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Sight Screen

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Some results(-worma)

Quite an eventful day in terms of non-international results...so I thought of putting them in single place...and in perspective.

Firstly SL team lost their practice match to MCA President's XI...which was significantly weaker than the regular Mumbai team (some of the regulars are playing in Duleep trophy match, some in camp, while it seems some other regulars like Kambli etc were rested?).

From what I could understand from the score....the SL batsmen seem to have got a scratchy start after Jayasurya pulled out midway due to injury(the SL batsmen have, in general, been struggling right from the start of this season, and it seems to be happening here as well. We threw away some initiative in the Indian Oil Cup after nailing them, lets see if we can make it count this time)

The SL bowling was not really bad, considering their 3 frontline ODI bowlers Vaas, Murali and Jayasurya were missing from the attack. Zoysa and Mahroof, likely to be in their squad for match 1, did well while Fernando didn't. The support bowlers were, understandably, not as restrictive as they are at home.

But atleast the MCA team didn't let the SL team enjoy a good comfortable game. In that sense, bound to have some impact on the series starter...atleast in terms of SL confidence levels

The other results...East Zone's 100+ lead turned out to be enough to earn them a comfortable victory.

In the other match, South Zone couldnt build a defendable lead, despite Laxman and Badani threatnening to do that at a point. Laxman finally made 67, Badani 47 n.o. But more significantly, Zaheer took 6 wickets. Looks like he's working well on his improvement. Hope he puts his head down for a few more matches and is back to his best by the time we play our test series, because I feel in home tests we may need him much more than ODIs.

At the end of the day, South Zone was still fighting in defense of their 103 runs lead. Balaji once again picked a couple of quick wickets. Its turning out to be a significant match for him as well. Like Khan, I hope he also continues his fight..back into his best form.


  • I read the last part of the commentary on cricinfo and guess what - in the SL game, the last ball was actually a no ball and there was a single! How could he give up a no ball in such a close game??

    By Blogger RPM, at 10:42  

  • Guys ... Anybody has some insight into the practise match that GC had organized in the last day of the Bangalore camp. Heard Tendulkar just tore the Indian attack. Brief Score Card will help in analyzing he performers.

    By Blogger indCric, at 11:08  

  • It seems to me from the multitude of press reports that GC is calling all the shots on batting order, bowling opening, strategy etc. etc. for Indian team. Where is Rahul? Compared to recent past, is this a shift in the power equation between the coach and the captain? I do not want to get into whether this is good or bad for Indian cricket, but whether anybody else is noticing this change.

    By Blogger bouncer, at 11:33  

  • bouncer...GC hasn't worked enough with RD...so we dont know how that will turn out...or whats the equation there(so who's incharge of what..or who has a say)...but yeah sure GC speaking to media that Santh is going to open in the matches he plays...thats a bit surprising. Because RD hasn't even seen Santh bowl in Challenger...leave alone discussing the strategy with GC.

    But...that said...since RD and VS are not there...that obviously should not stop the preperation work....hence GC (in understanding with SRT I hope) is working on some of these things, it would seem. What say?

    There are couple of days for the team to 'finalise' such issues in Nagpur before the match....lets see how it goes there.

    But one thing's obvious....and its due to the personality of RD and GC...that GC is the more 'extrovert' of the two....so we're gonna see a lot more of him in the 'front'.....shouldn't be used as an exact indicator of how things work in the background

    By Blogger worma, at 11:50  

  • For some weird reason, not able to publish -- I guess it is just a blip on Blogger's part. No matter, was merely putting up a post saying given it is a quiet day, and given two stressful weeks I've been through, am planning to chill over the weekend, and will be back on here Monday.

    Two news items caught my eye: One, re the appointment of a media manager (who, hopefully, will have a better sense of what his duties are, than the previous incumbent Amrit Mathur did) and two, that Nimbus has been awarded overseas rights for the two upcoming tours, which hopefully means we'll get to watch the games.

    Bouncer, interesting point -- I wonder, though, if this has to do with the fact that Dravid was away in Aus, and not at the camp? I do believe, though, that GC seems way more inclined to sound off to the media than his predecessor.

