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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Punjab Express delayed(-worma)

Yep...all those waiting to have a first look at 'VRV' would have to wait longer, probably SA series(?). He's not fit enough to play for atleast a couple of weeks. Bit of anti-climatic for many of us, I guess.

Otherwise the best XI appear set to take the field...with Pathan, Sachin and Kaif named in the twelve. And Dravid, as we were discussing yesterday, rested for the match. And rightly so.

Meanwhile, for those worried about JP and Venu's untimely 'drop' from team can take heart in this report. As I mentioned yesterday, it does look like they are still included in the scheme of things.
"I know I am in the scheme of things. Coach Greg Chappell has told us to look at the big picture. The 2007 World Cup is what we all are aiming for" said JP with ease.

Another no-frills, non-speculative stock-taking of the situation in this report in The Hindu. The same point, about Venu and JP, reiterated here
The non-inclusion of Rao and Yadav should be seen as just that — a non-inclusion. Axing connotes a permanency that is at odds with the philosophy of Chappell and captain Rahul Dravid. While it's easy to say semantics are shrouding actions, the internal consistency of the decision proves otherwise

Finally...Yuvraj and Kartik, the duo facing some heat on the field(as we all have observed), are in the firing line off it too.

update: missed out a really 'entertaining' preview of the match by Siddhartha at Cricinfo. About the pitch:
A pitch that can last the distance is "a really good one", the curator who can prepare it has done "a excellent job". And the entire half of the players, calling themselves bowlers and being treated as if they don't need to exist, need to try their best to limit the damage.
and this
However, none of these held true when, last month, Sourav Ganguly walked out onto the same pitch to begin one of his most important innings, for East Zone in the Duleep Trophy. There was a sporting bounce, movement off the surface and ample assistance for the faster men, a fact that stumped the local press who were accustomed to batsmen feasting on a typical Indian paata wicket. Two weeks on, and normalcy appears to have been restored.


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  • The Gavaskar Column


    Some of his comments are really uncalled for from a cricketer of his stature, he says

    "The absence of Pathan was definitely seen as both Sreesanth and R P Singh are still new and were unable to stem the flow of runs. "

    Why blame the 2 youngsters, who I thought did a decent job on a batting beauty, also NOTE, not a single word about the GREAT AA. These are the sort of things that really irritates.

    It looks like Gavaskar is on a mission to ensure that Chappel fails, his first approach seems to be to critize individual players whereever possible.

    By Blogger Swamy Cricathmanandha, at 08:41  

  • The transformation of Nagpur and Rajkot wickets- does it tell you a story?

    By Blogger devips, at 08:44  

  • swamy: I don't know (or won't go) into the hidden agenda etc....but this article looks fair to me. I didn't find him 'criticizing' the newcomers...just stating it matter of factly. And about AA...its not necessary to list each and every player in the article, is it?

    I didn't find him criticizing the actual move to play these youngsters...or the experimentation startegy in general also. Read the last line India lost for the greater cause of building a team and looking for options and hopefully it’s just a hiccup in what has been a most exciting start to the season. Is this criticism?

    And btw, on a separate note, AA was the best of the three pacers in the match. Ofcourse he went for runs later one...no denying that.

    By Blogger worma, at 08:48  

  • This part is 'interesting' too from the same Sunny column.

    "J P Yadav, who hardly ever bowls his full quota of overs and bats way down the order has been dropped and V R V Singh taken in his place. Mohammad Kaif had to prove his match fitness by playing in a domestic tournament but V R V Singh has come in after missing North Zone’s Duleep game with an injury and with no other domestic game to prove his fitness. It is here that Indian cricket needs to tighten up for fitness standards should not be subjective. "

    So a fast bowler is selected to replace a allrounder (or bits and pieces however u see it) and the physio promptly rules him out for 2 weeks. So who was asking for only "fit players" will be selected. We need to define fitness again I guess.

    By Blogger DDirector, at 09:00  

  • Facts to be noted:

    1. An injured player, who has not performed that well in recent Duleep trophy matches, was put into the team and then rested.

    2. Lots of changes happening in the team in the name of rotation but one particular name is missing always.

    3. Wickets that have been very 'sporting' with bounce and grass during SG days, to test our own cricketers...have all of a sudden become flat.

    Hail the resurrection of true indian politics, aided by GORA just as it happened 250 years back!!!!

    By Blogger SS, at 09:29  

  • i liked the point that SMG made about fitness standards... why is kaif asked to prove his fitness while VRV comes right in and then gets injured... wasnt it importnant for More to check on his fitness first before selecting... one more interesting thing is that these fast bowlers r getting injured playing in the domestic circuit and that too early in the season where they havent even started the ranji season... bravo...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:33  

  • @mayur,
    I guess that is why I think GC said somewhere that he needs a pool of 8 fast bowlers to pick up.

    Well, he is building up a pool of 20 playeres and out of that 8 will be fast bowlers!!! Wonder which team he is building..Indian or AUS?

    By Blogger SS, at 09:35  

  • dear ss,

    I am really fed up of hearing ur "bakwas" abt GC...can't u find a single good word for him...at least abt the good outcomes of his strategies?...u write so much here...so you should sound logical yaar...

    By Blogger Shivam, at 09:38  

  • ss: there is someone that has to be blamed for this debacle... a guy is selected, but fails fitness the next day... was 'being unavailable because of injury in the last game' not a clear enough signal in itself for the selectors?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:39  

  • mayur and others: regarding the VRV fitness issue...well BCCI has a rule that a player going out of Indian team due to fitness has to play domestic match to prove his fitness after recovery. So, 'technically' VRV was not in that category...but yes, still its a minor goofup. Although I don't think its due to a conspiracy or anything...more of a limitation in our domestic setup. I'm not sure what quality of assessment is available in domestic setup...probably that injury wasn't diagnosed...or maybe even ignored! Thats harmful, and no doubt bad news from domestic cricket point of view. But probably in this context, the 'mixup' wasn't as serious as is being made out to be.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:40  

  • worma: check my posts as i never said that this whole thing was intentional... i hope it is not... in simple terms it is a blunder, now who is responsible for it is unknown... we cud have definitely tried someone like munaf (if we r so hell bent on choosing super fast bowlers) for the dead rubbers but now we wont have anything new to be tried out since RPS and SS r rested... a simple call to check if he is injury free wud have helped after he missed the game against ZIM XI in the duleep trophy...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:46  

  • Worma: I guess you can call it minor only because the person involved isn't a regular player..hell he is a debutant. But when you are selecting a team, the basic thing you note is is he performing and is he fit. Since we have at least 2 zonal selectors covering every Duleep match..so it goes beyond my thinking how they could miss a player had withdrawn out of the last match he was supposed to play due to injury. Thats as basic as you can go. I guess whether they would have the gall to call up Zaheer or Balaji now for that spot...or even JPY..who knows.

    By Blogger DDirector, at 09:46  

  • i believe JPY has been recalled in place of VRV

    By Blogger GK, at 09:50  

  • mayur: munaf did not even figure in Challenger (or Duleep) so hard to call him....I guess team management would have asked for VRV based on what they saw of him in Challenger? And point taken, about not being intentional. Although that 'simple call' to check his status...thats what I'm talking about. probably our domestic system doesnt even have a proper diagnosing and assessment facility...so no one knew how 'serious' his injury was...

    ddirector: I dont think anyone 'missed out' on knowing that he was injured. As I said above, I think no one knew how serious it was. Ofcourse its basic. But then do we have all basic facilities in our domestic setup? So...the fault lies there, IMO.

    About the replacement....did you read that express report I linked to. It mentions a replacement being considered....mysterious language...couldnt figure out who :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:52  

  • gk, where did you get that? tv news?

    By Blogger worma, at 09:53  

  • worma, yes it was on the tv channels

    By Blogger GK, at 09:55  

  • ok, thx. I guess logical move...another chance for JP then. Probably won't be playing this match, maybe the last one.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:58  

  • also guys just because prem doesnot like gavaskar we need not dislike him too. i am sure he plays politics but this article mentioned here is not offensive and a very good perspective on the game....
    Let us form our opinion based on our own thoughts not just as blind bats following prem-

    By Blogger tombaan, at 10:03  

  • tombaan: this article fro mSMG is a decent article... nothing flamboyant about it...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 10:06  

  • shucks- somehow can't get access to the article

    Can someone paste it here?

    By Blogger suraj, at 10:33  

  • rajkot pitch had lot of green on it when used for duleep trophy, SG cracks a ton when others bite dust around him at a good pace (SR of 85+), wins match for EZ. pitch gets shaved off for another flatter, backing likes of dhoni. whereas when coffins had to be put on SL's resurgence, resting 3 key players, brings in confidence back to lankans.

    Another interesting thing to note is Maharoof or Mahacrap gets 4 wickets to restrict India to 285 when it could be 315 but barring AA, rest of indian rookie hope, SS & RPS doled out mediocrity and match.

    Remember SG in one match when Eng was going at 7 per over, on a flat track (Tresco & Knight, I believe) put spokes with his intelligent medium pace and got score restricted to a decent one.

    SG is given worst treatment for all his calibre and class that was not given to GRV, Vengsarkar & all.

    By Blogger papugopu, at 10:33  

  • Worma, you have to admit that this VRV goof up SHOULD and COULD have been avoided. It's not like VRV got injured after he was picked. It's the same injury that prevented him from playing the last Duleep game. As at least two selectors cover every Duleep game, so they obviously knew about his injury. So why did they ASSUME that he's fit?

    By Blogger Jai, at 10:35  

  • jai, as I said...they were surely aware of his injury..probably not the extent of it. Maybe they could have asked Gloster to assess him and then included him (he would still have travelled to Rajkot, and still they may have recalled JP...which they anyway have done now). Yeah...sure...it could have been handled better, no doubt. I'm not trying to *defend* anyone boss :-)....just saying that the problem was not as simple as looking at VRV and saying he's not fit.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:12  

  • whats the most likely 11 for the game? Raina or Karthik as supersub?

    By Blogger Tiger, at 11:25  

  • knowing how dravid feels on murli i think it would be raina

    By Blogger tombaan, at 11:39  

  • its a pity that vrv is injured.
    would have ben a good chance for him.
    I hope the injury is minor and he is back at his best.

    By Blogger Amit, at 11:40  

  • Worma, I am not suggesting that the selectors should have 'looked at' VRV and figured out whether he's fit or not. But surely they could have talked to the NZ coach or the physio (I believe every zone and some high profile state teams have their own physio nowadays).

    By Blogger Jai, at 11:50  

  • tiger: as we already know that murali has an axe over his neck and will be asked to prove... raina on the other hand has to be given chances to prove himself as a batsman... since JPY has been called in to replace VRV, he wud be made the supersub to give both SR and MK a fair chance to prove themself...

    one more interesting thing is now we have 3 openers in SRT, VS and GG... who wud open? my guess is that VS might slip down the order to accomodate GG after that scintilating century...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 11:56  

  • worma,

    In my opinion, this business of fitness and standard and 2007 is more for talking than applying.

