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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Next match in Mauritius

Worma and I have been repeatedly posting about this issue; Worma's latest (the Cricket at the Taj post earlier today) rounds it off nicely (for now, that is; the next stupid story on the subject is just an upload cycle away, I would think).
Here's what beats me, though: England, we are told, is a team resurgent. It has beaten Australia, it hopes to make a bid to be called the world's top cricketing nation (in Tests, that is). And to do that, it hopes to keep the winning momentum going, presumably, in Pakistan first, then India?
Why then is every voice thus far heard, whether from the media or from the ECB, so concerned about tourism? Any of you heard any objection to the venues on cricketing grounds (outside of that misplaced bit about India's plot to do the Brits with spin?)
England believes it is getting the shorter end of the stick in comparison with Australia?
Here's news they need to hear -- when the Aussies came touring, each time, they sent advance parties to the various venues to check out the *cricketing* facilities; all the objections they raised at various times have had to do with practise facilities and such like infrastructure. But at no time did the Aussies -- who, especially under Steve Waugh and later, Ricky Ponting -- are known to go the extra mile to immerse themselves in local culture, crib and moan about venues being 'off the tourist track'.
Is it just me, or is there something spectacularly childish in the moans that have started up in the British media?


  • Eng have lost it ..... I think if this is the 'imperial' approach they have ... then they will be beaten by PAK itself

    I hope RD removes his pants this time and shows them their place.... why am i so 'incensed' .... must be my boss

    By Blogger @mit, at 12:32  

  • :) since when did cricket change from professionals battling it out in the middle to an agenda of tourism and comfortable living. Not that, as somebody mentioned the touring parties would be made to live in overnight tents...

    Seriously, the english team has completely lost it, is the ashes getting to their head !!!? All their whinning about the aussies getting a better deal should make any professional sportperson cringe..

    By Blogger Realms, at 12:40  

  • Prem,

    Can you influence the Indian media (read Rediff or Harsha) to write a counterpoint to the inanity that the English media are spewing out?
    Could you yourself make it official and write a point-counterpoint story on Rediff?

    As you (or Worma) pointed out earlier, somebody needs to remind the Brits that (1) they are no longer colonists who can make demands of their ex-colonies, and (2)most of their ex-colonies, India chief among them, are vastly larger to traverse than their own piddly island. And, I might point out, vastly more interesting too.

    Oh, and while you're doing it, perhaps you can point out that given England's current performance against a Pakistan 'B' team, no more tourists are needed than the team members themselves.

    By Blogger dna, at 12:41  

  • dna LOL:-)...about them not needing any more tourists :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:43  

  • Yup, the British media is childish, petulant, cynical, smug, pompous and yes, occasionally insightful. One could say that they do their team a disservice with their writing.
    Remember the first Ashes test and its aftermath! The British press showed its collective ass to the world.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 12:50  

  • How come England ever stages matches at Old Trafford in Manchester. Northern England is hardly "on the tourist track." By this logic, London is the only city that should stage cricket in England-- after all, that's the only place people go when visiting England. Just wondering, why is it always the Brits whining? Every single tour, there's something or another-- terrorism fears, rowdy rude crowds in Australia, raining bullets in India, bad food, politics in Zimbabwe, nothing to do in Pakistan, homesickness for Harmison in Bangladesh and South Africa as an excuse for poor performance?? What next?

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:55  

  • I agree that England have nothing much ti complain about. But imagine if we go to England next year and they give us tests at chester-le-street, trentbridge and old trafford ? will we be too happy about it ? what england make sure is that every team plays at least at lords. even bangladesh were accorded that honour. there is something to consider

    By Blogger GK, at 12:58  

  • gk: perhaps the ECB gives every team the "honor" of playing in Lord's because it only has a limited selection of places to pick from, unlike a huge country like India?

    Worma: :-) on your LOL

    By Blogger dna, at 13:08  

  • dna: yes, perhaps. but fact is england has so many counties and so many grounds. we saw in the world cup they have plenty of venus that can host international cricket. however when it comes to test matches they stick to their 6 or 7 designated grounds.

    By Blogger GK, at 13:10  

  • GK: agreed. and before i run away with my emotions, let's not forget that so far the English press and the ECB have only cited one (and that too incorrect) reason for loudly complaining about the venues.

