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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Form is a myth(-worma)

So says Hayden.
"And form is a myth, it's dealing with information gathered in hindsight. You just don't lose talent."

Read on. Also cites the case of Martyn
Hayden rates Martyn as "the best player I have ever seen, technically" and claims there is nothing the West Australian should do to change the way he plays. Nor is there any point in him piling on the runs at domestic level.

Now only if the selectors realised it(I'm still waiting for them to admit the mistake, although since its Aus selectors, and with their pool of new talent, not holding my breath). Hayden also offers this retort to the critics of Aussie's Ashes campaign performance
The 34-year-old takes the view that professional cricketers are tradespeople undertaking specialist work. And he wonders aloud whether other employees who put in a couple of sub-par weeks at the workplace would suddenly have their previous contributions forgotten amid pressure for their careers to be terminated.

Makes it sound simple, doesn't he? I'm still thinking about the catch in this one, though :-)


  • " employees who put in a couple of sub-par weeks at the workplace would suddenly have their previous contributions forgotten amid pressure for their careers to be terminated"

    Absolutely not! (forgotten/terminated etc.)
    A couple of bad weeks at the office should not be cause for recriminations, calls for sacking etc.

    But a couple of bad years...hmm thats another story *L*

    By Blogger Bala, at 09:02  

  • the catch is amount they get paid. ordinary employees dont get paid that much.. so they are expected to perform much better than ordinary employees..
    CEOs do get fired for such mistakes, even if they make it once..

    By Blogger criclogic, at 09:21  

  • criclogic: there are other fields in which employees are paid absurd amounts :-) but still judging the best-in-his-area on one bad deal is too harsh. And ironically, the CEO in this case survived...as did the Chairman (Ponting and Buchanan)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:26  

  • The logic form the Aussie think tank following the Ashes loss seems to create a permanent position for Shane Watson as an allrounder (5th bowler). This meant one middle order batsman had to go. Ponting was obviously not an option. Therefore, either Martyn, CLarke, or Katich. The selectors decided to dump the oldest, although personally, I would have dropped Katich, not Martyn.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 09:46  

  • yeah...Martyn was in the middle of a dream season when he came across the English!

    By Blogger worma, at 09:49  

  • There is also a Ganguly catch here. But in Ganguly's case lack of performance over a long period of time, poor records against established test teams, poor fielding etc led his axe.

    By Blogger G285, at 09:59  

  • 9
    JP Yadav
    26 Aug 2005
    how quick people have forgotten yadavs decent performance against bond and gang when everybody else folded up.....people want to replace him....

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:04  

  • http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/222038.html

    Interesting read.

    Every other test playing nation's cricket board has a website...other than India of course.
    Prem has mentioned this many times before, but the table at the end of the article is telling.

    By Blogger Bala, at 10:16  

  • WORMA.. Thanks for a great link and a fantastic interview. What struck me was the following:

    "The bottom line is you need to have that burning desire to want to play cricket for Australia," Hayden said. "I could sit back now and say 'well, I've had a great career, it's been full of great highs and super lows ... and job done'. But I don't want to be in that boat just yet."

    It amazes me how many people (including posters on this blog) believe that cricketers (read: SG) hang around because they just want the money. A classic case against this hypothesis is that a collection of superstars who had a lot of money to gain could not beat a Proud TEAM in the superseries.

    I am sure people who believe this will never change their opinions and there's not much point arguing with them. I just am disappointed that they form a such a large core of indian cricket fans.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:22  

  • sahir
    i agree that martyn was a mistake he had an extraordinary run and one series is not enough to drop him. infact hayden would have been dropped if he had not made runs in the last test. he has been in bad form for long. i still think if he doesnot do well this series he would be the first to go out esp if hussey does well...
    in spite of their mistakes hats of to aussie selectors and i agree with fleming and ian chappell when they say with the money in the game players are reluctant to move on. this has been so proved with current aussie team where in people like hodge and hussey make such late debut.

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:31  

  • SAHIR, Thats a good point you make. Oz selectors believe Martyn has only 2-3 years left at the most. Shane Watson is a great investment for them.

