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Sight Screen

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And a few asides

Since Ruchir has already posted the main headlines -- and since this is the first time, since the evening of Friday October 7, that I have found time to actually browse the net -- will content myself for the day with a few short takes on stories that caught my eye just now, and will try and catch up with the news of the past few days in course of this week.
Two IIT grads from Chennai appear to have produced a solution to the chucking problem, judging by this report in IE. Sounds interesting -- if anyone reading this is from Chennai, be brilliant if you could get hold of these guys and have them talk to us on here. Can do?
Trevor Chesterfield, on IE, wonders ahead of the India series whether the Lankans will make good tourists. I must confess it's a point I am curious about, too -- I know conventional wisdom says the Lankans start as favorites; plus they are the number two team on the ICC ladder just now. When India was in SL at the start of the season, though, I out of curiosity tried breaking down their bowlers, weighting home and away performances.
You should try it some time -- the only ones who come off with honors are Murali and Vaas. The rest appear to slot into the Lankan gameplan of making low, slow wickets -- the type that they are unlikely to find in India. And before you point it out, there is of course the other side of the coin -- the Lankan batsmen struggle to play strokes at home, but should thrive in the more batsmen-friendly conditions in India. On balance? I doubt this series is going to be quite as one-sided as people (at least judging by some emails I've got from friends) imagine.
An interesting, if off beat, story on how India's bat-making industry is taking over the cricketing world. Which reminds me, I once spent several fascinating hours talking to the guys who make bats for some of the leading international stars -- grist for a separate blog post, one day soon.
And finally -- yielding, for a moment, to the parochial side of me -- this Cricinfo piece on Sreeshanth who, for me, embodies the saying that nothing is impossible. I mean, for two years, I studied in Calicut; for the first six months, I played some cricket there, too. Only to give up and turn to soccer -- the standard was so um, non-existent (which is the only polite way to put it), I figured it wasn't worth the while. You had asked me then what the chances were of Kerala producing a national-level fast bowler, I'd have bust a gut laughing.
Have much to catch up with, guys, so will be an off and on presence today and tomorrow -- hopefully, though, should get to spend more time on here as the week progresses. Take care, and again, thanks for all the wishes and the support -- it matters, more than you imagine.


  • Hoping SS will be a success. Seems to be a multi-talented player. Can't wait to see him in action vs SL.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 11:32  

  • Prem
    Happy to know the well being of your wife and good to have you back on the blog.

    I read about this XIVA on IE the last line diturbs me though. What is the use of notifying the BCCI. I dont see any good come out of it. Well that aside I guess IIT madras is doing a lot of good by allowing them to use thier ground facilities which is one the best in that city when I last saw them. If this device happens to be a good solution then it happens to be seen how well the cricketing authorities utilise it which I doubt any way.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 11:35  

  • prem

    While it should be interesting to talk to the IIT students . They are finally going to submit the idea to the gutless BCCI .We will really be lucky if we ever see it being used in match conditions.

    By Blogger Adi, at 11:36  

  • Prem, welcome back.
    The IIT product is interesting though one of my friends in the US said that it is more reliable to have a system which uses sensors on the actual bowler, rather than depend on image processing. Of course, for that, the bowler has to be wired with the sensors :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:46  

  • Prem,

    Why is your rediffmail id not accepting the mails? Since last 9 days I've been trying but no success!

    By Blogger Chandan, at 11:48  

  • This is not cricket related but a VERY funny Indian rap music video link, sorry to those who don't like no-cricket related stuff here:


    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 12:03  

  • toney,
    The bowler would have to be wired with sensors? During the game? We would then have sensor tampering, not to metion, tons of excuses why the sensors were pulled off inadvertently ;-)

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:27  

  • "New Zealand arrived in India at the start of his second season and the tour game at Rajkot provided him with a chance to prove his worth. He was overshadowed by Munaf Patel, who bowled with fire, but Sreesanth's 12.5 overs had a fair share of pace too."

