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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Meanwhile, on the field(-worma)

Eng are not doing very well. Their batting lineup has collapsed for a second time. And this against an attack which doesn't have a single candidate in contention(atleast in the immediate term) for a test spot. Not good signs for Eng, although these are early days. And its understandable of the tourists to take time to adjust to the vastly different conditions (Giles already has an upset tummy, Vaughan an ear infection). And this is anyway Eng A team, since Flintoff is missing ;-) (credit: Saurabh)

All their fringe bowlers did well, and the Patron's XI lineup does have Hameed and Kamal. Udal took 3 wkts, so did Anderson (and they probably fight for a single place).

Meanwhile, Woolmer says they won't influence the pitch preparation.
The truth is that we can talk to the groundsmen and tell them what sort of pitches we would like but we can't tell them what to prepare. It is their decision.
But, I wonder, why would the groundsmen not accede to such 'requests'? Woolmer also promises to give the openers a longer run, after trying out 9 combinations in past ten matches. Which means we would probably see Shoaib Malik making an extended effort to seal that opener's slot. Good for Pak team balance, if he manages that. They can then think of playing a specialist batsman instead of Afridi/Razzaq in certain cases.

And in passing, Hussey's all set to make his debut for Aus as Hayden's new opening partner. I wonder what would happen if he does well in this one-match opportunity he's got. Would be difficult to get Hayden-Langer combo back again, no?

update: Nice article in Observer by Osman Samiuddin on Pakistan's progress(as well as a status-quo) under Woolmer.


  • An ADD on :
    Welcome to the subcontinent !


    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 08:37  

  • pankaj, I took the Gatting quote, in my previous post, from this article only ;-) Although didn't provide the link. BBC is doing nice basic cricketing lessons about all aspects of the game since the Ashes. Nice for promoting the game to newcomers

    By Blogger worma, at 08:40  

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    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 08:50  

  • I started reading from top :)

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 08:51  

  • Anybody notice in the Pakistan Patron's XI-England match, Yasir Arafat has taken 6 wickets so far-- ALL BOWLED! I'm not sure about the 2 wickets in the second innings, but apparently the 4 in the first innings were all clean bowled. I can't remember seeing something like this other than reverse swing at pace from Akhtar, Waqar, Akram. Apparently Arafat is an allrounder who usually bats at 7 in first-class cricket. Looking at his picture on Cricinfo, the guy certainly has a very athletic body. Yet another outstanding pace prospect for Pakistan?

    By Blogger Sahir, at 09:00  

  • sahir, I did notice unusual number of bowled in Eng innings..and now that you mentioned, realised all but one in the name of Arafat. Must be the case of reverse swing, as you said. And also of rusty, un-accustomed batting by Eng lineup. I've been hearing his name for a while now. Not sure whats his speciality..I mean pace or swing etc?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:05  

  • worma,
    I always wonder why the Pakis always produce the really big, strong, athletic bowlers, and in India, we almost never see this. You often hear the meat-eater theory thrown about, but out of a billion people, I'd still bet there are more meat-eaters in India than the entire population of Pakistan. I mean size-wise, there are plenty of big boys in Punjab (India), but rarely do you see a fast-bowler that is 6'4 or above and well-built. The other theory often thrown about is the dead nature of the wickets not encouraging fast bowlers. Well, the wicket at Mohali has traditionally assisted seamers with some bounce and swing (although it has flattened out some over time). Where are the tall, athletic fast bowlers??

    By Blogger Sahir, at 09:33  

  • About Hussey's debut:
    If he does succeed, I still reckon you will see Langer back. Should Hayden continue on his good performance against the World XI and England at the Oval, I don't see the tried pair being broken up. However, you could very well see Hussey earn himself a middle order slot. As always, Simon Katich's spot seems in jeopardy. Rather unfair for a guy that has performed reasonably well for the Aussies, especially against India. :(

    By Blogger Sahir, at 09:39  

  • sahir, ofcourse that is a well documented debate, India not producing fast bowlers. And of all the reaons given, as you rightly said, the meat-eating thing seems to me to be the smallest factor. Other being that we didnt have enough role models to emulate...never had encouragement through board, pitches, local associations, or even heroes (like Imran or Sarfaraz etc did for Pak)...also the less importance given to bowling right from galli cricket (thats also related to not having enough heroes)...or even the absence of factors like tapeball cricket which make local matches more balanced towards bowling aspirants. And you're right, we've had enough 6'4 kind of 'people'...just not enough bowling aspirants. Btw...I think its slowly changing, no? VRV is from Punjab...haven't seen his built...but anyways he's fast.