    By Blogger dna, at 13:12  

  • GK it is about money --- in Eng you make money and that too is not full sometimes is at LORDS

    In India you say cricket match and even my grandmom wants to go

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:12  

  • @mit: LOL about your grandmom:-)
    but that's totally true!

    By Blogger dna, at 13:13  

  • gk,
    if Eng make us play in those venues, then they are the ones to lose from the extra revenue. BTW, nothing wrong with at least Trent Bridge and Old Trafford.

    But since we are such good people, we should probably get the Englishmen to play in Manali, Ooty and Mahabaleshwar the next time they come over. And we should also prepare green tops and give them loads of mint/lozenges. Coupled with some bland boiled chicken and mashed potatoes (no pepper, please, its too hot), I am sure they might even overstay their welcome. Of course, if they dont like any aspect of our hospitality, General Dyer's grand children can always come and shoot the guilty.

    PS: I heard Giles is affected by a stomach bug, when touring Pakistan. I wonder how much this will affect his capability to bowl 3 feet outside the legstump.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:17  

  • of course i support matches being given to smaller venues. pune wouldn't have got a match if not for that policy ... and i have bought a 3000 Rs ticket for the match the day after !!! But I do believe when it comes to test matches some sort of sanctity should be maintained - like in england where lords gets the first test (usu) in australia boxing day is melbourne and new years day is sydney ... these have been the traditions for years ... so also in SA ... imagine if we had a concept like a dussehra test every year in kolkata followed by a diwali test in mohali ... something like that

    By Blogger GK, at 13:19  

  • I agree with GK as far as the test venues are concerned.The Ahmedabad and Nagpur tests should have gone to two of Kolkata,Chennai and Bangalore.(yeah I'm aware of the rotation policy).This is a high profile series and it deserves high profile test venues where big crowds are guarenteed.The last 3 times the Aussies have been here they've played only in Kolkata(twice),Chennai(thrice),Bangalore(twice),Mumbai(twice) and that infamous test in Nagpur.The Poms have no business complaining about the ODI venues though.We've been made to play in places like Bristol,Swansea,Taunton and other small British towns too.

    By Blogger AR, at 13:21  

  • We can have Dusshehera Test in Sri Lanka --- that would be 'symbolic'

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:22  

  • @mit: you're hilarious!

    By Blogger dna, at 13:26  

  • GK:
    The Pongal(Sankaranthi) test in Chennai was a tradition till the 80's.

    By Blogger AR, at 13:30  

  • LOL, @mit.

    The set pattern for test venues is not possible because we have nine (right) official and very good test venues. None of these lack the basic facilities required for hosting an intl game. In any case, Eng are going to complain if they play in Chennai or Mumbai (hot, sultry and humid) which leaves two venues out of the equation.

    BTW, are the tests or ODIs being played first? I think the tests, right? It would have been really home-advt for India if the Poms were made to play the ODI in Kochi first. Trust me, I saw Aus and SA struggling in those conditions and even us spectators found it hot.

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:31  

  • ar: you and gk probably have a point about big venue for a high profile series. But tell me first, what is 'their' problem in playing at Ahmedabad, Nagpur?

    By Blogger worma, at 13:31  

  • did u guys see this..fastest 50 (in 12 balls)

    man.. that surely is awesome...

    By Blogger Balaji, at 13:33  

  • While we can ridicule the British press for their whining, actually it wouldnt be a bad idea to make some tourism money by orgnising cricket matches in a clever way. How about a ODI in Dharamsala. That to me is the most picturesque ground in India, if not the world. And probably not many know about it. Now if there is a match there and people watch it on TV - they will think hmm... that looks like a nice place.. next time there is a match there, I might want to check it out.. And by that token, there is not much tourism money to be made by having matches in Mumbai or Chennai - people already know more than enough about these places and will visit them anyway. Its the little known places that need publicity as tourist destinations and the cricket matches are definitely a good way to advertise. Case in point, Dambulla, Galle and Kandy are popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:35  

  • @worma
    u r rite. eng shud have no problem in playing anywhere. it is i who has a problem.

    anyway i do not believe ahmedabad is an "excellent" venue for one. it has produced horribly dull draws the last 3 times we played there so much so that i felt like killing myself rather than be bored to death on a pata wicket like that.

    similarly mohali is also an extremely draw-oriented wicket - excellent stadium and ground and facilities everything is great except for the wicket - remember the heartbreak against pakistan ? it is a wicket that gets better as the match progresses and is probably the best for batting on day 5 !! yeah ... i know we beat england there in 2001 but we also had to endure 2 hopelessly painful draws against nz and 1 against sl

    btw who is hosting the tests against sri lanka ? delhi, chennai and ?

