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Sight Screen

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some global updates(-worma)

First up..some not-always-meaningful controversies doing the rounds...

The first one around the Super Series...firstly they collected a bunch of players, many of them coming from off-season, to fight against a well oiled battle tank...and then there are these complaints about attitudes and fitness and what not. As I said earlier, why expect 'commitment' from them towards a cause which hardly anyone believes in....in fact which hardly fits the definition of a 'cause' IMO!

Anyways...now Inzy denies having any problems with Smith. Also says his mind was distracted by the earthquake. Also this one about the Wright-Shoaib spat.

More than these reports, I enjoyed these 'mock' Super Series Diaries of Smith (here and here). Dan seems to have used the news/analysis/rumor/info bits about players very well into this 'out of context' diaries. My personal favorite...the Shakespearean appearance of a ghost-like Vaughan to haunt Smith at all crucial moments...hilarious stuff. (Thanks Prakash Thulasiraman, I presume one of our readers here, for pointing these out to me)

Anyway, the other controversy around the breath mints and reverse swing...which I referred to a couple of days back. We read yesterday how Bracken tried to do some damage control, and how Jones came out rebutting(especially in context of Ashes). Here's a take by Tim de Lisle in Guardian.
For now, the only undoubted mint is the one the England players are making. In truth, they won the Ashes by being fearless, well-led, united, and having a magic ingredient: extra strong Flintoff.
I think this should close the matter, as far as England's Ashes success is concerned?

Some other bits of news...

Cricinfo has yet another blog after recently launching the Surfer. This one is more of a discussion forum for the cricinfo 'experts' with no scope for readers' comments. Not yet atleast. I'm not too impressed, I must say...but do visit and judge for yourselves.

Waugh has 'handwritten' his autobiography...and injured his writst in the process!..boy, he sure did retire at the right time ;-). But seriously...this one, titled Out of My Comfort Zone, might be worth catching.

And Harsha's new column about RD's captaincy stint. As usual of Harsha, a very balanced piece...interesting bits, for me, are
More interesting, can he separate personal form from the fortunes of the team? A year ago I had done a business programme on CNBC and Sourav Ganguly had said, "I have told Rahul that when you become captain you will have to separate your two roles. That is the most difficult part."
On the way though he will have to rub some people the wrong way. He has hardly ever done that and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to people who have a voice but for whom he has no time. There are many of those in our cricket
And on a lighter side, atleast I have started liking the artistically creative titles that Harsha has started conjuring for his articles :-)

And finally...me stepping gingerly on a mine-field(;-)...SG seems to have 'earned' a recall to the national team(?)


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  • Seems like a good performance by Ganguly: 117 off 143 on a reported greentop, against decent pace attack of VRV Singh, Gagandeep Singh, and Amit Bhandari
    Very good to see a good bowling perfomance by VRV Singh: East Zone were 281-6 before VRV cleaned up the last four wickets with just 10 more added on the board. 2 lbws and two bowled- possibly reverse swing? The national squad has struggled for a while now to clean up opposing tails. A bowler of VRVs pace could greatly help out in that situation.
    In earlier posts, I have mentioned my opinion that Wasim Jaffer deserves another opportunity to prove himself as a test match opener. Unlike many Indian batsman, he is very strong off the backfoot, untroubled by short, back of a good length bowling. He just scored a fantastic century for the West Zone. 133 really is a great contribution when one considers the situation. His side was three wickets down with just 5 runs on the board! And 5 wickets down with just 79 runs on the board.
    Additionally, another solid half century by Parthiv Patel. The guy is showing good consistency with the bat, but must carry it on and score 100s to really catch the selectors eye again. Not to mention, imrove his glovework, which seemed better in the recently concluded Challenger Trophy.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:25  

  • sahir...yes Patel is looking much improved..from what little I saw of him in Challenger

    Jaffer, I wonder if he has a chance of getting back(what's his age?)...but anyways as of now we dont have a vacancy in test opening slot. And I'm not sure how effective are the backup bowlers for South Zone...because besides Balaji, they didn't look to have much teeth...any idea?

    About VRV....yes he sure did catch the eye in Challenger...and if he keeps performing thus..he would get a chance soon....also Misra bowled well, it seems. He should be our next test spin hopeful...has been around for a while..and is considered pretty good.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:29  

  • Worma..Too many surprises in the SZ team or maybe I am out of touch with reality. There is no Vidyut, no Aiyappa(touted as the fastest in the country)or for that matter Rowland Barrington. Not sure when are we going to see the likes of these youngsters. Sriram is neither here nor there.His path needs to be made clear.By whom?? By when ??