    Very disappointing to see Munaf Patel miss out on the Irani Trophy, Challenger Trophy, and now Duleep Trophy. I realize he suffered some injuries, but the man is ready to play now. At the very least, he must be provided the opportunity to play in the elite domestic competitions.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:32  

  • I hope SS gets a chance. He most likely will 12 ODIs, our frontline bowlers are nither consistent nor fit to last that stretch.

    By Blogger Amit, at 12:33  

  • Just had a look at the itinerary of the SL/ SA tour and the most ridiculous thing is the fact that the ODI's against SA finish on the 29th of Nov and the tests against SA begin on the 2nd of Dec!!! thats just a two day gap between ODI and test series!! This means that after the gruelling 12 match ODI series, India will be going into the test series without any preparation. One wonders just what these board officials are made of, they seem to goof up everything they can lay their hands on. Sat here in the UK, i dont know if i will get to see the forthcoming games on TV as the board has still not sold the rights for the series!! As Prem once commented - it takes a real genuis to market cricket in India and make a loss. Pathetic state of affairs this!

    By Blogger Harsha, at 12:34  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:51  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:54  

  • Amit,
    It's a virtual certainty that SS will get plenty of opportunities in the ODIs to come, regardless of the fitness of the "frontline bowlers." In ODIs, India has traditionally favored 3 seamers and 1 spinner, and this is even more likely to be the case against a Sri Lankan batting lineup proficient against playing spin. Considering only 2 seamers with any experience to speak of have been selected (Pathan and Agarkar), this leaves one slot open in the starting XI. It's a straight up contest between RP Singh and SS. Both are likely to be provided with an opportunity at some point or another during the two series, but I would be highly surprised if SS isn't given first crack. The interesting thing to see is if he will be given the new ball ahead of Agarkar. If so, SS to Jayasuriya in front of a large crowd would be a real tester for the young man. Here's to hoping Pathan gets Jayasuriya in the first over! :-)

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:56  

  • by reading the report, the solution seems more theoretical than practical. i think it was more of a problem solving competition in techfest than coming up with a workable prototype (i might be wrong) it will be great if IITM could commercialise the technology. but chances look bleak on two accounts. not a very practical solution and BCCI.. Why would GE pump money into it.

    By Blogger criclogic, at 13:02  

  • How quick is Sreesanth .... Any idea .... Is he a line , length , swing bowler or has lots of pace to back it up too

    By Blogger indCric, at 13:31  

  • I dont understand why waste time on this. With relaxed rules anyone and everyone can bowl legally. And we aren't short of genuine cricketing topics either.

    By Blogger J, at 13:33  

  • @indcric
    sreesanth is around mid 130s. can swing it both ways. surprising bounce and can bowl the yorker too

    By Blogger GK, at 13:45  

  • Reading that article on the XiVa, it says it only need one camera angle aimed at the bowling crease... seems like just one wouldnt be adequate.. perhaps some diagrams would help to explain how the thing works.. Prem - cant Rediff talk to these guys and have a special feature done on Rediff?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:47  

  • indcric,
    Sreesanth has a bit of pace to go along with some movement. It was evident during the Challenger Trophy that batsman were hurried into their strokes, while playing him. Although there was no radar gun at the tournament, my guess would be he bowls at around 133-136 km/h (82.5-84.5 mph).