    By Blogger GK, at 13:36  

  • Worma:I agree that they are basing their complaints on totally worng reasons.But I did read in one of the articles(I think it was Scyld Berry's) about the possiblity of not getting huge crowds in Ahmedabad and Nagpur which this series definetly deserves and which the traditional test centers would have guarenteed.Having said that,I hope the fans in Ahmedabad and Nagpur prove me wrong.

    By Blogger AR, at 13:36  

  • ar, absolutely. that ahmedabad ground is never full for a test match but always for an odi. cant blame them entirely tho. if the groundsman is going to prepare a dead-as-a-dodo wicket everytime what can they do ?

    By Blogger GK, at 13:40  

  • I think Mohali started out as a really fast wicket in the 90's.We lost the first test we played there.It was against the Windies in 94..Walsh and Kenny Benjamin routed us on what was probably the bounciest Indian track that I can recall.We were up 1-0 before the test and we had to settle with a drawn series after that.Since then I guess the board has convinced the groundsmen to prepare flat beds.

    By Blogger AR, at 13:41  

  • gk, tiger, ar:
    what's whiny about the English's complaints is that they're mixing up cricket and tourism. By itself, there is nothing wrong in the two tying up to promote each other, but when you claim something to the effect of "that is not a touristy place, therefore BCCI is trying to undermine the up and coming English cricket team," you need to get your marbles examined.

    ar: you said "...which this series definetly deserves." does that mean that other series do not deserve the same treatment?

    By Blogger dna, at 13:42  

  • ar, yeah i remember that test. that does not howevr justify switching so completely to the other extreme

    By Blogger GK, at 13:42  

  • @dna
    yes u r rite on that. england are quoting absolutely ridiculous reasons for not liking the venues. but sometimes if the right thing is done even due to wrong reasons it is great ...

    By Blogger GK, at 13:44  

  • gk, third is Kanpur (for SL)...I know, again a boring draw kind of venue :-)...but then the solution to that is change the pitches, not banish the venue.

    Anyways, I agree with ar and you to some extent that we stand to lose a bit, in hosting in smaller places. But if you've read my comments in the Taj post, I said that 'in the Indian context' (and esp knowing BCCI) I am really happy that there is a rotational policy in place...otherwise there would 'surely' have been corruption, back-deals etc in alloting test matches.

    So, probably in an ideal scenario I would have liked that, but given what we have, this is probably for the best.

    And in any case, my rant is not against what you are advocating. Its against this illogical approach which has become the norm with this Eng touring party. They arm-twisted poor PCB into agreeing to a lot of things....I hope BCCI does not agree...I would be happy if the Eng team comes here with this self-induced psychological disadvantage. After all, record books would just say that we defeated them, not that they were half-beaten before they even landed here ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:46  

  • @worma
    LOL. You seem to have a particular dislike for the english.

    anyway abt the solution being to make better wickets one must say that if a venue does not provide it repeatedly on numerous occasions banishing it is not a very wrong thing to do. for that matter i do believe kanpur has been getting very few tests recently

    please done maker featherbeds ... give me any day a minefield like mumbai 2004 than a featherbed like ahmedabad 2003

    By Blogger GK, at 13:52  

  • What a hypocrites the POMS are Now they cry for boig venues then, But if they play in big venues the players make false claims like being shot by a pellet etc? I would say If ECB rasises any more objections other than cricketing reasons we should reschedule the tour venues to be in remote places.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 13:54  

  • sriram,
    One venue to think of could be Ladakh. Another one will be Lakshadweep, the third test could be played in the rain forests in Cherrapunji

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:02  

  • gk: more than Eng dislike, I want our victory :-)....ofcourse not by making bad wkts...actually featherbeds may help their cause more than ours.

    Btw about Kanpur, it did not get test matches for a while, and someone clarified here that it had something to do with underprepared pitches...but its now back in favour...and part of standard rotation.

