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Sight Screen

Friday, October 21, 2005

Brothers under the skin?

I was reading this interview Osman Samiuddin has done with Pak coach Bob Woolmer; one particular bit in there jumps out at you:
There is a slower progression in certain areas than others. You might get other teams to do different things quicker, it is different in the Pakistan team. Inzamam-ul-Haq summed it up to me when he said "Let's do everything slowly." That is not because the players are stupid or thick or anything, it's because people are happy in their comfort zones. To take them out of that into a new way can often be quite difficult.

Been trying to think, now which other national team does this remind you of? Actually, this bit is not the only part of the interview that resonates with the Indian context -- check out Woolmer's comments re Shoaib Akthar, for instance. Overall, a neat interview, well worth your time, guys.


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    By Blogger Julia Elvarado, at 14:44  

  • Prem,
    At that rate, the SLans should be complaining abt Moody and Whatmore. Its just that all brothers are not alike :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:45  

  • @toney
    sri lankans have historically always been different than indians and pakis - hard-working and athletic

    By Blogger GK, at 14:59  

  • Prem,
    one other comment from Woolmer finds a match in the Indian context as well - 'One of the problems Pakistan have is that there are too many players of similar ability and not people actually straining above that.' - we have a whole horde of average sub-international level players - unfortunately no FLintoff, harmison, Glen Mc or Warne. Somehow SRT, RD, VVSL look like the last of the giants.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 15:00  

  • Prem, Pak board brings in changes relatively faster compared to JCCI or SL Board. This is because of Mush, all-in-one of that country. Atleast wrt cricket, Shryr Khan, general who oversees cricket and reports to Mush is sincere.
    After WC 03, they have improved gradually. They rest players if they don't perform, not clinging on to past records.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 15:02  

  • @gardhabh
    what about VS ? isnt he a great ? i think he is - in tests at least and after all thats what matters most

    By Blogger GK, at 15:03  

  • gk, Ranatunga, De Silva werent exactly athletic with their pot bellies. But you are right, they have always been a better fielding side than us

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:04  

  • gk,
    VS is work in progress. Although I would agree that he stands way tall among Indian cricketers even internationally.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 15:05  

  • @toney
    yes i tend to think ranatunga and desilva were the last of the non-athletic ones ... otherwise right from roshan mahanama onwards they have had brilliant fielders

    By Blogger GK, at 15:06  

  • @GK VS will never be considered a great until he ups his *2nd innings* average which is around 25 now. He will be attractive, destructive, and entertaining but not a Great until he does something about his 2nd innings average in tests. In ODI's for the fact that VS opens he should at least average 40 to be remotely considered great although his strike rate is impressive but so is Shahid Afridi's.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 15:09  

  • LOL, Smith decides to bowl over 18 and spoils SA's chances

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:10  

  • @prasad
    yes the second inns average is a worry but only if u look at it in isolation ... if u consider the fact that most of the times when he scores he scores big in the first inns - he sets up the whole match from there - in the end leaving very little to be done in the second - so despite doing too little in the second inns he is still a match-winner of the highest quality - and for me that is good enuf to qualify for greatness

    By Blogger GK, at 15:12  

  • Fair enough point GK.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 15:17  

  • @GK,
    IMO Sehwag is a good test player as of now. I would wait atleast a couple of years to decide if he is great.

    Thanks for reminding about Mahanama's fielding abilities. He was definitely a great fielder.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:20  

  • Prema:

    One of the biggest advantages Woolmer has over Chappell is that Pakistan has a confident, in-form captain. That is half the battle.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 15:25  

  • hjrsingh: well, u shud say 'now' PAK has a confident inform captain... inzi had his head on the guillotine during the IND series... if he had failed in that series, it wud have meant another round of whose the next captain for the PAK team... in a sense, it must be new for the PAK team to have a stable captain... another interesting fact is that besides younis khan (who was the captain when inzi was injured), there r no other captains in the side... what is the record ummmm proly 6 captains in 1 PAK team... another bad series against ENG and the debate will start again since younis showed some spark when he led PAK against IND...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:57  

  • prem: u r absolutely right... the minute i read inzi 'lets do it slow' the first thing that popped in my mind is GC, didnt bring it up since i thought that it wud steer the blog in the wrong direction...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:58  

  • guys,

    off topic a bit but does anyone have more news abt murali's shoulder ?? cricinfo says he was hurt in practise ?

    what wud that mean to the SL side ??

