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Showing posts from June, 2012

Unnecessary Dodgy Regressive Scenario!

Another ICC meet (Chief Executives Committee (CEC)) has backed the mandatory usage of UDRS in all matches. This topic has been debated and discussed too often, yet it hasn’t reached a point of convergence. The problem is not with the change but with the resolve to accept it. The BCCI, with its reluctance to its usage, is doing no good to the betterment of the game. The most powerful board in the world should be leading the way rather than resisting. It appears that the board conveniently chooses to listen to the players’ views whenever it comes to technical calls; firstly on the WADA issue and now the UDRS issue, while having its way otherwise. MS Dhoni was deeply miffed by the way Ian Bell during a World Cup match was let off after referring it to the TV umpire, but a couple of weeks later Sachin Tendulkar was saved by the UDRS after he was adjudged out by the on-field umpire. The sensible question that should have been asked from the cited examples should be on the implementation of…

Is Spin Bowling A Dying Art?

It has been said time and again that sub-continental batsmen are the best players of spin; there would be only a few who wouldn’t subscribe to that thought. Yet, about 70% wickets (out of 28) have fallen to spin during the first 3 days of the test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Galle; either the track is a rank-turner and the bowling exceptional or the batting skills inadequate. Quality bowling could be a reason but this is only the half side of the story; scoreboard pressure and nature of the pitch has got a lot to do with those numbers!
Who are the leading spinners in world cricket at the moment? Harbhajan? Vettori? Swann? Ajmal? or somebody else? Harbhajan is out of the Indian side for almost a year now, Vettori has become more of an all-rounder, Swann and Ajmal hold promise but would need to deliver something special to join the league of Murali, Warne, Kumble & co. So is world cricket devoid of players to carry the legacy of Bedi, Chandrashekhar, Underwood, Benaud, Qadir fo…

Sublime Sanga!

He may not be the most celebrated batsman, he may not be the most popular player going around but you will struggle to find those who wouldn’t call Kumar Sangakkara as one of cricket’s leading batsman in modern times. There is lot to adore about Sangakkara and his game; comes across as a natural gentleman, professional on the field and a studious character off it. He has kept wickets, batted across positions, led the side to World Cup finals and yet you sense he hasn’t received his due credit.
His test career is staggering; stands 11th on the list of highest run getters, 3rd best all-time number 3 batsman, has effected 187 dismissals, has the second best average amongst players with more than 8500 career runs! His partnerships alongside Mahela have been monumental and a source of strength for Sri Lankan batting to script wins.
Sangakkara has played in an era when Ponting, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kallis, Mahela were the leading names in test cricket, yet has managed to carve a niche for hims…

ODI Cricket Dead? Not Yet!

Since the T20 format has come about many experts, analysts have been critical of the co-existence of all 3 formats of the game (came across a perspective from the meticulous CNN-IBN sports editor Gaurav Kalra which got me to present this counter view!). The critique in such observations does have evidence and practical issues to back it, but many of them tend to conclude on the exclusion of 50-over cricket at the international level, which I believe should be the last option.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been pretty clear on its stand of co-existence of all 3 formats; backing that stance by rejecting a window to the ‘domestic’ T20 league - IPL, forbidding a 7-match T20I series and through speculative reports suggesting every third 50-over World Cup could be hosted by the sub-continent!
The views that ODI cricket has been on a decline since the advent of T20 cricket are only partially true. ODI cricket has been struggling for a long while now; in fact T20 cricket was born…

Save White From Melanization!

Like routine sets in, the debate and discussion encircling the IPL has become almost an invariant exercise. 5 seasons since its advent the critics don’t believe the IPL has or can do any good for Indian cricket, leave alone world cricket, cynics highlight all the off-field controversies associated with the event to drive home the point that the IPL is not cricket but merely entertainment and you have others who are either fans or admirers of the IPL, who don’t budge to the above views! Where have the discussions on the relevance of IPL to T20 cricket or of IPL stints as a stage to perform big taken all of us? The fact of the matter remains that neither the organizers nor anybody else is sure what purpose does the IPL serve. The ‘anybody’ referred to is indicative and is meant to bracket the section of people who don’t quite associate with the IPL.
There is stark similarity to the way the BCCI operates and the ICC is operating on the issue of IPL (undoubtedly a fall-out of Mr Pawar cha…

Time For Double-G To Step Up?

The talk around West Bengal government’s spontaneous response to KKR’s win has almost evaporated a developing thought out of our minds - Gautam Gambhir’s leadership skills! Experts, fans, people in the media believed that it was ‘Double-G’ (as Danny M would like to call it!) who turned things around for KKR since the teams were reshuffled via the auction last year. KKR couldn’t breach the play-offs last year, but ensured that the momentum and all round skills that they sustained during the league stages concluded with winning the IPL trophy this season. So how big is the role of the captain in a T20 tournament? Or is the hype purely because he captained a side that won?
It is a never-ending debate on the subject of difficulties as a captain in different formats; though one can safely assume that leading a side in different formats has different challenges. Gambhir isn’t a flamboyant kind of leader, or super-cool aka MS Dhoni but in his own way ensures that he yields the most out of the…