    You take who you want to take and then, make statement to suit.

    Ganguly may be old and Yadav not as old.
    SRT showing forms with 35 in 3 innings and Ganguly is going down the hill with slow 100s against weak opposition.

    Rao and Yadav are not dropped but sidelined waiting in the wings. They will not show up again if Kaif, Yuv, GG and Raina really show up.

    Talk of Khan fitness and now VRV. If this is not goof what else could be? But coach and the trainers are friend and have to protect the error of judgement or error of assessment.

    If Chappel helpes batsmen, who are they? Does SRT really need Chappel's help? or Chappel can learn a thing or two from SRT, even at this late stage!

    Do you think Wadekar would have said anything if India won the 5th match by wide margin? This is all after the fact.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 11:58  

  • jai: if they(NZ) do have a physio...then surely a slip-up by our selectors.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:58  

  • I am sure they do, but even they don't, the selectors should have found out a way to find out about VRV's fitness because he had missed the last match due to injury. Remember the other goof up that happened in Zimbabwe recently? Agarkar after the ODI series was on his way back to India and had even boarded the flight. Then he got the SOS that Nehra is injured and can't make it. So he had to get off somewhere and board another flight back to rejoin the team !!!!

    By Blogger Jai, at 12:04  

  • Worma,

    also,as you say because Kaif went out due to injury, he had to go thro domestic to prove and ditto for Ganguly.

    But when a take a new player, form is hard to assess( hope is there) but does not have to be fully fit? and if was, what did happen so suddenly tthat he has to be out for as much as 2 weeks?

    Khan appears to be fit, is in form but labelled lazy ( may be for right reason) but is that the reason to keep him out? Is there a Ganguly gang undercurrent? He got the benefits and NOW is the time to pay the price?

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:08  

  • cricktip: i hope it is not SG gang undercurrent... i hope there is a reason why these guys have been kept out, call it laziness or form or whatever...

    if there is any politics, then these things r not to last forever... i mean u can play politics only for so long as u r winning...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:12  

  • cricktip: no mate...however much I wish for things to be different from what they are....I don't think there's no underlying logic behind what's happening in the team - talking purely on a 'playing' front...and not on the background politics. I'll try to answer each and every example you've given:

    Ganguly has *not* been ruled out due to age. Not a single person associated with the establishment has said anything to this effect. Those are just personal opinions (and this I say as well as hope...since I'm also loóking for that possible 'comeback' ;-)

    SRT has not shown any signs of being out of form dude. Its not just about the score, is it? And even if it was, aren't there some number of innings which SRT has to fail in before you call him out of form! Do you think that Ponting and Lara and Kallis and Gilchrist and KP always score in *all* their innings (even when in prime form)? Is it extraordinary to miss out in 2-3 innings? Or even 5 innings in a row? Especially for someone as proven a performer as a Lara or a Ponting?

    About SG having a slow hundred against Zim...well...I've said a lot about it, and I don't think there's anyone here who wants me to repeat :-))...also include the 100 against NZ in Duleep...that also counts. No 100 can be totally worthless at an individual level.

    But didn't JP show up again as soon as VRV missed out? Had they mentally discarded Rao...then they could have recalled another pacer instead of JP, no? Or even Balaji or Zak or whoever else they wanted. That shows that JP's exclusion (as well as Rao's) was more about getting some others into the 15. Otherwise we just collect a bunch of 15 for WC? Which batsman do you think would be called up for SA series if Yuv fails miserably in next two matches and they consider dropping him? Do you think it wont be Rao? a new face?

    VRV is a minor goofup....and in any case nothing to do with team management, is it?

    All players need coaches for different reasons dude. For example...even an SRT can need a coach to look at his game closely and tell him certain flaws that may have crept up over a period of time (and which the batsman may himself not notice, at times, why do you think Warne keeps going back to Jenner?). Or he may need him at a 'role definition' level to tell him where exactly he stands in the plan. ofcourse Chappell needs him, RD needs him. In fact why even talk of him...Chappell needs a good team for him to look good. Doesn't Buchanan need Warne? Or Fletcher Flintoff? I would say thats normal coach-player(good perfomer) relationship, no?

    Wadekar...well...ofcourse these are opinions in hindsight. I usually don't see much of these in foresight.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:13  

  • @shivam,
    soory boss, got sidetracked by work!!! back for 2 minutes again.

    Here is what I could think up gor crediting GC:

    1. SRT scoring two great scores
    2. Dhoni hitting big time for a huge score
    3. Dravid striking form
    4. IP bowling well
    5. AA swinging well in dew
    6. Gambhir playing a great innings
    7. MAny youngsters getting chances

    None of these have ever happened before in Indian cricket or at least in the last 3-4 years. So jai GC!!!

    Hope you will like me from now;-)

    By Blogger SS, at 12:21  

  • cricktip: >>also,as you say because Kaif went out due to injury, he had to go thro domestic to prove and ditto for Ganguly.

    Ganguly's case was different....or atleast tacitly being treated differently than Kaif (or Nehra or Kumble in coming near future). But yes, had SG played Challenger with a few(or even on) good knocks..and then got injured...he would have been back after that Duleep 100. IMHO ofcourse.

    >>But when a take a new player, form is hard to assess( hope is there) but does not have to be fully fit? and if was, what did happen so suddenly tthat he has to be out for as much as 2 weeks?

    But they did assess his fitness. Thats why he was found out, no? Ofcourse a better system would have been that NZ or Punjab board had a physio who would have anyway assessed him after that Duleep pullout and told him about this 2 week rest. That would have been known by selectors. I'm not sure if they had a physio, but if they did, then its a big goof-up. Anyway, this has nothing to do with team management, I hope you see that?

    >>Khan appears to be fit, is in form but labelled lazy ( may be for right reason) but is that the reason to keep him out?

    There was a reason to kick out Khan, and I believe it was 'fitness'....not in the sense of 'match-fitness' atleast. Right? So how can you expect him to be back after just 1-2 good performances, if he was dropped for performance? Ofcourse a few such good ones, and he would be back. His case is not like Nehra or Kaif. His case is like Laxman. If Lax keeps scoring tons of runs...they can hardly afford to keep him out. again IMHO. Btw, remember that Zak has not been dropped from tests *yet* and this domestic performance may ensure his retaining that spot.

    >>Is there a Ganguly gang undercurrent? He got the benefits and NOW is the time to pay the price?

    No, I don't think so. There's an undercurrent against certain players...but you cannot call it SG undercurrent. I feel that feeling is because of non-performance mostly. If it was Gang undercurrent then what about Yuv and VS being retained despite the fact that dropping them at this point of time would not have brought out too many knives! And btw, in that 'so called' SG gang, I also include HS atleast.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:22  

  • Mayur, I agree with partly what you are saying. But if I closely look at part of the selections, then I don't feel good. For example, I agree with the selectors that they want to try out youngsters keeping in mind the WC07. Thus I welcome the selections of RP Singh, Sreesanth, VRV, Raina etc. Although Zaheer is back in form (and I always believe you should play the players who are in form), we know about his abilities. I am sure he'll make a comeback, probably in the test series. In order to try out these young crop of fast bowlers, I don't mind if Zaheer is left out.

    But by the same token, I don't see why they should drop Venu and JPY (they haven't got too many decent chances with the bat to prove their worth) to accomodate Kaif. Like Zaheer, we know about Kaif's abilities. He doesn't need to prove anything more after all these years of experience. So why not try out Venu for an extended period and find out whether he has it in him to really replace one of Kaif and Yuvraj?

    I can't figure out some of the selections and some of the exclusions. And as someone pointed out, if any of the current players grab their chances like Gambhir did in the last match, then the selectors will soon forget about Venu. Yeah, they will tell us he's one of the futures and in the pool of 30 players. He may even make a comeback after one year like a Mongia or a Badani for a series and even play a match or two and some selector will promptly remind us 'See we told you Venu has always been in our plans'. If I were in Venu's shoes, my confidence would be shattered.

    By Blogger Jai, at 12:22  

  • oops...typo..."There was a reason to kick out Khan, and I believe it wasn't 'fitness'...."

    By Blogger worma, at 12:23  

  • jai: about the Zim incident...not sure of the exact story....at what stage did they exactly found out about Nehra's injury...could have been after AA's departure (maybe in a net session or something). Atleast I didn't come across the details on that one

    By Blogger worma, at 12:26  

  • worma,

    u Misread me on SRT.
    I would not apply standards to him. May be if he scores 100 in 10 innings !

    Good to hear SRT or even Dravid can benefit from Chappel wisdom. How does SG benefit from this, the guy who may be in most need? while we have the highest paid coach on hand.

    you are a cool head and hoping that SG would show something to have chance in December. I do not want to jump to conclusion now ( must be under worma influence) but I do anticipate unfair play for SG unless Dalmiya lobby comes instead of Dungermiya!

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:26  

  • Yes Worma, obviously they 'decided' that Nehra is unfit only after Agarkar had left, but my point isn't that a goof up too? Nehra was carrying this injury for sometime. It didn't happen overnight as soon as Agarkar left. Couldn't they have done the tests on Nehra assuming the worst case scenario that Nehra may be ruled out and they will need a replacement and may want to keep Agarkar in the side?

    By Blogger Jai, at 12:31  

  • Hi everyone,

    What would be the likely line up for tomorrows game. (who would be the super sub), given that Murali K and Harbhajan and JPy is back in the team ?


    By Blogger thirdempire, at 12:33  

  • cricktip: Ok point taken about SRT. About how SG could have benefitted from him...alas that is one of the sad bit I would always carry...because SG specially went to GC for batting advice before that Aus tour...and now when he had that same specialist help at home it could not be utilized in best possible manner.

    About my being cool about SG in test match...well frankly I don't see how they can drop him, even if they all want to (in case of that anti-Dalmiya lobby coming to power, and the selectors also acting under their influence). They would probably have to give him atleast one series, and hope for the worst. But atleast, in such a scenario, SG's fate would be in his hands....he can put up a good show and nail the issue. Anyway, I'm ready to wait and watch...not much left to discuss on this.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:33  

  • Hello guys!! if anyone remembers seeing me before , I am back -:)

    As I said earlier, I din't pay to watch cricket until India seemed to be on the mend.

    How you all guys doing?

    By Blogger flute, at 12:34  

  • jai: >>obviously they 'decided' that Nehra is unfit only after Agarkar had left, but my point isn't that a goof up too? Nehra was carrying this injury for sometime.

    No, I didn't say they 'decided'...I said they probably 'found out' about Nehra only after AA left.

    And where did you learn that Nehra was carrying that injury for a while? I atleast didn't read anything like this related to this incident. And by the look of it, Nehra was doing pretty well in that tournament. Surely if you read it in a report that he was carrying this injury (and you read it *before* this AN+AA goofup actually happened) then the team management should have known as well. Then *big* mistake on their part.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:37  

  • As far as ODI is concerned, SG may get recalled for PAK tour to expose his problems, and then he will dropped permamnently.

