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Sight Screen

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ashes..still burning?(-worma)

OK..the second casualty seems to have been Katich. Hodge would surely get enough chances, now that he has made the cut. And Waugh thinks Clarke may be next in line. Although unlike Martyn and Katich, he would be expected to make a comeback at some point of time. But...who's pushing for a case for his spot? Hussey, Hodge already in...Symonds too, in place of Watson. So..who else? Anyone has ideas?

And meanwhile, looks like Gillespie may have more to say..or do rather...about his place in the national squad. Notice this point in the article...very important in context of all selections that we often argue about
"There's a big difference between a contributor and a match winner, that's why the Australian selectors stuck by Mark Waugh for so long," Hammond said.


And back to Symonds' test recall...I don't know about you guys, but I don't feel he's an Aus test material against really good sides. Which is why he didn't get a look-in during Ashes(not even discussed in passing, when all those names were being thrown around) despite being MoS in the ODIs.(?). And his bowling won't get him anywhere close to an allrounder status in tests. Ofcourse Maher thinks highly of his batting prowess
"There is no reason why he can't average 50 in Tests," Maher said.

21 Comments:

  • Worma - I think the next contender will be Phil Jacques (sp?).

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:04  

  • gopal: yeah heard of him....but what I meant was that is someone really pressing so hard for that spot that they might gamble with dropping a matchwinner(although a limited one yet) like Clarke?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:09  

  • worma - yeah, I don't think Clarke will be dropped because of the prescence of an obvious replacement but maybe, to paraphase Steve Waugh, for his own good - find some form in state cricket etc. Maybe Martyn can make the case to be the stopgap replacement as Clarke goes on this walkabout. Here is the latest article on Jaques from SMH:

    Jaques builds his Test case as Bulls snatch points from Blues
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/jaques-builds-test-case/2005/11/13/1131816812571.html

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:24  

  • And this is today's continuation of SMH's case for Jaques:

    Steely resolve put Jaques in for long haul
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/steely-resolve-put-jaques-in-for-long-haul/2005/11/13/1131816812580.html

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:27  

  • gopal: thanks for the article...about Martyn, I read he broke his thumb...so probably he wont push..although that does seem the right move...coz his recall would not be really long term due to age...so suits Clarke regaining his place after a while.

    Jaques looks like getting a place anyway..sooner or later

    By Blogger worma, at 09:37  

  • I thought this was interesting in the discussion on the Australian batting lineup correlating with their ages:

    34 - Hayden, Langer, Martyn
    30 - Ponting, Hussey, Hodge, Symonds
    28 - David Hussey
    27 - Hopes (possible allrounder, currently injured)
    26 - Jaques
    24 - Clarke, Watson (allrounder, currently injured)
    22 - Cameron White (legspinning allrounder)

    You can see the past and future of the Aussie batting lineup here I think.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:44  

  • so..Katich is history for you? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:47  

  • My mistake Katich should be in the 30 yrs group!!

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:52  

  • worma,
    symonds as a batsman shudnt really make it, symonsd as an allrounder might

    By Blogger GK, at 09:56  

  • yeah...I figured that. But interesting table. So...if you look closely at 30 and below age group...you get an idea of what Aus team we're likely to come up against next time around.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:59  

  • gk: yes but as a test allrounder? Against good sides...he cannot be ever expected to turn in a significant performance. Mark those words that I highlighted related to Gillespie There's a big difference between a contributor and a match winner - do you think he will win any tough matches for them?

    And anyway...if he's coming in place of a specialist batsman....then sooner or later (and I feel sooner) Aus is going to miss that specialist batsman they are sacrificing to manufacture a test allrounder out of Watson or Symonds. Now more so than earlier because some of the stalwarts of their lineup are past their match-winning *best*

    By Blogger worma, at 10:02  

  • no worma, he is in place of shane watson - another all-rounder ... again im not too sure he'll do well but there is a possibility he might be a batting all-rounder

    By Blogger GK, at 10:06  

  • gk, worma - This is just my opinion (based on gut feeling only) but I think Symonds will surprise everyone and prove to be a good test batsman. Provide some stability in a middle order looking a bit shaky at the moment.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:10  

  • gopal
    very possibly

    By Blogger GK, at 10:12  

  • gk: yes I realised that...but I had same comments about Watson as well :-)

    gopal: yep..he may score well...I would wait for some time to judge him, thats why i said 'tough matches' earlier. This series is just the right blodding opportunity for him..WI look already down and out...home conditions for Symonds etc. Lets wait till that SA series home and away.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:13  

  • worma
    really in test cricket symonds has failed only against murali so far ... on aussie wickets he might come good

    By Blogger GK, at 10:15  

  • On Symonds - In ODIs too his initial performance was inconsistent and disappointing especially with all the hype that surrounded his entry. He has matured though into one of their best ODI players. His off field activities haven't yet matured though and that may be keeping him from making the jump to the next level. In fact that is the reason I think the selectors have kept him out of the test lineup.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:22  

  • gk: yes I agree...debut against a rampant Murali was asking a bit too much :-) Although that was again in his prime form (after the WC, which is when he matured as an ODI player) so gopal I dont think that your argument applies.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:32  

  • Today's SMH has an article that talks about Brad Hodge's debut in the 2nd test making it the 2nd Aus batsman aged 30 in successive tests to make his debut:

    Hodge keen for his time to shine
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/cricket/hodge-keen-for-his-time-to-shine/2005/11/14/1131951100493.html

    The interesting paragraph regrads the discussion here was:

    "The addition of Hussey, Hodge and all-rounder Andrew Symonds — all aged 30 — to the Test squad has re-ignited the debate about the age of the players on the fringe of the national team and the depth of the cricket generation behind them. Cricket Australia noted with concern that not one of the 130 players on full state contracts this year is under 20. One of the best "young" batting prospects, NSW opener Phil Jaques, is already 26."