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 06:41  

  • worma,
    Jaffer is still only 27. Even though Gambhir has done adequately, I still believe Jaffer is a better option. Additionally, he happens to be an outstanding specialist gully fielder- a vital position that is usually occupied by Anil Kumble. Granted the South Zone attack may not be special, but to get a big century, with wickets tumbling around you, in a relatively low-scoring game is nonetheless, remarkable.
    The major problem I have with Amit Mishra is the number of no-balls he bowls. He bowled 10 in 16 overs during this game. This is not undusual for him, as I have noticed it in almost every game he plays. Makes you wonder about the quality of coaching he's getting that such a simple problem cannot be corrected. A spinner is averaging a no-ball every 2 overs? Completely unacceptable.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:42  

  • ravi,
    Very disappointed to not see Vidyut in the South Zone squad. The guy plays a match-winning innings in the Challenger Trophy finals, in the only opportunity he received, and he gets no opportunity in the Duleep Trophy? I know this is the loger version of the game, but still...

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:45  

  • ravi1010: no idea for the newcomers...but have they played Duleep trophy yet? About Sriram..well he's a 'regular' on the domestic scene...some national discards become like that...do well in domestic..Kambli, Mongia(?) etc are example.

    sahir: I believe the no-ball issue can easily be sorted out with good coaching and practise...maybe at domestic level he hasnt been encouraged to sort it out.

    About jaffer vs Gambhir....firstly being a good fielder can never be a factor in chosing a test opener. Batting strength is the lone decide...and even if you are right in saying jaffer is better than GG, I dont see how GG can be discarded at this stage. Do you?

    Lets see once that position opens up..although I see Jadhav having a higher claim there? I think Jaffer has been considered as tried and failed...but I may be wrong

    By Blogger worma, at 06:50  

  • sahir i agree with you on jaffer. his bad luck he made debut at a time when people were dropped with not enough trial period like kaifs and yuvraj....
    as for gangs i would have him play more and not rush him in. next maybe we should give him the captaincy????

    By Blogger tombaan, at 06:57  

  • worma,
    I agree that there is no way Gambhir can be discarded at this stage. He deserves a run of at least 20 tests to fully prove himself. However, should an opportunity arise, I would like to see Jaffer given preference over the rest. I certainly was not advocating selecting an opening batsman on his fielding abilities, but rather simply stating another positive attribute in addition to his superior batting abilities

    By Blogger Sahir, at 07:22  

  • This guy Ganguly does not give up does he...amazing century when you take into account how he was hopping yesteday and also hit on the helmet according to cricinfo.

    I think Jadhav is in line ahead of Jaffer at the moment. That is assuming GG or VS fails.

    By Blogger Vins, at 07:28  

  • sahir ok..got the point. Haven't followed Jaffer's domestic exploit closely, so can't comment. Take your word for it :-)

    Although tombaan I see no reason to bring Yuv and Kaif into this! Those guys have got the chances(through failures) in ODIs...and that too because they showed *immence* promise early on..did well for a while...and then went through the lean patch. I see no way of comparison

    By Blogger worma, at 07:31  

  • Jaffar is one of the bad luck stories of the Ganguli era. The others being Aakash Chopra, Ajay Ratra, Vijay Dahiya etc. He didnt do too badly in West Indies and England when he was replaced mid series in England. He has been scoring consistently whereever he has been given an opportunity. He is a solid backfoot player with a good temperament. I just hope he gets a chance again. He has worked very hard and comes from a humble background (his father is a driver with the BEST in Mumbai..). More than anything he is a good player and deserves a chance. Much like Romesh Powar..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 08:45  

  • wow!! i was about to leave when i just said to myself that in the last 3 overs east zone shud come up with something special to atleast break the partnership... never did i dream about getting 3 wickets in the last 3 overs... cricket is definitely a game of uncertainties... i think the game is now evenly poised and SG has to comeup with something special again in the second innings to give east their victory... i think a victory on this supposedly green top wud get SG the max brownie points rather than getting to his personal milestones... i am happy for nadeem to to get his first wicket of the game...

    one more interesting factor about SG's innings was the run rate... a very aggressive century that wud do him a world of good considering the quality of attack and the surface he was batting on... is he ready for a comeback? proly not because i think he shud spend more time in the duleep trophy to earn a comeback and it wud also help him face a little easy opposition and hence more chances for him to get his confidence back... as the red-mouthed guy (in Rahul's article on cricinfo) said, play natural sourav, if SG gets there he will be the kind of batsmen that will bring tears to any ODI bowler in the world... hope i can get the SG of taunton back... just praying...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 08:49  

  • Too early to say Mayur. Remember he scored 170 in one of his lat comebacks in domestic match but went back to his wicked ways in the international arena, almost in no time. Who wouldn't like Ganguli back in his Taunton avtaar..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 08:55  

  • reverse sweep: yes Jaffer had to face his first few series outside the subcontinent...probably not a good way to debut as a batsman....or atleast it shouldn't be judged by the same criteria as..e.g GG...who had his first few series at home..and relatively comfortable(except for that first game against Aus..where he failed)...which allowed him to ease into the team...ahh well...thats how it goes in cricket

    Powar can get in only as an allrounder...atleast I didn't find his bowling good enough for a specialist attacking spinner (ofcourse if we dont want an attacking spinner..its a diff issue) from what little I've seen of him