    You guys have a good weekend -- see you Monday.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:53  

  • prem....that media manager is again for a couple of series....I wonder if they would make a permanent one some time. But I think SRT's suggestion has been taken well by BCCI (and maybe they also realised how imp media manager is to avoid the media mixups that happened recently).

    But whats the Nimbus news....link to the story...anyone?

    Anyways...see you on Monday Prem...chill out.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:58  

  • Ppl
    great show by the mumbai boys - even tho murali and vaas were missing - it has given india a big boost ahead of the series - if nothing else, it has definitely proved that india has a fair chance in the series

    By Blogger GK, at 12:08  

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    By Blogger GK, at 12:09  

  • Folks,
    Just saw a news bit on Channel 7, the news channel which specialises in organising leaks out of the board and drssing rooms. The channel says that they are in possession of a document which has the team that plays the first game at Nagpur. Could not follow the whole news item, but it mentions that GG and VS would open with SRT at no. 3. Both HS and Kartik will play and so will AA, IP and SS.

    If any of you is in India rightnow, might be worthwhile chasing this up on the channel, believe they are flashing it as 'breaking news'.

    By Blogger Mount_Cleverest, at 12:16  

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    By Blogger Mount_Cleverest, at 12:16  

  • @mount
    yes i did see that - i dont think AA is included tho - JP is - then again can we really trust this kind of sensation-seeking channel ?

    By Blogger GK, at 12:18  

  • worma: the posting thing kicked in after I posted that comment, so the nimbus link is there now.

    The team has been calling for a media manager, a pro, for some time now. Trouble is, the board doesnt have a concept of what it is a good media manager should do. Amrit was content to just swan around, with a pocketful of passes, doling out favors at will, or whim.

    Brendan McClements, who is now the ICC media relations guy, used to be with the Aus team when Steve Waugh was captain. Lovely to see the way he worked -- when Waugh and his boys came touring, Brendan had, even before the team landed here, a very good sense of the relative merits of various media outlets; they organized an immaculate press conference a day after Aus landed (You'll find the interviews faisal, ashish and I did at the time, on our site); every request for interview was evaluated and if it was substantive, granted; but if he got the sense the reporter just wanted a byline, and intended to ask the same old what do you think of Sachin type questions, it was firmly turned down; he balanced the needs of the media with the needs of the players perfectly.

    Something of the kind is what the team needs, but that means hiring a pro -- preferably someone who has been a journo himself (Mathur writes, or wrote, a column in Hindu, but that doesnt really count).

    Anyways, later... am off, to kick back and get my stress levels back to normal :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:20  

  • All
    if channel 7 is to be believed this is what the team will be like


    possibly AA as supersub tho this was not suggested by the channel

    By Blogger GK, at 12:21  

  • Yes Worma, Prem

    I understand that Rahul is away and the preparation needs to go on. But on the other hand, I hope that Rahul is being consulted by GC before all these decisions are being made public. If not, what happens when Rahul sees few things differently? It puts him in a bind. If he follows through with what he thinks is right, the media will instantly know that there is a disagreemen and will blow it out of proportion. By going to media with all these decisions now, GC is in effect writing them on stone. And, I do not see what is to be gained......

    By Blogger bouncer, at 12:25  

  • bouncer..yes sure I also hope so, as I said earlier...otherwise it would be a shock for RD if he finds out that not only has the position of key players...but the entire team has been given out to media before it reached him :-)

    But I dont think this 'team sheet' is true.....sure it can turn out to be close....as can many of us, doing some intelligent guesswork, arrive at it. But I dont think Indian team decides (or any team decides) the playing XI so much in advance...and then writes it down on paper etc.

