Monday, April 04, 2011

The only outdoor game where skill >> athleticism

Today a 'friend of friend' on Facebook stated sarcastically that he was 'glad that cricket was played mainly by 8 countries' (indicating India hardly had a chance to be world champions if cricket was played widely). He also went on to state that it is time for India to be doing better in sports that is popular in many more countries, like Football.

I am sharing with you my reply to that point, with some edits to improve readability of this post (an FB post is, well, an FB post):

"Again, assumptions galore here, without much emphasis put on the essentially different nature of the games. I would like to put forward an argument here.

India's sports culture has ensured that India's performance in various games depend on the ratio of athleticism-to-skill involved in that game. Let us take a game like Football. While it is also a lot about skill, the skill comes in only as the final 20-25% of a player's making in the overall picture; the first 75-80% of a great football player is great natural athleticism.

As the skill portion increases in a game, India tends to gets better at it. Hockey needs slightly higher proportion of skills as I see it.I Cannot cite many more examples right now. But whatever  variation it is, all outdoor games were created PRIMARILY for athleticism. Both Football & Hockey fall in that category. All other outdoor games like rugby are also in the same league - if anything it is even more about physical athleticism. All others except cricket.

Cricket stands alone as virtually the only game where athleticism requirement percentage is so low (maybe down to 20-25%) that LACK of it can be COMPENSATED by skill. I doubt if any other outdoor game could have 'achievers' like Ranatunga and Inzamam, to cite two. Those are extreme examples, but cited only to get the point across. They would not have a hope in hell to compensate the lack of athleticism by their skill in ANY other sport like football, even if they had the skill of Maradona within them.

Conversely, their being better athletes would NOT contribute to their being much better cricketers or even better catchers. Inzy was the best catcher in his side. Inzamam in fact got fitter once and promptly aggregated 9 in six WC matches in wonder that after getting dropped he came back heavier both in girth and scoring ability.

The whole point of so much is: It is NOT guaranteed that other team's sporting performances in athleticism dominated sports will be replicated in cricket, the only skill dominated outdoor sport where a player - albeit a very talented one - playing for 21+ years is having the best year of his life while approaching 38 and is looking good for more.

Just having many countries beginning to play cricket does NOT guarantee that India's position will then become as lowly as it is in other 'athletic' sports. The subcontinent clearly has a special talent in this particular game called cricket. A game in which hand eye coordination is as much required as extreme mental powers of concentration required for long durations to avoid EVEN ONE mistake (applicable to batsmen, mainly).

If it were not so, India would be no match in cricket for New Zealand, England, South Africa and Australia. Countries that are quite good globally at some very athletic sports like rugby or football. Teams whose fielding and running between the wickets hails from another world compared to the Indians' (on their poor days, which are many).


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learn parkour said...

There are many other sports which need some attention. The free runningis one concept whcih is good for physical exercises.
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Sportsbook Betting said...

that is so true, athleticism is a very good sports, and to tell you something extra, I run 3 days a week and I love it