    About Hussey...well if we scores big, then what do you do? Even if Katich fails in this first test, would they throw him out just after one match? Then they might as well have done that after the Ashes, no? Quite unlike Aus selectors to do that. Thats why I thought it would be an interesting dilemma. I don't know the answer, but I have a feeling that Hayden may not have as much shelf-life left as many would think. Anyway...that was just a passing thought

    By Blogger worma, at 09:47  

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    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:03  

  • sahir & worma - I feel this test is a "interview" for Hussey to take Haydo's spot when (and not if) Matty is forced to give up his spot. I get this feeling because Matty is running his mouth suddenly about form etc. Its usually a sign that he is one his way out when player feel like he has to bolster his play with words about his play.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 10:04  

  • Hmmm... interesting point about the timing of Hayden running his mouth...could be that Hussey is about to take his spot. Although, the Aussie selectors have had a history of drafting in a player due to some injury (Maher, Love, Law), who does well for the one game or so, and then the Aussies revert back to the tried and tested formula. I distinctly remember a couple of occasions where they let the player go even after he made a century. Of course, the scenario today may be a little different after the unthinkable has just happened-- they lost the Ashes.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 10:48  

  • worma,
    Yes, the fast bowling scene is changing somewhat in India, but a little too slowly for my liking. We have one bowler that is quick, namely VRV-- that's it. I'd suggest the Pakistanis usually always have a dozen bowlers quicker than the quickest we produce, not to mention, taller, stronger and more athletic. As far as the heroes argument is concerned, I'm sure there must be many young guys in India following Pakistani cricket closely and idolizing some of the Pakistani fast bowlers, like Pathan and Nehra idolized Akram. From all the reasons I've ever heard, I'm yet to hear a good convincing one--just seems illogical. A more concerted effort needs to go in at grabbing the biggest boys at a young age and getting them to bowl fast at academies. I'm really tired of seeing the 5'8 seamer skidding the ball through. I'd love to see someone, even if not express pace, that is 6'5 and hits the deck hard getting some extra lift. Hopefully things change...

    By Blogger Sahir, at 10:57  

  • sahir...have you played galli cricket? How much was the game 'encouraging' fast bowlers (or bowlers at all)? How many players did you see more interested in bowling rather than batting?

    By Blogger worma, at 11:11  

  • worma,
    true-- everybody wants to bat, but I don't think that is much different in galli cricket in Pakistan. I've played with quite a few Pakistanis here in the US, and just about every single one of them only wants to bat (slog) as well.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 11:27  

  • from what I read...youngsters is Pak were also interested in bowling..ofcourse batting remains a priority with majority...as you found out. And tape ball also helped.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:16  

  • Guys, this is HILARIOUS, that is if you haven't seen it already.

    So the Poms are being thrashed out of shape in Pak and this is what one of their quickie hopeful had to say...


    But Anderson insisted: "The guys look in top nick in the nets and I won't read too much into what's happened.

    "The conditions in the middle are totally different to the nets."!!!


    This chap cracks me up!!!

    By Blogger subbu, at 22:27  

  • Yasir Arafat is an all rounder! He's been playing for Scotland as an overseas pro for at least 2 seasons now if I'm not wrong, and I like to think of him as a very viable replacement for Abdul Razzaq in future years. His batting is not as strong as Razzaq's (he doesn't have the same amount of power) but he's useful lower down the order, and his bowling is very lively. Decent hair cut as well. I've got loads of time for him.

    ps: early days as yet, but this start from the English certainly is encouraging!

    By Blogger Zainub, at 23:14  

  • Actually the ability to generate pace as bowler has as much to do with flexibility as strength. Ever wonder why Srinath and Gillespie are able to genereate so much pace?

    I think the key ingredient is agression. There are very few Indian bowlers that seem to be as aggressive as legendary fast bowlers were. Lillie has been quoted about how much of a mentally draining act fast bowling. He often referred to imagining how the ball slammed into the keepers gloves.

    And yes, I do think the meat eaters tend to be more aggressive if they are [b]raised eating meat[/b] and so they do tend to have a slight advantage.

    Other factors like flexibility/strength and technical issues like action are important. But I feel we are not far behind the Pakistanis in these areas.

    I hope this message is clear enough - I don't want to start a war between vegetarians and meat-eaters.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 02:57  

  • zainub...whats with the haircut, mate?...making 'fun' of some other famous haircut in the team..ehh? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 03:05  

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