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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Any lessons?(-worma)

Talking about the Eng-Pak thriller, that finally ended in the most unpredictable fashion. Even till the 8th wicket partnership it looked like Eng's game, for hadn't they enacted a similar cliff-hanging triumph a few months earlier? And against a stronger opposition too.

From what I saw, Eng batsmen look all at sea when it comes to reading Kaneria. And then, not forward enough to negate the spin if they can't read it. Ofcourse Shoaib would be unplayable when at best, so not much point planning for that. Although Sami was not far behind..his 2 wkt taking spell with Kaneria was what actually set up the stage for Shoaib, and Pak to crash the Eng gates down. This from Osman's post-match analysis on cricinfo
But as on the final sun-drenched Bangalore afternoon, his most fearsome delivery today - one that makes you wonder what he has been doing for so long - didn't get him the wicket he deserved. Then, he had bowled it to Sachin Tendulkar no less, on the stroke of tea, not too short but nasty, brutish, and blisteringly quick. It caught Tendulkar fending, utterly surprised. Asim Kamal dropped the chance at short leg then; had there been a short leg in place today, a strikingly similar ball would have brought him the wicket of Flintoff, who knew not whether to duck or stand tall and instead did both as the ball looped up off his glove.

So, what lessons for Eng team? Were they complacent? Were they too aggressive? Andrew Miller asks these and few more here.
But it is remarkable, nonetheless, how quickly England have grown to believe their own publicity. "Problem, what problem?" has been the message every day of this tour. Perhaps now they'll take notice of the smoke pouring under the door.
But the Eng team is certainly not looking to change much in terms of approach
So, the message remains unaltered from the England camp. One defeat does not a series debacle make, and at times of adversity such as this, they have an unrivalled team spirit and 18 months of happy memories to fall back on. "It's disappointing, but it's not going to knock us down," added Trescothick, and anyone who witnessed the fightback after Lord's last summer knows better than to question that particular judgment.
Although Miller does suggest
But, if they are serious about rivalling Australia and ruling the world roost for the next decade and more, then a touch less time with the touchstone, and a little more old-fashioned grind, would probably not go amiss.

Meanwhile, probably Vaughan's improved chances of return may help Eng spirits a bit. They surely need more solidity in the middle. The middle order vulnerability is also making the KP hit-or-miss style less affordable to them.

But for me, the way they're playing spin (and add to it the coming to form of the entire Pak pace attack) it looks more troubled times ahead. I won't be surprised if Inzy plays Afridi ahead of Raza next match.

53 Comments:

  • I was just browsing and found your blog. Very Nice! I have a ovarian cancer symptoms site. It covers everything about ovarian cancer symptoms as well as ovarian cancer concerns, warning signs, and ovarian cancer treatment. You'll find it very informative. Please visit, check it out and enjoy! Rod

    By Blogger Rod, at 08:18  

  • Worma...One of the best write-ups I have read from you. Not that the others have not been good.But, somehow, this one is 'nice'.

    And what I appreciate is a completely unbiased approach to the business of writing.

    Kudos to you

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:33  

  • thx ravi1010.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:39  

  • Cool mate...my pleasure.
    On a different note..what is your view on today's performance by the Indian team and any specific notes on Sehwag's performance.
    Let me be forthright...if VS with only one half century in 25+ matches can be given such a long rope...why not some other players with better ODI records..u know who I am referring to?? ;)

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 08:43  

  • Worma,
    Did you see Akhtar yorking Giles out.
    I loved that delivery too much fire and accuracy in that for Giles to hold up.

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 08:54  

  • Worma,

    I think pakistan should drop Mohammad Yousuf (Youhana) and get in Afridi. That guy played like a jerk and nearly cost Pakistan the match.

    Good kick on the backside for England. I thought they were a bit over-confident in their chase (can't blame them as they have been successfulin their last 12 run chases).

    They will come back, but given it's a three test series, I don't know if they can win this one...

    Anyway, great game, good result. If this does not bring the crowds back in Pakstan, nothing will...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:01  

  • pankaj, reminds me of the delivery he bowled to Sachin in eden Gardens.