    By Blogger worma, at 08:55  

  • Mayur, too many typos in my earlier post. Pls excuse

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 08:56  

  • Worma for a guy who you say is not an attacking spinner, Powar hasn;t been doing too badly. E.g. Just look at the Irani trophy match, the season opener where he got 6 wickets, then the challengers where he was reasonably successful and now the Duleep trophy where he got 4 wickets in the first inning. He can be a good alternative to Harbhajan if he gets the chance and captains confidence. His batting is a bonus and with Chappele around he can kicked into improving his fielding

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:00  

  • sorry mates writing from the office has its own hazards. Too many mistakes..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:01  

  • reverse..sure he can still struggle at international level...but IMO this inning has shown enough to justify his recall to our main team for another chance at the top. And I say this especially because SG wasn't actually *dropped* from the team on performance....was he? Had we played the SL series just after return from Zim, I dont think he would have been dropped from ODIs(unless injured) although he *might* have been stripped off captaincy.

    Even otherwise...had he scored this innings in Challenger against A/B team(which had similar bowling attacks..and less chances of actually bowling attackingly) would you still have said he needs more time?

    Anyways...the point is...the selectors were not taking his candidature(as a player) as a case of a freshman...its more of proving fitness and 'resonable' form (I know this is subjective..but anyways a ton ought to cover it?)...which i believe they would have seen today.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:02  

  • Yes Prem,

    If ZIM 100 had no value against Streak, why would they care for 117 against a Zonal attack!

    You see SRT 21 is a different story because Chappel is seeing sign of Form coming back. I am happy for SRT.

    Normally, you do not miss a bit but now?

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 09:03  

  • reverse...I talk about his performances in ODIs(where I've seen him a bit) and Challenger(again in ODI format). I did not find him fitting as an attacking ODI spinner (yes in ODIs they have a very fine balance to maintain between retriction and attack...no?). While all the performances that you mention are from longer version.

    But who knows...these performances may still help him getting a recall.

    I think what I wanted to convey was that I dont see him being selected as a specialist spinner over bhajji (and who looks like improving his indfferent form) or even Karthik

    By Blogger worma, at 09:06  

  • Worma,
    totally agree. I personally feel he should come back in the team quickly and I think the selectors would bring him back too. I was just pointing out what happened earlier so that the expectations are not too high. If a few sparkling Ganguli specials come along, the pleasent surprises are easy to handle than disappointments..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:07  

  • it would be nice if SG could actually perform well for a few matches before being selected back into the indian team. that might happen if india performs well in the first two ODIs and there in no need to change the batsmen. the problem will be if india perform badly in the two matches specially the batsman. even then i think they should recall VVS first and give SG another chance in the next duleep trophy match to get his confidence back.
    the best scenario is that india plays really well and wins, keeps me and the all the fans happy and then SG can come back if there is a opening in the lineup and he is back in form.
    the worst scenario is he is back in the team, because he is SG despite others playing well and someone is sacrificed who has not played, GG for example.

    By Blogger inoc, at 09:07  

  • reverse..agreed...and I understand what you mean. His 170 was in the middle or struggle....even some of his county performances were that way...

    inoc...if he gets back for the last 4 ODIs...I expect him to play...because someone got a place in the side due to SG being injured....obviously he has to move out(and if he has performed well....then that should be noted and kept in mind)..thats how a strong bench strength develops...and maintained :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:14  

  • Yes, all in all, interesting times ahead..apparently Chapple has said that Santh will open. However somewhere on the blog I have read somebody saying he saw Santh at the nets and he didnt seem any better than Agarkar. VRV hasn't been oustanding in the Duleep trophy although he got 3 wickets..ummm

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:18  

  • i agree with you worma but i am also wary of the fickle mind of the selectors and media.
    i want SG to succeed and the easiest way for him to do it is to have as little pressure on him as possible and also get a relatively 'long' stint.
    if he comes back immediately without having given others selected in the side a good go at it then a couple of innings ( a nick here, a bad decision there)and he is back to square one. that is what happened to him after that good domestic performance last time around.
    if however he is in the team after a stint at domestic level and runs under his belt as well as the fact that the others chosen havent performed then he is in a better position to strengthen his claim and possibly get a few more matches to show his worth.

    By Blogger inoc, at 09:21  

  • reverse...VRV got 4 wkts...but why do you say not impressive? he was brought into the attack against SG...did trouble him initially...and then once SG went he cleaned up the rest...looks ok to me..no?

    btw..where did Chappell speak about opening with Santh? Although that does sound believable in case Santh plays. Kind of suprise package for SL..possible to upset their top order..who've seen enough of our regulars. And AA bowls well with old ball(in case he plays)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:21  

  • inoc...hmm...yep valid point...but not likely to happen :-)...all I can say is...thats the way pressure works in international cricket...SG's feeling the heat of constant scrutiny....but not unjustly....anyone in his position, and esp in India, would have felt it...

    By Blogger worma, at 09:23  

  • Well done Sourav!

    Great performance under pressure!

