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Sight Screen

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The worth of a win

Dileep Premachandran, on Cricinfo, frames the series win in Zimbabwe in context of past failures and future expectations.
Though they failed to oversee that first series win outside the subcontinent since '86, the tag of travelsick whipping boys was swiftly discarded. In 156 Tests away before the dawn of the Ganguly-Wright era, India had managed a paltry 13 wins, with a sole triumph at Colombo in 1993 to show for 14 years of futility abroad. This victory, India's first-ever by a ten-wicket margin away, was the team's 12 th - against 11 defeats - in 30 Tests abroad since Ganguly succeeded Sachin Tendulkar.
Six of those successes have come against non-minnows, with the victories at Headingley (2002), Adelaide (2003), Multan and Rawalpindi (2004) showcasing the strength of a team that no longer suffers stage fright away from the comforts of home. And while it pales in comparison alongside Australia's record in the same period - 18 wins and 8 defeats in 30 overseas Tests, and not a minnow in sight - it is easily the equal of what any other side has achieved.

Thus much for the past; for the future, this:
With an unwanted monkey off their backs, the challenge for Greg Chappell and his wards is now to start winning consistently away from home, like Australia - and latterly, England - have done. Tours of South Africa and New Zealand are more than a year away, but a trip to the Caribbean next summer will offer a chance at redemption for those who disgraced themselves in 1997 and 2002. And though no stretch of ocean separates the two countries, a rejuvenated Pakistan side will pose tricky questions when India head over in the New Year.

To all of this, I would add one other point -- the Indian win against England in 1986 came when our cricket was at the interstices of the long-form, and one-day, game. We had by then shed our mindset of considering one day cricket an unwanted nuisance; we had annexed the World Cup and the World Championship and, most importantly, we had discovered that one-day cricket was the key to the mint.
Till then, Test cricket was our focus; it was in the mid-Eighties that the mindset began changing, and Indian cricket's focus shifted, almost entirely, to ODIs which became the golden goose in our backyard. Not surprising, then, that administrative attention to Test cricket waned -- and, as a corollary, the results began falling away.
Which leads me to my hope -- that having broken the jinx (right, it is against Zimbabwe, a side most Ranji teams would feel confident about taking on today -- but still), the team and more importantly the administration will give the long-form game more importance in its scheme of things (Notice recently framed schedules? South Africa comes here *only* to play ODIs, the encounters against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan come weighted heavily in favor of the short-form.
If your schedules signal so clearly that Tests are not a priority, you can't really blame the team for not taking it seriously. IMHO, it's time to adjust the focus a little, give *some* more importance to Tests, and push for excellence in that version.
Oh but I forget -- the BCCI has an answer; the ODI glut is to 'prepare the team for the WC'. Sheesh.

76 Comments:

  • On flip side, during last 4-5 yrs, India lost Test series even at home.

    Whatever wins India accumulated were because of few Individual efforts. It's not because of leadership from SG or anything.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:16  

  • rajg, in that case, whichever matches we lost earlier were not to be blamed on the then captains either. It works both ways.
    I think SG and Wright were responsible to a great extent for this performance in tests abroad. We were also lucky to have some really outstanding batsmen, who applied themselves well, unlike previous generations.

    I think we started losing in India because opposition started doing their homework really well. I am not sure the loss to SA in 2000 could be attributed to cricketing reasons alone but even there, they were a very good team.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:26  

  • Oh oh, another Dileep Premachandran article? Must be bashing SG right? oh, wait a minute, is he actually praising SG?? Damn, this guy must be biased! I hereby declare that Dileep Premachandran is one of SG's cronies! ;-)

    By Blogger rp, at 12:29  

  • toney...why previous generation...the same batsmen could not work as a team in their earlier efforts !!....the core batting group(even bowling to some extent)was the same...and still were hopelessly out of sorts in their earlier efforst (rem how we lost of Pak at home....Aus in Aus....WI disastor....etc)
    Losing in India, I dont think we have lost too much in India ? Aus is the only team we have lost a series to(and they are/were good....in fact we could have lost in 2001...it was held back by a thread)...apart from that its been 'improvement' at home also..isnt it? We did not loose a series to Pak, won against SA.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:33  

  • This win means nothing. Indians must be embarassed by the way they managed to let the innings defeat slip away and giving their 6th, 7th batsmen batting practice.It took a weak team at their weakest strength to play against India in order for the Indians to get a series win abroad in a 2-test series. Pathetic.