    I wonder if this is a new mindgame trick from GC? Buchanan style (remember instruction sheet to players landing under wrong hotel doors by 'mistake')

    By Blogger worma, at 12:48  

  • Yes guys. I think this gives us cause for concern. Chappel must not try to redefine the traditional distribution of power between the coach and the captain. A team has worked well only when it is the latter (Waugh, Vaughn, Ganguly) that has called the shots, at least within the field. Perhaps there is a problem with egos as far as great cricketers turned coaches or managers are concerned; they (Bedi, Kapil, Viv, Loyld, Miandad) want to draw the team up in their own image and are more often than not disastrous failures. On the other hand, mediocre to just good cricketers (from Duncun Fletcher to Bob Woolmer, Dave Whatmore, to our own John Wright) have made very successful coaches. Mr. Chappel should understand that technical knowledge alone cannot work in a volatile scenario like Indian cricket. He also needs to remember that his first class coaching record so far is nothing to write home about.

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 13:01  

  • bouncer....as far as team 'decisions' are concerned....the only one which GC has gone public with is SS opening the bowling(if he gets to play). Any others also? I may have missed...

    By Blogger worma, at 13:02  

  • gk's post:
    if channel 7 is to be believed this is what the team will be like


    MD? Please help me here.

    No Rao or Raina? That is surprising.I had chosen AA in place of one of spinners and had Rao/Raina in the middle order with JP as super sub.

    By Blogger Chandan, at 13:19  

  • MD = Mahendra Singh Dhoni
    yeah ... i wud have played rao and agarkar too ... and no karthik ... but then im not sure if we can trust channel 7

    By Blogger GK, at 13:27  

  • Indcric, here is a link that gives more details about the practice match. Tendulkar scored 64.

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 13:40  

  • Oldmanblues, you have a point. Add Ray Illingworth to the list of unsuccessful famous coaches. Bob Simpson though was successful with Australia, if I remember right. Finally, I really doubt how much difference a coach can make. I think the Indian team needs a buch of sports psychologists to get the best out of them, than a coach

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 13:56  

  • A couple of things to note that might not jump out at first glance of the Duleep Trophy scorecards:
    1. VRV Singh once again proved he's wuite a handy bat down the order. He scored a quick 46 and 47 in the two innings combined with his batting exploits in the first match of the Challenger Trophy. His technique may be somewhat scratchy to be considered an allrounder, a role he fulfilled in the U-19 squad. In fact, he's a downright slogger, but a rather effective one. I hope he continues to pay attention to his batting in the nets. The more bowling prospects that can learn to wield the willow somewhat could allow India to someday play 5 specialist bowlers in the team, even without the genunine allrounder in the Flintoff mould.
    2. Parthiv Patel took 5 catches in the second innings. I did not read about any muffed chances in the match report. This is an extremely good sign following a highly impressive Challenger Trophy, in which I felt he was the best and most fluent batsman on display. He continued that great batting form into this match and combined with Jaffer in a very good partnership after the top order had collapsed for next to nothing. For mine, he is in serious contention to regain his place in the test side.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 14:02  

  • Badani continues to be neglected. He has earned his place in the one day team. After selection, he sat out due to injuries and his scores in the Duleep Trophy are an indication he is back to his old consistent self. He needs to be drafted way ahead of Rao and Raina but who listens?

    By Blogger TFFY, at 15:11  

  • Chappell will not push for power with Dravid. If Dravid does cry foul over Chappell's bullism, it will be the end of Chappell as Indias coach. Devid will have the entire nation behind men, including the 5 wise fools.

    By Blogger indCric, at 15:21  


    "If someone ever makes it to the Indian test team, there is a 70% chance they will never play more than 3 tests."

    Someone needs to write a serious article about this, and research it more thoroughly. I am referring to selecting players who showed immense promise and then simply dropping them by the way side. It would be very illuminating to post their statistics at a domestic level *after* the India selection.

    So here is a simple list for test cricket. Players selected since 2000 who seem completely out of test reckoning. What a waste and what a tragedy. I don't want to start such a list for ODIs yet, so I don't sullen my weekend mood.


    D. Gandhi
    V. Bharadwaj
    H. Kanitkar
    W. Jaffer
    S. S. Das
    H. Badani
    S. Bangar
    A. Chopra

    Wicketkeepers (this list is the worst, considering they are all competing for 1 spot):
    M.S.K. Prasad
    S.S. Karim
    V. Dahiya
    S.S. Dighe
    D. Dasgupta
    A. Ratra
    P.A. Patel

    N. Chopra
    Sarandeep Singh
    R. Sanghvi
    S. Bahatule
    I Siddiqui
    T Yohannan

    For completeness, the following picks during the period are still in the reckoning:
    Batsmen: Kaif, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Gambhir.
    WK: D. Karthik
    Bowlers: Z. Khan, L. Balaji, I Pathan.


