Saturday, January 14, 2012

The tall Small

Watch this.

And before you share it: the guy is called Bevan Small. 

He is not small but tall. To me.

He might not do anything better than this for the rest of his cricket career...but he is still an addition to my list of idols.

The commentators are quite rubbish though!!

Monday, January 09, 2012

The "50/100 openers' rule"

80 years of playing Test cricket, and Indians still don't understand the basic requirement of scoring big in pitches favouring quicks. 

It is called the "50/100 openers' rule".

This rule is simple: 
(a) the openers need to play in a way that maximises chances of a 50 run opening partnership, Or 
(b) it really is the plan-B, essentially that in case of an early dismissal of opening partnership the next pair plays to ensure that 2nd wicket falls after team total crosses 100. 

While playing away, I haven't seen India do well in batting other than the 2 conditions getting satisfied.

After that, what more runs the opener gets or does not get CEASES NOT MATTER there will be someone else to score his runs.

Cowboy opening has worked for India ONLY WHEN these conditions get many runs the opener got individually has hardly ever mattered to outcome of game unless it met the above criteria.

There can be failures even after those criteria are met, but there is certainly no success without it.

Probably it needed 2 series like these (Eng 2011 & Aus 2011-12) to show the value of Akash Chopra in the 2003 Oz series..or a chastised Sehwag in Perth / Adelaide 2008.

There is no 'aggressive opener' barring Michael Slater who has done well in quick-bowling conditions without being circumspect for the 1st 50 team runs. Not Gambhir, not Hayden, certainly not Sehwag. Partly because they did not have the techniques to counterattack fast bowling at its best... in their best innings these guys left the attacking for the stage after team crossed fifty.

[this 3rd straight rant in 15 mins time frame is also cross posted from FB]

PS: If you are wondering who penned the "50/100 Openers' rule" and how long back, then please rejoice at being part of history being created in this post!! This is the first time I am 'publishing' the rule.

Sehwag: Should he open again in Tests outside India??

"Laxman? Gambhir? Dravid? Kohli? Who gets dropped in 3rd Test?" We debate.

But why not sehwag? 

This series is not in india. He is not going to be watchful like he was in Aus'2008on a comeback trail..and will look to a 'free' century in Adelaide to maintain his 30 avg outside...(to be complimented by a 70+ at home and thus maintain the total 50 plus avg!!)

He does not 'ensure' anything except his failure outside India. Then should his position outside india be ensured?

On NOT losing the 1st Test of an away series

How important is that?

In that context, I have always rated that Brisbane'03 century by dada Ganguly (after 90/4) as the 3rd big turnaround point of Team India - after Eden 2001 and Leeds 2002. It changed the series from 'chin musicology' to 'unforgettable'. 
And considering it came from a player who never scored another away Test ton against big teams of his time (Oz, SA, Pak), that 144 was monumental.

And then he was also captain. Now we know the importance of a skipper under fire (warne's chin music chant) salvaging a match early in the series. In contrast, MSD has struggled badly in major away series except Eng 2007. Especially at times when a responsible 40 from him against new ball can extend the innings by 70-80 runs.

Aus 2003 was zenith of Dada the skipper. Is it MSD's time to reassess his place in Indian cricket?

I am a Dhoni fan, and no one holds the lack of bowling resources against him..but his presence is making us start behind other Test teams when playing away.
Also, he is into his 5th year of captaincy, a job that has NEVER been carried out this long by anyone except Border without disadvantaging the team dynamics.

[cross posted from FB]