    As far as I understand, there's no policy for banishing venues for making dead pitches (as long as they are playable). Although I dont understand why the team management cannot talk to the curator into solving that problem before a match. After all, a team like India, with good spin attack, would rather favour a spin friendly track (not underprepared) than a dead one. Even against the 'resurgent' Eng ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:05  

  • I think ENG media and board is making a big cry out of *non-tourist* venues because they feel they will probably not find their favorite *extra curricular activities* at these venues. Or at least they think it will not be *upto their standards* at these lesser known places. I hope y'all know what I am talking about. ;-)

    Otherwise, no sane person would make an issue out of a non-issue. I mean, are they coming for sightseeing or playing?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 14:06  

  • Toney *L* on the choice of your venues for matches.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:23  

  • If they want sight seing would accept Srinagar with terrorism killing people daily there I am sure ECB would be delighted to play in J&K

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 14:24  

  • ruchir joshi,
    "[The players] will probably not find their favorite *extra curricular activities* at these venues. Or at least they think it will not be *upto their standards* at these lesser known places. I hope y'all know what I am talking about. ;-)"

    LOL! I like the *extra curricular activities* at the bigger venues too!

    By Blogger Sahir, at 14:37  

  • Ruchir,
    What do you mean by these extra/nocturnal activities? I never heard anything in the past from any Eng team

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 14:42  

  • Cherapunji..match drawn in advance!

    Hard to believe A'Bad is not a major city of India and the crowd puller! There is lots around to shop and see as well..

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 14:45  

  • How about having the first game in Chennai, second in Kolkata, and the third in Dharmashala (beautiful ground, by the way)? Make them travel the length of the country.

    On a more serious note, why don't we do something like that? I agree that we have more grounds than say, an Australia to award test matches to, but if the BCCI is an organization that is controlled by zonal biases, why don't these manifest themselves in venue scheduling. Make sure each zone gets no more than one test per series. That'll make the touring side have to really travel, and we could justify it by talking about zonal fairness and also allowing the visitors a chance to see as many parts of India as possible.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 14:52  

  • This is off-topic.
    Don't you guys think a 7 match ODI series is ridiculous.There seems to be no limit to BCCI's greed. The last two times that SA has toured India,they've played only 2 tests each but there has been no dearth of ODI's.Thats baffling.The BCCI could'nt schedule a 3 test series against them but it makes sure that they return the next year for yet another ODI marathon that would rake in the moolah for them.The ICC should intervene and make sure that no bilateral ODI series should be more than 5 matches and every test series should have a minimum of 3 matches.

    By Blogger AR, at 15:00  

  • Is there money only to be made from the grounds? What does high-profile mean in terms of visibility anyway? Indians are gonna watch all games anyway and as far as the majority of English are concerned, they are only watching it on TV. So as long as the TV facilities are good in a ground (other than of course the cricketing facilities in the ground), what are these English writers complaining about?

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:01  

  • alvin,
    Remember, more travelling means hectic for our team too.

    I am curious about the BCCI response to this. What if the negotiations lead to an impasse? Will ECB drop the tour? I'll say Good Riddance. Freddie can pay one of his more educated friends to write him another "autobiography" too.

    terrorism in Kashmir? According to the BBC (at least till some time back), it was freedom fighters against the bad INdian army.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:04  

  • ar,
    I think the 7 ODI series started with SA home games, right? The first time I heard about something like this, it was Aus playing SA in SA, when Cronje was still alive and a saint in SA.

    Every board does this. Aus VB series have 3 teams playing as many as 4 games against each other before the best of three finals is played.
    England has a tri series every year too.
    But these two countries make sure that they play a minimum of tests too. Aus never compromises even on the dates. For eg, Boxing day test at MCG.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:07  

  • Toney,
    I have no compalaints as long as Test cricket is given its due.The BCCI has not done that.The first 7 match ODI series that I can recall was between India and SA in 92.But we also played 4 tests on that tour.And you are right about ECB, and Cricket Australia..they never compromise on the tests.

    By Blogger AR, at 15:11  

  • I still think a 7 match bilateral series is too mucg though.IMO 5 should be the norm.

    By Blogger AR, at 15:12  

  • Maybe the current 7 match series is to compensate for the lack of Indo-Lanka matches in India of late.. Otherwise I think 5 match has been the norm. They were going to have 5 matches v/s Pak as well, but they added one ODI as Pak refused to play a Test in A'bad and so they were persuaded to play an ODI over there to make up for it.. This is 7 match business is not new.. I remember India Pak series of 1987 was also 7 matches, wasnt it?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:25  

  • Oh, also, the 2 match series against SAF was so because we also played only 2 'official' Tests last we toured SA...

