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Sight Screen

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bhogle wants domestic bliss

Harsha's latest column focusses on the Ranji Trophy. Select clips:
The reason the Ranji Trophy has been dead this year is that the teams are boring the daylights out of each other. When we were younger, we used to have a competition called slow cycling where you had to go from point A to point B as slowly as possible without putting your foot down or falling off the bike. That was a million times more interesting than the slow cricket we have had this year.

Underlining the point with an exemplar, this:
Batsmen must be getting paid by the minute these days with points taken off for runs made! Witness this one for example, probably the saddest way to play a cricket match. Bengal play Gujarat and make 462 in 198 overs, that’s over an hour into the third day of a four-day match.
Presumably they were hoping to knock them over twice in the remaining time, assuming they wanted a result, and, continuing in denial mode, Gujarat made 371 in 160 overs.
Nobody got any points and it was the equivalent of shooing off a spectator who might have wandered close by. In fact Bengal must have thought they had done pretty well in terms of run-rate (2.33) having significantly improved it from their previous match against Karnataka when they managed 335 from 151 overs at 2.21 per over.

Another point, to which I found myself nodding along, is this:
There’s more trouble. Lakshmipathy Balaji hasn’t been playing (a fact that seems to have escaped some demonstrators in Chennai!), and we have seen virtually nothing of VRV Singh either. Ashish Nehra has vanished and seriously, Munaf Patel remains the only contender for a new ball bowler’s slot.
It begs a debate. It is not only good pitches that we need but good physios and trainers for Ranji Trophy teams as well. I know some beginning has been made there but clearly more is needed. Riches don’t always translate into intent.

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