    By Blogger bouncer, at 09:25  

  • reverse sweep: being better or worse than AA is not the issue... i mean AA is a great bowler with an outstanding strike rate... no one has been able to take so many wickets for us in the long run... but the biggest problem with AA is his consistency... i am not going to go through it again, but AA has the capability to bowl a jaffa and follow it with a 4-ball... now in what aspect is SS better than AA... consistency? well then the best is (so far) JPY... and SS is far to unknown to compare him with AA as we have seen him for the last 4-5 years...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:25  

  • Worma, thats the headline on rediff under cricket. Although when I clicked on it, it lead me to a wrong story. About VRV, he got the tailenders as his last three (apologies, he got 4 not 3). He troubled Ganguli but the report also said he lost his direction later on hence just got the feeling he didnt bowl all that hot..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:26  

  • inoc,

    SG is 33. Has scored 15000 runs in international cricket. So has the necessary experience. Scored two hundreds in the last 3 matches that he played (this one is not over yet). I do not think the selectors should wait to bring him in especially when we do not have Kaif and Laxman in the team

    By Blogger bouncer, at 09:28  

  • Mayur, I am not a fan of Agarkar and find him extremely frustrating for the same reasons mentioned by you and hence When some one mentions Santh not looking better, that gets me worried. At the same time I know we are talking about someone's impression which can be very subjective, but all the same sitting so far away from action such things do have an impact on one's mind...

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:29  

  • reverse...well VRV was brought into the attack after the fall of 3(4?) wkts...so had to take lower order scalps :-)...but anyways..I'm not promoting him...haven't seen him much....and yes sure his accuracy is not good enough..even in Challenger.

    And thx for rediff tip...looks like a new post..and opens for me atleast.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:29  

  • @ worma

    hundred against ZIM - doesnt count 'minnows'
    hundred in duleep trophy - 'same not good enough bowling maybe'
    but everytime he gets runs the pressure is less ans less.
    it is not only international scrutiny it is scrutiny all the time thats what he is facing.
    never seen so much interest in duleep trophy before ppl were even asking whether it can be seen live. i dont remember wanting to see a duleep trophy match live since i was a kid.

    on the other hand international cricket separates the men from the boys as they say - and maybe thats what he needs straight into the cauldron and prove his worth as you say.

    By Blogger inoc, at 09:33  

  • Worma, I just hope, for all the hype thats created around VRV, he doesn't go the Munaf Patel way and hence my comment. BTW, Munaf got 2 against South yeaterday.. wonder how he is faring? Apparently he is going to play for Maharashtra this season. Wonder whats happening to Avishkar Salvi..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:34  

  • Good to feel Gang's getting into RUNS.
    Can anybody comment whether VRV Gagan or AMIT bowled at his uncomfort areas or were they preapproached by Gangully not to bowl there.
    I think everybody over here agree's that Gangully has/had few weaknesses that were exploited more often in International arena.
    Just interested if anybody knows if he was bowled in those area's ?.

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 09:34  

  • reverse sweep: well, AA does not allow anyone to be his fan... he has been one of those so called bowlers with a great potential... 4-5 years into international cricket he still hasn't materialized it...

    as u said the thing is that we can just sit and worry about it, but who knows these guys like SS may click and the boost in confidence wud be the right shot in the arms to improve... imo this is one of the toughest series for SS as he will be bowling in the ODIs on the desi pata wickets... i mean how bad can it get? but i think SS shud take it as a challenge and prove everyone wrong with his mental approach...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:35  

  • @ bouncer
    never doubted SG credentials it just trying to figure out what may be the best for him. the decision is not in our hands anyway.

    By Blogger inoc, at 09:36  

  • inoc...yes that last point you made....thats the key....he may keep on getting these runs on domestic games (even in county)...but its the runs in international matches that counts...so get him back asap...lets see how we copes....well if he fails (over a deserved period of time) then sure let him go back and score tons of runs in domstic before claiming a place back.....but first give him a chance to 'lose' it

    By Blogger worma, at 09:36  

  • reverse...fyi...I saw Salvi's name in the list for Mumbai Board President's XI squad thats going to face SL tomorrow....that should be a brief indicator of 'where he is' :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:38  

  • pankaj...read the cricinfo report (the Rahul Bhattacharya article) to know answers to those questions...oops..that sounded like an advertisement ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:39  

  • Mayur,
    Santh is kid but if he can handle Sangakara, Jayasuria et al, good for him and more importantly, good for us. We haven't had a good fast, accurate bowler who would put the fear of god in the minds of the opposition. If it is Santh or VRV or Munaf or anyone, who cares. I am just tired of pretenders like the Zahir Khans and Balijis..and even Nehras..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:40  

  • reverse sweep: true pal... everyone here is tired of the non-performers... it is good to see someone new break into the XIi just hope he proves himself here but as i said this is and will be one of the toughest tours for a debutant... facing sanath and jayawardhena is a tough ask especially with the fielding restrictions... when u said accurate fast bowler, that reminded me of zaheer and nehra in their prime but injuries (due to workload and negligence to fitness routines) and mental fitness have moved them back to oblivion... i hope the new guys prove themself in the long run...

    no one seems to be worried, but i think this is one of the biggest challenges for IP... he has been helped with the conditions in the past but with the ball not swinging he has been found out real bad... i hope he improves in that department where he is able to constantly change his line and length to keep the batters guessing and some movement here and there wud fetch him bagful of wickets... he really has to prove himself here...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:49  

  • worma, thanks a lot for letting me know about Salvi. Hope the BOM boys do to the Lankans what they did to Warne a few years ago..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:49  

  • Mayur,
    Yes Pathan needs to shape up. Just when one was feeling good about him, he had the Pakistan series which exposed him. He needs to perform and be consistent. I still have hopes for him. I just hope he focus on Criket and not on the Catwalk..