    By Blogger Sahir, at 13:47  

  • I see gk and I agree on Sreesanth's pace. :)

    By Blogger Sahir, at 13:49  

  • Guys,
    Just wondering if the Nagpur pitch will be as hard, quick, and bouncy as it was when we last played there (now infamous 3rd test against Australia). Considering we are playing the Lankans, our batsman recently adjusted to bouncier wickets during the Zimbabwe tour, and Dravid and Sehwag are returning with some practice on bouncy wickets in Australia, the Nagpur venue could be a very good one. A victory in the first ODI would really set the series up well. I feel an early win is crucial for the Indians. The BCCI really should consider selecting venues based on the team touring. Whenever Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or Zimbabwe are touring, Nagpur should be a venue. Similarly, it should be avoided when the South Africans of English are coming. Ideally, I would like to send the English to some of the most humid places in the country, Chennai and Mumbai. Try playing 4 pacers in late March in those places! When playing the West Indies or South Africa at home, venues that favor spin must be chosen considering the near non-existence of spin in those two countries' attacks. Quit the stupid so-called "rotation policy" and start deciding on venues strategically.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 13:59  

  • @sahir
    In ODI Cricket pretty much all pitches in india will tend to be standard boring batting beauties.

    remember the obscenely high-scoring in the series against pak last year and windies in 2002 ? this is esp true of the lesser venues.

    now we lost to the windies at nagpur in 2002 when they chased some 280-odd quite easily, but we have beaten sri lanka here in 99 when RD, SG scored hundreds and AA took 3 wickets

    By Blogger GK, at 14:06  

  • sahir, also remember, SL has Vaas who is a very crafty guy. And you require someone like that to make use of a green wicket. And I am not sure it was rock hard and bouncy. Sure, it was greener than the rest in India, but bouncy? Correct me if I am wrong, just speaking from memory.

    Absolutely agree with your reasoning of humid places for Eng and SA. I woudl extend it to Aus, NZ too and maybe Pak. I remember, after the 2001 Chennai test, the Aussies were almost to the level of crawling (the defeat might have had something to do too) and SRT saying in an interview he is ready to play another 5 days at Chennai!!

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:09  

  • Sahir - Unfortunately, winning a home series is not a priority for the BCCI honchos.. They need those votes to win the next election and so expect to see the rotation policy being contiued for the foreseeable future.. Maybe Chappell should demand that we play on wickets that will be more suitable to us.. then the BCCI might listen.. then again.. remember India's last tour to australia - dont know what those Aussies were smoking when they devised that itinerary.. no Tests at Perth v/s India?? what were they thinking?!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 14:37  

  • tiger...I wonder what is the criteria outside India for awarding venues for international fixtures?...anyone any idea??..rotation...or simple decision by the boards? (ofcourse I'm not talking about Pakistan where half the venues are rejected by tourists)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:42  

  • I agree with Prem that the series with Sri Lanka is going to be close , Its certainly not going to be a cake walk for the Lankans based purely on the ODI rankings . Those rankings are a little misleading because I really dont remember SL playing away from home against top ODI teams . and that may just have beefed up their rankings . Just for example look at the 2003 WC . Lankans were above us in rankings , but we really spanked them on a true wicket at J'berg

    By Blogger Adi, at 14:43  

  • adi...read that Moody interview...he(and I think whole SL team management) knows they are number two because of strong home show. They are not under any confusions.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:48  

  • Change in topic - on SG being declared fit now - What a nautanki is this thing called Indian Cricket? It is just out of this world.

    They think that the fans are abso stupid. They think that no one can see thru the farce that has been going regarding SG fitness.

    I do not think he was ever unfit. This is just a drama played to ease SG out of captaincy and put RD in without too much controversy and with damage control post GC email.

    SG fegns injury again & support group vett that (publicly). He goes to a lame trip to Mumbai and is declared unfit. Shows to the media that he is upset. 10 days later he is fit again but during these 10 days, RD has been made captain and Bob's your uncle.

    Now he will be back in the side as a batsman. GC is happy. Board is happy. SG is probably happy too.

    What a bloody farce! What a shame in front the rest of the world.

    By Blogger Akshay, at 14:53  

  • Hey guys, first time for me leaving a comment, since I just figured out how to register, haha.

    Anyway, Congratulations Prem on your wife's recovery.

    On cricket, I think India is going to win the series with SL 5 games to 2.