    Since the '99 '00 season, the dimwit selectors have chosen:
    * 12 batsmen out of which 4 remain in contention
    * 8 wicketkeepers out of which 1 remains in contention
    * 9 bowlers out of which 3 remain in contention

    It averages out to 5 players tried every year out of which one and half remain in contention. I am sure this is several times worse than any other international country, including minnows like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 15:34  

  • worma, another example is media reporting Chappell's intention to ease ST into opening role by making him come 1 or 2-down. And everybody knows that leaving out Lax after a very good showing at Challenger was GC's call. I wonder what RD would have said had he been in the selection meeting

    By Blogger bouncer, at 15:39  

  • From the Hindu article:
    "We are in pretty good shape, mentally and physically. From the point of view of preparation, I think everyone is quite happy," Chappell told the media. One would think he was talking and thinking just about Sachin. For Sachin is seen as the man to revive India's ODI fortunes. Chappell is careful not to step into Dravid shoes!! (he was told to BACK off remember). But his enthusiasm for youth keeps coming out. He says, Sreesanth *may* open the bowling. He likes his young test opener. So, even with Kaif gone, Rao and Raina may have to fight it out for the one super-sub spot. (It is possible that JP Yadav could be dropped to the super-sub role). Besides Sachin, my attention was drawn to MS Dhoni's, "pummelling the ball, swinging his arms with abandon, etc." It was good to see Dhoni getting some attention.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 15:39  

  • I am still not convinced that GC is behind VVSL's ouster. I thought Aussies are and will forever be in Laxman's fan base. I remeber reading several articles in Sydney Morning Herald where in most of their writers confer a bigger / higher status to VVSL than even SRT. The only logical explanation I see is in Chappell's mantra that a player has to be exception in atleast 2 of the 3 departments (Bowling, batting and Fielding). VVSL may fall a short there in the fielding dept

    By Blogger indCric, at 15:47  

  • bouncer..I meant GC going out in public on behalf of the 'team' in absence of RD....in that respect I think that Santh statement is the only example.

    Easing SRT into opening role is more of a generic statement as what he feels as a coach....and I think he could have easily said this in presence of RD..

    About Laxman...well that was something he did as a coach...that was *his* job...whether right or wrong. Whether there was SG or RD in the selection meeting..coach's views on selection(which selectors ask for) are independent.

    By Blogger worma, at 15:48  

  • worma,

    your points make sense. I still feel though that there is a perceptible change. The entire media is now looking at him for tactics and strategy. May be it will change when RD gets back. Let's see.

    By Blogger bouncer, at 15:59  


    Okay, I gave in.


    V. Bharadwaj
    D. Gandhi
    S. Sriram
    H. Kanitkar
    H. Badani
    S. S. Das
    R. Gavaskar
    A. Kale

    S. Dighe
    V. Dahiya
    D. Dasgupta
    A. Ratra
    P.A. Patel

    T. Kumaran
    A. Bhandari
    Sarandeep Singh
    T. Yohannan
    A. Salvi
    A. Mishra
    R. Powar
    J. Sharma
    R.P. Singh

    All rounders:
    R.S. Sodhi
    S. Bangar

    For completeness, the following picks during the period are still in the reckoning:
    Batsmen: Kaif, Yuvraj, Gambhir, maybe Mongia
    WK: Dhoni, D. Karthik
    Bowlers: Z. Khan, A. Nehra, L. Balaji, I Pathan, M. Karthik
    All rounders: J.P. Yadav



    Since the '99 '00 season, the dimwit selectors have chosen:
    * 12 batsmen out of which 4 remain in contention
    * 7 wicketkeepers out of which 2 remain in contention
    * 14 bowlers out of which 5 remain in contention
    * 3 allrounders out of which 1 remains in contention

    It looks even worse when considers players who were selected between '96-'99 who are still producing out there: Kulkarni, Harvinder Singh, Mohanty, Bahutule, Kanitkar, Sanghvi, Lazman, Khoda, M.S.K. Prasad, N. Chopra, J. Paranjpe, S.S. Raul, L. Shukla, A. Khurasiya, G. Pandey, S. Ramesh, J. Martin.