    Hey Prem , let me ask you something general? why do you follow and write on Indian cricket? Is it because

    1. Cricket is popular and thereby you can get more people to read what you write?

    2. Is it because you still have some hope for Indian cricket, despite their consistent lack of killer instinct and professionalism and corruption with regards to how things are run(both management and players)?

    3. Or you are just driven by patriotism along with a moderate interest in cricket and would continue to follow the team no matter what?

    By Blogger Vijay, at 12:33  

  • read it is a very well written piece. It talks about looking ahead with a vision instead of being happy of a win which even railways could have managed

    By Blogger tombaan, at 12:35  

  • just a note of the topic: Sallu in his interview for 'Kyon ki' (cehck the rediff interview) was asked by a theater owner about his dwindling business. pat comes the reply........

    An anguished owner of theaters in New York asked Salman how he could salvage his business, but the actor was blunt.

    "The first thing you should do is stop making so much money on popcorn," he said. "Reduce your prices. Your DVDs, sell them at the same price as the pirated ones, perhaps so that you might kill piracy."

    It wasn't what the man had hoped to hear, but when the session came to an end, just about everyone in the room -- producers, theater owners, journalists -- lined up, angling for a photo with Salman Khan.

    .............. interesting suggestion.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:37  

  • rp, I thought on the same lines too. :)

    Worma, yeah, true. Remember the rpev aus tour? Same set of batsmen- RD, SRT, SG, VVS. Of course, VVS was an opener then. I think it was a case of batsmen maturing than bowlers doing badly over the entire series. Not sure abt this, but the first test in the 99-00 series in Aus, the Aussies were batting first, they were 54/4 or something like that when I left for work, in the hope that they might be out for a low total. This score was in spite of the problem we had with out catching. RP and Waugh batted out the rest of the day, I think!! And in direct contrast to this, how many Indian batsmen made any impact?
    Kumble's statement after the 2004 series comes to mind. Previously, the bowlers had no runs to defend, no hope that the batsmen would make an impact. That is not the case now.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:41  

  • toney...but all this you listed...leaving work unfinished...batsmen not applying themeselves...not mature enough...not working in partnerships etc etc....this is what has improved in SG-Wright era...what we did during THOSE days was individual efforts.....what we do now...in last 2-3 years..thats the team effort...one performance complimenting other

    By Blogger worma, at 12:45  

  • I think the biggest differentiator has been the opening combination.. First Akash Chopra and now GG have formed a pretty solid pairing with VS.
    Unlike the time when DDG or Devang gandhi opened.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 12:46  

  • yeah, worma, I think thats what I suggested too, right?

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:47  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:47  

  • devan gandhi omg that brings memories. how come even he got selected

    By Blogger tombaan, at 12:48  

  • rp, toney....well if you really want to know anti-SG issue in that Dileep article, read the last paragraph carefully :-)).....but am not going to criticise it..because it clearly is his opinion...and atleast I never had issues with his or anyone elses(like Harsha so openly does) expression of opinion against Ganguly.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:48  

  • i have raised this point a couple of times before
    All other teams play a lot of test cricket
    And the Indian team plays just 8 test matches this year
    3 against Pak, 2 against ZIM and 3 against SL
    Is that enough?
    i think it is a gross injustice to some of our great cricketers
    Consider this: Anil Kumble and Shane Warne started their careers almost at the same time. But till date, Warne has played 128 test matches while Kumble has played just 97.
    Sachin made his debut 3 years before warne, but has played in only 123 tests till date.

    also, can any ODI match be able to produce the twists and turns of a test series - take the Ashes for example, or the 2001 India-Aus series

    By Blogger Thirdman, at 12:48  

  • so the BCCI AGM is indefinately postponed.. Does that mean the new selection committee will not be in place till after the elections?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 12:49  

  • ooohh...ok toney :-)..didn't comprehend well enough, sorry....multitasking ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:49  

  • toney, worma:

    Just want to step in on your thoughts abt this transformation. My opinion is that SG-JW were a successful unit because of the professionalism and support system that they brought to the table. JW ensured that the players were reminded what Indian fans wanted...and SG was fantastic in backing youngsters like VS, HS etc. We had no JW before to instill discipline and work ethic...these factors have made a huge difference compared to what we had previously.