    By Blogger Tiger, at 15:27  

  • Tiger:
    I'm not sure about the 1987 ODI series against Pak.The test series was of 5 matches though.If the BCCI did want to compensate for lack of Indo-SL matches, they should have scheduled a 5 test series.There has been no shortage of India-SL ODI's though.We've been touring SL almost every year for ODI tournaments.

    By Blogger AR, at 15:32  

  • I am not so much against the no of ODI as i am to the step motherly treatment given to test series as a direct consequence. If ODI's are the "speed" of the narcotics world, test matches are the good old "grass"...now i am getting carried away :)

    By Blogger Realms, at 15:32  

  • This has been oft discussed out here..but, cricinfo finally did a piece on it:

    By Blogger boondock_cricketer, at 15:39  

  • Off topic,
    Does anybody know what happened to the sportingstreams website? It was redirecting to a different website for the past few days, but now I just get a message that says:

    This Account Has Been Suspended
    Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.

    I reckon this is a generic message since I have not logged in; anyone else having this problem?

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:40  

  • sahir, append a /sport at the end of the URL and u will be fine

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:45  

  • Sahir:
    Did you register at the other site with the same user name/pw as sportingstreams?I did that and it works for me.

    By Blogger AR, at 15:45  

  • sahir,
    The site was working last night (around 6:00 PM CST). I caught the 3rd ODI highlights. I checked the site 4 hours ago and it was not working . I got the same error message you mentioned. I think the site may have closed down.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:46  

  • thanks for the info Ashvin, I would have definitely not found this out.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:48  

  • poondu - try http://www.sportingstreams.com/sport/

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:48  

  • poondu, google rocks :)

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 15:48  

  • Sahir,
    I had saved the logon url as a favorite. SO even though I got the above message when I typed sportingstreams.com, with the favorite, I directly accessed the login page and renewed my account.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 15:49  

  • looking by the way the site works, definitely looks illegal. I remember a huge argument some days ago regarding the legality of this site.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:51  

  • Happy Diwali to all you guys !!!

    The distances between the test venues:
    Mumbai to Ahmedabad: 561 km
    Ahm'bad to Nagpur: 970 km
    Nagpur to Mumbai: 863 km.

    I dont think these distances come under 'too long' category.

    Suppose ECB 'chooses' Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi (Kolkata has to be OUT for two reasons: If Ganguly doesnt play, the environment could be volatile; also, it hosted 2 of the last four matches that India hosted) as venues,here are the distances:

    Mumbai to Chennai - 1329 km
    Chennai to Delhi - 2095 km
    Delhi to Mumbai - 1407 km.

    I agree that the ODI venues cover entire India.. the travellig would be just a little longer.. esp. Guwahati, which is 1458 km from the nearest venue, Cuttack.

    By Blogger Raju, at 15:59  

  • Thanks Ashvin!

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:00  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger AR, at 16:12  

  • I have a suggestion for scheduling ODI's.We have 20 ODI centers.Divide them into 4 zones of 5 centers each based on geographical location.Rotate sereis between these 4 zones with each zone getting a full series.This way the rotation policy is taken care of..and travelling is also minimized.

    By Blogger AR, at 16:14  

  • where are the ganguly bashers/supporters.. Let;s have some fun..

    By Blogger Ridham, at 16:30  

  • Since the other thread seems dead, in which I posted this comment in reply to a query about Balaji's status, I'll re-post here:

    Balaji is out largely due to fitness reasons as well as the emergence of Sree Santh during the Challenger Trophy. I reckon a few more domestic games (Duleep Trophy) and he will be back in the reckoning, especially for the tests against Sri Lanka. Anybody given any thought to who the second seamer will be in the tests against Sri Lanka? There is a strong possibility Zaheer will not be retained considering Chappell's dislike of his work ethic, along with Zaheer's prolonged pathetic performance in international cricket. Who then? Nehra? What if he's not fit, which is highly likely considering he is yet to play a domestic game since leaving Zimbabwe under the injury cloud. Surely Agarkar will not be considered for Test cricket again? We've already been down that path once too often. Probably 3 contenders, and 2 of them would be debutants if selected-- Balaji, Sree Santh, and VRV Singh. What do you guys think?