    End of rant.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 16:07  

  • tffy,
    I am not convinced Parthiv Patel is "completely out of test reckoning."

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:07  

  • Sahir, you could well be right. Also, Akash Chopra is still a contracted player, and RP Singh is in the ODI squad. Additionally, my mentioning "3 tests" was not precise.

    But I think my point stands solid nevertheless. It is depressing to even think of what it must be for the 70% who made it but were discarded with likely no chance of coming up again. If anyone from the list plays for India again, there will be some other sap who is selected in the interim and cast aside. A Srisanth or a VRV Singh. Just watch and count. Statistics don't lie at the end of the day.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 16:20  

  • Yep I agree with Sahir. PP may not be completely out of reckoning. Especially if Kumble quits. He has been most found wanting against Kumble's skidders on dust bowls. He might find the task of Wicket keeping less daunting when the likes of Kartik's and Harbhajan's bowl. Also I am not reading too much into his 5 catches in the duleep trophy league match. 4 of the catches have come from the mighty Khan's bowling. Moreover, Dhoni is getting branded as a ODI specialist and Kaartick prefers to keep his batting skills in the locker room in most matches.

    By Blogger indCric, at 16:20  

  • bouncer..in agreement with what you saying...that there's a perceptible change (and if not all have perceived it yet, they will)...I repeat what I said earlier "But one thing's obvious....and its due to the personality of RD and GC...that GC is the more 'extrovert' of the two....so we're gonna see a lot more of him in the 'front'.....shouldn't be used as an exact indicator of how things work in the background"

    ..as for media...they will go to whomever can give them their quota of bites....and GC is the man....as I said long time back on this blog (long before the whole blow-up) and duely got flamed for it, I feel that GC's method of working involves a lot of media interaction etc (a lot more than what I would like to see which is not necesarily as little as Wright did. I mean he had less interaction with media in his entire duration than what GC had had in few months of this tenure!)...but this does not necessarily mean he's bad as a coach....its just a different style...thats all. Probably that may suit RD who may actually *like* to work in the background? We dont know yet....lets see

    but this is not the first equation of this kind....I think Pak also has a similar equation between Woolmer and Inzy..and it fits their nature (although Woolmer is not as 'front end' person as GC, IMO)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:24  

  • Prem / Worma ..... The playing X1 currently in circulation and as proposed by channel 7 is a bit risky from strategy standpoint. A rookie bowling to Sanath on flat tracks and coming out unscathed is a tall ask. I wont be surprised if we have spin at both ends as early as the 5th over. We will need a regular 3rd seamer. No, I am not yet considering JPY as a third seamer. More over two spinners might be an over kill. I will go with Kartik and hope thatthe 3 part time spinners (SRT, VS and YS) will produce some positive results. Your thoughs.

    By Blogger indCric, at 16:27  

  • tffy,
    Yeah, the point you make is a very valid one. The Indian selectors have long been famous for the game of musical chairs they play.

    As far as "not reading too much into [Parthiv Patel's] 5 catches in the [D]uleep [T]rophy league match," I feel somewhat differently. While I agree this performance by itself does not indicate Parthiv has worked out his woes with the gloves, those five catches still have to be caught. Granted four of them were standing back to Zaheer Khan, but I remember during Parthiv's last few games, he was not able to take these either. In fact, dozens of takes were fumbled keeping to the seamers. What I do hope the five catches are an indication of is an increased level of confidence in his own glovework, something that was desperately lacking at the end of his international stint.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:30  

  • indcric...well is Sanath has to fire...he will against all opponents....I like the idea of Santh as a surprise element...atleast worth a shot. And mind you...its not just a surprise for the heck of it...he seems to be good enough...its not as if we are asking JP to open bowling to Sanath ;-)