    By Blogger Amit, at 16:14  

  • amit
    that would mean murli can throw more of his stuff :>

    By Blogger tombaan, at 17:33  

  • we have better bowlers than the past although they are inconsistent and injury prone. i definitely think pathan is a really good bowler, also our wicket keepers are far better batsmen than the ones before. Quality of fielding in general has improved except for the presence of some of these greats , and to the person who called harmison a great, hello it was just one series calm down my friend because then SG should be considered super great, same goes for Flintoff - he was a failure for quite a few seasons before becoming "great"

    By Blogger Ruchi Shah, at 19:04  

  • Ruchi Shah - you have got all your cricket wrong. Harmisson and Flintoff dont have any peer in Indian team. I dont even feel like getting into discussion on this or justify this

    By Blogger J, at 23:17  

  • i dont need to justify myself either, a good season or series doesn't necessariyl ensure greatness.

    By Blogger Ruchi Shah, at 23:43  

  • Some thing that is confirmed!

    ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has bagged the worldwide rights for telecasting the 9th Asia Cup from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

    The rights include global exclusive television broadcast of the tournament, radio broadcast and on-ground sponsorships. The Asia Cup, which is to be played between India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, will be held in Pakistan from 16 - 28 February 2006.

    By Blogger V Menon, at 01:18  

  • thanks prem. i read it and featured it, too. glad to know we both think it was important enough and significant enough for our greg chappell. maybe inzy can teach chappell a thing or two. or maybe surav can learn a thing or two about man-management from inzy. maybe...poor rahul, the bharat of the indian ramayana that is cricket. thank you.

    By Blogger √úbermaniam, at 02:11  

  • The Lion's Mane:

    As the coach - captain spat continues to drag Indian cricket to fascinating depths one wonders whether any semblance of preparation exists for the home series against the Lankans? Sure the Lankan series is a long time away but that is conveniently forgetting the fact that this Lankan team is extremely dangerous.More so in the subcontinent where they have proved to be almost impossible to conquer.Their team is one of the best balanced in international cricket.The percieved lack of apprehension about the Lankans is either a master charade by the Indians or stupidity at its best.

    The last time an Indian side won a test series against the Lankans was in 1994 when the current captain Attatpatu made a rather horrific debut in Test cricket.More pertinently it was way before the lankans started playing the Ranatunga brand of hard nosed cricket.It was the Azza-Wadekar-designer pitches era. An era where Kumble,Chauhan and Raju et al stringed together a magic period of Indian cricket. The last series played in India in 1996 ended in grief for Tendulkar's Indians. A series where the Indians were not as much outhought but thoroughly frustrated by the approach of the Lankan team. The tests at Mohali,Nagpur and Mumbai were the initial nails to the Tendulkar captaincy coffin. Whereas both teams and test cricket in general may have moved out of that mode of playing, it was a pointer to the astute leadership of Ranatunga.

    The common factor running through Indo-Srilankan test matches ever since has been the total impotence of the Indian spinners against the Lankan batsmen. Kumble is made to look like a trundler and Harbhajan for all his bluster is also not considered much of a threat in the Lankan camp.So the designer dust bowls go out of the window as an advantage.Anything which turns for the Indians will turn,spit.bounce and even do a strip tease when Murali gets going. If anything the recent batting endeavours of the Indians show an alarming decline in the ability to play spin. Similar concerns were also voiced by Wright towards the fag end of his tenure, but to no avail. The last day collapse to Afridi,Kaneria and Arshad Khan were just the culmination of a batting malaise that has been evident for quite some time.However the "We are indians.. bought up on a diet of spin.." mantra keeps getting repeated, with Warne's failure against the Indians purpotedly granting the Indian batsmen bullying rights against other tweakers. Murali,Chandana,Dilshan and Jayasuriya may well turn out to be a much more potent combination than Kumble,Harbhajan and probably Karthik.