    But I recon there was an element of 'chuck' involved here..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 09:03  

  • pankaj: yes I saw that...reminded me of good old days of Akhtar...thats what I was referring to in the post...if he gets close to that zone..he would be unplayable :-)

    saurabh: Agreed....yousuf nearly cost them the match, and should be dropped if only to show him his responsibility. But I don't think this would happen....he's done this many times before...and Pak has gone on to lose some of those matches. Here atleast the heat is lessened now. On another note, don't you think Eng would now be under pressure to try and win both? Because surely they are not looking for a drawn series?

    ravi1010: what's the point of going there mate? :-)...we all know that there's something other than 'cricket' involved

    By Blogger worma, at 09:15  

  • Ravi1010
    I think the issue here is quite clearly ego and not particularly cricket merits/demerits. I think next match, GC will make GG open with SRT and make VS play in middle overs and allow him to hit a 50 at least.

    By Blogger DDirector, at 09:18  

  • @saurav,
    Afridi is a big yes. Are they keeping him for the ODIs..he is lethal there.

    By Blogger SS, at 09:19  

  • ENG-PAK match:

    Good news for IND-
    1. ENG will be playing tests and they will make epic situations out of ordinary.
    2. Can not play spin.
    3. The NEW lineup still needs time.
    Bad news:
    1. PAK going great guns.
    2. Shoaib is rocking again.
    3. Kaneria is in form as ever. He plays well against IND too.
    4. Will the NEW lineup get accustomed to subcontinent sitaution?

    By Blogger SS, at 09:22  

  • IND-SA match:
    Good news for us-
    1. SA spinner is lame duck.
    2. We could score 250 even after top order gone.
    3. Bajji doing good.
    4. SRT may be prime for another big score.
    5. We have some D/N matches to counter their pace attack.

    Bad news-
    1. Kemp rocks.
    2. SA has read the Indian condition well
    3. SA chased with aplomb. They are not the same chokers.

    By Blogger SS, at 09:26  

  • Quote of the day:
    "I think you can become too unpredictable even to the point where your own team doesn't know what's going on. "...Kemp explaining what they do not do.

    By Blogger SS, at 09:32  

  • ..oops that would be Smith not Kemp.

    By Blogger SS, at 09:32  

  • http://web.mid-day.com/sports/international/2005/november/123433.htm <<<<< For Ramshoms... or watever his name is,,, enjoy dude!!!

    By Blogger zacked, at 09:32  

  • RD talked about continuing with the experimentation during SA series. Did anbody see anything from Indian side which fits that term (Pathan before Dhoni)? Or, may be the plans were shelved in a hurry after the initial debacle. Another interesting point. After all these talk and hoopla about young blood and new talents, are we pretty much falling back on our old team that Ganguly built? Well, RPSingh and GG may be the only new additions and there to stay for longer run.

    By Blogger bouncer, at 09:33  

  • Aren't the Poms' claims somethign similar to what we heard from the Aussies sometime back..

    And worma.. the PAk batting team might not be a great team but their bowling side is the best when it comes to finishing off the tail or 4th inning cleanup. I just loved the pic of Giles tumps being rattled....

    By Blogger Balaji, at 09:34  

  • SS
    I dont think the day nighters would curb pacers..only the importance of the toss would increase one notch higher. And more than SA's chasing I think the bowlers & the captaincy were to blame. 220 was touted as a good score by the commentators..and 250 is a good score on any pitch...Irfan has become a batting allrounder and the tendency to play 5 bowlers in last series showed that we have not spent time with our reserve bowlers who were rusty like hell. The captaincy was tentative to start with and defensive right through except for that 2nd spell of Bhajji when they had 7-8 players in the ring. Missed a trick by not bowling RP Singh through. I think captain didnt have faith in him to bowl the death. In that case should have bowled his overs out at one go. He might have picked more wickets. Overall managed to lose a game where despite initial setbacks had pulled up a good score.

