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Showing posts from February, 2012

Refresh the set-up!

Indian domestic cricketing set-up is under the scanner for the last week or so to modify it for the better. Prominent ex-international players like Aakash Chopra & Sourav Ganguly are closely associated, directly or indirectly, with this activity. The technical committee of the BCCI has recommended a few changes to the domestic structure after the meet on Friday which mainly includes length of Ranji games, domestic calendar and the points system. There is also the rejection of the thought that domestic games should be held at neutral venues. The recommendations sound good and hold potential to raise the bar but why isn’t there excitement about this topic? Why isn’t the media covering this generously?
In pursuit of answers to these questions lies the sorry state of domestic cricket in India. Why has quality of cricket gone down drastically? Let us start by looking at the numbers for the current season (have chosen only Ranji trophy numbers for the sake of simplicity). 34 of the 56 R…

The rise of the finisher!

About 15-17 years ago when the ODI format was in its budding stages, Jayasuriya and his opening partner Kaluwitharana revolutionised the way openers’ batted. Their methods were unconventional and others took time to adopt similar ways to maximise the advantage of the field restriction. Around the same period Australia was transforming into a side that would later rule for some length of time. The Australian side had good batsmen, good bowlers and good multi-dimensional players. A certain Michael Bevan in the scheme of things was exploring the value of the much underrated no. 5/6/7 batting positions, quite a revolution much like what the two Lankans had previously demonstrated.  
People started realising the importance of a batsman who could bat down the order and close games for the side. Likes of Harris, Cairns, Klusener, Heath Streak, Razzaq, and Boucher blossomed with a role similar to what Bevan was doing for Australia and people subtly realised the value of, what later was to be c…

Rotational dilemma!

Sehwag’s press conference after the 1st ODI of the CB series had something unheard of if you are an Indian cricket follower viz. Rotation Policy; the easiest fall-to thought experiment when there is nothing else to discuss and debate on TV shows, newspapers and commentary boxes but we never had the players or the team management speak about this or execute such a thing. This has been spoken of and its relevance to Indian cricket ever since Australia attempted to execute this reasonable success during the period the team was at the pedestal. The responses to that statement from Sehwag have been mixed, with experts, media editors and fans/followers not converging completely to either approving it or disposing the policy. Where would you want to stand on this one? Do you belong to the set of people who believe that this is indeed very good or subscribe to the thought that such a thing won’t help the team in the long run?
So let us explore the subject and its relevance to the team in detai…

Restructure the method!

About 3 years ago, Australia lost its position on the top of the table after the Ashes defeat to then #5 ranked England in August 2009. Before South Africa lost its crown to India (at the end of 2009), the team couldn’t topple the #5 ranked England in a 4-match series at home. India held the fort for about 20 months before going down humiliatingly to the #3 ranked test side. Today the currently #1 ranked test team was whitewashed by the #5 ranked Pakistan, which has narrowed the difference between the top 2 sides in the table to merely one integer. These are excerpts of the rampant fluctuations the test match rankings table has undergone for the last couple of seasons. The big picture would suggest fierce competition at the top but reality, unfortunately, deviates far from it. No team has looked good to hold onto the crown for long; losing its pedestal with similar humiliation in each case.
There are nuances while you study these fluctuations; the last couple of seasons have been good …