    If SG can prove himself there, he may come out smiling.

    By Blogger SS, at 12:37  

  • jai: ZK has been dropped becuase of both form and fitness reasons... with the 2 senior guys (SG and ZK) dropped and MK being injured, GC has got more chances to try out youngsters in their places... i mean a 4:0 lead is a big lead to try out all kinds of potential prospects... VR IMHO has dropped down the ladder as he has been unable to prove his form for quite some time now... he has been given a very extended period and if GG strikes gold again or SR plays a good inning, then he will find it very hard to get in... all in all, there r too many players doing good at this time and so there is a lot of pressure on each one of them to perform when given a chance... VR seems to be struggling in his short international career or maybe he can be an Atapattu in the making... GC and RD have to make a very tough call on who to select... the competition for the middle order batsman spot has intensified between MK, YS, SR and VR while on the other hand GG might be forced to play in the middle order to keep VS and SRT intact up the order... all in all a very stiff competition, but hope that this does not have a -ve impact on players performance... YS will be playing for his place in the middle order in the next 2 games and if he comes up with a good performance, then the battle will be intensified...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:37  

  • flute,

    Doing much better now- seems like things are on the mend. And don't say that because of the 4 wins but because of the effort shown- even in th elosing proposition

    Fielding- trying to save runs and direct hist were the highlight and it was good to see that SL actually won the match from us instead of us losing it to them

    In all this- does Kiran More deserve credit- is he doing the job the way it's supposed to be done?

    By Blogger suraj, at 12:41  

  • hey flute...welcome back. So which match onwards did you start watching, then? ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:42  

  • worma,

    may be you are right on test series. That may also be a better way to say goodbye to SG if at all it is coming to that. But it does not have to. If SG does well as a player ( and captain!), life will become interesting for All and sundry :)

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:45  

  • mayur- It's nice to have the selection problems that GC and RD are facing right now

    Lots of youngsters staking a claim-also might mean good bench strength

    By Blogger suraj, at 12:46  

  • Suraj! You are right, my reasons for not watching cricket are not losses but the way we loose them and the way SG was dragging the whole team down etc.

    Kaif & Yuvi had such a long run with SG's back them up and they will eventually deliver philosophy being carried to ridiculous lengths. Look at the way things turned around, now GC created so much competition and everyone is on their toes. HS's loose cannon of 'insecurity' was probably actually about being pushed out of the comfort zone.

    Exciting times ahead, hope Indian cricket moves forward in a big way. Again, IMHO, wins are not the criteria just the attitude & fighting spirit & sporting zeal matter. Results will simply follow..

    By Blogger flute, at 12:47  

  • All this success at home turf though- hope it transaltes into series abroad

    By Blogger suraj, at 12:48  

  • Worma, I can see you smiling, but from the fifth match -:)

    Tell what though, never regreted it, the way Indians fielded like tigers,the way bowlers bowled wit descipline gave me much much pleasure.

    By Blogger flute, at 12:49  

  • same here flute- started watching from the 5th match

    Like I said during the match, the direct hits were bigger highlights than the sixes

    By Blogger suraj, at 12:50  

  • thats because "adversity brings out the best in me"...you know ;-)

    but seriously...true I hardly had any regrets in that match. Sure victory would have added to it (one runout chance taken...one of those catches sticking...and we could have done it)..but anyway it was good display in terms of quality fo cricket

    By Blogger worma, at 12:52  

  • Suraj, you are right, we will have to see how things go outside India. But my take is, our main batting talent already proved itself outside India the likes of Sehwag, SRT,RD,Kaif& Yuvi etc. I know Yuvi is not in great touch but he's talented and if GC manages him correctly , he can be very very useful in WC07.

    We will have to see how things turn out for Dhoni , Raina & Gambhir.

    Also IMHO, usually our lack of success overseas is mostly because of our batting failure and bowlers tend to perform better on overseas bouncy, swinging conditions. So, Seesanth, RP,Pathan etc might be far better outside India.

    By Blogger flute, at 12:55  

  • my friend tells me that Gambhir gave an interview yesterday and called Ganguly his role model. Did anybody else hear anything like this?

    By Blogger strong safety, at 12:57  

  • Yeah- to me it seems like this is the route that most teams will have to go- there is no more a National XI- it is really a National XV that has to be the team
    consdiering injuries, schedules and travel

    About overseas success- sure the talent is here but in the past too some youngsters have performed really well at home but failed outside India so let's wait and see

    By Blogger suraj, at 13:00  

  • BTW when is India touring again and where?

    By Blogger suraj, at 13:01  

  • Strong safety! interesting thing about Gambhir, do you have a link?

    role model in what? I think even Gang's die hard fans can't say Gangs is a role model in being a good fielder or about being quick between wickets. May be Gambhir talked about SG's on side play, his drives etc which makes a lot of sense really. SG was one of the best in his on side play. The problem with SG is , he is not a complete sportsman and did not do much about it all through his career ex running between wkts. A RD with such a weakness would have worked hard at improving in that aspect.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:02  

  • Worma, What is your take on Gambhir & Dhoni? do you think they will be good out side India? I have my doubts about Dhoni, looking at the unorthodox way of batting, he might find it diffuclt in swinging conditions.. what do you think?

    By Blogger flute, at 13:06  

  • flute,
    there are not many swinging wickets in the world. a lot of them are flat ones (at least for ODIs). so dhoni might succeed outside india also.

    By Blogger muthu, at 13:12  

  • suraj: it is always good to have a lot of competition but with more and more young guys joining the pool of players it becomes imperative for the team management to treat them fairly... VR got a decent number of chances and GG (especially after his good show in the 5th game) deserves a decent run in the team... SR also deserves a lot of chances... this is too early to decide who might end up being there for the long run, but the team management will have to make a decision during the SA tour to select between VR, SR, GG, MK and YS... 'being in the scheme of things' is a good punch line, but my guess is that there is going to be a conflict between too much experimentation and giving enough chances to the youngsters... what say?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:12  

  • guys,

    what do u prefer? Sex or a trademark SRT hundred?


    By Blogger Prabu, at 13:13  

  • flute: right Dhoni would definitely not do as well outside India (but then how many manage that?...and secondly...what about a Gilchrist in India?)...but he's shown a thinking mind, and that can compensate for his weakness. That can also make him realise that he has limitation and play within them (as he did in Zim). So I think he will do well.

    Gambhir is a different story...his style is so 'loose' even in India...technically he has the skills to do well on bouncier tracks as well...but its more about focus...he probably needs a good coach to guide him all the way.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:15  

  • I think VR may lose out in the short term to the other ODI players but in the long run will be the next RD.


    By Blogger Prabu, at 13:15  

  • prabu,
    Neither.A kick on you a**

    By Blogger J, at 13:16  

  • flute: to add to what muthu said...yes in ODIs its becoming pretty similar story all around the world...hard to find tracks supporting swing...esp in bigger tournaments.

    Also...talking about playing swing...only SRT, RD and VVS(at his best) have capability to play consistently well in swing conditions...VS may get you that odd good score...but not consistently (he can get away if you dont have a deep attack like Eng....)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:18  

  • Myths

    1) SG was dropped due to age.

    Fact : He was a tourist with the team for almost two years. Showed his imcompetency as a bat on numerous occasions. Cant field.. And cant lead anymore.

    2) ZK was dropped because GC didnt like him.

    Fact: ZK is crap internationaly. Cant field and cant bat when needed. Poor temperament. Extremely poor bowler when it matters.. especially in all finals. Tendency to lose the match in his opening spell istelf. Demoralize the team with his wayward bowling right upfront.

    3) VRV selection is GC's goof up.

    Fact: No, Its the selectors.. and the system. How would GC know that this guys is not fit. His support staff did his job right and found the truth. To look good, they just would not have selected him for the match, no reasons given. But I love the way truth comes out.

    4) Injustice to V. Rao.

    Fact: Its higly cometitive for the batting spots.. VS/RD/SRT being certain. Yuvi is backed to get his touch back as He performed in last two series. On the same basis, kaif has to be selected once he is fit. Now with Raina having an edge because of his fielding, tough on Rao. With GG's latest performance, he ensured he will play for the rest of the series. Question would have been asked in all scenarions here. Dropping Rao was one of the solution and rightly so. Some people may disagree, but argument on any side is not winning by a distance.

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 13:19  

  • Mayur! IMHO, I think the attitude of the players & also the fans need to change in this respect. All rotation , all experimentation is purely for the sake of TEAM INDIA. There is no injustice in dropping a player after a good performance if it serves the team interests. As we try out & try to build a good pool of players there are bound to be some Mc Gill type of cases. Players & fans just have to learn to live with it without raising doubts/controversy about each selection. I remember reading Dinesh Mongia's interview, the guy wants to know reasons for his exclusion citing avg etc. Com'n Mongia, thats not gonna help ya, perform man, perform much much better.

    Of course the sole criteria for any selection should be the good of TEAM INDIA.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:20  

  • And I guess, Rao was punished primarily for his shot selection in the match. He failed on "Reading the match situation" front. I saw the match. His "Let me be a hero" attitude while batting was uncalled for. He is one reason why we could not score another 30 runs. Especially when Dravid could manage 50 runs in last 5 overs with Karthik and RP Singh.. Raina didnt bat well either .. but he was not trying to be "Hero"..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 13:23  

  • flute: my thoughts too. we seem to be batting on flat batting wickets and raving about how well we are doing and how many talents we have unearthed. Lets see how Dhoni and GG do abroad first.
    New players doing well is definitely a cause for joy but lets not go overboard with it. Yet.

    By Blogger traveller, at 13:24  

  • J

    Thanks for your answer

    By Blogger Prabu, at 13:24  

  • Worma, you right there aren't many swinging grounds around the world, but they are definitely not as flat as subcontinental ODI tracks are turning out to be with 300+ being a norm. I think in Aus, NZ,SA & Eng, pitches aren't so so flat. There is still some contest between ball & bat in Aus especially. don't you think so?