    The fast bowling out look is pretty even stevens with again the Lankans maybe holding a slight edge.Vaas has been a pernnial night mare for the Indians who have found it nigh impossible to establish any kind of authority over him.Zoysa too is in the Vaas mould and loves bowling to the Indians.Two strapping left arm seamers who look every bit better than Pathan and Khan with better batting to boot.This is keeping in mind Pathan's improved performances with the willow.The third seamer way well not come into play as playing two spinners is almost sacrosant on the sub continent. Even in the highly unusual scenario that a third quick is played Malinga and Maharoof look much more threatening that Balaji and god forbid Agarkar. Malinga may even may get the nod ahead of Zoysa as the Indians have not had much of a look at him.

    The batting is dead heat with proven performers on both sides. If India can play a test batsman instead of Saurav Ganguly they may well be the better batting side. However the Lankan trump card for this series would not be Murali , Jayasuriya or Vaas. This could be the series where Kumara Sangakkara comes of age. The best keeper in the circuit bar Gilchrist, Sangakkara brings much more to the table than runs. A in your face kind of guy he has already gained legendary status for his "intellectual" sledging. A glorious player to watch, he oozes confidence at the crease.The perfect No 3 with the strokes , technique and class to handle the Indian bowlers. To boot it he is a left hander.Since when did Indian bowlers queue to bowl at left handers?Contrast this with Karthik who apart from that seminal 96 against Pakistan in Kolkata has done little of note at the time of writing.Dhoni unproven at test level may just be a risk worth taking to offset Kumara sangakkara.

    A fascinating series with several sub plots is bound to unfold. If only we could stop wrangling over who is captain!!

    Sachin - Vaas:
    The little master has admitted that Vaas is one of the bowlers he finds it difficult to play against. The Vaas-Tendulkar duel with Sachin returning from injury may set the tone for the other skirmishes. While the heart says Sachin the mind says Vaas.

    Sehwag - Murali:
    I say Sehwag-Murali instead of Dravid-Murali because Sehwag is going to take the attack to Murali whereas Dravid is not.If Sehwag subdues Murali and throws him off balance , the middle order may feast on the lesser bowlers.

    Two bristling youngsters with all the talent and confidence in the world.Will be a surreal experince seeing them go at each other.

    Predictions : Lanka 5 - India 2 in the ODI's (I am sane when i say this!)

    Lanka 2 - India 1 in the tests (May change depending on the venues)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04:58  

  • Warm-up Game:


    SL: 267/50 PLayed all key batsmen, MCA XI did good job bowling wise.

    MCA XI: 90/1 in 19 overs. Good going so far. SL key bowlers are rested.

    IF MCA wins good morale booster for India XI.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 05:29  

  • MCA XI pulls of a last ball win.... 2 needed of last ball ...fernando bowls a noball and batsmen take a run...

    hope this is a sign of the good things to come....touchwood!

    By Blogger cartan, at 08:16  

  • who is abhishek nair? i have heard of abhishek bachan but nair??? all of a sudden there are mallus dropping in from everywhere :> must be prems influence

    By Blogger tombaan, at 08:54  

  • Hmmmm things seem to be slowing down here. Let me see if I can get things stirred up again. I think Ganguly is not ready for prime time yet. He needs to play some more domestic cricket or even better - county cricket before staking his claims.

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 09:47  

  • Prem,
    woolmer's comments have lots of relevance to some Team India players too. how else one can think when some of our ace cricketers complained of over work imposed on them by GC when the latter tried to bring them out of their comfort zones.

    By Blogger Krish, at 14:21  

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