    India is in a similar situation and I feel within a year's time we should consider promoting IP to the slot of allrounder. Irfan Pathan should certainly be encouraged to target Ganguly's slot in Tests. This will allow then us to play five bowlers and then we have a better chance of getting 20 wickets and winning a lot more tests.
    And somebody better give Dhoni a test slot soon, he has shown us enough that he can bat straight and HIT through the line and deep! Presumably, he will do equally well against the red ball..but there's only ONE way to find out. He seems like a guy who can average 35-40 in test cricket.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:32  

  • prasad,
    I agree that cricketers don't stick around for the money, especially in SG's case since he already has bundles of it. But, I don't see "such a large core of indian cricket fans" accusing Ganguly of staying for the money. Mosty people are simply critical of his form, while he wants to try to prove them wrong. Question is will he get any more opportunities to do so?
    BTW, I reckon in the public's eyes the most common reason they may dole out for Gagnuly's persistence would be an ego, not money per se. However, all players have a certain ego- it's what makes them good at what they do in the first place. I don't feel many criticize Ganguly for trying to prove his form and fitness and make a comeback, but rather pass judgment on whether he deserves a place in the side based on his form and fitness.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 10:36  

  • TOMBAAN, Nobody is knocking JPY's contribution. But just a little fact here...in Bulawayo, JP faced 4 or 5 balls from Bond (with the old ball), that's it. However, I agree it was very good and gutsy innings by him.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:38  

  • prasad,
    I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the future balance of the Indian test side.
    Dhoni at 6, Pathan at 7, plus 4 other specialist bowlers. Hopefully, Piyush Chawla can continue to develop at the domestic level and break into the team after a couple of years. With his batting potential, he could slot in nicely into the number 8 spot.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 10:40  

  • sahir
    let us not write off mishra and hail and annoint a new king without enough data.
    I think mishra is a good young bowler and has not done bad to get on the bandwagon of chawla like we did with patel when dhonis were grinding their nose in the domestic arena

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:47  

  • SAHIR, In my estimation, based on fitness (read fielding) SG does NOT deserve to be on the field all the time. At the MOST he should be a supersub batter (like I mentioned yesterday). This depends on whehter he can still win matches with his bat for india. Unless, he also starts bowling REALLY well with the white ball..but I have my doubts about that.

    Without the pressures of captaincy, can SG focus solely on batting and WIN games of India in ODIs ? That's the central question the selectors need to ask re: SG. SImilar question should be asked re: VVS ie. Can VVS be a good bet for supersub batter esp. against quality oppositions (read:Aussies)? The choice for supersub batter should be between VVS and SG (with the usual caveats of form etc.) What this would allow us to do is then play a fifth WICKET-TAKING bowler (say a Balaji) who is also an excellent fielder. That allows us a roster of seven batsmen and five bowlers who can all be matchwinners in their own right ?

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:51  

  • Sahir. I would bring in Kartik or Balaji ( depending on the wicket form caveat applies here too) before Chawla. Kumble I have sneaking suspicion is goign to last another 4 years. I would be SHOCKED if Kumble retires. He looks like a player who will have to be dropped but will never quit on his own. And frankly, I respect him for that ! A players should always play if he has the hunger. Its the selectors job to pick and sack since they have been through the rigamarole themselves and have a better perspective. I feel Kiran More is doing a good job as Chairman of selectors. Hope we find a good replacment for him

    By Blogger Prasad, at 10:59  

  • SAHIR.. addendum..
    A players should always play if he has the hunger AND believes he can win matches for his country.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:00  

  • tombaan,
    Yeah, I did not mean to slight Mishra-- the guy has performed admirably at the domestic level. In fact, someday should both Mishra and Chawla progress nicely, I wouldn't mind seeing them bowling together. They are different kind of legspinners. Mishra is the bigger turner of the ball, while Chawla seems to rely more on unerring accuracy and clever use of angles. Leggies tend to be more successful than offies abroad, so who says that someday we can't play 2.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:04  