    By Blogger flute, at 13:26  

  • flute: i dont give a damn about what the fans think... we all know that this is about team india and to build team india all these youngsters are vital cogs... dont u agree? now my only concern was that will all this experimentation, and the fact is that we can only play 11 will put some limits on the amount of experimentation... also we will not be gifted with dead rubbers easily in the future to keep on experimenting... my only concern is that when u select a young turk, then he has to be persisted with for a while before dumping him... the more players we select, the more number of matches have to be dedicated to allow these guys to settle down... do we have that luxury?

    i only want the team management to be very thoughtful of the delicate state of these young souls (if they sit on the sidelines or r dropped after failing a series) as that will have a very bad impact on the future of indian cricket beyond 2007...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:28  

  • Worma, my reasons for asking about GG & Dhoni is, in all this hoopla about Dhoni's 180+ innings, we might loose sight of the fact that he played in subcontinent and that might have magnified the results. He sure is a great great potential but we should not drop Dinesh Kartik in tests like a hot potato and there is a good chance that Karthik might be much more successful in tests outside India than Dhoni. I mean, I really doubt if Dhoni could have played that innings that Kartik played with RD against Pak.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:32  

  • Mayur, well what do you think is better? not try anyone new because we may not be able to give enough chances or try them , know your options and see who will stand the rigours of int'l cricket? As we hear it, GC's idea to identify the top 15 players for WC07. We have to give enough chances only to make sure that we assess them correctly not because a particular players has a RIGHT to more chances. The moment you think your assessment is complete, deal with it. We can't say he's got only 2 chances but the other guy got 5 chances etc. I think it is the team management/selectors prerogative to decide the same. A player has to give reasons for a extended trial.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:38  

  • Thanks_chappel: I tend to agree with you to some extent on Rao. The youngsters in their exuberence and the Dhoni euphoria surrounding them tend to forget the basics and that is, take singles , rotate strike and play in the V in the early part of the innings. Rao was going for hits right away and that too upish ones. Raina started well but for some inexplicable reason exposed his off stump to cut at a critical moment. Raina survived because of his brilliant fielding. This guy's pick up throw is a treat to watch. I never understood why AA or Murali were sent ahead of JP.

    By Blogger babi, at 13:40  

  • babi, JP was a supersub in that match, he was not part of the playing elevan when India batted. We eventually supersubbed him for Dravid

    By Blogger flute, at 13:42  

  • flute: Even Nz doesnt have those kind of pitches which we saw last time around. Did you follow the Aus-Nz series? And even the current SA-Nz series...not much of swing. Ofcourse they are not *flat* pitches...the bounce is almost always better, some help for bowlers most of the time. They're not all 300 kind of pitches. But not enough to 'find out' the batsmen either. And anyway how many *good* swing bowlers are there?

    About Dhoni's 180..it was a great knock...sheer bludgeoning power :-)...he wont play too many of those outside the subcontinent...but how many such knocks have been played even here? only a handful...no? And how many by Aus, Nz, SA, Eng players? So..it still had value in that sense.

    About Karthik's knock in Kolkatta...boss to me it was again more about mental ability.....it wasn't really a great attack...or track....just a bit of tough time....and Dhoni also has shown to have a good head. I think he can play that. And I really don't know how to chuck Karthik, have been taking up his case for some time..earlier...but now I really dont know how to stop Dhoni from test callup :-))....I hope they keep Karthik in the fray for long time.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:48  

  • Mayur, also your concerns about discarded/dropped players can only be managed at the domestic level, by building a good consistent support/coaching system. If a player needs some guidance/support , it needs to be done at the domestic level by our cricket acadamies etc not by the national team's support staff. At the national team level, it should be cut throat and only the very very best get to play and get to stay. Of course, when you leave a player from the team, selectors/team management etc should give a good feedback to the player and make him understand the requirements/short coming etc.

    Of course all the above is a total different story and has nothing to do with experimentation(for lack of a better term) going on. National team management/staff should do whatever they have to do to identify the best pool for WC07. CAn't stop it because discarded players might find it hard.
    Don't you think so?

    By Blogger flute, at 13:49  

  • Worma, true Dhoni's knock was special, but I really feel bad for Karthik, I mean his Calcutta knock was definitely not on a dead track, it was a 4th day pitch. Also, I feel that Karthik is a better keeper.

    But again as you said, Dhoni's got to have his shot at tests, but I just hope that they do it the right way, I mean by always keeping Karthik in the reckoning etc.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:53  

  • flute,
    even Aus, SA grounds are flat (at least when india plays there). remember the world cup Ind match scores, Ind tour of Aus 2003-04(Aus had two 340+ scores). Eng - Natwest final. Apart from NZ/SL, i don't remember india playing on anything other than flat wickets in past 3-4 years.

    By Blogger muthu, at 13:56  

  • Muthu, you are right, but my guess is they might be flat for aussie players but India batsman except Yuvi find it a bit difficult to adjust to the bounce and it may not be as flat from our perspective. I am not sure on that, what do you think?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:00  

  • flute: well, i am not saying that we shud not try out anything new at all, but rather there shud be a reason for selecting and dropping someone from the team... if u think a particular batsman is good, then he deserves a similar amount of chance as all the others... if not what is the reason to single out a particular player for a few chances while the others get a handful... thats why i said that there shud be a clear thought process to introduce players on the international arena... GC and RD might already have that in place, and thats what i want them to do... come up with a process for indentifying a player and a process (in terms of time and quality of opposition and batting order) for exposing a particular player to international cricket... basically nurturing him through the initial storm and polish rough edges...

    my only concern was that with so many players being tried out that each one will not get a fair chance to prove his mettle... now that player might end up in oblivion, but the loser wud be team india... again this is not to attack GC and his experimentation, but just bring up the point that there has to be a process for experimentation... we r not dealing with mice, but true potential prospects and they shus be treated likewise... maybe the experimentation shud be restricted to a few players and after they r being tested, someone else cud be tried out... i mean this is one of the biggest issue with the management team coming up with a controlled experiment with a desired outcome in mind... if u increase the number of control factors then ur permutation and combinations increase and then u end up cutting corners...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:01  

  • If we compare only keeping abilities, Karthik is far better than Dhoni. IF we are comparing batting abilities, can we come to a conclusion that Dhoni is better than Karthik based on a couple of innings?

    Are we so quick to forget that Karthik scored two scintillating centuries in both Ranji semi and Ranji final in 2003-2004 - that accounts for his mental toughness doesn't it? The 93 against Pakistan was a very good knock and the fact that he went after his shots regardless of an approaching milestone. IF Dhoni is to be selected to the test team, it has to be a gamble and only as a specialist batsman - you cannot throw out a performing keeper to take a gamble. Also, Dhoni hasn't proved himself in the longer version of the game even at domestic level - check his stats and you will see a wide difference between his domestic ODI and domestic "test" performance - this inspite of the fact that he plays against the weakest of bowling attacks in the country.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:08  

  • Mayur, now if you put it that way, I can't disagree with you. My earlier disagreement was about 'GG deserves long run, VR & SR deserves a long run etc'. You are right, we shouldn't be discarding anyone without giving enough games to assess him completely. Previously , we had this problem of politics in selection, where if you are not a star performer you will get dropped after a couple of matches without reason or logic. This problem was rectified by SG/Wright duo and players started getting a fair chance to find feet in national team , but it quickly went to the other extreme where players like Yuvi& Kaif started getting very very long rope for a once in a blue moon performance. We will have to find a balance I guess.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:10  

  • flute....one reason why I want Dhoni to be tried in test matches is that he looks mature enough to play according to situation...and that coupled with his big scoring game...he can become a match winnner for us from number 7(atleast in certain conditions)....the prospect of having 7 specialist match-winner batsmen instead of 6 is too exciting to give up. And if he can make that transition...to hold a specialist batsman position in tests...it even gives us an option to go with five bowlers in certain strategic situations

    By Blogger worma, at 14:12  

  • Prabu! interesting thoughts, can you give me more info about Dhoni's & Karthik's domestic performances?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:13  

  • sure flute

    class mat inns no runs hs ave bf sr 100 50 4s 6s ct st
    First-class 34 56 3 1948 128 36.75 3 12 99 14
    List A 71 67 13 2578 183* 47.74 8 12 80 20


    First-class 31 47 4 1330 122 30.93 2 8 87 8
    List A 26 20 1 451 80 23.73 0 2 39 8
    Tests 10 13 0 245 93 18.84 565 43.36 0 1 36 0 29 4

    Remember, Karthik's first class stats include his test performance. If you take out his test performance, then his FC average comes out to be around 36.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:18  

  • worma,
    regarding dhoni's chances of hitting it out in test cricket (like KP), first he has to be a very good wicketkeeper. then only he should be considered for test team. as of now, he does not deserve a place in test team as a wicketkeeper.

    By Blogger muthu, at 14:18  

  • Worma, you right it is a great potential to have a explosive batsman as no 7. Come to think of it & dream, if we spring a surprise in a odd test and send him along with Sehwag and they both rock on the same day, that did be explosive and records will tumble.

    My only nagging concern is, for this batting abilities I don't wanna give the Pontings & Laras of this world a second or third chance at batting because our keeper messes it up like what happened to us in Sydney with Ponting( PP the culprint)

    By Blogger flute, at 14:19  

  • Also bear in mind that Karthik plays around number 6 number 7 in a very strong TN batting line-up. Dhoni plays higher up the for Bihar / Jharkhand.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:22  

  • flute,
    agreed on the flat for aussies may not be for others aspect. yeah, we need to wait and watch Dhoni playing in Eng/SA/Aus. but important thing is, even if he gets one hundred in a series (of say 5-7 matches), he will be considered as success since his primary job is keeping.

    By Blogger muthu, at 14:24  

  • flute - getting Veeru and Dhoni to open in tests, even in rare scenarios is taking Dhoni bit too far. Both options are open( Karthik and Dhoni) and its good for our cricket that they compete for the slot. I ahd like to see parthiv also thrown into the WK pool in another 12-18 months time and then with RD and GC at helm, we are assured they will take horses for courses policy into account for selection. cheers.

    By Blogger J, at 14:25  

  • muthu - thats rubbish. WK primary job is WK and batting. batting is not secondary. All over the world, WK are seen as allrounders. Dont lower your expectations

    By Blogger J, at 14:27  

  • flute: exactly... thats exactly what i am trying to say... there has to be a process to select, try out and discard a player... u cannot rest on past laurels to expect ur spot in every game... MK and YS actually come in a very difficult situation where it becomes very hard to judge them... u get someone like bevan once in a blue moon...so all in all, it is interesting to watch which way GC-RD go with their experimentation... lets just wait and watch...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:28  

  • flute...while I don't think Dhoni is a *good* keeper yet, he's probably still in the 'safe' category....and Karthik isn't much better either...saw him, on an average, fumble as much as Dhoni in the Zim series. And lets face it, with the current crop of keepers we have, some opposition batsmen *will* get a few chances through them....

    By Blogger worma, at 14:30  

  • and btw, on Dhoni opening with Veeru in test....it may be a stretch....but sure...there's still a case for it....lets say, in a match where we need some quick second innings run before having a go at the opposition (something similar to what Pak did in Bangalore....oops..is that the 'unmentionable' test ;-)...

    By Blogger worma, at 14:32  

  • muthu, you right, being a explosive batsman, if Dhoni gives us a explosive performance every once in a while, but performs a responsible role lower down the order like what he did in 4th match, I think he will have done his job.

