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Sight Screen

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Speak up(-worma)

Once again its the season for soundbites in Indian cricket. Some obvious, bordering on cliched....others weird enough to loose sleep over ;-)

Here's a nice bunch.

The first one from Sree Santh who's still trying to come to terms with the reality of his selection.
This is the happiest day of my life," he says, "to get a chance to play with those players who have been my idols since the day I started playing cricket. It does not matter whether you play one match or two with them. What's important is the experience and exposure,
and also
I think, I am mature now, I believe that to intimidate a batsman you don’t need to look frightening, I wouldn’t even mind muttering a sorry if the batsman is unlucky to get out on my ball. But I am a fierce competitor
To me he surely sounds mature...and why not...he's a painter, a dancer, a singer and a budding sports psychologist!..looks like the Keralite sensibilities are arriving in Indian cricket (apologies for that bit of 'regionalism' ;-) Now lets see how much of a cricketer is he.

Kapil Paaji, on RD's captaincy, has this cryptic clue to deliver
Dravid should give mind to every aspect of the game. He should not be doing anything to please somebody. Personal liking and disliking should not come into the game.
I leave the interpretation to the readers(also because I'm still struggling to formulate mine)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, again on the change of captaincy, has this to say(and here I must caution, no direct quotes, only the interviewers 'interpretation' of it)
Indian team stumper Mahender Singh Dhoni today said the change of captaincy would not have much effect on the side's performance.
Wait a minute...hold on...didn't we perform badly in last two series?...So...is he saying we won't improve?...yep...had a minor ROFL moment...and the message is repeated in the article
He, however, said there would certainly be a change in the strategy following the change of skipper, but there would be hardly any impact on team performance
..and this time I seriously wondered what MSD meant? As I said, its the interviewer's interpretation...and I wish they used more of direct quotes(maybe it was a translation). Further, on his own status and role in the team, he had this bit
About the forthcoming home series against Sri Lanka, Dhoni, who carved a niche in the Indian team following his blistering 147 against Pakistan last April, said the matches would be vital for him to ensure a berth in the side for the longer version of the game.
Again caught my attention. I am hoping he realizes that aiming for more(i.e. test berth) is needed, yet being in touch with the ground even more important...that he hasn't 'yet' secured a permanent place in out ODI setup should surely be there in his immediate awareness. Ofcourse he has not shown any laxity in his application, attitude and overall approach to the game...so no real complaints.

And here's a short interview of RD from Sydney...nothing much beyond the obvious, as we expect of RD when faced with controversial questions. Although there was this funny part(I'm hoping it was in good humour?)
Dravid declined to react when asked if e-mails would be the preferred medium of communication in his regime. "I'll let the question pass," he said.

Finally, Tony Greig on captaincy in general, and current affairs around the Indian captaincy in particular.
A good captain is one who is a good man manager. Obviously, he has to be an automatic selection and, then, have the qualities to manage not just the senior players but the coach as well.


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    By Blogger Amit, at 10:42  

  • Hi Junta

    An excerpt from my blog

    Pls do gimme ur feedback

    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 11:10  

  • prem, worma, one way to prevent junk posters is to specify an option where posters have to enter a word from an image. Automatic posters cannot do that. Blogger has this option.

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 11:20  

  • morientz good one, but thee way out for india is simple if we have the guts to do it though. We must look to play 5 bowlers in tests 3 pacers and 2 spinners on good pitches that have some basic assitance for spinners. I want sachin,dravid,sehwag and VVS to prove their class in comaprision to jayasuriya,sangakaara,attaputu and jayawardene.