    Zahir after Nairobi never delivered on the promise he showed or had. His first over in the WC final still makes me cry..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 09:53  

  • The critical stage for Ganguly is the second innings. We all know he has the determination when he is in a corner. Now that he has scored a century the thing to see is whether he relaxes and plays a stupid shot or keeps his guard up and plays another good innings. Too often we have seen him play a good innings only to throw away his wicket in the next.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 10:01  

  • a different point
    i think the sri lankans are not as good as they are made out to be. i think this team has peaked and is on its way down.
    they play a incredible number of matches at home and their away record is not ompressive at all.
    also i think a number of their players are also on the downward slope in their careers. it will be incredible if they hold on to their number two spot in ODIs by the time the WC is played.
    only time will tell whether i am correct.

    By Blogger inoc, at 10:02  

  • reverse sweep: i think experience has a big role to play in the shaping of bowling skills especially on the sub-continent wickets... IP has been nurtured throughout his years as he always played under ZK or AN... ZK and AN have always been 'projected' as india's spearhead... now he has an important role to play especially in the final 10 overs... he shud somehow prepare himself to bowl atleast 3-4 decent overs... besides getting early wickets, bowling well at the death with AA shud be his responsiblity... i dont want SS to do this dirty job early in his career but who knows we might even find him to be someone like maharoof... only time will tell...

    about zaheer, i think he still has the capability to lead the indian attack... this reminds me of the WI tour when he led from the front as also that tour gave sri the 'illusion' that these boys r ready to take it from there... the Wi tour and the AUS tour really brought ZK to the fore and he really did a commendable job along with AN and sri in the WC (except the finals) nowadays, he has reduced his pace and seems to be struggling for confidence... definitely shud be in the scheme for the long run as he is one of the guys with 'potential', but these youngsters like SS and IP definitelt deserve a chance...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 10:12  

  • worma:

    Great read - Graeme Smith's diary! Laughed till I cried. Good link!

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 10:15  

  • I agree with INOC that the Lankans are probably a tad overrated - the way our team is not being given any chance in the ODIs does not do any good for the morale (which is pretty low with the Chappel-Gangulygate anyway).

    The Indian team however has always struggled to find the balance between overconfidence and very little confidence. Hopefully, Dravid and Chappel can find the right balance.

    By Blogger DeadCenter, at 10:19  

  • hello

    By Blogger rajesh, at 10:26  

  • Finally saurav comes back into form and he will be in WC 2007 as a player ..
    vov .. i have been thinking this scenario foir a long time ..
    RD as captain of ODI team in WC 2007 and SG playing under him and carting all bowlers around and india winning teh cup ...
    Great going SG .. u have proved how much willpower u have ...

    By Blogger rajesh, at 10:27  

  • @WORMA, Thank you for an excellent round up. Pertinent in Bhogle's comments were as you mentioned this part:
    "More interesting, can he separate personal form from the fortunes of the team? A year ago I had done a business programme on CNBC and Sourav Ganguly had said, ‘‘I have told Rahul that when you become captain you will have to separate your two roles. That is the most difficult part.’’

    I also remember reading a year or so ago that SG said that he hopes is that when RD or whosoever is made captain by the selectors, they should be given a long run.

    These two remarks do not sound like coming from a person who is most interested only in retaining his captaincy as Greg Chappell indicated in his infamous e-mail.

    The more I think about what was written in that e-mail,, the more it seems to me that it was a classic case of deliberate "entrapment" of SG by GC.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:59  

  • Graeme Smith's diaries were a laugh riot. Thanks Worma for uncovering that.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:08  

  • yeah smith's diary was awesome!!! great find worma

    By Blogger Narad Han, at 11:09  

  • worma,
    yaa .. sg scored a terrific hundred and we want to see SG back in ODI's ..
    but ur following comments on SG
    is not balanced worma
    """but first give him a chance to 'lose' it """"

    SG has already lost his place morally as a player. But because of
    1. potential
    2. Proven track record
    We want SG to come back .. This is a concession that is been given to a great ODI Indian player called SG which will not be given for mere mortals.