    On another note, what do you guys think of sending Dhoni as a opener in Sehwag's place? Sehwag , after this long long stint as opener seems to be better suited to 4th or 5th down slot. Dhoni will have a chance to replicate Gilcrist's success for India. Sehwag is ideally suited to rotate the strike with a odd 4 between overs 30-40 , and also attack full force from overs 40-50. By his own words, Sehwag seems to think that he needs to hang around a bit before attacking like what he does in tests. going by that logic, Sehwag should bat at no 4 or no 5. What say?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:32  

  • muthu: to your point about Dhoni having to be a better keeper for test...as I said to flute...I don't see the difference in Dhoni and Karthik that much...probably Karthik is slightly better...but it doesnt put him much higher than Dhoni

    By Blogger worma, at 14:34  

  • @tc
    i don't know about the "Hero" attitude, but this was the same bowler that went for 41 runs in 4 overs in the previous match(with VR accounting for the bulk of them). Fervez Maharoof was attacked right through the series. maybe the team instructions were to attack the guy and destroy his confidence(so that his batting also gets affected)

    By Blogger Chetan Reddy, at 14:35  

  • Worma & Muthu, I am really not in a position to talk about Karthik & Dhoni's keeping abilities. I seen so little of both that I can't comment. I watched a lot of Parthiv Patel and the lad gave me a lot of heart burn. Its very very difficult to take it when you are trying for a rare series victory in Aus and this guys just messes it up. To think of it, he repeated the feat in India against Aus again. Again, SG's give a long fair chance mantra getting streched to the limit.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:40  

  • J, agreed that making Dhoni open is a strech but we can try it out in a few situations like what worma suggested in a test like Banglore, 2nd inning, 4th day kinda stage. both Sehwag & Dhoni together can very nicely set up the stage for victory, of course ultimately bowlers will have to win the test.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:42  

  • prabu,
    "you cannot throw out a performing keeper to take a gamble"

    Do you call having a batting average of 18.84 after 10 test matches performing? 10 tests is a lot. It is not like 10 ODIs where that only means 2 series, if that. 10 tests, in this day and age with 2 test series around, means 4 series. You simply cannot continually give chances for that long if a person fails to deliver in an essential aspect of the game. Yes he's a wicketkeeper, but as long as he occupies the number 7 slot, which is a must since we do not have a genuine allrounder, he must score runs. I don't deny he has potential with the bat, but he has been unable to convert his chances at the highest level. You are talking about first-class records and the quality of the Ranji attacks, well how easy was Karthik's opposition. 4 of the 10 tests he has played were against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. These attacks are worse than most Ranji teams. The other 6 tests were all at home in familiar batting conditions. How will he fare once he gets abroad? Even worse than an average of 18.84? Yes Dhoni is a gamble, but one that needs to be taken to replace a non-performing player. The team doing well in tests has simply masked Karthik's inadequate performance in front of the stumps. Mind you, his gloves are not that great either, like say a Taibu. He has missed his fair share of regulation chances as well.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 14:42  

  • flute,
    i strongly believe indian team has to restore to Left/Right combination for opening in ODIs. there are lot of combinations that can be tried. Sachin, Sehwag and Dhoni as contenders for No 1 spot, Gambhir and Sourav as contenders for No 2 spot. and your suggestion about sehwag is also right. in my opinion, he should play at no 4 or 6. no point in retaining sachin/sehwag combination which has failed for 2 years (mainly because of sehwag). when i say failure, i am comparing it against the success we had with Sachin/Sourav opening for about 5 years and success we had with Sehwag/Sourav opening in year 2002.

    By Blogger muthu, at 14:43  

  • worma,
    i agree with your point about dhoni and karthick being more or less same. what i want is a wicketkeeper who keeps at least like nayan mongia did. selectors are not looking for good wicketkeepers even for test cricket. they are just looking for big hitting batsmen who are eventually handling the job of keeping. dhoni and karthick got the attention because of their big hitting abilities in domestic matches. that is not going to solve the problem of india not having good wicketkeepers in tests for 3-4 years now. and kumbles and bhajjis have to suffer because of these batsman/keepers.

    By Blogger muthu, at 14:50  

  • Muthu, about lef-right combination, it might take a while to fully replicate the SRT-SG success. GG has to find his feet and be able to perform overseas etc. Also, haven't seen GG much but his inability to complete centuries against Bangladesh makes me doubt his mental toughness. We will have to see how he shapes up.

    WRT Gangs, I did be very very surprised if he returns to his glorious ODI opening form of earlier.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:56  

  • muthu: Mongia was a pretty good keeper...don't wish for a keeper 'atleast' as good as Mongia :-)). But I am not sure about the abilities of our domestic keepers..so can't comment how much better they are compared to Dhoni and Karthik...or whether these two have been preferred for their batting *over* keeping...or are they just around the same average skills thats prevelant in our domestic circuit.

    IMO its a tough balance....in today's scenario...its difficult to play a keeper excellent with the gloves(if you find one, in the first place) and dud with the bat. Isn't this a common dilemma that teams face (or have faced) all around the world? Eng, aspiring to be world's best, are carrying a liability in the name of keeper...even earlier they ended the career of their best, Russel, over the batting skills of Stewart.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:57  

  • 2000-01 Yuvraj Singh 7 12 1 560 135 50.90 77.34 2 2 10 - PNJB/NORTH
    2001-02 Yuvraj Singh 9 15 0 802 209 53.46 66.50 3 4 14 - PNJB/NORTH
    2003-04 Yuvraj Singh 8 12 2 698 148 69.80 60.12 3 2 7 - PNJB
    2004-05 Yuvraj Singh 8 13 3 541 110 54.10 69.00 2 3 7 - NORTH/PNJB

    2000-01 M Kaif 10 12 2 571 119* 57.10 42.39 1 5 4 - UP/CENTRAL/R-O-I/IND-BPRES-XI/NCA-XI
    2001-02 M Kaif 4 8 0 219 55 27.37 - 2 1 - UP
    2003-04 M Kaif 5 8 1 206 53 29.42 46.18 - 2 2 - UP/IND-A
    2004-05 M Kaif 4 8 1 190 48* 27.14 55.07 - - 1 - CENTRAL/UP


    Look at this and tell me why Kaif should be considered in the 15 for the test squad?

    By Blogger Prabu, at 14:58  

  • Prabu! not sure of domestic avgs but for the tests, whatever chances Kaif got, he performed very well and did his 100%. As for Yuvi, apart for that 100 against Pak in Pak, he consistently failed with whatever chances he got. Also, going by Yuvi's interviews etc, the lad seems to have some attitude problems. That sticking to basics, that intention to work very hard seems to be missing. My hope is GC will manage him and help him realise his full potential.

    By Blogger flute, at 15:01  

  • flute,
    agreed it will take a while replicate SRT-SG success. we came close in 2002 when VS-SG opened for india. so restoring it might help Sehwag and Sourav to find their feet. it might be too late to do it but i think worth experimenting because of the class of the players.

    regaring sourav coming back to form, i still believe he can come back to form if he is not the captain of the team. anyway, he is not going to be the captain of indian team. so worth giving him few chances to prove his abilities as batsman alone. when yuvraj/kaif/jp yadav/venugopal/suresh raina can get so many chances, a batsman who has scored a small matter of 10,000 runs can be given few chances to prove his worth.

    By Blogger muthu, at 15:05  

  • There were two articles about Gambhir: Gavaskar's piece describes Gambhir's transformation as an average middle order bat to a very good India prospect. In 2003, his ODI debut was quite bad- consider the match figures: 1. 11 runs/ 22 balls v Bangla; 2. 18/30 v SA; 3. 71/89 v Bangla (good knock, 208-6 in 43 overs); 4. 2/11 v SA; 5. 11/33!! v SA. His career List A average (prior to the ODI century) was 28.88. The ODI average was 22.6 at 61.08 SR.

    From Indiatimes.com: "Earlier, I would play across the line and, more often than not, get trapped in front of the stumps. Chappell's batting drills during the training camps have helped improve my technique. Now, I try to get behind the ball," said Gambhir. "It isn't easy to score off [Murali and Vaas], but once I start middling the ball, BATTING IS A JOY for me."

    Experimentation under Chappell is more than giving the player a chance. Gambhir was tried out in 2003 and discarded. That Gambhir was the anti-thesis of an aggressive stroke maker. The 2005 version has been primed to succeed. Each game involves an amount of learning. In time, many (or most) of this group could end up being very accomplished players.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 15:08  

  • Muthu, -:) I think we are threading in troubled waters by bringing up SG and his lack of chances. IMHO, Gangs got a lot of chances since last 2 yrs , many more than Yadav/Venugopal/Raina combined.

    Another concern is, Gangs may not be a quite team member if he makes it back and there is a strong possibility of groups/factions in the team if he comes back. Dravid/GC are working towards a new resurgent team , why disturb it by bringing in a guy with doubtful form, poor fitness & poor fielding abilities, not to mention the possibility of disturbing the RD/GC authority?

    By Blogger flute, at 15:11  

  • Sahir,

    My point with statistics was to use them as long-term pointers. Short-term trends vary a lot, but long-term typically give u a good perspective of overall ability. My point is that Dhoni clearly has a big difference between his OD averages and FC match averages - this is a sample over 4 - 5 years. Bear in mind that he plays against the weakest bowling attacks in the country.

    Karthik did not have a lot of runs against ZIM, but against BD he played 2 innings out of which he scored quick runs in 1 and got out early in the other. Its not possible for someone coming in at no. 7 to build an inning when the team it already on top - which India was in each of these games. He may have gone for quick runs and perished. If you lok at his keeping though, he has vastly improved from series to series and has taken a fair share of blinders. I posted some time earlier dismissals / match for the last 5 or 6 Indian WKs - and the fact was KKDK had a ratio of 3.3 vs. a highest value of 2.67 (for Kirmani I think) for the others.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:13  

  • worma,
    we had one good keeper in ajay ratra. for PP's batting skills, he was ignored. good in keeping but poor in batting. true, he scored a century in antigua (the flattest of pitches in the world). but apart from one odd century, his all other scores were in one digit and he was not considered again.

    i suspect whether the same is happening with current keepers also. if none of them are better than dhoni/karthick, then yeah, dhoni is all set to play in test cricket. i have no idea of who is keeping well in domestic matches. is there is any selector looking at this aspect?

    regarding the dillemma of playing batsman/keepers in test matches, please think of kumble/bhajji how much they have suffered because of this. in ODIs, it is fine. but in tests, it is better to go with better wicketkeepers.

    By Blogger muthu, at 15:20  

  • flute

    I am not sure what you mean by giving his 100%. Are you saying that YUV did not try enough?

    I was merely trying to point out the fact that MK has gotten ahead of so many players better than him - in test matches at least. His figures in FC cricket just don't add up to a great batsman that he has been made out to be. People are already talking about him being the future captain - but does he deserve to even be in the test team? I agree that he has been consisten in ODIs, but ODI performances don't necessarily convert into test performances - remember one Mr. Bevan? I am not sure Indian selectors are applying the same yardsticks. I have been making this point over and over again on this forum that we seem to reward test berths to people based on their ODI performance. Let MK go and play one full year of domestic cricket and prove his worth first before getting selected to the test squad.