    To strengthen the batting the keeper must be supported by pathan and your god forbid agarkar. The third seamer could be anyone who bowls well,ZK,AN or even sreesanth. for this to work out though agarkar will have to bowl reasonably consistently and bat reassonably consistently over the 12 ODIs not just a couple like in thee past. If anyone observes he is now the number 2 seamer in india accroding to the selectors and he has a golden opportunity to cement his place and become a regular in the next 6 months. I repeat he must beccome consistent even if he does not run thro' sides which he may never do. In thee next 6 months we will know if he can reaach the next level or be a fringe player. He has everything going for him right now, he is fit, he is in good form, he has a captain who favours him unlike ganguly and the new coach and selectors seem to like his attitude and work ethic. this is his chance he will be 28 this decc so time is running out for him.

    Heactually does not need to improve that much just avoid the silly mistakes like regularly bowling pls hit me balls. Let us hope for the best this 5 bowler theory may really change the course of indian cricket and make the dreams of glory at WC 07 a reality.

    By Blogger Avinash, at 11:41  

  • Worma it is 'praaji' not 'paaji' . praaji means elder brother . 'paaji' means a fraud !!!!!

    Dont know if you literally meant that for Kapil Dev !!!!! he he he

    By Blogger Adi, at 12:17  

  • well who knows after the match fixing allegations and crocodile tears on bbc

    By Blogger J, at 12:40  

  • This piece from siddhartha vaidyanathan raises some pertinent questions about the so-called vision towards the 2007 world cup. Well-written and certainly makes me feel uneasy.


    By Blogger blueboy, at 13:21  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 13:21  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 13:21  

  • Worma, Nice round up. Really helped me catchup...

    Nice to hear dravid has a longer stint. Nice to hear they are trying some youngsters as well (hopefully they are not just passengers!!!). I am fed up of complaining & bashing ganguly for a change... Want to see our boys win.

    Some more names i am looking forward to hearing in the future...
    1)VRV Singh (speed & maturity)
    2)Parthiv patel (good batting. Thus guy should give up keeping and focus as a batsman).
    3)Shikkar Dhawan (very compact. Bevan-like running between the wickets).
    4)Robin Utthappa (has the agression. need to improve technique against fast bowlers).
    5)Dheeraj Jadav (classy. improve on control).
    6)Most of the other spinners in the challenger series showed promise.

    Anybody missed out in this list ?

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 14:12  

  • Morientez. Good analysis, but, 5-2 Prediction ? I dont know...I am willing to bet on 4-3 SL Win and sincerely hope for 4-3 India win, but, this series going to the wire.
    I am hoping for fast pitches instead of spinning pitches because their spinners are far better than ours and their batsman are far better at milking spin. Our current crop of spinners also suck in ODIs.
    This being said they have vaas, maharoof, malinga...but, our batsman are much better off playing fast bowling except maybe Sehwag, Sachin and a few who can screw the spinners...All the more reason for Sehwag to bat at 3/4 in ODIs. Why not open with Gambir & SRT ?

    Last but not least...Laxman bhai..Your chance will come again. Please wait...

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 14:24  

  • Very nice round-up of day's cricket news. Please checkout http://cricketdiary.blogspot.com/ on what I'm unhappy about!!

    By Blogger Sudhakar Govindarajan, at 15:09  

  • Turns out the sachin/sourav spat was pure fiction.

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:10  

  • does anybody have the link to the original story which has been denied by sachin and sourav

    By Blogger blueboy, at 15:14  

  • Ashvin, Who reported the so-called Sachin-Sourav spat.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 15:28  

  • Prasad, I think it was deccan herald. The link to the article does not seem to work anymore:

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:33  

  • Sudhakar:

    I agree with you. Chappell is now doing it in a "rub it in" fashion. Well, going by past history this Chappell adulation will end very soon, in fact as soon as the first series is lost in November. The vultures never stop circling overhead!

    By Blogger bouncer, at 15:52  

  • WORMA, Ashvin and co.
    Thanks for the deccan herald link Ashvin.
    Heres' a BBC report which echoes some of my earlier thoughts of how tough a job Indian cricket captaincy is ?