    Besides this....I am not yet ready to give the channel 7 team much credence.....in my opinion two spinners is overkill if we play 4 bowlers only (not including JP)....if we have 5 bowlers in playing XII then there can be two spinners. Now how and when to get them into XI is another tough issue.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:57  

  • this discussion is probably dead - but I just wanted to gloat about Mumbai's victory over SL... these guys have got a knack for giving visiting teams a nightmare... and they perform so well as a unit... viva la Mumbai! :) As a Mumbaikar myself, I am sad that Mumbaikars don't get called on for national service as much as before... not that the crop of players from other parts of the country are bad players... but there is a certain spirit in Mumbai that makes it special - I think! :)

    By Blogger saum, at 17:17  

  • sahir you have been blowing patel rap for quite some time. I am not sure patel is back in reckoning so fast. Karthik has done nothing wrong so far and has decent glove work and not a bad bat when given opportunity then if he fails we have dhoni.I dont think patel is going to jump over dhoni into the test side. his bating skill exhibited so far has not been above say a rao or raina or even for that matter jaffer....so chill

    By Blogger tombaan, at 17:52  

  • saum i agree the maulvi and nair guys seem like decent bowlers hope they get more opps

    By Blogger tombaan, at 17:52  

  • Just an addition to the discussions on Parthiv Patel. Dasgupta also took six catches and scored a good 57 in east's victory over North. I am not sure for WK's which stat we should look at, the catches taken, or catches/stumping chances missed, byes given etc.

    By Blogger bouncer, at 18:02  

  • tombaan .... PP is still a pretender and not a serious contender. I think we all agree. All Sahir is saying that he cant be totally ruled out of contention in the near future given the fact that the more established contenders have'nt really covered themselves in glory.

    By Blogger indCric, at 18:11  

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    By Blogger indCric, at 18:33  

  • I dont know how many of you do agree ... But the shoddy treatment given to Mumbai players can in some way can be traced to Gavaskar. In his hey days, he ran Indian cricket ... unfortunately like a pan walla would run his paan shop. Extreme cases of neoptism. Remember Ghulam Parkar ans Suru Nayak. There is a saying that had Bedi not established himself firmly in the test arena, Shivalkar would have had a couple of 100 test wickets. Even my nanny could see through the off field games / politics he was playing. The wheel has now turned the full circle. You reap what you sow. Unfortunately the victims are the current stream of Mumbai players. I must admire Gavaskar's political accumen though. Got his son to move to a lesser known playing state and also got him selected. Again purely though quota system. He had the best of two worlds. Reaped benefits from the extreme rotten system that he had institutionalized. Inflected extreme agony to rest of Indian cricketers during his hey days and quietly got his son to play for bengal when it was pay back time. The best part of it, he continues to, in a way influence indian cricket from the sidelines even though having a notorious background as an administrator. As a cricketer too, i think he is a shade over rated. I whole heartedly agree with the likes of Dennis Lillee that Viswanth was a better batsman that SMG.

    By Blogger indCric, at 18:37  

  • It is nice to see discards showing some spunk.Infact due to Chappel's leaked email, the aura around test stars has vanished.I am sure others who think they are good enough to challenge these so called "greats" will display greater zeal.Unless people are taken out of their comfort zones and made to sweat,real progress will not take place in indian cricket.The progress of the so called "stars" can be noticed more from the size of their posterior.Inverse law applies here.

    By Blogger laks1234, at 00:16  

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    By Blogger Sahir, at 00:24  

  • tombaan,
    First off, don't tell me to chill; just state your counterpoint and leave it at that. Tell me where in my post I advocated Parthiv as a specialist batsman? If you can't find that, then why are you comparing him to Rao, Raina, and Jaffer. As far as I know, none of them are keepers, are they? "Karthik has done nothing wrong"- really? He has a batting average of 18.84 after 10 test matches. 10 matches is a fair amount. And mind you, 4 of those 10 matches were against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. That is a rather pathetic batting performance. This is not to say he does not have potential with the bat, for I believe he does, but so far he has not shown the temeperament to convert that batting potential into runs at the highest level. I do agree Dhoni probably deserves an opportunity first, but should his glovework not prove good enough at the test level, I would like to see Parthiv given another opportunity.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 00:43  

