe's batting improving or is our bowling attack a little meek compared to NZ?

    By Blogger Sidhant, at 08:46  

  • Rajesh..I am not pro or anti anybody. My belief is that you don't kick a guy when he is already down.

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:46  

  • worma I am still waiting for the collapse!!! Well it seems that the zim boys have smartly put in a good batting track and having won the toss they may really put under some serious pressure. I would not be surprised if the end the day at 250 for 5 and they end up with about 400 at the end of about 50 overs tomorrow. It may be real toil for us on this pitch with 4 bowlers and definitely it will be tough if they can reach that score. The point is we can’t let and wait for things to happen, the onus lies on us to win the match, zim will be happy with a draw. And Any target above 150- 200 in the last innings will be tricky so we are talking of now needing to score about 500 + in the 1st innings to win. Now that puts the pressure and even if we score 500 we will take at least 5 sessions for it, because we don’t want a collapse and we would not be able to take any risks!!!! So we are talking of about 10 sessions being used up by the 2 innings. Even if we win it will be a hard toil in 5th afternoon else a draw,,,,,, ( I don’t want to think anything worse, I cannot)

    The whole mind set has been soooo negative

    By Blogger Avinash, at 08:47  

  • So do u guys think even this match is fixed?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 08:48  

  • avinash, I am waiting for India to win, collapse or not. Lets just wait and hope for that. Not all teams play same kind of cricket.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:51  

  • I think SG is afraid of Kaif doing well and replacing him when SRT returns. Yuvraj is more inconsistent so he is a better choice for SG

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 08:51  

  • worma:

    If combination of spin and pace will get us wkts then how come Zaheer got 2 with Pathan?

    I don't know whether you are watching the match live or not but I watched it till lunch and those 12 overs from Kumble and Bhajji were terrifying for ZIM batsmen. 4 out of 6 balls in every over were beating them, missing edges. Both Kumble and Bhajji are getting spin from wkt. It is my belief that they will be more effective bowling together than separately.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 08:52  

  • ravi, thats a very noble approach - not to kick someone when they are down. but does this imply that we should only criticize those who are in top form; as for those who refuse to get up after getting umpteen chances, we should just let them be! seems like you have found the secret of indian cricket philosophy - they play superbly against top teams (australia, pakistan) and then the same team, makes a mountain out of playing west indies and zimbabwe, refusing to kick them when they are down.

    By Blogger JK, at 08:53  

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