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:31  

  • ridham,

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:31  

  • Ok....so the whole Eng tour unroar news has reached our shores....read here and here. So far this is only the 'news' part....lets wait and see how the 'views' portions shapes out in our media.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:33  

  • and not only spin...it seems Eng have problem with pitches with swing and seam also ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:36  

  • I remember during Graham Gooch team's visit, they comlained about smog in Calcutta and watr in Chennai...they lost both matches as far as I remember. How much credibility do thesefolks about venues??

    For that matter, Boycott seldom visited India during his days as a cricketer..remember that? There is always something special about the Tonys!!

    By Blogger SS, at 16:39  

  • The Pommies always cry, specially when they know they will loose! We have experienced it in the past and this is nothing new for us.

    I guess we should let our cricket do the talking and shut them up!

    FYI- anyone who can live in a country that has such a bad weather- raining and no sunlight most of the time can obviously survive the modern India, do they know that we have one of the best hotel industries in the world!!

    By Blogger Cricket99, at 16:39  

  • Sahir,
    I haven't seen much of VRV. Balaji has a poor run for the last 7-8 months.

    Probably Santh will open with IP. Followed by bhajji and Kumble.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:41  

  • cricket99,
    The SAfricans shipped mineral water when they toured India. So, expect the same from the English. Bunch of whineys!!

    Whats wrong with the "Tonys"? Is that their nickname? Then, I should change mine.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:43  

  • ridham,
    speaking of ganguly supporters/bashers , I haven't seen Oracle Guy posts for last 2-3 days.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:44  

  • Balaji has done well in recent Duleep trophy matches. Even Zaheer is improving. I think it would be a disastor if we go into a home test match with a debutant....however promising he may be. It needs some amount of maturity for a pace bowler to play a home test in India...its a tough job.

    I would hope Balaji is back in time...else Zaheer. Agarkar doesnt survive in unhelpful conditions in a test...and Nehra doesnt survive in any conditions in a test :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:46  

  • @poondu.. LOL.
    I guess he must have resigned to his fate. :)
    I suggested ganguly talk to spice things up here as its been kinda boring day on this blog today.. no spicy news :(

    By Blogger Ridham, at 16:49  

  • worma,
    The main issue with Balaji is he keeps changing his actions so frequently. He is definitely a talented bowler but should try to generate a little more pace. I think he is bowling more in the 120's these days. If selected hope he bowls with the same bowling action that he had used in Pakistan.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:50  

  • I too would go with Balaji, but VRV might be the darkhorse pick. He can consistently bowl above 140 km/h and may not need as much assistance from the surface if he can beat the batsmen for pace. As an added bonus, VRV is a pretty good lower order batsman.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:53  

  • poondu I read recently that Lily asked him to change the action after his injury :-) Anyways..point being..he's improving (and remember, even after return from injury his Mohali test performance was good...I saw his seam+swing deliveries (the ones that do 'both'...tha Balaji specials) also back in action then. So...lets hope he has coped with his action..and it will show in his results (as it has started showing....with couple of good Duleep trophy matches)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:53  

  • Speaking of no oracle guy, whatever happened to dadagiri?

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:53  

  • oops..sorry no '(' after 'improving'

    By Blogger worma, at 16:54  

  • I think IP and Balaji should be first choice seamers with Zaheer as back up.If they are serious about playing VRV in the tests, he should be tried out in the ODI's first.Personally, I don't think he'll make it to the test squad.

    By Blogger AR, at 16:56  

  • Well I agree Balaji should be first in line, but Zaheer... had enough of his antics, especially for a non-performer-- after 40 tests, he has a bowling average of 36.25 to go along with his lazy fielding and persistent injuries

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:59  

  • Speaking of the test team guys do you see any major changes . I think with SRT back, somebody has to miss out . Who do you think will go ? Hope this does not spark a SG debate.

    Could this be the team?
    One of (SG/MK/YS)

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:00  

  • sahir...but in test matches Zaheer hasnt done too many 'antics' I would think? And remember, a big chunk of his test career has been at home.

    By Blogger worma, at 17:02  

  • I too don't want to spark of a SG debate,but if he's not found worthy of an ODI spot,I don't see how he can be picked for the tests..afterall he's always been a better ODI batsman.Dhoni after Jaipur has made sure that the selectors have a tough job.I would give Karthik a longer run before passing a judgement on him..if Parthiv could play for that long, so should Karthik.