    By Blogger DDirector, at 09:35  

  • One lesson common for both India and Eng."One swallow does not a summer make".One Ashes victory(not to take awya any credit) and everyone was talking ..right from Flitoff to Fletcher...and here we have a lousy SL team that rocks only under home conditions(they beat Aus 3-0 sometime back at home, if my memory serves me right)beaten 6-1 and we have everyone from Pras to Pataudi talking...Maybe we should not read too much into this loss to SA...but neither would I give credit to GC for the SL victories. It was a combination of bad batting and mediocre bowling by SL and some flat pitches.

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 09:38  

  • balaji...sure Sami and Shoaib(when in mood, or whatever it is that he suddenly turns on) are great in cleaning off the tail. But not Shabbir (or few others). Thats why I was surprised when after lunch Inzy brought on Shabbir...went for 11 runs in 2 overs..switched back to Shoaib..2 wkts in 2 overs!

    By Blogger worma, at 09:38  

  • Bouncer...if at all GG is retained, it is only to keep SG at bay.Otherwise, it would be stupid to retain GG in the ODI side(he did make a good century,no doubt)but he would not fit into the playing XI everytime

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 09:40  

  • @ddirector,
    good analysis but I think next D/N matches will be different as SA pacers will not have favorable condition to exploit.

    One thoght for GC : why not send the bottom order first in the next match, since they are doing so wel?!!

    By Blogger SS, at 09:46  

  • ss ...LOL..but, anything is possible in the name of experimentation ;)

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 09:47  

  • zacked
    ------
    Thanks. IMO a typical interview. I am a big picture guy when it comes to sports. I do not form or change opinions reading what someone says and change back again when they say otherwise. I still maintain VVS adds more to the team than he hurts in ODI's. No need to dwell on this anymore. Seriously anyone thought that in the WC final 03 Mongia was a better fit than Laxman. Gods fathers are needed to make it big in Indian cricket. RD is an example. 150+ games of pathetic existence as a ODI player which Laxman was never is the captain now. Now all these RD bashers then are his biggest supporters now.

    Persistence makes wonders.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 09:49  

  • @ravi1010,
    I agree about your analysis on GC. I have always been consistently skeptic about giving him too much credit too early, when the only new thing that has happened is the batting of IP...everything except that have been proven earleir.

    Let's wait and see how GC comes up with strategies to counter SA, assuming they keep playing well. This is not an ultimate test ( like AUS in AUS, SA in SA, PAK in PAK), but a good test nevertheless.

    By Blogger SS, at 09:52  

  • bhajji summoned by the match referee
    http://cricket.expressindia.com/fulleistory.php?content_id=58446

    those who watched the game any clues as to why

    By Blogger JD, at 09:55  

  • Rams, Aren't you still convinced about RPS? Hope you remember about our earlier
    discussion regarding RPS.

    By Blogger squarecut, at 10:02  

  • @ramshorns,
    I will not say that RD played 150 bad matches, but I have always maintained 2 points :
    1. If you take recent matches into consideration for selection, then RD does not get selected for the Nagpur match itself. He scored around 110 in 8 ODI matches before that.
    2. He has not been a prolific ODI material. SG came up with the wicket Keeping thing to keep him in the team as he believed in his class. Look at what RD is doing and saying at the first opportunity!!

    By Blogger SS, at 10:02  

  • @ss,
    what did RD do and say? where should i look?

    By Blogger Chetan Reddy, at 10:06  

  • SquareCut
    --------
    Yes I remember our discussion with you and greg2.
    I feel good at what I have seen so for. It was pathetic captaincy to not have used him for the quota. Both parttimers SRT and YS after 5 down for 170. We could have seen a different result if RP was brought back. Who knows????

    Let us leave the young pacer alone for now. Not to get too exicted and then throw him under the bus after a poor outing.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:12  

  • @chetan,
    It is all over the web buddy. Check cricinfo and others.

    First he did not say a thing about including any other players, when he was asked about ZK,ZN and SG in the selection meeting.

    Second, he is saying that only now they are performing as a team which they did not do during the WC '03.