    By Blogger swapnil agarwal, at 15:22  

  • @Akshay,
    If SG goes on a 'lame' trip to Mumbai, he is probably unfit ;-)
    A request mixed with caution not to go back to the topic. I am watching this blog very carefully ;-)

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:00  

  • toney,
    you are mistake about the Nagpur wicket against the Aussies. Adam Gilchrist went as far as saying it was more of an Australian-type pitch- had a great deal of bounce and carry. Chaminda Vaas excels in typical subcontinental conditions where the ball keeps low and wickets tend to slow up as the innings progresses and ball gets older. He does not have near as good a record in swinging and seaming conditions in England, or bouncy conditions in Australia and South Africa. The bowlers that get the most purchase from hard surfaces tend to be those that hot the deck hard ala McGrath. Amongst the Sri Lankan bowlers, Dilhara Fernando probably fits that criteria. So does Lasith Malinga and Prabath Nissanka, but neither have been chosen for the ODI series.

    Other cricket boards have complete autonomy in selecting the venue. Almost all boards make their decision based on the greatest financial reward and the logistics of the travel schedule from city to city. However, you do see tactical decisions in big series. The Aussies notoriously always played the first test of an Ashes series at the Gabba in Brisbane, a very hard, but true, wicket with some lateral movement early. Although, I think with the emergence of Simon Jones, Steve Harmison, and Andrew Flintoff, things might change. I'd bet the Aussies choose Sydney as the venue for the fisrt test next ashes, enabling to take advantage of their biggest assets, the leggies.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:07  

  • Oh my,
    I think Akshay may have opened up a can of worms that are just going to flood this comment thread. The point really is moot, so no reason to debate it. Dravid is captain for the next 12 ODIs, Ganguly is fit again after minor tennis elbow, and Indian cricket moves forward. I don't see the reason to go into any conspiracy theories, regardless of their validity.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:11  

  • @Sahir,
    Good point.
    Just made a small change to your comment:
    I don't see the reason to go into any conspiracy theories, regardless of their validity or stupidity.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:26  

  • @sauravganguly
    where is thanks chappell ? :)

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:34  

  • @Poondu, Last heard from The Hindu, he was closeted with Gloster trying to draw a schedule for the coaching camp.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 16:36  

  • Akshay,
    'faking injuries'. As Indian express said it is remarkable how a tennis elbow (even a mild one) can recover in so short a time. Read somewhere on this forum that the Rajkot strip for the Duleep match is quite green. You still might be able to have yr wish if the pace bowlers in the opposite team can make SG do Bharat Natyam. And then again as I already said, if the Indian team is up 2-0 after teh second ODI, what chances does SG have to be selected? Waiting list number one would be Kaif (if he is fit by then), Sg would be WL # 2 and would have an even lesser chance. On the other hand if we are down 2-0 then SG can walk-in even if he scores a scratchy 20 or 30 at Rajkot.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 16:38  

  • The only realistic chance to beat SL is by India chasing. if SL chases, forget series win and so toss is most curcial. SL has great depth in batting and they will easily overhaul any total India throws.

    By Blogger J, at 16:56  

  • @Gardabh, I will continue to be a silent spectator not because of lack of logical retorts, but, because that would be an exercise in futility.
    Logical Reasoning should start with a sound premise and need to be sequential. But some of you in the blog have confused logic and art. Logic is used for making arguments. But you have resorted to word artistry and selective blindness in passing judgements.