    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:09  

  • This article "A risky path to Vision 2007" is rather bleak. Indian team is not bad. Surely it is right to find viable options for the future. For example, it needs bowlers with better control (RP Singh) and better wicket-taking options (Sreesanth/ Agarkar). Nehra has done both recently but even he struggles. India needs good batsmen who are multi-dimensional. Here, statistics are somewhat of limited value. It has to be about POTENTIAL and the RIGHT ATTITUDE- for young players don't have time on their side and they have to improve.

    Challenger trophy performance is only a guide. After all teams batting second won every game. Laxman's hundred came in a losing cause. Uthappa's brilliant knock was followed by a poor score. Rao and Yuvraj were lucky not be out for not too much. Dhawan and Raina were unlucky in one of their dismissals.

    Here is my take on the talent.
    1. Uthappa and Dhawan are not ready. Openers require more experience (solid FC performances).
    2. Partiv Patel is not a good fielder and can't really come into the team as an ODI batsman.
    3. Gambhir gives away his wicket. But he has been consistent in tests.
    4. Raina is a confident person but also a bit impatient. A LBW candidate?
    5. Rao can accelerate though he starts scratchily. He has been getting bowled frequently.
    6. Dhoni is not getting enough time in the middle. He is a likely stumping candidate.
    7. Experience of Laxman, Niraj Patel, Badani made a difference in the run chase.
    8. Yusef Pathan bowling can be more restrictive if he works on it. His batting can improve as well.
    9. Mongia is careless in batting.
    10. Vidyut has a good temperament. He is more comfortable with spinners.
    11. P Chalwa has good control. He will be much better when he gets strength in his arms and body. It will help his batting as well.
    12. Pathan looks to be in good form. JP Yadav's batting is shocking.
    13. Sreesanth, RP Singh and JP Yadav could cop a bit of stick. Sreesanth needs to prepare himself properly before his second spell.
    14. Harbhajan and Kartik make good use of helpful conditions.
    15. VRV Singh has a big heart. He could use his wrist more to get better control (?) and some movement- like Flintoff.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 16:13  

  • eh, Ashvin, www.deccan.com is the Deccan Chronicle, from Hyderabad, not the Herald, from Bangalore.

    By Blogger idlivada, at 16:52  

  • I just wanted to know, why times of india is so pissed off with Chappell. latest headline being.."Tendulkar will perish under Chappell". Ofcourse the content did not make much sense witht the headline, but I still wanted to know y.

    By Blogger emptyspaces, at 17:02  

  • emptyspaces,
    Times of India online is purely sensationalistic journalism. Pay no attention to it.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:39  

  • hey...that denial from Sachin and Saurav is BIG. In the past month or so...so much has been 'said' and written in Indian media.....attributing so much of it to player x or y or z....never seen any of them come out so strongly against any of it.

    They must've been hit real hard with this 'report'....I'm so happy...not just for them....but for the fact that for once this section of media is being exposed

    By Blogger worma, at 17:42  

  • Wonder why we are focusing so much on wc2007. To me, test cricket is the real thing. I would rather have India be in top three test cricket teams rather than be in the top three ODI teams

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 17:48  

  • Ashvin,

    follow the money. you will have the answer

    By Blogger bouncer, at 17:54  

  • ashvin...since we are playing ODIs more as of now...so we here a lot of WC07 talk...and rightly so...since team selection..captaincy....player assessment etc is all being done for ODIs..and keeping WC07 in mind there is ok.

    I'm sure the focus would change once test matches start. Has been so in the past also.

    By Blogger worma, at 18:04  

  • Worma, ashvin has a point. GCs agenda seems to be focussed too much around WC 07. 'Test is the Real thing'. We are currently in 3rd in Test rankings. There should also be a roadmap to competing with England & then Aus for top spots. We have to groom many youngsters for the test arena as well. I am not averse to the idea of testing the youngsters in ODIs first because, the current crop of bowlers will not win us matches consistently.

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