    By Blogger rp, at 12:52  

  • worma,
    This series win was as emphatic as they come, but ironically, it could also herald a changing of the guard. The captain-coach equation has to be solved urgently, and with Tendulkar due back against the Sri Lankans, two from Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif will have to sit out. It will be a time for tough choices, and one can only hope that the selectors face the facts head on, instead of shying away. Having come this far, it will need some tough love to take this team to the next level. The last thing that's needed is namby-pamby diplomacy and another 19-year-long drought. Second place, as a coaching legend archly pointed out, is merely first among the losers.
    were you serious, worma? I dont see him spewing his venom on SG there... All he said is that there could be a change in guard. He doesnt say that there should. Thta is just a reality that we all know, the possibility of SG losing captaincy. And choosing one among SG, YS and MK is also a reality (if SRT is in good form). Again, he does not bother telling which one he prefers. Where's the bias here?

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:53  

  • worma, I have a post at the top of the page which makes my opinion clearer, if you wish to read :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 12:54  

  • toney I *had* read that post ;-)...and not multitasking now :)....about Dileeps article....as I said..he is clearly expressing his opinion here and atleast I have no issue even if that is anti ganguly. But he is definitely suggesting that it is time for selectors to drop SG It will be a time for tough choices, and one can only hope that the selectors face the facts head on(well, dropping Kaif or Yuv would not be considered head on, so..?) instead of shying away. Having come this far, it will need some tough love(again, lets say if the selectors decide to drop kaif and yuv on SRT's return...no one would call that tough love..no?) to take this team to the next level. The last thing that's needed is namby-pamby diplomacy(well...retaining SG as captain...maybe also as player...for 1 series...then watching again..then 2 series..etc...this would be the diplomacy he is implying, IMO) and another 19-year-long drought.

    But once again, I feel that he prefers SG goes, and I have no problems with it....as long as he puts it as his opinion

    By Blogger worma, at 13:06  

  • I am multitasking too, playing checkers when not responding :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:10  

  • I think worma you are overstreching it. It is a well written piece anywriting is an opinion other wise it has to carry a warning please note this is an opinion and if not what????

    By Blogger tombaan, at 13:12  

  • yeah .. worma , it does refer to SG in a veiled manner .... i think Dillep did it to avoid the wrath of 'irate ganguly fans' :-).... i think cricinfo site is on the verge of crashing due to the hate mails .... and they will be toning down their SG bashing henceforth :-)

    By Blogger srik, at 13:12  

  • toney
    does your firm need cpas? we could play and discuss :>

    By Blogger tombaan, at 13:12  

  • LOL, dont think so tombaan. We are struggling to stay afloat...

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:13  

  • why is it called SG bashing? I think it is a fair call any cricket fan should be able to understand unless the fan is stupid or crazy not to see the light

    By Blogger tombaan, at 13:13  

  • Zaheer Khan - Man I feel sorry for this guy...I mean you can only take so many dropped catches in one over. Is there some conspiracy going on to not let him take wickets? In any case he will get dropped pretty soon to make way for Balaji, Nehra and Agarkar.

    By Blogger CoolGuy'OC, at 13:14  

  • Hi:

    Interesting article in cricinfo - abt Flintoff, Naser hussain and SG:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/219874.html

    Text follows:


    Flintoff pot-shots blown out of proportion
    Andrew Miller
    September 22, 2005

    During last week's never-to-be-forgotten Ashes victory celebrations, a tired and emotional Andrew Flintoff was in fantastically candid form. As he swayed his way across London, pronouncement after pronouncement spewed forth from his booze-fuelled lips, all eagerly lapped up by a grateful media. "I'd never make a decent celebrity," he told reporters over a breakfast-time beer; "The Super Series is the worst prospect imaginable," he informed David Gower live from Trafalgar Square; "You're all my best friends in the world," he added for anyone else within earshot.

    Thanks to a forthcoming autobiography that is set to become the publishing event of the year, Flintoff's revelations have scarcely abated since. Yesterday morning's papers included a humdinger - the throwaway rehashing of an incident in Delhi three years ago, when he claimed to have been shot from the stands by an air-rifle. "You expect to have plastic bottles thrown at you when you are playing on the sub-continent," he stated in his typically deadpan fashion, "but you don't expect to be shot."

    Not surprisingly, his comments have been blown out of all proportion, transformed into a monumental rumpus, and furnished with indignant counter-claims from Delhi police. "Why is it that he is coming out with it now?" asked a spokesman, not unreasonably, although perhaps missing the point of an autobiography. In the circumstances, it is a great pity for English cricket that Sachin Tendulkar has been ruled out of next month's Super Series. Though Flintoff may deride the competition's significance, he would have benefited immensely from an audience with the world's leading exponent of life in the goldfish bowl.