    By Blogger sauravganguly, at 17:06  

  • j,
    It's tough to make a blanket statement regarding batting or bowling first as you did. Each decision has to be made on its own merits, taking into account the conditions that day, the players selected, and maybe most importantly these days- the supersub. For example, hypothetically, if Murali Kartik is your supersub it would be sensible to bat first, sub out a batsman during the innings break and have Kartik take advantage of a used pitch. Similarly, should Venugopal Rao be your supersub, conventional wisdom would say you ought to field first and add the extra batsman to your lineup during the change. This, of course, is given a belief in the wicket lasting 100 overs and not getting excruciatingly slow as the match progresses, as sometimes can happen with subcontinental wickets. One thing is for sure though- India should bowl first if they win the toss at Mohali in the 2nd ODI. Even though it is likely to be a good wicket to bat on, with the ball coming onto the bat nicely, I would rather not bowl with the dew around under lights. The top order would have to survie a testy initial period, preserving wickets against a swinging ball, and then take advantage of the spinners when the ball is difficult to grip and just skids straight on from the surface. Hopefully, the Sri Lankans weren't watching the Challenger Trophy and aren't aware of this fact. Although with the amount of homework Tom Moody does, I doubt that will be the case come match time.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:10  

  • sahir,
    that comment from Gilli was more to rub salt into our wounds. Anyhow, I hope India produces a lot mmore of those wkts for our domestic 4 day matches. I am sure the ODI pitches will be batting beauties. If the Nagpur pitch was any indication when Aus played the test, then the ODI pitch should be true and have good bounce, so a very good ODI game on the cards. The boundaries arent big which isnt great, though

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:13  

  • sahir,
    There is no guarantee that there will be dew every day at Mohali. Remember, no dew in the finals and that meant the side fielding second could grip the ball much better.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:15  

  • sauravganguly
    if you are relying on the walking stick called logic then be seen to be doing so. Dont say 'I will remain a silent spectator' and then immediately break yr silence by adding another sentence.
    I look at yr second statement and think it applies to your observation better (like a worm's head swallowing its tail).

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 17:22  

  • toney,
    I share your hope for faster, bouncier wickets at the domestic level. About Mohali, you're right there is no guarantee of dew every time, but I would rather not take that chance. After all, there was dew in the three matches prior to the final. Not to mention, the team chasing still won the final match as well. In fact, the team chasing one every match. I'd stick with those odds.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:22  

  • Sahir - re aussies choosing SCG for the 1st test - actually in Aus, they have traditions.. Boxing Day match means its MCG.. new years match in SCG... so I dont think they will tinker with tradition.. did u read how not many people came to see the Super series because they have their calenders set to watch the match at the predetermined time.. I guess many people plan their vacations etc based on the fact that the first game of a series will be played in Brisbane.. and I doubt they will alter that. but then again, this time the Aussies need to win back the Ashes!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:23  

  • gardabh,
    As I mentioned earlier the point regarding Ganguly's injury is moot. Dravid is captain for the next 12 ODIs, Ganguly has recovered from his minor tennis elbow, and Indian cricket will move forward. Simply take it at face value. I see no reason to delve into conspiracy theories, regardless of their validity or invalidity.

    I'm simply stating this to avoid an ugly situation with the attacks getting very personal. I've seen it happen once too often for Ganguly seems to be about as divisive a figure as George W. Bush during the 2004 election- those that hate him, really hate him, and those that love him, really love him. Can there be absolutely no middle ground? Before people go answering my lat question, please don't- it's rhetorical.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:29  

  • tiger,
    Thanks for enlightening me, I wasn't aware of the tradition. I guess the strength of the tradition will really be tested in the next Ashes. After all, not only are the English bowlers genuinely quick and accurate, after along time the Aussies pace cupboard seems bare. They're going to have to rely on Warne and MacGill to win back the Ashes. Although, I'm sure one Mr. McGrath will have to something to say in what could very well be his final test series.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:34  

  • Sahir,
    dont know what conspiracy theory you think I am alluding to. All I said that SG will play in Rajkot after healing from a 'mild tennis elbow symptom'. Fyi the inverted commas are there in every news column I have seen - guess everyone is taking the condition with as much salt as they can tolerate.
    The next statement was that SG's much publicised aversion to fast bowling will again be on display at Rajkot.
    And then I speculated on what his chances are to make it to the Indian team.
    Now put this next to what you have written - and tell me if you are seeing any correlation!!!