  • i agree. MY opinion is chawla needs to play a season or two for his own sake to get a better grip of the game. we shouldnot rush of this youngsters into national team. Sachin is a freak occurance and many a young careers are screwed up because of the early break at national level to be forgotten....I think for example patel could have done far better if he had a some national games below his belt

    By Blogger tombaan, at 11:08  

  • prasad,
    You could very well be right about Kumble never retiring! Based on his recent test bowling form, who could blame him. However, in 2-3 years time, the decision may be made for him, especially if someone like Chawla is brought into the one-day outfit following WC 07, and he performs well. Of course, 2-3 years is a very long time in this game-- you never know which domestic player really improves or which new prodigy emerges.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:09  

  • SAHIR,

    IMHO, Bringing a spinner into ODI BEFORE he has played enough Test cricket is a BAD idea. Its a surefire way of making them a mediocre and impotent test bowler.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:13  

  • tombaan,
    yeah... I'm certainly not advocating Chawla be brought in now! He definitely needs to play domestic cricket for a couple of years-- he is no Sachin. In the one-day format, between Chawla and Mishra, I expect Chawla to get the first crack considering he's more of a control bowler, capable of effectively bowling around the wicket, and a handy aggressive bat down the order. Plus, I'm not sure what Mishra looks like now, but the last I saw him, he was definitely overweight-- not something that goes over too well in the modern one-day game. But like I said in an earlier post, 2-3 years is a very long time to make predictions-- things can change in a hurry.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:14  

  • Also Piuyush Chawla being 16 has not grown to his full height which will impact his bowling style (flight, crease usage etc.). Remember the same thing happening to L. Siva. AT least that's one of the reasons cited for SIva's meteoric rise and more meteoric fall. His other indiscretions are obviously not discussed much though in his fall from grace.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:17  

  • prasad,
    I agree that I would also prefer to bring in a spinner into test cricket first, however, this may not be possible if Kumble is still playing 3 years from now in tests, but not ODIs. It's possible there will be a spinner's slot available in the ODIs only. Additionally, Chawla is considered an hard-hitting allrounder at the U-19 level (bats at 6, I believe), so you may see him selected as a utility player of sorts.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:18  

  • prasad,
    "Also Piuyush Chawla being 16 has not grown to his full height which will impact his bowling style"

    I'm not he be brought in the team now, I'm saying it's a distinct possibility 2-3 years from now, provided he continues to improve at the domestic level. By that time he will have reached his full height. BTW, Chawla turns 17 in 7 weeks-- most boys are at full height by the time they are 17.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:22  

  • Yes, Sahir.. I was just providing another angle, not necessarily quibbling with you. Chawla is certainly a prospect and seemed aggressive in intent...nice to see.

    BTW, Check this out by Harsha Bhogle.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 11:27  

  • As usual, another well-written piece by Bhogle.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:35  

  • this is old..bhogle article has been placed on this web some time back

    By Blogger tombaan, at 13:27  

  • worma,

    The analogy with "other employees who put in a couple of sub-par weeks at the workplace" is very misleading. The catch is that the team has just 11 positions. A whole country oozing with talent is battling for 1 of 5 batting or 1 of 5 bowling spots. It doesn't get more competitive than that. The attention paid to minor details will rightly be enormous. It is a major privilege to make it to a national team not like holding on to 99.99999% of the jobs. There is your catch. Hayden should know better.

    By Blogger TFFY, at 14:39  

  • tffy, I'm still looking for the catch...but unfortunately the catch you mention is not *it*. There are other positions in the world that are more competitive than this! Heck even a top job in India is more competitive than this....if you compare the number of eligible candidates for that position. Or take a global example...do you think a top engineer in microsoft....or a top executive in apple...those are not highly competitive? Just calculate how many cricketers play in Aus at state level....and compare that with how many engineers are potentially eligible for that microsoft job?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:08  

  • To me, Damien Martyn is one of the technically sound batsmen in world cricket and easily the best in Aussie squad. Sometimes the selectors overcorrect and go very wrong and this is a perfecxt example. He can't be dropped owing to failure ina single series. This also sends a wrong signal to the allegiance the selectors show to seasoned campaigners. The sooner the selectors admit it and bring him back the better for Australian cricket.