    By Blogger rajesh, at 11:09  

  • I do think all this talk of santh 'not being better than agarkar' is crap. firstly is agarkar some kind of benchmark ? And whoever saw him to make this comment how much of him did he actually see ? I saw him in the challenger and he bowled some pretty great deliveries ... but that does not mean i should start hailing him as the next dennis lillee ... similarly whoever is worried about him not being 'better than agarkar' should take a break

    By Blogger GK, at 11:10  

  • i find that even till today unfo the focus in india is on the player and not on the team - it is like SG is back and he shud return to the team not that the team needs SG - with this inns he has definitely made himself a top contender whenever a vacancy arises - point is it shud arise - not be made FOR HIM. and we will get to know only after the 2 odis. btw personally i do believe the team will require him with the top stars out of form and MK out with injury

    By Blogger GK, at 11:13  

  • rajesh...I'm talking about cricketing loss of place...not moral...so lets not even discuss that inflammable issue :-)

    and btw...what I am wishing for SG to be granted is purely for the 'cricketer' in him...and any other 'mortal' in his position should be granted this...

    and what is this 'position' which SG is in?...well a position of, as you said, an experienced player of proven record who has not yet lost his place in the side purely on cricketing merit. Of course IMO.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:14  

  • To continue on the path Rajesh has taken.
    There was no doubt about ability of Ganguly to score in first class matches (Zim and Bang included).
    am I being too harsh on Gangu ?

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 11:15  

  • LOL on Smith's diary. Day started on a positive note.

    By Blogger nilcritz, at 11:16  

  • @pankaj
    no ur not being too harsh on SG. perhaps u r being a bit harsh on Bangladesh ??

    By Blogger GK, at 11:17  

  • yep !! I enjoyed the diary more then other articles, speicially Inzi bursting twice and Sohib not changed with his attitude.
    I serioulsy think Sohib should be shown door, just because of disciplinalry reasons.

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 11:18  

  • LOL GK

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 11:19  

  • GK. One more point.. once we and the selectors see Yuvraj "contend" with Murali in test matches... SG will be back.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:19  

  • gk...your point is valid...it should be about the team...but then its made of individual players..isn't it? And immediate results (even if we win the first two ODIs) is not always the *only* goal...right? If we want to have a long term good team...then the sooner we find out the future place(or lack) of SG in it, the better?

    And btw, as I said earlier....a good performance by some fringe players...who got chance because of absence of SRT earlier and SG now...should not mean they get a priority *above* these players? I've seen so many times when Aus has rested its stars(or injured) the bench players have come in...and had match winning performances!...and still relegated to bench when the stars return. Thats how a strong bench strength is ensured.

    And btw...I use the word 'star' in a cricketing performance sense here...not as in adoration/popularity value of the players

    By Blogger worma, at 11:20  

  • @prasad
    tests are a long way away mate. i do believe as far as tests go, SG shud be an automatic choice over YS

    By Blogger GK, at 11:21  

  • worma: great job on the smith articles...

    i mean, smith really had the balls to say 'inzi burst into tears'... this whole thing is now getting interesting than ekta kapoor's creations since inzi has negated the claims...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 11:21  

  • Prasad,
    Lets wait for yuvi to face murali for that .
    I somehow have faith in yuvi and think he ist he best allround player for one day in India.
    Batting , bowling , fielding , running,playing slow,playing fast , opening etc...

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 11:22  

  • mayur...I hope you do realise that those Smith 'diaries' are just mock creations by Dan....no actual relation to Smith.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:25  

  • @worma
    i dont think a few odis or 1 series here and there wud make too much of a diff in the long term. so whether SG makes his comeback in the 3rd game of this series or the start of the SA series shudnt matter too much to him or the team.

    and btw it is not exactly as you say when it comes to australia - of course we all know how lee was kept out of the test team for a year by kasprowicz even after he had recovered from injury - and at the start of the bangalore test last year the inside story was that gillespie and kasprowicz were the only players whose place was fixed and there wud be a straight fight between mcgrath and lee for the third spot - might have been true too - of course mcgrath won - and the rest is history

    By Blogger GK, at 11:25  

  • worma,
    And finally...me stepping gingerly on a mine-field(;-)...SG seems to have 'earned' a recall to the national team(?)

    Going by your logic about keeping ODIs and tests separate, SG was never dropped from the tests. As per Nair, he was dropped (whether injured or not) from the ODIs. And the Duleep trophy is a 4 day match. So how can his success in this match be used to judge him for ODIs?
    How in God's name did you find the link to Smith's diary? My stomach's still hurting from the laughter.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:25  

  • Ummm..just to make sure people understand this.. the Smith Dairies are purely fictional ! Hope nobody has any doubts about that.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:31  

  • prasad, dont think anyone has such doubts. I am sure Inzi would have burst into tears if these were genuine.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:32  

  • gk...you take the wrong example for Aus....Kasper and Lee were better than Lee...and was a direct fight between them...they were not fringe players...its like bhajji and Kumble fighting for a ODI spinner spot

    The right examples are what Hodge, Katich, Maher, Bracken etc have done as ODI players in absence of Symonds, Hayden, Gilchrist, McG etc...and these guys still got back their spot.

    toney: can you point out where Nair or anyone said SG *lost* his place in ODIs or any other reason than injury? If that is the case...then all he has to do is prove his fitness (in any form of the game) and be back? As SRT did.