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 17:37  

  • sahir,
    I still believe and I always have that the Aussies will continue to prosper on the bouncier truer pitches in Aus. They are most susceptible on green wickets but the sad thing is, most other teams are even more vulnerable. They wont make the mistake of preparing a traditional Brisbane greentop thoug, I feel. Brisbane usually hosts the first test. And they usually reserve grounds like Hobbart for the lesser teams. England, I believe will play at the Gabba, MCG, WACA, Adelaide and SCG, maybe in a slightly different order.

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:40  

  • gardhabh,
    my mistake; I misunderstood

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:46  

  • Prem, I disagree a bit on the closeness of the contest ...If India is at its very best ... it will be 4 - 3 in lanka's favor. ALthough i personally feel, it will end up 5-2 in Lanka's favor. A result of 6 - 1 in Lanka's favor will also not be surprising. I think they bat deep down, bowl better and field and run better than the Indians. The soft requirements such as team spirit , unity etc are also loaded in Lanka's favor.

    By Blogger indCric, at 18:00  

  • sahir: Just dropped in. Good to find you. What happened to Astros? Counting chickens too early! ;-) As i said, we are in the WS05..you are not yet ;-))

    By Blogger losing now, at 18:06  

  • I still dont know know why the Aussies dont start a home series at the WACA. The perth pitch has a green top, lot of bounce and a pronounced sideways movement. Most teams will strugle in these conditions early on in the tour. A route early on in the tour, could also be a psychological nightmare. I remeber Gilchrist commenting that most Australians outside of Perth find the WACA too hot to handle. It takes a couple of Sheffield shield matches for the Aussies to get used to the conditions

    By Blogger indCric, at 19:21  

  • Is SG really so bad that he cant find a place in ODI side? I mean why does he have to play a domestic match to prove fitness when physician and Dr have given him the green signal? I thought he still had something to offer in ODI's.

    By Blogger J, at 19:24  

  • indcric,
    The Aussies did start their last hom test series (against Pakistan) at the WACA. Predictable, the Aussies won by nearly 500 runs. However, they received quite a scare early on with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami getting a fair bit of assistance from the wicket and reducing them to 5-78 before Langer and Gilchrist came to the rescue with a 152 run partnership.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 19:38  

  • losing now,
    that last game was very distressing, but the Astros are still up 3-2 with Oswalt and the best pitcher in the history of the game, Clemens, to pitch the last two. Still sitting pretty.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 19:40  

  • Talk about job security..

    'Talented batsman' Yuvraj Singh, dreams of leading India....enjoy...


    By Blogger Rajg, at 21:57  

  • well,
    good for Yuvraj; certainly nothing wrong with lofty aspirations. However, currently the tide indicates Kaif as the future captain amongst the younger generation. Cricket's a funny game though, and things can change very quickly. Yuvraj is doing absolutely the right thing by not stressing over it and simply focusing on his game. His best chance at one day leading India will be to put up tons of runs on the board. Work hard, try to do justice to his undeniable batting talent, continue to work on your fielding and things may work out.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 22:30  

  • I think many of you in this forum miss the point on Sourov.Whether Sourov should be a captain or in the team is not the issue.The issueS which GC hammered ARE that everyone in the team needs to be fit and in fighting form be it batting or bowling.Sourov failed on both counts,so gets the sack.If he gets fit and is back to form, why not take him back into the team like any other contendors?

    By Blogger laks1234, at 01:05  

  • We will laks offcourse we will. Thats what everyone wants as well. God willing if SG fully concentrates on his batting and returns as the old matchwinner SG, we all will raise a toast.

    By Blogger J, at 01:09  

  • SG will come back atleast for SA series as a ODI batsman ...

    By Blogger rajesh, at 03:11  

  • Sahir, YS survived in the team becos of politics. He is talking of captaincy etc. To me, he should be play Ranji for couple of years before playing for Test team. He is like SG, scores against weak teams. Now, GC is impressed by 2 inn played against A and B teams....place insured for SL and SA series. In some inconsequential match, he will manage a 50...