    But it's not just been a case of fans taking pot-shots at Flintoff. Freddie's had a few pops of his own, perhaps most significantly a swipe at Nasser Hussain, captain at the time of his second coming in 2001, and a man who has rightly been credited with bringing about the revival of the national side after their nadir of the 1990s. "Nasser did it with a style I didn't particularly like," wrote Flintoff. "I don't want to turn around and see my captain throwing his cap on the floor or kicking sods out of the ground ... I want his support."
    It is an accident of Flintoff's new-found celebrity that these titbits have been sensationalised to the max. In fact, as Freddie would doubtless concede, Hussain's greatest feat of captaincy was the manner in which he recognised his allrounder's growing maturity. Hussain realised that his time had run its course and that the cadets of the coming generation, whom he had frogmarched across four continents, were ready to stand up for themselves. Without his formidable foresight, it is doubtful whether England would have been ready to regain the Ashes this summer.

    Now, contrast Hussain's actions with those of the captain who refuses to go quietly. There are many similarities between Hussain and Sourav Ganguly (another man who has been in impressively candid form this week), ones that go far beyond their Indian heritage. They are both proud men with a backbone infused with arrogance, who built impressive Test careers in spite of some glaring technical shortcomings, and who defended their young players with the wrath of a cornered vixen as they hoisted their teams towards the top of the Test tree.

    There, however, the similarities end. Hussain felt the fire in his belly flicker during the second of his unexpungeable Ashes drubbings, and had it unequivocally doused during the Zimbabwe debacle of the 2003 World Cup.

    Within months he had vacated his post, before his apathy could affect the men he had led so well. Ganguly, by contrast, clings on without purpose as his team falters with him. The memories of his seismic series win over the Australians are now four years distant - the same amount of time that his opposite number in that series, Steve Waugh, said was the right tenure for a captain, given the demands of modern international cricket.

    For the past week, Cricinfo's servers been log-jammed, quite literally, with the most apoplectic feedback I've ever witnessed. Reams upon reams upon reams of irate Ganguly fans, complaining in the bitterest terms imaginable about a perceived South Indian bias that has captured the tongues of our commentators and forced them to spew venom on a leader they once adored.

    Not that I'd dare comment on the minutiae of such an accusation but, as an independent commentator who has witnessed the rise, plateauing and gradual descent of a side that only two years ago seemed set to take on Australia's mantle as the best team in the world, there seems only one man who can possibly carry the can. As Ganguly's young bucks might one day testify, from a bookshop near you, great things can be achieved when youth and vigour are permitted full freedom of expression.

    Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

    By Blogger kban1, at 13:14  

  • "SG bashing" is a term used by "irate Ganguly fans" ....

    i am not 1 of them .... just borrowing their lingo ....

    By Blogger srik, at 13:17  

  • kban1 - for a moment I thought this was another of your detailed analysis posts : ) But we have already dissected this 'article' of Andrew Miller..

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:18  

  • kban, Once you have proveided a link what is the need for you to post the text in here too? Can you give me one good reason for that please?

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 13:19  

  • Tiger

    Sorry, I must have missed that then. Can u tell me when we discussed this ? would like to go back and read it

    Thanks

    By Blogger kban1, at 13:21  

  • worma
    how should someone write anything negative about SG without it being termed as SG bashing?

    By Blogger JD, at 13:22  

  • sri: pretty simple really -go back thru the blogs and see how many times people request for the full article because they either cannot pull up the article or cannot access it becos Cricinfo or some other site is blocked by web filters at their work place

    Hope that helps

    By Blogger kban1, at 13:23  

  • jd, the mood on this blog is such that anything written in defense of SG is seen as pro-SG and anything against his problems is termed as anti-SG. Unfortunate circumstances, these. As long as people react like worma (he respects opinion), it is fine.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:24  

  • guys, here is an ice breaker...... a candid interview with taibu

    http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/sep222005/sportscene1454492005921.asp

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:26  

  • i agree worma takes a balanced view and thats the reason i addressed it to him

    By Blogger JD, at 13:26  

  • I agree with Toney And most of the times Worma's counter point is also worth reading. he analyzes from all views. may be thats his way of multitasking(Looking from all sides simultaneously) :)