    The funny part was later on:

    "Should Symonds re-ignite his Test career, with selectors considering a recall for leg spinner Stuart MacGill to partner Shane Warne at Bellerive, the Australian batting order would be short on Test experience. Hussey, Hodge and Symonds have played only three Tests between them.That was seized upon by West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who said after being demolished by Victoria that his team wanted to exploit any shakiness in the players trying to make names for themselves in Test cricket."

    Shiv should really be worrying about his own lineup and the shakiness it showed in the first test. But these days captains want to play the mind games, I guess.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:45  

  • The first line of my 10:45 post should read "Today's The Melbourne Age has an article...."

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:49  

  • OF CANCER, A CYCLIST AND GANGULY



    STAUTORY WARNING: If you love Ganguly, please read this column.
    If you hate him, don't miss it!

    Sourav Ganguly is a pariah today. I write this article fully aware that I am not just in a small minority, but perhaps in a diminished lot of just a sundry few (a handful at most) who believe in the former skipper. TV commentators are ideal examples of Ganguly's third cousin-twice removed status in Indian cricket today. These revered gentlemen (poor little miserable cowards) did not even have the courage to utter his name once during the entire series, as they cautiously avoided the man's reference in any connection whatsoever. If this does not make us Indian cricket lovers the biggest turn-coats, ever, what does?

    These days since Ganguly-bashing is India's latest obsession, it hardly came as a surprise to me when I heard a respectable gentleman utter in raging sadistic glee his great joy in seeing Sourav get a pair of ducks against the West Zone in the Duleep Trophy final. In all honesty, it is a tragic manifestation of the way we are as a country when it comes to lionizing our superstars one day, and dumping them unceremoniously the next. As India celebrates a phenomenal 6-1 victory over Sri Lanka, the majority of Indians callously forget those who have brought their cricket forward these last few years. These are the same knowledgeable sort who not so long ago were writing epitaphs on Sachin Tendulkar when he was recuperating from his elbow injury. And should India get defeated by South Africa tomorrow, will want Dravid's head for dinner and Chappell's guts over some toast and tea. Seriously, how pitiably selfish and downright callous are we!

    I believe that at this critical phase of his long career, Sourav needs to just look at a cyclist for inspiration, as his own country-men boo him and celebrate his downfall! A man who battled testicular cancer at the age of 24, and yet went on to win a grueling 2290 mile bicycle race over three weeks in Tour de France. This year, as he won once again (for the seventh time), the French sports authorities in a repugnant effort to humiliate him, accused him of performance-enhancing drugs, a charge which is ludicrous, prejudiced and far-fetched, and clearly motivated by some strange parochial agendas. But nothing will faze Lance Armstrong, a paragon of inspiration and a model of outstanding courage for an entire generation and beyond.

    LESSONS FROM ARMSTRONG FOR GANGULY:

    1) "GO BACK TO WORK" Armstrong overrides superstitions, and believes that there is no substitute to solid hard work. Irrespective of the results, Sourav has been man enough to go out in the middle, lead the East Zone, and play his heart out. And isn't it ironical that he was twice consumed by Zaheer Khan for a duck, to whom he has played a senior mentor?

    As with Lance, Sourav should work on his return and future career in a cut and dried hard numbers game with sheer mechanical performance of his bat being the justification for his inclusion. After all, no one can keep a good man out for long, no matter what the provocation, no matter what the supposed fallibilities! Be at the nets, Sourav, and play as much cricket as possible!

    2) "NEVER QUIT"

    Once when Armstrong was given just a 50% chance for survival, he fought it by remembering what his mother once told him---Don't quit! The cancer-affected man fought small battles, setting himself blood count targets as his body fought back the carcinogenic invasion, even as he risked a brain surgery.

    Sourav must remember that he may not be in the team today, but no one and nobody can take away his captaincy record, his batting heroics, his numerous partnerships, catches taken and all his other contributions to Indian cricket. His skills, temperament and technique are his own and no one can strip him of those.

    It is time for net practice! To don the gloves, put on those pads, settle the helmet and lift the ball in the air.

    Armstrong stood 111th amongst 111 in his first race, and the Spanish crowd jeered him, cracked jokes on the last joker crossing the line! But Armstrong did not quit. And the rest is history!

    3) "MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK"

    Armstrong's motto is, make you own luck. When he chose cycling as a professional career, many of his friends were cynical enough to tell him that he would be a total failure as a competitive cyclist. As they were to discover, he not only succeeded in his passionate endeavors but has gone to be a living legend, such as Michael Jordan, Pete Sampras, Tiger Woods and Ian Thorpe.

    There are several who are literally scripting Ganguly's retirement script today, but they may be well advised to take a pregnant pause. Sourav must forget the past misfortunes, some circumstantial events, bad luck and on occasion, his own errors of judgement. It is time for him to do his own screenplay, and create the twist in the tale. Finally, he must write his own destiny.

    Armstrong believed in the power of positive thinking, and transformed his life, believing in the power of his self-beliefs and the freedom of his wings in high altitude.

    "Cancer is the best thing that perhaps happened to me. It changed my life permanently forever, teaching me lessons which would make my future such a dream", said Lance Armstrong.

    For Sourav Ganguly, being dropped from the captaincy and the team, playing in front of empty stadiums without a cameraman or journalist giving him a hot chase, hardly an autograph to sign, returning lonely to the dressing room, and scoring two consecutive ducks could be the best thing yet to happen to his career. The comeback of the man who brought a refreshing aggression to the Indian team and broke through the shackles of an inherent inferiority complex of over decades, may have just begun.

    SANJAY JHA
    Managing Editor

    By Blogger Yule, at 11:35  

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