    By Blogger Rajg, at 05:34  

  • We go too much by ratings i believe. I think if we can get our act together we may end up winning this series. I mean SL has hardly any quality in the bowling apart from vaas and murali and nothing really dangerour apart from sangakarra,jayasuriya and may be jaywardene in the batting. really is it that good a team outside home? I think SL plays a a team and that is what india has been lacking. but now with the new captain, home conditions and most importantly the absence of a final final per se i think we may win this series. The balance of the team is right and they need to play as a team and sachin must get going. A couple of changes after the 1st two ODis may be on the cards with AN coming in if he is fit and SG coming in if he is fit, in form and willing to foget the past and get on as a player. if nothing SG in full form wud be my supersub at least

    By Blogger Avinash, at 06:06  

  • rajg,
    I don't entirely agree with your assessment on Yuvraj Singh, but in large part I do. He ceratinly has not solidified a position in the Test side. I would pick Mohammad Kaif over him. Of course, befair you can be captain you have to be considered a near certainty selection-wise in both teams. That is why I said the best way for him to achieve his lofty aspirations is by working very hard and scoring tons of runs for India in whatever opportunities come his way. However, in the ODIs, I reckon Yuvraj is a tremendous asset simply because of his mutidimensional ability. Unfotunately, currently there is a paucity of resources when talking about multi dimensional ability. I mean he's a batsman capable of scoring quickly, fielding exceptionally, and bowling part-time left arm spin (adds variety as we rarely have a left arm spinner in the side). Admittedly, he is weak against spin. But, many batsman around the world have such weaknesses. The key is how you work on your game to improve and counter your weaknesses. He certainly is anywhere near a finished product, but according to his coach, he is working hard. Talent combined with hard work and dedication is really all you can ask for. Many people point to how few 100s he and Kaif have scored as some sort of justification for dropping them from the side. Batting at 6 in ODIs will almost ensure you will never score 100s- there simply is not enough time. All you really need down the order is a person that averages slightly more than 30 at strike rate in the 90s. However, now that it looks he will have more opportunities up the order, his game may develop further and average may go up. Ideally, in the future (post 2007 World Cup) I would like to see him batting at 4.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:17  

  • Hey Saurav Ganguly fans!
    Just happenned to go thru these blogs in the Times of India epaper.
    I am sure you'll enjoy these:



    Nice and interesting!
    You may just check them out.

    By Blogger Blwe_torch, at 06:24  

  • Avinash,
    I agree India will likely win this series. Not because I feel this Indian ODI side has turned the corner and become great or anything, but rather home field advantage. The Sri Lankans have proven over a very long period of time that they are absolutely atrocious outside Sri Lanka- way worse than India has been over the years. India plays a lot better at home than they do away. I feel a Sri Lankan victory would be against the odds, and I don't see that happening. Even if India does win the next 2 ODI series, we won't really know how good they are. A better assesment can be made after they play away in Pakistan. Of course, should they lose either of the home ODI series, we may realize how bad they can be.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:26  

  • Sahir,

    I think YS is over-rated; Encouraging Talent is ok, but, he is in the team for 4yrs. How many times did he play according to situation. I agree, coming at 5/6 down, in a crunch situation is tough. He never improved his game. Main reason he is in the team is because of quota and good corporate sponsors. My gut feeling is not a worthy player whom Indian team can count on.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 09:14  

  • Rajg, had a hearty laugh dude. with no offence meant, your comment appears like you watch cricket once in a blue moon. lol.
    Good day.

    By Blogger PreHistoric Bird, at 09:41  

  • Look, one need not watch..you can make out from pattern of YS batting. He made a debut with a big inn against Aus, after two years one inn in Natwest final...scored against Zim, BD.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 10:22  

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