  • tombaan,
    Additionally, Karthik's other 6 tests (other than against the minnows) were all at home. So unfamiliar batting conditions cannot be an excuse. If he can't score runs at home, how's he gonna do abroad? Not to mention, his glovework has been far from stellar. While nothing can be as bad as Parthiv just before he was dropped, Karthik has muffed a fair number of chances and let a few byes go as well. I fully agree with giving a player an extended run to prove himself, however, how long should this run last if it hurts the team? I say 10-12 tests at the most. You simply cannot afford to give a person more than 4-5 series to prove themselves. And a batting average of 18.84 at the number 7 position is not good enough. Heck even Anil Kumble averages over 17 over his long career. Karthik better score some runs soon, and by soon I mean within the first 2 tests against Sri Lanka, at the very most. If he fails in those 2, I would bring in Dhoni for the last test. I would not want to wait the entire test series because our next test match would be against Pakistan, in Pakistan. A very tough match to ask someone to debut in.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 00:53  

  • indcric,

    I agree with most of your comments re. Gavaskar and his worthless son. And I like the way you desribe the bad karma (what you sow you reap part) being pushed along to Mumbai now. I was laughing at your apt recollection of Suru Nayak and Ghulam Parkar.

    But I disagree with two things.

    1. Gavaskar was awesome when he started out and regained his total excellence towards in the last few years of his career. In between 79-83 he had some dog years and very poor time against quality bowling. But overall his stats do justice to what he contributed. He was a collossus among the mostly mediocre. Only Amarnath came close to him during his playing days. Patil was too inconsistent and everyone else was a step lower.

    2. Vishwanath was brilliant for a very small window in the 70s. The man might have been a genius but his fitness and agility make Ganguly look like Michael Jordan. Vishwanath had 3 very lousy series to end his career. It was very clear he was a spent commodity before those series started, but the usual greater than life story of Indian cricket allowed him to stretch his time. At his best, he might have been greater than Gavaskar was at his corresponding best. But his brilliance was too limited for him to be reckoned as a greater contributor.

    I am glad you bring up the old days. How things have changed (for the better) in the talent we have on display.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 00:57  

  • Vishy was brilliant for more than just a small window in the 70's. From the time of his debut in '69 to ~'77-78 he was simply terrific. I agree, too much beer (or maybe scotch)did him in.
    I also think Gavaskar was a terrific player but unfortunately he did not play for the team and he did not play to win. It seemed like he played for a draw in every match ! This kind of loser mentality from such a legendary cricker bred a whole generation of loser mentality crickers (the Vengsarkar, Manjrekar, Arun Lal type of players) and this changed only during Ganguly's time.
    Gavaskar is not the only one guilty of bringing forth mediocre Mumbai/Maharashtra players... hey Tendulkar did exactly the same, remember Kambli's extended run and how about Kanitkar !!!

    By Blogger MM, at 01:39  

  • mm,

    Okay I admit - '69 to '78 is not a small window. Also '77 was a lame year because of Packer. An average of 41.5 in test cricket in 91 tests? There is no way he is among the greatest, though some innings were out of this world. Gavaskar did contribute way more than him.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 02:10  

  • sahir
    to me patel still grab it patel. even in recent matches his keeping has been far from stellar nor has done a lot with bat.
    Karthiks keeping even harbajan and kumble thought was far better ....in a test team to me keeping is far important than batting. agreed he is no kirmani or for that matter more or mongai but right now he seems to be a far better glow man than patels and dasguptas of the world. if batting is the criteria then dhoni and even karthik is way ahead of patel agreed karthik has done nothing great with bat so far though i thought he did have one great innings in the recent past against pakistan....patel still is an excuse of an keeper

    By Blogger tombaan, at 09:12  

  • hence gavaskar is obliged to dalmiya and ganguly otherwise his son would have never made the one day debut....

    By Blogger tombaan, at 09:16  

  • no one watching the SA-NZ ODI??