    By Blogger AR, at 17:05  

  • How about playing 3 spinners and IP in the Tests against SL?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:08  

  • Tiger,
    I think that would be better(3Spin + IP) for the ENG series. Srilankans play spin pretty well.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:10  

  • ar,
    Agree with you on Dinesh Karthik. Should be given a longer stint. I think he is talented

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:11  

  • Tiger:
    That would mean having square turners and playing into the hands of Murali and co.I know our batsmen are great players of spin but why would you want to give him a chance.I think we should have a sporting wickets.Help for the seamers on the first day,batting paradise on the 2nd and 3rd days,turn on the 4th and 5th days.Chennai is a wicket on those lines.We should go with a 2-2 attack.

    By Blogger AR, at 17:12  

  • poondu - yeah, against England, atleast for the 1st Test, I think they ought to pick 3 spinners.
    Agreed, against Lanka, they'd go with 2 seam + 2 spin.

    By Blogger Tiger, at 17:13  

  • Poondu,

    If MSD does extremely well with the bat in the next few games, we may see him bat purely as a batsman with KKDK donning the gloves. India has selected both More and C Pandit in the same test and played CP as a pure batsman (if I remember right). Considering that More is the chief of selectors, it is possible.

    Balaji's record this year in tests hasn't been bad at all and he is very successful in first class matches always. If he is fit, LB and IP will be the first choice seamers for the team and based on HS's recent resurgence, HS and AK will be the spinners. AK will probably be looking back at the '93 series and licking his fingers.

    Batting order may be:

    1. VS
    2. GG
    3. RD
    4. SRT
    5. VVSL
    6. MSD
    7. KKDK
    8. IP
    9. AK
    10. HS and
    11. LB

    By Blogger Prabu, at 17:52  

  • Dravid is quoted as saying, “The way Dhoni has played, he has surely put himself up for selection in the test team.”
    Dhoni, the batsman, seems too good to miss out. If he can show that he is a safe keeper, then surely he will be there. Maybe if India prepares some turning pitches (say against SA), then he can judged there.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 17:56  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 17:57  

  • Gilchrist took 3 years from his ODI debut to break into the test team.They did'nt rush him into the test team just because he was good.Healy was doing his job and deserved his place in the test team.I think the same has to apply to Dhoni and Karthik.This is just an analogy.I'm by no means comparing these two Indian stumpers to the two great Aussies.As long as Karthik continues doing his job well,he should not be dropped.If Dhoni is an explosive ODI batsman, Karthik is a gutsy test batsman and his keeping skills are better than Dhoni's.

    By Blogger AR, at 18:03  

  • Point people seem to be missing is that Dhoni may not be able to replicate his batting success if he were to keep wickets to Kumble and Bhajji for hours together. If Dhoni were to be selected for the test team, it should be purely on his batting ability. Test W/K should be based primarily on W/K ability and then batting - and even here KKDK doesn't pale in comparison to MSD. MSD is definitely more explosive, but KKDK has sound technique and temperament as evidenced in the test series against Pakistan.

    Chappell has also mentioned that "India is lucky to have two good keepers in KKDK and MSD". This indicates that KKDK is very much in their plans for the team.

    What is funny though is that the easier route to the test team seems to be thru performances in ODIs than first-class cricket. If this were not true, Sriram will be playing in the test team ahead of YS and MK. Even public memory / perception on a player's ability is based on ODI performances and not on domestic / past test performance.


    By Blogger Prabu, at 18:09  

  • Poondu,
    Do you think Dhoni is good enough to play at the expense of MK/YS/SG?I don't think so.You also forget that that when Pandit and More played together,India had genuine allrounders in Kapil and Shastri.They batted deep and had a decent bowling line up.Thats not the case now.

    By Blogger AR, at 18:12  

  • ar
    "As long as Karthik continues doing his job well,he should not be dropped.If Dhoni is an explosive ODI batsman, Karthik is a gutsy test batsman and his keeping skills are better than Dhoni's."