    By Blogger SS, at 10:13  

  • ss
    ---
    You are entiltled to your opinion about RD being a good ODI player initially. All I want to say he was persisted with and others were not. I want to leave it at that.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:13  

  • i still maintain our bowling attack sucks...agarkar pathan santh and singh will not cut it. I was a fan of murli karthik but would like to look at other options like a mishra or even kumble...as for bowlers i think it makes more sence to have an yadav as a supersub than gambhir. We need to get inform zaheer into the team...let him know what the team expects but we need someone like him more than agarkar or even pathan just as a bowler

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:21  

  • worma,
    Don't even mention Sami in the same league as Akhtar(Even though Akhtar is not a very great bowler). You mentioned Sami was not far behind yday. He was miles behind and will be. Highly overrated bowler

    By Blogger Poondu, at 10:24  

  • Guys,

    I did not watch the India Sa match yday.

    Why was RPS not given the full quota of overs ? Based on the bowling figures he looks the best .

    By Blogger Poondu, at 10:26  

  • poondu: not in same league...I just mentioned them in same sentence only ;-). About his performance in this innings...I think he played a more crucial role in this win than Akhtar. Ofcourse Shoaib had a part....but it was Sami's excellent bowling to the top order (with Kaneria strangling at other end) that really started the slide. This from what I saw, and IMHO ofcourse :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 10:28  

  • poondu
    ------
    you don't have to watch the game. all you need to look is the scorecard and you will reaiize the obvious. poor captaincy there is the reason.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:29  

  • guys
    ----
    You got to give it to the pakis. Freddie flintoff look like an idiot aa of a sudden. not a big fan of all these post game or day reactions and fooling around.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:31  

  • ramshorns,

    Thanks for the info. I merely thought RPS did not look like taking a wicket and thats why Sachin bowled overs to get a breakthru.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 10:31  

  • and btw...I do feel Akhtar is a 'great' bowler

    By Blogger worma, at 10:32  

  • @ramshorns,
    I remember reading in earlier match reports that the big difference between SG/JW and RD/GC regime is how the coach keeps communicating during little intervals etc. I assume that did happen here also ( did not see the match). So it is a shared responsibility. RD was facing a 'down' situation probably first time .

    By Blogger SS, at 10:32  

  • Worma,

    Maybe Sami bowled well yday. I feel he is highly overrated. What say you ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 10:33  

  • poondu, no I don't think he's highly overrated. Just that he fails to live upto his potential..while his rating is often based on potential not actual results. He often shows glimpses of what he's capable of (like in Bangalore, and here). His frequent breakdown also doesnt help...I think he may grow into a very good bowler over a season..if only he can get a full run.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:35  

  • ss
    ---
    It is OK. Mistakes happen. As long they are don't make them again. One thing I cannot live with is not exhausting all your resources. See the earlier blogs. I was calling for RP around the 41st over. Never happened. If I can sense it RD should, being the captain of TEAM INDIA. I am sure RD is smarter than that.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:38  

  • @ram
    RP factor will remain a big question. I am sure there was some thinking invloved in that. We all do contingeny planning in our daily lives and they surely did that..hopefully. May be the thinking was that RP is inexperienced and may not do well during slog overs. We have AN/ZK/AA being slogged on many instatnces.

    I agree that RD should have had a better plan.

    By Blogger SS, at 10:43  

  • worma,
    i agree that potential should also be a factor in rating a bowler, but not the only factor. I was just looking at his record , he has around 55 wickets in 21 matches. If he was in the Indian team , he should have been chucked out by now

    By Blogger Poondu, at 10:52  

  • poondu: ofcourse rating should also be based on performance...but no-one rates Sami high in that area. He's 'rated' highly in a subjective manner...which is based on people judging what they see on screen(or on ground) thus formulating their opinion on what that person is capable of.

    He's not rated highly in any official/unofficial/personal rating of test(or ODI) bowlers in terms of performances.

    About his stats, do remember that he's just played 21 matches in almost 6 years of his career...so, as I said earlier, never got settled down. And that is necessary for most bowlers to do well.