    By Blogger Tiger, at 09:42  

  • tombaan,
    Your assessment of "Patel [as] an excuse of a wicketkeeper" is appropriate if judged by his performances with the gloves during his last couple of series befire he was dropped. However, I feel the problem was largely mental, sort of like poor form. The reason I say this is because when Patel came on the scene, he performed outstandingly with the golves during his first couple of series, including standing up to the spinners at home against the Windies. I recollect Ian Bishop even going as far as saying he thought Patel was the second best pair of golves in the world at the time (admittedly a stretch considering the number of matches he had played at the time). However, the point being, at the time nobody questioned Patel's gloves, but rather his bat. The sad aspect is that while his batting greatly improved, his glovework deteriorated remarkably. I don't feel you magically lose ability, just confidence in your own abilities- something that can be regained through some hard work. Your assessment of Karthik's batting being better than Patel's I thinkis simply wrong. As I pointed out above, Karthik's statistics with the bat are abysmal, despite 40 percent of his matches being played against minnows. Patel has played 19 matches compared to Karthik's 9. Consider the opposition he palyed against: England in England, NZ in NZ (during the infamous garden pitches tour), Australia in Australia, Pakistan in Pakistan, and Australia at home. This is about as difficult as it can possibly get as far as quality bowling attacks and conditions are concerned. He came through with flying colors- an average of almost 32. This includes 2 50s in Australia and 2 50's in Pakistan. Also consider the pressure situations he performed in with the bat during his brief international stint. He saved the test match while batting 8 wickets down with Harbhajan Singh in Nottingham- played out 60 deliveries. He opened the innnings in the deciding test in Rawalpindi against Pakistan to accomodate an in-form Yuvraj Singh and returning captain Sourav Ganguly in the team. He watched his illustrious opening partner Sehwag get dismissed first ball! The Pakistanis were pumped and steamed in with the new ball on a green pitch- he scored 69 off 141 balls, and after he had just kept wicket in the first innings. Keeping and then opening in subcontinental heat certainly is a very difficult thing to do. The point is Parthiv Patel proved he had the temeperament to succeed with the bat at the international level, something Karthik has failed to do. And since I do not believe in the magical disappearance of ability with the gloves, I feel he should be in serious contention if and when his glovework form returns. The question to be asked is whether his form has returned. I can't say for sure because I have only observed him during the Challenger Trophy and have to try and do some deductive reasoning looking at other scorecards and match reports online (not entirely effective when judging glovework, although match reports often report missed chances).

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:57  

  • Additionally pointing out that I don't feel Patel and Dasgupta can be grouped together because the latter never displayed the ability to stand up to the stumps in the subcontinent, while the former did during his second series at home versus the Windies- a rather spectacular performance with the gloves with a couple of catches ethed in the memory, one blinder off Carl Hooper's bat low in front of first slip, and one standing up to Kumble that jumped of the shoulder of the bat up to Patel's throat and he took it- this was when Ian Bishop made thhe considered the comment of him being an outstanding prospect and, in his opinion, currently the second best gloveman in the world (he did not mention who he considered the best).

    By Blogger Sahir, at 13:02  

  • patel definitely deserves another chance - no doubt about it. Unfortunately he screwed up too badly in his last few games and I think he has only come out of massive hole he dug for himself. While Kartik has not messed up as badly as Patlebehind the stumps he has also not done anything eye catching. Patel would certainly be a better contributor with the bat. It will take a long time for Patel to be back unless Dhoni and Kartik are both sidleined due to injury. Dravid i snot really a huge fan of Patel's keeping, did you notice how he yelled at him for dropping a sitter and also notice that there has been almost no communication between Patel and Dravid which is unusal for a keeper and first slip fieldsman.

    By Blogger MM, at 21:43  

  • mm,
    Interesting info that, Dravid and Patel. However, another way to look at it could be Dravid yelled at Patel (highly unusual for Dravid) because he believes in Patel's abilities. Sort of like a parent scolds a child, not because they don't like them, but because they like them so much. Just a theory...certainly don't have any evidence to back it up.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 22:13  

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