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 13:27  

  • vijay: If I wanted an audience, why would I stop writing on Rediff, where each column or match report was getting a couple million page views?
    I follow cricket, period, always have since I was five, six. And writing is what I do anyways -- so for my personal interest, I do this; and will do it irrespective of the size of the audience, as long as it continues to interest me.
    Do I have some hope? Look at it this way -- I know, from first hand, just how inept the administration is; and yet we produce a team that has its moments, that on occasion at least matches expectations. We do that despite the best efforts of the administration to screw it up, so yes, I see in that reason for hope (take a parallel instance -- England spent what, two decades in the doldrums? It didn't do anything radical recently, to spark the turnaround; it was more a function of little bits and pieces coming together, right place, right time. And I can see that happen for India, too)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:27  

  • shri: yes it does. The elections have to be concluded, the new office bearers then meet in exec committee to decide some of this stuff, including the composition of the selection committee

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:29  

  • dude... JD .... if just someONE wrote -ve abt SG .. then it is not SG bashing ..... if EVERY someONE writes -ve abt him ... it is definitley SG bashing ....

    By Blogger srik, at 13:30  

  • prem if pawar wins, a few things might happen:
    - azhar's ban will be lifted (dungarpurkar)
    - gavaskar will loose his prominence (we might see guys like vengsarakr et al coming up)

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:31  

  • Prem.. which leaves the whole captaincy issue in limbo...

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:33  

  • think this will be done before the lankans come here ? or we wont have a team as there is no selection commitee? :)

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:33  

  • srik
    why on earth would all of the reporters conspire to write against SG, the notable exception being sahi

    By Blogger JD, at 13:34  

  • jd, tomban....dude WHEN did I say this piece from Dileep was SG bashing? Mate, please read the chain of conversation I've been having with toney to understand the context..that one comment may not be enough. In fact, even in that comment(and in EACH comment on this topic) I have been repeatedly implying that this is NOT an SG bashing article by Dileep....that I get an idea he is expressing his opinion....and atleast I am perfectly 100% totally surely confirmedly OK with it :-))

    By Blogger worma, at 13:34  

  • prem
    if u by any chance are a good acquintance of shashi tharoor do put in a word to rewrite "the great indian novel", this time about indian cricket politics :)

    By Blogger JD, at 13:35  

  • chill worma
    i'm not accusing u of anything. all i wanted to know was what kind of writing would u not call SG bashing

    By Blogger JD, at 13:36  

  • again, since you may still not read the whole chain of conversation...that particular comment was because toney had an opinion that Dileep was not hinting towards ganguly....and I was expressing my understanding that he was. hence trying to highlight the portions in his article from where I got my impression.

    once again...THIS IS NOT SG BASHING :-)

    I think I need to make a signature for my comment posts ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:37  

  • jd..chilled mate...no issues :-)....if you've been following my comments over days...as I have been of some of you guys....you would notice I've gone to great lengths explaining that I dont have issues with articles against SG....as long as we get a clear idea what is fact/news/info and what is personal opinion....anything and everything is fine by me.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:40  

  • JD ... i have been providing responses that would have been provided by "irate Ganguly fans"
    :-) No worma that does not include u ....

    now since im not a "irate Ganguly fans" ... i belong to anti ganguly club .... :)

    and my club is of the view that ...there are no conspiracies among reporter ... if u suck .... u cop the flak ... :-) ..... and Gnaguly sucks .... :)

    By Blogger srik, at 13:41  

  • LOL worma abt the signature

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:41  

  • jd: shashi is in fact a good friend -- and a very keen follower of cricket. I suspect though he might not want the task, somethings are beyond words. *L*

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:47  

  • mabbe we could meet up and have a test match - SG bashers Vs irate SG fans

    By Blogger JD, at 13:47  

  • mayur: even a dungarpur-pawar axis won't help Azhar... at the first sign of something of the kind, stand by for the CBI, or others, leaking more material.

    Gavaskar is even more of a 'player' than JD is, so don't hold your breath waiting for him to become irrelevant either. *L*

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:49  

  • mayur: You *can*, though, if you must wait for something, wait for SG to unearth that opener the BCCI tasked him to do, was it two years ago?
    Strange how these initiatives -- a spin hunt, a pace bowler hunt, an opener hunt -- are announced with so much fanfare; and then you dont hear a single cheep more about it

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 13:50  

  • jd...no mate...iSF(irate SG fans) are struggling for form mate...but they have done well in the past(over 100k runs) so u shud be patient with them...I'm sure we..uhh...they will come back strongly :-P...;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:53  

  • ppl, why was there no big celebration after the series win today ? i mean i didnt expect a lap of the ground or anything but at the very least the team could have come together - Ganguly could have handed over the trophy to the others. Does this mean that this win is so insignificant or is it more worryingly another symptomn of the crisis in Indian cricket ? In both presentation ceremonies Rahul Dravid was conspicuous by his abscence.