    Agree with the first part of the statement, BUT sadly Karthik is not doing his job. Part of his job is to score a fair amount of runs if he is going to bat at 7. After 10 tests he has an average of 18. 4 of those 10 tests were against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The other 6 were all at home in familiar batting conditions. How's the guy gonna do one he goes abroad against non-minnows? This would be fine if his keeping had been stellar ala Healy, but his glovework has simply been adequate as he has dropped his fair share of clangers. The team performing well in test cricket has hidden Karthik's inadequacies. While he does have talent with the bat, so do many others. The question is who can translate that talent into runs on the board at the highest level. I believe in giving players a fair run and 4 test series is a fair run. You cannot wait 10 series before you drop somebody not doing a significant part of his job. Maybe it would be a slightly different argument had the man simply been out of form, but there has been no indication of that as he continues to score freely outside the international arena. If you do not change keepers now at home against Sri Lanka and Karthik fails again, it would hardly be fair to have a keeper make his test debut against Pakistan in Pakistan. You would be forced to send someone to Pakistan with a pathetic batting record batting at 7.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 18:33  

  • Additionally,
    In a team with no genuine allrounders, you've got to have a keeper that can contribute significantly with the bat. Glovework is the primary skill and I'm not sure whether Dhoni's glovework will be up to par at the test level, but the guy now deserves the opportunity to show whether it is or not. Karthik has tried and unfortunately failed as a keeper-BATSMAN. Just because the team is not losing, does not mean that player is "doing the job."

    By Blogger Sahir, at 18:37  

  • ar,
    "I would give Karthik a longer run before passing a judgement on him..if Parthiv could play for that long, so should Karthik."

    Parthiv was highly successful at the start of his career with both bat and ball. Once he started failing with the gloves, he was dropped soon after. BTW, Patel only played 19 matches total. Besides, nobody like Dhoni was around to push a case for selection at the time. Patel's keeping at the start of his career was just fine, and at times quite good (although it deteriorated rapidly later). His batting was terrific. He averaged 32 and against high quality opposition. He played against England in England, Australia in Australia, New Zealand in New Zealand (during the infamous garden pitch tour during which nobody scored), and Pakistan in Pakistan. This is about as tough as it will get bowling attacks and conditions-wise. Not to say, that Patel should be back over Dhoni, but simply stating why Patel got a slightly longer run than Karthik deserves.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 18:51  

  • BTW,
    Karthik has also played 2 ODI matches in addition to the 10 tests. In those 2 matches, he averages 1.00 with the bat at a strike rate of 8.33.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 18:53  

  • Karthik has not been particularly impressive with the bat. I think dhoni deserves a try in test matches. Only thing is that before any of these new players are sent on a series abroad, they should be a given a chance to get some experience playing on non sub-continental wickets either through county cricket or the australian academy

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 19:55  

  • ar,

    To ur question mate

    Do you think Dhoni is good enough to play at the expense of MK/YS/SG?I don't think so .. "

    Even I don't think so because I never said that in my post.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 20:04  

  • If calls for the inclusion of Dhoni in the test team soon after his 148 against pak were made, one could have said that it was too early to inject him to the longer version.

    There are a number of people arguing the case that Karthik shouldnt be dropped now infavor of MSD, some are suggesting that he would not be able to "replicate" his performance after long hrs behind the stumps and there are those who say that DK deseves a longer run before a judgement can be passed on his credentials.

    Even though all the above are valid arguments, they cannot hold against the fact that MSD is a keeper/batsmen of immense talent and that his inclusion in the test side is inevitable unless a team can afford to keep someone outside whose talents are comprable to adam gilchrist.

    By Blogger rahul_fan, at 20:31  

  • WRT keeping... I believe Holding said during the Pak tour, if at the end of the day, you do not discuss the performance of the keeper, that means he is doing his job, and doing it well. He said that about Dhoni. Subsequently, we have seen that he can also bat a bit, and thus far there have been no major -ve vibes about his keeping. Thus, I feel he should be the automatic choice for both versions. DK on the other hand has faltered in his keeping, so he should be put in a cohort with PP as promising keepers who are pushing MSD for the spot.

    By Blogger oldmanblues, at 21:57  

  • I agree that the English media is just being a sore bunch of losers with its comments, but I'd not say other medias in the world are any better or worse.

    In whinnging though, non come second to England.

    By Blogger Zainub, at 23:33  

  • http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/indvsl/content/story/223842.html

    By Blogger AR, at 23:36  

  • Just to add to the comments on Cherrapunjee - I went there earlier this year and it wasn't raining. Even played a little street cricket with the kids who can sure swing the old tennis ball!!

    By Blogger Ged, at 02:34  

  • Thought you also might be interested in the debate on same subject on UC Forum


    By Blogger Ged, at 02:38  

  • Even Sri Lankans are cribbing about the venues. Here is a column in LankaWeb. This is hilarious.

    I couldn't resist blogging on this one.

    By Blogger Global Indian, at 03:49  

  • Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

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