    As to his place in Indian side...dude....he's playing for Pakistan...they have, at any point in time, much better pace resources than us. If he still qualifies for a spot, then obviously there must he a reason. Whether he fulfills the reason (and its again subjective issue) or not is another matter, but I'm sure if he doesn't (as in the eyes of management, selectors) then he would not be able to keep the likes of Gul, Rana, Asif, Arafat out. In fact he's currently their second choice bowler above Shabbir.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:01  

  • one of these days english will realize you either play spin early, by getting to the pitch of the ball, or you play it late, by letting it spin. you do not compromise and keep your back foot rooted while lunging forward at the ball. Or at least, if you do, you have to read the spin from the bowlers hand.

    By Blogger roublen, at 11:16  

  • roublen: well said mate :-) I was wondering, watching the Eng batsmen, whether they really 'know' how to play spin or did they just read the stereotypical techniques ;-)....I know I know...they are all international players and well coached and all...

    But seriously...they are, it seems, not trying to read the spin at all. Its a common notion that you need to play spin on front foot reaching the pitch...while the reality is that you can play either way as long as you read it...off the bowler's hand is good...but even if you read off the pitch it would serve the purpose.

    and LOL about the back foot in crease...yeah they try to reach the pitch while safeguarding the stumping in case they miss. Almost like they are in doubt about their ability right from the start.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:24  

  • Credit to Pakistan - Sami, Akhtar and Kaneria all bowled well today. All three are Daisy bowlers (some "days 'e" does and some "days 'e" doesn't) but potential match winners.

    England should have batted better. Both Fred and KP gifted away their wickets.

    I agree with the comments about England players and spin. Tres plays it well, but Strauss has always been weaker at spin than pace (learning, but slowly), Bell is still an apprentice but will be a great player IMHO, KP goes hard but when it comes off it really comes off, Fred ditto but less assured against spin. Collingwood not good enough for test cricket - ODI is different. Vaughan better than most. G Jones better than most. Shah sorely missed. Young Cook - probably we won't find out this tour.

    Could turn the series into a cracker if England can bounce back at F'bad.

    By Blogger Ged, at 17:14  

  • ged: I seriously think Giles was reading the spin very well! Better than most of the top order. Ofcourse he couldnt escape that Shoaib scorcher.

    Can't say what Bell and Pieterson would mature into..but currently they are falling short. Strauss, I still feel, will get a big one..if only because he often gets settled by the time spinners come, and also because he would often bat on a day 1 pitch.

    But if Flintoff doesnt fire, Eng would be in trouble. Even here had be held on, in that innings of 40+, with Jones for company...he could have done an Edgbaston. Revived the whole team.

    By Blogger worma, at 18:07  

  • I was looking for things to gloat about all day long, turns out I should have come to Sight Screen earlier! 'England can't play spin' er, I'd not go to that extent, I'll say they can't play spin on a day 5 pitch, can't read Kaneria googly and play the sweep too often against him.

    Another thing worma, we won because it was a team effort - it can't be concluded that Sami , Shoaib , or even Shabbir's 1 wicket was any less significant then any of the others - as were the runs from Butt and Inzi. Team game cricket is, when you lose, everyone takes the blame, when you win, this should be the same.

    And the crowds have came back. On average , there have been about 10,000 people daily - which is remarkably good by our standards!

    Roll on Faisalabad please, never realised rubbing into English wounds could be this entertainings - I'd love another win! :)

    By Blogger Zainub, at 18:29  

  • zainub, you should have known...going by my hints earlier in the day ;-)

    But yes..ofcourse it was a team effort. The Pak bowlers (along with Eng batsmen's failures) are more highlighted because in the end it was a gettable target, which they couldnt....and the culprit/hero were Eng batsmen / Pak bowlers..right?

    But haven't the crowd come back because of 70% free tickets :P

    And btw, Eng can't play the spin...means they can't play it well. Ofcourse they are international batsmen....and achieved so much already...they can play everything reasonably. I commented on what I saw...their technique was poor, and their minds very tentative....their confidence on their abilities not very high. Alteast in this innings.

    By Blogger worma, at 18:45  

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