    In fact its only our 'understanding' that he has to prove a 'reasonable' amount of cricketing form also....which i think he did with this innings. It does not anyway mean anything about his ODI or test form at int level....that we need to judge when he plays at that level

    And btw...about my original point of not mixing test and ODIs too much...that is for understanding the value and potential of a player in international games of the two forms.

    Those Smith diaries...thanks to a reader Prakash..he sent it to me...made my day as well :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:37  

  • oops...I meant Kasper and Gillespie were better than Lee

    By Blogger worma, at 11:40  

  • sorry, my mistake. Nair said RD's elevation to captaincy had nothing to do with SG's injury. SG's place in the team was never discussed by Nair.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:42  

  • worma, if Lee is better than Lee, then Lee should be dropped and Lee should be given a chance to see if Lee is really better than Lee.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:43  

  • Abt keeping the ODIs and tests separate, your argument was for Sehwag who you said continued to be a good test player and fared poorly in the ODIs and you were asking to keep this separate.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:44  

  • toney LOL ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 11:45  

  • toney...maybe I'm not able to put in words....but I do hope you see the diff between Sehwag's difference in form in test and ODI..and this issue of SG having to prove his decent cricketing form in Duleep to convince the selectors that he is ready for itnernational cricket?

    By Blogger worma, at 11:48  

  • Article by rahul bhattacharya on the Duleep trophy match --makes some intersting observations:
    Ganguly refuses to go quietly

    Rahul Bhattacharya at Rajkot

    October 21, 2005

    Sourav Ganguly: dividing opinions and stoking the argument © Getty Images

    The most fascinating Indian cricketer of his generation made an innings today that must count among the more poignant in recent times at any level of cricket. It could mean nothing and yet it meant so much.

    Sourav Ganguly came to Rajkot under fire, which over the past 13 years has probably become his natural state of being. At the best of times he hasn't been the most loved of cricketers. Leave aside his fielding and running between the wickets, your average watcher is annoyed with the way he blinks (he wears contact lenses) or smirks.

    On the lamentable television show, Match ke Mujrim (Culprits of the Match), he has been voted chief culprit so often that they disqualified him on the last occasion. Nowadays you can log on to the dismal website www.ihateganguly.com, which advertises itself as "a place to mourn, condemn and discuss the pathetic state of Indian cricket embodied by Sourav "No-Fast-Bowling-Please" Ganguly".

    Ganguly arrived here in absurdly challenging circumstances. Everybody seemed to know the complete truth about his elbow injury, never mind that the doctors themselves regard such a condition impossible to pronounce on with certainty.

    Besides, the absolute absence of vision from the board meant that Indian cricket has been beset with a bizarre captaincy shootout for four months running. Even now, despite the precedent-breaking appointment of Rahul Dravid for two series - in fact, it is just 12 back-to-back one-dayers - nothing is clear. Dravid has virtually not reacted to what should have been a watershed in his life because he doesn't know whether he will be in the seat for the Tests that follow.

    Ganguly himself has not said whether he is prepared to forgo captaincy ambitions or not - though his silence probably indicates the latter. Neither the chairman of selectors or the board has bothered to clarify whether India indeed has a new captain or merely a man in charge for the next month. As ever, it has been a case of waiting and watching, cussing and laughing.

    So there were the circumstances, and there was the setting - the emptiness at a stadium that is approached through a garden, the one man selling freshly limed chana chorgaram outside the gate, the one lad with the poster professing his willingness to die for Maharaj if needed, the warm and dusty breeze of pure sleep, the blissful languor of proceedings within the larger drama of Indian cricket.

    Ganguly was greeted by a pitch several shades greener than is normal for the venue: the association is a rival to the Jagmohan Dalmiya camp. Nor was he up against, like they say hereabouts, a poppatwadi attack. The opponents picked five specialist bowlers. Three have played international cricket, the other two should do soon.

    Ganguly countered them with a superb innings from a tricky position. Good and bad, there was all of him here. He converted threes to twos with perfect earnestness. He was clunked on the head. He French-cut often enough. He also played strokes lesser talents can only dream of.

    He began last evening with the most emphatic of statements, a rousing slap in front of square. Soon he was in a flap but he stayed alive. He started this morning with swollen feet and poked VRV Singh just fine of gully. Within thirty minutes, on an easing pitch, he was occupying a plane comfortably higher than anyone else in the match - and there are half a dozen here who are or have been in or on the fringes of the national team.

    Sarandeep Singh was hoisted onto the shamiana, burnt on the side of his turban and dabbed past slip. Amit Mishra was cut repeatedly in front of square and once inside-outed. Off Amit Bhandari came the sweetest of drives on the rise. Gagandeep Singh, the standout bowler along with VRV, was pulled with something approaching glory.