    By Blogger Ragav, at 15:12  

  • Hayden must be a little short sighted. I am a fan of Damien Martyn, he is a fantastic player, but really find it difficult to associate him as the "most technically sound batsman he has seen". As far as sound technique goes, I would put the likes of Thorpe and Dravid ahead of him. Youhana would probably be at the same level, probably higher.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 15:46  

  • jiet, I think Hayden must've meant in the Aus team..or someone he has seen closely?

    By Blogger worma, at 15:48  

  • OK....looks like I've figured out the catch.....I think the catch is that these cricketers (and indeed all sportsperson in similar roles) are not just paid professionals....but they also have an element of 'public duty' or 'public office' attached to their roles. I say only an 'element' of that....because its not exactly a public office role....but since they are sort of representatives of the country, even in a symbolic way, hence this additional element.

    And we all know that in public office not all aspects of 'paid professionals' apply. Sometimes things have to be done to 'show' action to the public....sometimes to bring back trust of the people....for example a railway minister resigning on moral grounds in the case of a huge train crash...that kind of thing.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:41  

  • To go by his reasoning,the retirement age for a professional cricketer is about 35.In that case he about 58 years old if he was working in a different profession.It is natural that his employers are looking for his successor.While making his arguement he merely forgot that cricketers age in dog years!

    By Blogger retroauro, at 17:18  

  • worman,
    i dont think that can be a catch looking at the politicians around. GW, Lalu, you name them ..

    I still believe it has an economic reason.
    1. opportunity cost of playing professional cricket isn't very high compared to what they get paid. i.e. if a cricket player is not playing cricket there is very little chance he will be able to earn that much money, and the only way to play cricket for him is in the national team. if you dont pay M Kaif 100 lacks and just pay him 30 lacks he will still play cricket where as if my employer reduces my salary by 10% I will seriously think about leaving the employer. cricketers dont have the choice
    whereas other high paid professionals can take up jobs with other firms etc.
    b. the demand supply gap. there are thousands of talented cricketers and at least 50-70 cricketers who can potentially play for india based on talent. that means a highly skilled cricker is disposable and hence needs to create i=himself indispensible through his performance or perception of his performace.

    I think these reasons will explaint he catch lot more adequately than the public perception.

    By Blogger criclogic, at 21:24  

  • you will find similar phenom in entertainment industry which is similarly structured. singers, actors, actresses can go out of favor very quickly. you can have countless examples of those one hit wonders.
    there must be a study and economic analysis of these entertainment industries explaining the high failure rate and low tolerence for failure

    By Blogger criclogic, at 21:27  

  • criclogic....but in the entertainment industry its the public (or the actual consumers) who are 'rejecting' a star...so its all economic...if he's not making money for his investors (producer etc) that means public is not consuming enough...then he goes out. Simple?

    In case of crickters theres no exact way of measuring the consumer power (although that force does act to some extent, but not too much. Esp not with CA :-)

    But I dont agree with your economic reasoning. As I said earlier...I think there are many other top jobs where the demand of personnel is much lower than the supply (of eligible candidates) if you simply go by the ratios. For example....here its only 11 out of 50-70 cricketers, right? While a top executive job may have thousands (or hundreds of thousands) eligible candidates. No?

    By Blogger worma, at 03:10  

  • worman, for a CEO post there arent that many candidates (5-10 max). imagine steve balmer retires today, how many people MS will look at. a few insiders and a few outsiders not more than 4-5.. look how HP selected their last CEO.. there are very few options because there are thousands of companies as well and they all require CEOs. more importantly, its the opportunity cost. if I dont get CEO offer from a company i can still be a VP at another firm. and the difference in income level is not big, so the economic profit is not very high .
    but with entertainers they have such special skillset that the economic profit is huge. they cant do much but play cricket. so it attracts a lot more competition.
    secondly as you said there must be some effect of being in the public eye

    By Blogger criclogic, at 11:10  

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