    If you look at India's line-up, every one has gone thru the rigors of FC cricket and been top performers there before being selected to the Indian team - this applies to selections prior to circa 2001. Since then though, we have been handing out test caps to people based on their ODI performance when it comes to filing up a gap when one or more of SRT, RD, SG and VVS get injured - primary beneficiaries of this policy has been Yuv and Kaif. At least Yuvraj has performed creditably in FC cricket to deserve the berth, but Kaif certainly doesn't.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:26  

  • Muthu, I agree with you in terms of going with a better keeper in tests rather than a batsman who can keep kinda player. A really good keeper even if not a great bat, can be hidden and rest of the batsman & team will know the fact before hand and will have to plan accordingly. A great keeper can convert half chances and give great breaks when the going is tough. Also, most of the time, keepers bat at no 7 and teams are already in a good position or in a bad position by that time, keepers only rarely get a chance to play a match turning type of innings.

    By Blogger flute, at 15:28  

  • add to the list Parthiv Patel who was selected primarily based on his under-19 performances - despite nevr having played domestic cricket

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:29  

  • i thought it was funny that selectors are going to have a quite word with yuvraj and murli and it is all over the media...really where is the quiteness about the word

    By Blogger tombaan, at 15:31  

  • Prabu, I never followed domestic cricket much, much I think Kaif got his chances with his India A captaincy and his performances for India A world cup etc. Also, I think he did perform in tests (better than Yuvi with what ever chances he got.) whenever he got a chance. Can't pin point, but I remember Kaif getting dropped immediately after a good performance, I think against Aussies.

    Can you pull the stats for Kaif & Yuvi in tests?

    By Blogger flute, at 15:34  

  • MS Dhoni will be selected for SL Tests, I believe. That will be good for the team, since we have to compete with KS (from SL side).

    By Blogger FineLeg, at 15:35  

  • prabhu
    Good stat on that domestic #s.
    and perhaps that is the reason Yuv is usually selected ahead of Kaif, although both have played similar # of matches.

    But that domestic stat in evident for Test as well where Kaif scored at 24.5 in 7 Test anf Yuv 33.9 in 8 Test. But this difference is not enough for flute to differentiate one over the other.

    It puzzles me a bit to consider a player batting 24.5 in 7 Tests and who does not bowl! This average is more acceptable for some one like Yadav, the 5th wheel, who might produce a spell or give a break to the main bowlers.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:36  

  • crictip, can you give more info about Yuvi & Kaif test scores, like individual scores etc..I don't know where to get them!! or may be you can point me to the site.

    I never actually looked at the stats , my opinion is purely based on what I saw and never analysed with stats etc.

    By Blogger flute, at 15:40  

  • Prabu,
    first off the dismissals/match statistic is almost always highly misleading-- it has more to do with how good your bowling attack is-- the better ones create more opportunities.
    For example, such a statistic would indicate Moin Khan and Adam Gilchrist are the best gloves ever in the business. This is far from true. They were in their respective teams more for their batting and both were blessed with outstanding bowling attacks.

    As far as the long-term trends concerning Dhoni's batting:
    Dhoni really has only stepped up his batting over the last domestic season. He greatly improved his average and that brought him into the picture for national selection. His first-class batting average is still better than Karthik's (granted Karthik's includes his test performances).

    About Karthik having to hit out to sacrifice his wicket:
    First of all Dhoni always seems to hit out :)
    That could be a valid claim batting at 7 in ODIs, but not a valid claim in Tests. You claim he had to hit out in Bangladesh-- not true. We did not declare in any of the innings we played in Bangladesh. In both matches, lower order players that came after him had plenty of time at the crease. Zaheer Khan scored 75 in the first match. In the second match, Anil Kumble scored 23 off 73 balls and Harbhajan scored a quick 47. He had plenty of time to score his runs. His batting position cannot be an excuse in Test cricket. Neither can the lack of quality batting partners as he has Irfan Pathan batting below him all the time. The bottom line, he has a batting average of 18.84 after 10 tests and there are simply not enough excuses for that, especially if the conditions and attacks you have faced are about as easy as it will ever get in international cricket.

    I admit he has taken 2 blinders- stumping in ODI in England and legside stumping of Younis Khan at Kolkata, but that's it-- I've seen all his matches.

    BTW, he has also played 2 ODI matches in which he has a batting average of 1.00. You can add that to a miserable record with the bat at the international level

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:42  

  • Gambhir calling SG his role model is apparently true. My friend told me that it has appeared in the Bengali daily Anandabazar. So may be The Telegraph India will publish it too in today's version. I am not surprised because I remember GG had said that before. Glad to see that he didn't change his mind when the fashion is to say 'no comments' on any questions regarding SG.

    Hopefully some people won't start attacking GG now like the way they did to HS.

    By Blogger Jai, at 15:44  

  • More so in Test than in ODI, the Keeper has to be the Keeper first, and that is Karthick
    Unless there is VAST gap between Dhoni and Karthick in batting, and that is a bit too early to judge. By the same token, no dhulai guarantee for Dhony in Test.

    There are nine tests coming up in sub cont. condition and am sure Dhony and Karthik both would play some.

    Nice to take two keepers to WI.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:44  

  • Flute, check cricinfo for any kind of stats.

    By Blogger Jai, at 15:44  

  • muthu: we cannot have a *good* keeper in the test side if he regularly gives single digit scores(like Ratra)...there is simply no space for such a keeper today in *any* lineup in the world! But, as i said, its a fine balance...and yes in test matches its more in favour of keeping...but still not a batting dud, surely!

    By Blogger worma, at 15:45  

  • Prabu,
    Just to back up the point about Dhoni's improvement with the bat in the first-class game
    Last season in first-class cricket:
    Dhoni had an average of 79.4 at the highest strike rate of anyone in the nation!

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:47  

  • flute,

    please explore CRICKINFO.
    You will have fun.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:47  

  • Sahir, I am a great fan of Dhoni and believe that he should be included in the Test team right away. But don't just go by Dhoni's FC statistics. You need to consider whether it was a Duleep game or a Ranji game because remember in Ranji, Dhoni plays for Jharkhand and usually plays against easier opposition with poor bowling attacks.

    By Blogger Jai, at 15:50  

  • cricktip,
    About the 9 tests coming up and both Dhoni and Karthik getting opportunities:
    What if Karthik does not perform with the bat in this next series. Then we either have someone make his debut in Pakistan (tough thing to do) or continue with some that has a batting average in the teens. The change has to be made now to allow Dhoni a little time to settle in before the all-important tour of Pakistan.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:50  

  • sahir
    How many games did Dhoni play?


    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:50  

  • Jai! As I said earlier in this post, it makes sense for Ganbhir to have SG as a role model in certain aspects, both being left handers, Gambhir might have talked about his cover drives etc.

    Also there are a lot of areas where SG can be your role model only to your detriment like running between wkts, fielding, fitness, eagerness/hard work to rectify your technical defects etc.

    Coming to HS, his comment was a total loose cannon thing, accusing GC etc. Going by what you said, Gambhir simply talked about SG being role model, in what sense we don't know.

    HS & Gambhir comments can't be compared, atleast going by what I hear about Gambhir. I haven't read Gambhir's comments yet.

    By Blogger flute, at 15:51  

  • sahir

    why r u assuming that Karthik won't perform? what if Dhoni doesn't perform? Shouldn't we give KArthik some space to settle-in?

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:51  

  • Jai,
    I agree-- you cannot go just by Dhoni's first-class statistics.
    The crux of my argument is that Karthik has failed to perform in front of the stumps for 10 tests now (very important that a number 7 can bat). He has got to be changed. Dhoni simply is the guy first in line to be tried out right now.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:52  

  • worma,
    Ratra is more an exception as is Gilchist.

    Most Indian Keepers are around 20- 25 marks.

    It will be difficult if Dhony averages 45 and Karthick 20. By the same token a spilled catch or two can wipe out that good batting average in no time. Of the current keepers Patel bats well as well but his keeping would be lowest of the three and that is glaring when he has already played 20 or so matches.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:53  

  • Prabu,
    Shouldn't we give Karthik some space to settle in?

    He has had 10 tests. That is more than a fair amount of time to settle in.

    Why am I assuming he won't perform?
    Because he has failed to do so for a year against much worse opposition.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 15:54  

  • my point is that lot of guys here are getting euphoric over ODI performances and talk about people being selected to the test team on the basis of performance there. MK being a case in point - ODI performance doesn't necessarily translate into test performance.

    WRT ODI performance being lookedas the barometer of team performance, I would like to remind people that India is still the number 3 test team in the world. Our test match performances have been very very good the last few years and I don't see any reason to tinker with the core team based on ODI performance. If we start doing that, a lot of longer-version players in domestic cricket will get discouraged because it sends them a signal that their performance only counts if they play well in ODIs.


    In tests you have to keep longer and more balls are going to go to the keeper than ODIs. Keeping against Kumble and Bhajji is very very hard in test cricket.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 15:58  

  • Beautifully written, if not read already.

    Only Harsha can write such piece(forgive me prem u'r style is different)


    By Blogger cricfan, at 16:00  

  • Flute, I agree that the two comments can't be compared. But some of the fans here doesn't like to hear anything positive about SG from anyone else. I don't want to get into the HS incident again because I remember your comments and the subsequent apology.

    Regarding GG's comments, obviously it was about SG the batsman. Why only SG, even other greats like SRT and RD are also idolized due to their batting. I am yet to hear any youngstar idolizing RD/SRT because of their fielding or something else besides batting. When SRT was scratchy most of last year, we haven't heard anyone saying 'yes, that's the way to bat'. People usually appreciate SRT the batsman they got to know over the years. Similarly, I am sure GG appreciates SG the batsmen we all got to know over the years and not the way he batted in the past 2 years. It's like many people in Punjab still adore Dharmendra. They may appreciate a SRK or Aamair too, but their appreciation for Dharam Paaji hasn't changed.

    By Blogger Jai, at 16:00  

  • Prabu,
    I agree test keeping is much more difficult and I am not getting euphoric over Dhoni's performances. In my earlier post I agreed with you in stating that Dhoni is a gamble since he is untested as a keeper over a long period of time. However, I said it is a gamble that needs to be take because Karthik is not performing. We have got to expect more from the keeper's postion who is batting at 7. I am only wanting to give Dhoni the opportunity because currently he is next in line. Karthik has received a fair amout of opportunity-- 10 tests-- and has failed to perform adequately. I would advocate his removal regardless of whether Dhoni scored that 183.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:04  

  • Guys. Check this out. SOme interesting comments by Michael Holding on Indian cricket and Cricket in general.


    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:05  

  • worma,
    just looked up the Keeper catches.
    Karthick 33 catches incl. stumping in 10 matches would put him with the leading international keeper. Otherwise we have More with 2.65 per match average as best.

    Karthick is exceptional when you consider that not as many catches would go his way as to Gilchist or Boucher.

    Engineer and Kunderan, good bat like Dhony but they average less than 2 catches per match.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:06  

  • worma,
    just looked up the Keeper catches.
    Karthick 33 catches incl. stumping in 10 matches would put him with the leading international keeper. Otherwise we have More with 2.65 per match average as best.