    By Blogger GK, at 13:55  

  • LOL worma
    ur team, i mean ISF team is missing couple of key players - mock, blwe
    :-)

    By Blogger JD, at 13:55  

  • jd/worma/toney - LOL about the comments on this thread. I especially like the idea of a cricket match pro- vs anti- SG. I know who would trash talk the most .... :-).

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 13:57  

  • ok..who will 'captain' the ISF champions(of past)? ;-)....hmm...let me drop this thread...its obliterating my 'identity' :)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:02  

  • prem, it is surprizing how divided the fan-base on SG. undecided voters (common in the US elections) r very rare. no matter what happens, selectors r in for some stick.

    anyways, pro vs anti SG test match shud be good. will dravid captain the anti side or be a close member of the pro side?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:04  

  • good that we r deciding on a test match betwen pro and anti SG. if it was a ODI final, both wud have lot the game....

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:05  

  • LOL mayur about the ODI.

    I think the match is between pro and anti SG commenters from this blog. There are some stars who would compete for the captaincy of the pro team. Might create a captaincy controversy itself to rival the Indian captaincy controversy. I think ruchir joshi by far gets the most votes for the captaincy of the anti team :-)))) haven't seen Ruchir on this blog much recently.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 14:14  

  • gopalblog, mayur, is sledging allowed in the match? Would love to participate :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:14  

  • ruchir is preparing for the test

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:15  

  • Ganguly does not even deserve to be in the India A team

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 14:20  

  • Ashvin I will have slightly tweak what you have said. On current form yes he is not fit to be in the team. But If he is back to his best then yes atleast in one day matches he should be there not as an opener but as someone in the middle order so that he can thrash the spinners.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:27  

  • I have not read all the comments on the blog. So I apologize if some one commented on this already.

    In all the previous series abroad that we managed to lose, the focus of the series even before the tour starts has always been about how India has not won outside the sub-continent since 1986. The just concluded series is one exception to this for there was considerably less hype surrounding this record. The media was focussed on the SG-GC imbroglio.

    I wonder if this perversely contributed to india winning this series.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 15:18  

  • Hey...in the original post...we missed out on Port of Spain...an important away-victory.

    srik...when you say 'irate Saurav fans'...kindly also use the same adjective for Saurav haters.

    Tombaan....you are really such an........well, well...let me use a nice word...donkey!

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 15:43  

  • Everytime I see Dungarpur in the news, it reminds me of
    Miyan Kaptan Banoge?

    What would he do next?

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:13  

  • Srinath insist, ' Take my word , Zaheer is the best fast bowler India has'.

    Appear curious but true. How so?

    Look..

    Zaheer against Minnows (BD and ZIM):

    8 matches / 29 W @ 29runs - 52 SR
    and against the rest of the world?
    32Matches - 82 W @ 39 runs - 72 SR

    What about Pathan?

    Againsr Minnows ( BD and ZIM):
    4 Matches-39W @ 11 runs - 20 SR

    and against Rest of the world?
    I hoped you would not ask.

    11Matches- 27 W @ 47 runs - 92 SR

    With this spearhead attack, why go look elsewhere? Do not even bother for the third seamer.

    I love my India and I do and I mean it.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:26  

  • Fast bowlers frequently arrive on the scene like a storm. They do lot of damage to the opposition in a hurry.

    Here the best we have is Zaheer for last 5 years helping opponents score about 40 per wicket and the bowlers are to be judged by his light?

    Srinath, you were wonderful with ball in hand half the time but without it the words are so hollow, please spare us.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:33  

  • That Pathan's strike rate agaist BD and ZIM at 20 would would make Waquor gasping for air, the all time champion of strike rate, the foot crusher.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:36  

  • Cricktip,
    I looked at the test bowling stats as well. I think productivity (wickets/ innings), SR, Average and total wickets (heavily discounted) would be good perameters. From my analysis, Zaheer was on the downslide (along with Gillepsie), while Pathan and Balaji are in a group of upcomers. If the minnows are removed, only Balaji remains in that group. Maybe I will do comeback with the stats when I have time.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 16:55  

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