    On 86 Ganguly was dropped but by now he'd begun making room to hit through off. At quarter to twelve he reached a hundred, and his second fifty had come from 44 balls. Soon after lunch he was gone for he does not build big first-class innings. But remember that of the 20 players on either side, only one other pipped fifty in the first innings. Unsurprisingly, he didn't take the field for an hour after tea.

    What's left to say about Ganguly? Attacking and defending him have become cottage industries in India. He is deemed to be one thing or the other, rarely both, which, of course, he is, like the rest of everyone. He may have abandoned Freddie Flintoff to his curry. He also makes tea for visitors to his hotel room. He may have rubbed innumerable people the wrong way, but he has also the invaluable facility of making several feel special, a trait that served him remarkably well while shaping a properly motley bunch of individuals into a team worth challenging the best. He has been the most human of leaders.

    Alas somewhere he failed to regenerate himself. In about six years his Test and one-day averages fell nine and four points, an indictment particularly severe when you consider that it has been a period of incomparable bounty for batsmen the world over. Coaches more lenient than Greg Chappell could rightly be appalled with his levels of fitness. He scarcely remained in a position to demand more from his players.

    What Ganguly has shown at Rajkot without doubt that he is here is to be counted. It is also likely, if not certain, that he will not be able to channel the same kind of intensity into his craft when in charge of a team, particularly one in disarray. Can he withstand the allround physical rigours of international cricket? Is he not, like Nasser Hussain said, fighting the wrong battles? Would he not be better off diverting all his energy to become the very best batsman and fielder and bowler that he can be? Will it not be best for all concerned?

    It is high time that he, Dravid, the coach, the team, and indeed, the millions who follow Indian cricket, know exactly what the score is. It would be good to watch Ganguly bat well again. It would be good to see the Indian team happy again.


    By Blogger kban1, at 11:50  

  • http://in.rediff.com/cricket/2005/oct/21sree.htm

    More experiments akin to the Indanoil cup in store.GC seems to be working more like a maverick.

    I posted this in the general discussion...."Let's all face the bitter truth. Inspite of all the review committee meeting, the uneasy truce etc, GC will extract his pound of flesh before he even remotely talks of getting SG into the team.. i get this sinking feeling that RD has already bought into this idea...While he mentions being happy about SRT coming back, no one seems to have referred to SG and expectations of him coming back....Maybe a bit too early or the gag is really on.....almost like a Damocles' sword hanging over anyone who even remotely moves their lips"

    From the lnk posted, it seems to be heading that way. GC is willing to talk of Kaif , Nehra and AK(not seen to be in the ODI schemeof things)but no mention of SG.Well..guess there were no questions on that..prolly a strict pre press conference brief

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 11:50  

  • TONEY, WORMA, I agree with the Article by Pradep magazine in Hindustan Times yesetrday which basically questions why the stars were not playing Duleep Trophy and attending a meaningless 3-day camp .. which (my addition here)... sans the 2/3rd of the brains trust (i.e. Sehwag and Dravid not in attendance). The 3-day camp could have been conducted right after Challengers and we would still have allowed the stars play in the DT matches. Any cricketer worth his salt will tell you that a real cricket match is fare better than doing a 1000 jumping jacks every two hours under the guidance of Chappell. What is more galling is that we could have had a minicamp *as well as* had these players play Test match style cricket for their respective zones. So, at the end of the twelve ODI's how much do we know of how "test match fit" are some of these guys are when we take on the lankans ?

    By Blogger Prasad, at 12:05  

  • ravi: even i noticed the lack of attention towards SG, but who cares about what GC thinks or wants... this is team india not team GC, right? SG lost his place because of lack of runs scored... if he gets back to form, then there is no one that can stop him from being in the team... whether GC or RD likes it or not, he will be accomodated as long as he puts runs on the board...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:06  

  • @mayur for SG selection ,
    Since when has selection to the Indian team based on scoring runs alone ? There are a lot of "Other" factors which decide . One of the most important IMO is the JD factor.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 12:12  

  • anybody watching the battle between Bond and Smith in the 20/20 match ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 12:13  

  • Interesting choice(probably wrong) that Kallis is opening for SA ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 12:14  

  • poondu: such was the lack of runs for SG (and the media attention that followed) that it forced JD to drop SG from the 1st 2 games... if JD had it in him, he wud have forced SG into the squad and wud have also asked Gloster to look at the injury to ensure that SG is match fit... what that mean is that JD wud have forced SG into the squad despite the injury... because of the media attention that SG got for hs lack of form, JD just cud not force the issue... i hope JD or SG r not shortsighted to include SG in the squad for the 3rd game...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:18  

  • @mayur,
    hope SG makes it to the squad based on performance alone and not because of JD backing.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 12:25  

  • Steve Waugh injuring his wrist because of hand-writing the whole thing...my god that guy is committed. His autobiography will be bought the day it comes out !!!

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 12:50  

  • I wish Harsha writes more than he talks as it will be easier for me to avoid him.Even with the mute button, he sounds noisy.He is the perfect example that MBA IIM does not teach one how to be good in ones chosen profession.

    By Blogger laks1234, at 04:51  

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