    Karthick is exceptional when you consider that not as many catches would go his way as to Gilchist or Boucher.

    Engineer and Kunderan, good bat like Dhony but they average less than 2 catches per match.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:06  

  • Sahir,

    if Karthick had an average of less than 10 in 10 matches, then I agree with what you say, but his average is not bad for a starter - heck we keep persisting with Kaif, who averages 24 as a specialist bat!!

    Why don't we bring in Parthiv Patel who was an average of 31??

    Karthik has excelled in his primary job in the last two series. He has shown that he can score at the highest level under pressure situation. Check out what Sandip Patel had to say about Dhoni and KKDK before the Australia series. He was the coach of the India-A team that toured Africa last year.

    By Blogger Prabu, at 16:06  

  • http://cricket.expressindia.com/fulliestory.php?content_id=81617

    By Blogger niti, at 16:09  

  • Jai, if you are not aware a lot of people talk about SRT & RD 's disciplined approach to cricket. Very recently GC mentioned about how RD can be role model for fitness & hard work. To me SRT & RD are complete cricketers, with honest hard work to improve. I don't remember anyone ever mentioning SG with work ethic or hard work. Com'n that guy couldn't rectify his running between wkts all through his career.

    By Blogger flute, at 16:10  

  • cricktip

    Exactly what I've been saying for days here. I posted a table of dismissals / game for the last 5 or 6 Indian WK and it was amazing to find that KKDK has 33 dismissals in 10 games. This is a small sample that we are looking at though but I offer this as a counter to all those that complain about his batting average (based on the same small sample space).

    Karthick has taken some real blinders in the few games that he has played. One other thing to remember is that KKDK was dropped as the first-choice keeper of TN after his first season and then he fought his way back by improving his skills (KKDK ascribes the fall in his keeping abilities then to sudden increase in height :-) ).

    By Blogger Prabu, at 16:11  

  • sahir
    I find it hard to believe that you would call for axing KKDK if Dhoni hadn't scored 183. In spite of doing his primary job very well you would ask for his removal?

    This is exactly what happened to Ajay Ratra. This guy was dropped because PArthiv did very well in ODIs and then we know how that one went!

    By Blogger Prabu, at 16:16  

  • Prabu,
    Kaif is not part of the discussion- he is not even in the Test team! Even if he does get selected, one wrong selection does not justify another!
    Why not Patel? Because he already was provided with ample opportunity and showed incompetence with the gloves.
    We don't know about Dhoni's glove work yet-- but it is time to find out.

    I certainly disagree that an average of 18.84 after 10 tests against primarily very weak opposition and easy conditions (major factor in my thinking) is not bad for a beginner. It is downright terrible for a number 7.

    Sandeep Patil is entitled to his opinion, and mind you, that opinion is now dated-- prior to the emergence of Dhoni and Karthik's miserable run with the bat. I suspect the Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid might have an altogether different opinion. Dravid who would also have seen both at close quarters said recently that it would be very difficult to keep Dhoni out of the Test side now.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:17  

  • Dude, I am not talking about GC here. All I am saying is that when young cricketers talk about role models, they usually mention their role model's primary area. Thus when a Piyush Chawla talks about Kumble, he talks about Kumble's bowling and that's what he idolizes. He probably will like to be a better batsman and fielder than Kumble, but that's not the point. The point is when any youngstar idolizes SG, he idolizes his batting. When Laxman came up from Hyderabad idolizing Azhar, he meant Azhar's batting because obviously Laxman hasn't imbibed Azhar's fielding skills. Do you get the drift?

    By Blogger Jai, at 16:19  

  • Prabu,

    "I find it hard to believe that you would call for axing KKDK if Dhoni hadn't scored 183. In spite of doing his primary job very well you would ask for his removal?"

    First, he has done his primary job adequately-- I would not go as far as very well. Believe it or not, it's flat out true. If Dhoni was injured tomorrow, I would still prefer India try out a new keeper (Maninder Bisla is a name that has been doing some rounds) before the tour to Pakistan. More has to be expected form the wicketkeeping position. If the next keeper should fail with the gloves like Patel, I wouldn't hesitate to go back to Karthik. And the argument of what will that do to his confidence is always crap-- if a guy cannot deal with adversity, he ought not to play international cricket because adverse situations will present themselves. BTW, when Ratra was replaced by Patel, it was a great decision. Pate started his career off very well with the gloves. He even saved the very first Test he played in! He went on to improve tremendously with the bat, but alas, his glovework went down the drain over the second half of his international stint.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:25  

  • or azhar's betting skills ;-)

    By Blogger Prabu, at 16:25  

  • Prabu,
    "This is exactly what happened to Ajay Ratra. This guy was dropped because PArthiv did very well in ODIs and then we know how that one went!"

    Completely incorrect-- Parthiv had not played ODIs before Ratra was dropped. Ratra's miserable performances forced the selectors to blood a 17 year old keeper that was only really sent on the tour as a learning experience. BTW, Ratra continues to perform woefully at the domestic level ever since. If I'm not mistaken, Haryana may have even dropped him now. Good riddance there-- they guy simply did not have the talent required to cut it in Test cricket.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:29  


    Kapil Dev's favorite all-time indian batsman as for many other cricketers was GR Viswanath. But, I am sure it was not because KD thought that Vishy was fit or was very particular about his fitness regime.

    Shane Warne is not the fittest cricketer in the world and never will be but will be a role model for decades to come for his bowling artistry. And not for his off-field antics.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:29  

  • Hey Guys,

    Did anyone read this. One loss and Mr. Bill O'Reilly of cricketnext started speaking again.




    How many of you are with me if I say is the biggest a**hole writing about cricket.

    By Blogger Yorker, at 16:29  

  • Jai, you seem to get a lil impatient if ppl don't agree with your drift. Seems like you came on here with specific SG centric points and so far I don't detect any cricketing point to the discussion. Before you wind up in all your drift, my main point was, extrapolating from what's been heard of Gambhir's interview, he probably meant his batting, not any thing to do with anything controversial about SG captaincy etc.

    No more discussion with you!!

    By Blogger flute, at 16:29  

  • cricktip..I was talking about Karthik as I see him...not as per his stats....because, as we know, those don't give the complete picture. Btw....I'm not saying Karthik is bad as such....just not head and shoulders above Dhoni in keeping...and definitely more of an 'average'(as in safe) than a good keeper if you consider him independently.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:31  

  • yorker,
    I'm with you-- I just never read the guy's articles anymore. I suggest everyone else do the same and then maybe he'll be out of a job eventually (I can only hope).

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:32  

  • Worma! what do you think of Yuvi & Kaif's performances in tests? I always had the impression that Kaif did very well with his chances compared to Yuvi. Never looked at stats though, I will have to check them when I have time!!

    By Blogger flute, at 16:33  

  • http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=6§name=Sports&sess=35615202

    Now, after this tell me which Indian cricketer will have the guts to say anything against GC ?

    "Fear keeps people loyal and obedient"

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:34  

  • Prasad, can't see your link..can you check the url again, it gives me a error page

    By Blogger flute, at 16:36  

  • Go to the main page and then click on sports and this article is by Ehtesham Hasan title "Hit the road, Zak"

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:41  

  • flute..as per stats probably Yuv would be better than Kaif..but then Kaif had that first modest tour of SL when he wasn't probably ready...and next time around he's done pretty well against Aus (in fact he was in very good form at that time....had done well in Pak ODIs as well....then did well in the warmup game against Aus in Dharamshala).

    But forgetting the stats, if you compare the two batsmen in their style....if both are in good form, Yuvraj is more likely to win you matches than Kaif...Kaif would probably take the RD path in test matches as well....and reach his peak after a few years. Yuvraj, when in good form, did not have that loose play as has become his characteristic in recent times. And he played spin also decently (I think in test matches he can play spin fairly well...he may not have enough strokes against spin for the ODI game).

    As we've been discussing for a while in recent times, its difficult to figure out whats wrong with Yuvraj...but whatever it is, if it gets sorted out, then he and Kaif can be ready to fill up the big shoes by the time these guys leave. Kaif, I believe, is on the right path already.

    By Blogger worma, at 16:42  

  • Flute, didn't I exactly say that it was SG's batting only? GG has specifically used the word 'role model'. How can he use this word regarding 'captaincy'? Don't you think it's a little premature for GG to talk about who is his role model in terms of captaincy? You started talking about other issues like fitness, work ethic, not me. Wonder why when at the end of all these, you are saying that GG had meant it for SG the batsman. If you think that my points are SG centric because I gave examples of other cricketers and the issue of 'role model', can you claim your discussions are without any bias? You started where you left. Care to show me which of my points are unrelated to cricket while all you talk were cricket specific? If you don't want to discuss with me, it's more than ok with me. But don't say stuffs like you couldn't detect cricketing points or my points were SG centric. You are the one who was going on and on about SG's so called work ethic, hard work etc. while I was saying that any young cricketer will only focus on the primary skillset of his role model and in SG's case, it's his batting. Your comments were also 'SG centric' if you didn't notice.

    By Blogger Jai, at 16:42  

  • Sorry FLUTE, Looks like the new edition just came through. I cannot see that article now.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:43  

  • prasad, I will try to see the archives..

    By Blogger flute, at 16:47  

  • if its that article about rotation policy I can see it...although didn't find much sense in there ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:47  

  • FLUTE.. This one http://www.mumbaimirror.com/nmirror/mmpaper.asp?sectid=6§name=Sports&sess=35618785 has a great picture of Greg Chappell.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:48  

  • Yorker .... I agree with you though on your sentiments though I am not comfortable with your choice words of comparing an idividual to an orifice .... I think he has a trait that that no journalist should have ... namely bias / prejudice. What at times amazes me is the number of ads and hits that horribe site attracts ....

    By Blogger indCric, at 16:49  

  • I have held myself too long. I know this will start a long debate.
    People are against Yuvi and Kaif and many want sourav and laxman to come in.

    As we all know for one days the pitch is becoming a batsmen paradise across the globe. So any average batsmen can lick his fingers.

    I agree Sourav(was maybe) and Laxman are better batsmen than Yuvi and Kaif

    Hypothetically If Kaif averages 25(his current average is better), he atleast with his fielding stops 25 runs
    Hypothetically If Yuvi averages 25(his current average is better), he atleast with his fielding stops 20 runs

    So both Kaif and Yuvi have tru ODI averages of 50 and 45

    Now let us go to Ganguly. Say hypothetically we bring him back and he averages 50.

    He gives away 20-25 runs every match dues to his fielding, running his partners out...

    his true ODI average is 25-30

    With laxman say he averages 40(his ODI average today is less than this).

    He gives away may be 10-15 runs and runs his partners out...

    His true ODI average is 25-30 again.

    so tell me who would we want in the team.

    This why Raina's of the world are considered more value to the team.

    I know poeple will say man Dravid , SRT are not great fielders too, how come they are in the team.

    Dravid and SRT are not great fielders, but atleast do not give runs away which should be stopped.

    Infact in this current cricket scenario people like Vishy might have found it difficult to sustain over a period.

    Also the -ve impact to a bowler when fielders alow balls to for 4 when it was worth a single is not added

    By Blogger cricfan, at 16:49  

  • worma, thanks for your info about kaif and Yuvi. I been a bit away from cricket in 2005 and all this info really helps in refreshing my knowledge.

    btw, I too read that rotation revolution piece..nothing much to write home about!!

    By Blogger flute, at 16:51  

  • FLUTE:

    Hit the road, Zak
    Tuesday, November 08, 2005 | Sports , Mumbai Mirror

    Is there more to Zaheer Khan’s exclusion than meets the eye? And where did Rao and Yadav go wrong?

    Ehtesham Hasan in Rajkot

    Is the decision to exclude Zaheer Khan from the one-day squad in the interest of Indian cricket? Or is there more to it than plain old cricket? For reasons best known to them, the national selection committee has once again chosen to ignore the left-arm seamer.

    The 27-year-old, along with deposed India skipper Sourav Ganguly, was not considered for the remaining two matches of the Sri Lanka series.

    Instead, the five wise men, with inputs from the coach Greg Chappell and captain Rahul Dravid, have added another rookie seamer, Vikram Raj Veer Singh, to the squad in place of JP Yadav and brought back Mohammad Kaif at the expense of Venugopal Rao.

    In RP Sigh and Sree Shanth, the team already has two greenhorns in the bowling department.

    Chairman of selector Kiran More preferred not to go into the specifics when he came out to announce the team at Ahmedabad past mid-night on Sunday.

    Zaheer’s omission is surprising if you look at the 27-year-old’s performance in domestic cricket in the last few weeks, when he picked 17 wickets from two Duleep Trophy matches.

    Grapevine has it that during the last few days of the eventful Zimbabwe tour, the Baroda seamer had a showdown with coach Greg Chappell in the dressing room over a trivial issue. Apparently the Australian coach was not happy with Zaheer’s attitude.

    Later, in a chat with Mumbai Mirror, Zaheer made it clear that he would prefer to utilise the services of the trainer and physio instead of Ian Frazer, the Australian sports scientist who assists Chappell.

    “I haven’t really got any work done with Frazer,” Zaheer had said. “I’ve played at this level for a long time, so more or less I have an idea of what it takes. With the support staff around in John Gloster and Greg King, I’ve benefited a lot. Overall they’ve been doing a good job.”

    It is pretty obvious that all was not well between the bowler and the coach and once the dust over the Ganguly-Chappell saga settled down with the sacking of the former India captain, Zaheer was obviously going to be in trouble.

    Interestingly, Harbhajan Singh who had gone to town slamming Chappell for his devious ways was let off with a mere rap on the knuckles. Perhaps, the dearth of spin bowlers in the country saved the off-spinner’s head. But Zaheer was not that lucky — with so many young seamers emerging on the scene, the axe fell easily on him.

    Venugopal Rao’s exclusion too is baffling to say the least. If anybody deserved to be dropped from the squad it should have been Yuvraj Singh. The left-hander has not been in the best of form in recent times and a few domestic matches would have only helped him in regaining his confidence.

    * Grapevine has it that during the last few days of the eventful Zimbabwe tour, the Baroda seamer had a showdown with coach Greg Chappell in the dressing room over a trivial issue

    By Blogger Prasad, at 16:54  

  • indric, I agree that my choice of words are not the best I could have used. But those came out of frustration about how low these people can go.

    By Blogger Yorker, at 16:55  

  • Dinesh Karthik might have played his last test in Zim .. for some time to come..

    He is not a bat that patil made him out to be.. He looks all airy-fairy and silly.. other than that innings of 93, he looks very poor.. 10 test matches is a good run.. He didnt cut it.. time for the next one to don the gloves..

    There is absoluelty no diff in keeping skills of Dhoni and Karthik.. and Dhoni is simply and honsetly a much better bat.. a threat to the bolwers..

    And if you go by Sandeep Patil.. this is what he said "Karthik might not be as good a keepr as Dhoni, but his batting skills are definetley better.."

    It looks Patil got it totally wrong.

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 16:55  

  • @indric , yorker,

    i am with you guys.........sanjay jha's column looks like a 'jhak ass' column

    By Blogger rahul_fan, at 16:56  

  • CRICFAN, That is why one possibility is to play SG or VVS as a supersub (when the rule changes as recommended to naming the supersub AFTER toss). Then sub them out with a genuine wicket taking matchwinning bowler-fielder in the mould of a Balaji.

    Point I am trying to make is we need to have a genuine matchwinner at all positions in the ODI set up.

    However, SG and VVS do not give the team flexibility. They both have to bat at as low as 3. Not lower. Raina seems a more flexible "total-cricket" player. A bit raw though and could cost us against top-notch teams such as England and AUstralia with his lack of experience. So, I am all for giving Raina a lot of games to play now.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 17:00  

  • thanks chappel,
    Totally agree about Karthik.
    LOL at Patil quote.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:00  

  • Prasad, thanks for posting the article. IMHO, I am kinda used to these article coming up each time there is a national team selection. I am surprised there is nothing about Lax this time around. There may be truth to it, there may not truth to it, no point indulging to speculating. Things seems to be improving, and ZK's recent performances can't even be termed 'OK'.

    By Blogger flute, at 17:01  

  • About article on Zak:
    Not that I'm advocating his inclusion (I prefer to see some more of Sree Santh and would be very interested in seeing VRV Singh), but I am always wary about the "grapevine" source cited by journalists.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 17:03  

  • Prasad:
    I am thinking they will let ganguly languish for atleast an another series.
    Hopefully by then the supersub rule would have changed.

    This also would have given enough time for RD/GC to cement their methods into the team and if SG comes in he will come in knowing where he stands and rest of the etam will know where he stands. So this will remove groupism issues too.

    I am all for SG as a supersub if we feel he can come in and bat latest by position 4.

    Also I think GC and RD are setting up the ground rules by resting SRT or RD.

    Hence SG in team can also be rested and people will not get mad

    By Blogger cricfan, at 17:06  

  • Let's not get way too excited about DHoni in the test set up. So far, he has shown that he bats well on belters against the white ball. However, He SHOULD be given a go in tests since keeping for longer periods in tests will only improve his keeping. Batting in tests.. time will tell. ANywayz, Kaarthick has not blazed away or anything so... its going to be Dhoni time in tests.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 17:07  

  • Yorker normally I personally dont like unparliamentary language. However, I can imagine your feelings when you read Jhak ass. I felt the same too...nothing describes him better than the part of anatomy you have equated him with..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 17:07  

  • ZK is a domestic bully .... All along we had batsman who were domestic bullies and now we have a bowler in Zaheer who is a domestic bully .... I remember the first ball of the World Cup .... He beat Gilchrist and his eyeball rolled only to antagonize Gilly ... The rest they say is history .... He has lost a yard or two in pace. Niether does have a pronocuned swing or seam movement .... Have no idea how you can expect him to pick wickets in international cricket .... Having said that I am not sure how he is picking up wickets even in local domestic cricket .... May be the batsman are playing the bowler and not the ball ....

    By Blogger indCric, at 17:11  

  • SAHIR, FLUTE.. I hear you re: "Grapevine" comment. But, I heard ZAK in the post-interview after the ZIM series on ESPN with Bhogle and he referred to dressing room atmosphere being downright "upsetting". Next GC, was asked by Gautam Bhimani for a reaction about ZAK's comment and GC' s comment was something like its disappointing that people are not talkign about positives.

    Next thing ZAK knows he's out of the team.

    Anyway, we all know what ZAK can and cannot do. SO, I would say let him cool his heels a while and if he truly can be a matchwinner in ODIs then he should come back. Till then he should do his best in Test matches.Ditto, SG and VVS.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 17:14  

  • indcric, a bowler will always pick wicket if juicy half-volleys are defended rather than attacked consistently...

    I am more or less sure that ZK will feature in the test matches...What a pity...

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 17:15  

  • I think Zaheer wil play his last test series against SL.. this year..
    After that he will hang his boots around his neck.. and probably give his looks to his restaurent customers..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 17:17  

  • I havent seen a shameless bowler than ZK.. He gares at batsmen and get hit for four.. and then this goes on and on and on..

    Even a rookie Pathan got that but from the senior pro.. but now he has understood..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 17:18  

  • Danish now has a mystery ball. Didn't Bhajji claim some such ball before the last tour to Zim? Whatever happened to that?

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) - Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria said Tuesday he has developed a secret new delivery that he plans to use for the first time in the test series against England starting Saturday.

    "It will confuse the English batsman," Kaneria told reporters, without elaborating.
    "I have worked hard on how to bowl this delivery," he said.

    By Blogger babi, at 17:19  

  • Prasad, I think there were quite a few reports about GC's unhappiness with Zaheer after SL series and before Zim series. Apparently GC was upset with ZK's attitude towards fitness etc. If ZK's comments in the article mentioned are true, this lad may not be willing to try out new things and you can't be know-all in terms of fitness just because you played int'l cric for 5 yrs(that too injury ridden career). So this said interview or GC comments may not have any effect on his ultimate selection. On top it, if ZK really performs, no one can keep him out of the team. thats a given. Heck, he was the spear head of bowling until very recently, it takes some really poor form to get kicked out of the team.

    By Blogger flute, at 17:20  

  • Da

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:20  

  • Greg2rescue .... I think he will play a max of 5 tests before he winds up prematurely ..... There is too much competition .... Surprisingly, we have too many left handers in contention for one or two spots... I would prefer Nehra to ZK any day ..... Nehra can run through a side ..... Zaheer on his very best day will knock a wicket or three ..

    By Blogger indCric, at 17:20  

  • Will AN/SS Paul make to Test squad...AN was impressive in Pak tests...2nd Test i ithink he had Inzy with a great ball

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 17:21  

  • ZK has averages as follows :-
    V aus :- 42.77
    V eng :- 43.90
    V pak :- 119.50
    V SA :- 92.66
    V SL :- 36.70

    He needs to play this series to ensure that his avg is above 40 with SL as well ...Any batsman will be proud of such averages. I am pretty sure SL will be happy to have somebody with such bowling averages as opponents...

    By Blogger greg2rescue, at 17:22  

  • CRICFAN, This groupism thing is a bit overrated/. Bhajji and ZAK, YS, MK. IP probably all have the same feelign about SG which includes all the good thigns and the bad. They have hte same feelings about GC .. good things and bad. They just know that GC is not going anywhere so better get on with him. RD is captain...so better geton with him. Most importantly play for india and win for India.

    There are two kinds of pressures. Good pressure is the kind that makes you run faster, bowl, field, and bat well and think like a winner. Bad pressure is when you are insecure and think you have to survive and your head is on the chopping block and thats when you make BAD decisions.

    By Blogger Prasad, at 17:22  

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