Saturday, August 25, 2007

India Vs England, 2nd ODI, Bristol, 2007-2008

  • England's bowling looks healthy even without Harmison and Hoggard. Anderson appears to have sorted out his rhythm problems and is carrying on his fine form from the Tests. I particularly liked the way he bowled at the death; yorkers and slower balls, disguised between just-off-a-length deliveries. Stuart Broad seems to have a good head on his shoulders; he just needs a little more experience. Tremlett had a bad game yesterday but I like what I've seen of him so far -- hard-working and sincere. And what can one say about Flintoff? Even on a pitch like yesterday's, even on a ground like Bristol, it was tough to get him away. If he continues to bowl like this and stays clear of injury, he's all set to become one of the finest defensive fast-bowlers ever of this generation. Though one Mr. Mcgrath would have something to say about that, I imagine.
  • There is a warm feeling that I get whenever I see the Ganguly-Tendulkar pair in full steam in a ODI. There's something about the way they build partnerships that makes me want to believe in marriage. They seemed to be very conscious of the run-out at Southampton and were keen to not repeat it. Tendulkar seemed to sense that Ganguly was having a bad day and took on the responsibility of scoring. What was nice about Sachin's 99 yesterday was the way his feet moved -- swift, twinkling and purposeful, like a samurai; made all the difference. Two paddles for four off Mascarenhas had me grinning. And did you notice those bat-twirls? Looked very deliberate.
  • The most significant statistics, for me, were -- Flintoff 10-0-56-5 & Powar 10-0-43-1. I personally thought Powar would be taken to the cleaners, but looks like he came good. Powar comes across as very gritty, but I don't think he'll last long in this side. Dravid is just looking out for a younger, fitter off-spinner to come along.
  • Dravid's 92 will go down in my memory as one of the finest ODI innings I've seen by an Indian batsman in recent times. I'm not taking anything away from Sachin; he was very good and showed that he still has it in him to go back to his old ways, if he wants to. But Dravid was imperious, like a tall, Mathematics professor, strutting about, expounding on geometry; his batting was all subdued straight lines and acute angles that frustrated Collingwood's field placements. And he kept running his runs all through. He drilled his drives, flicked fine for fours and in one memorable moment, splayed his legs, made room and sliced one over the point boundary for six. You could see that he knew India needed more runs, that he preferred a 340 over a 320. In the end those runs of his seemed to make all the difference. One other shot that stood out was how, having moved to leg and seen the ball pushed wide on the off, he loosened the bootom bottom hand, and played a left-handed backhand slice to sneak the ball past short third-man for four. Simply brilliant. The next time someone accuses him of being slow, they're going to get it in the face.

17 comments:

~A said...

>> The next time someone accuses him of being slow, they're going to get it in the face.

Do you really mean it?? I find this statement shallow. He has screwed up enough number of times with his inability to dictate the scoring rate. Now and then he is able to, so what?

musafir said...

{rubs his hands together in glee}

~a

"Show me the money" you say when you don't show any yourself. But then, Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. Here goes --

Apr 01 - Aug 07

Dravid - Strike Rate (SR) - 73.86
Ganguly - SR - 73.68

Apr 03 - Aug' 07

Dravid - SR - 76.61
Ganguly - SR - 69.96

{Still want me to go on? You don't say?!}

Apr 05 - Aug 07

Dravid - SR - 75.44
Ganguly - SR - 68.18

{Aww, don't look so disappointed}

There you go. Was that enough? You still stick to "Now and then"? Oh maybe a period of 7 years in a cricketing career is still "now and then" in your opinion perhaps, but not in mine.

In my opinion, Dravid is a good example of how first impressions count in the minds of fickle, non-objective Indian Cricket fans. He had a poor start to his ODI career. But then, one also has to recognize the way his ODI game has drastically changed over the last few years (especially after that Kent stint). What I'm trying to say is Dravid's been as good as(or even better than) Ganguly as far as strike rate is concerned over the last 7 years. I'm sure nobody's noticed it, but I did. And just like how there was a place for a steady batsman like Steve Waugh or Damien Martyn in Australia's ODI team, I believe there is a place for batsmen like Dravid (or Ganguly). And you have to keep in mind that Dravid's SR came about despite not opening, unlike Ganguly. And I say 'Pshaww' to your now-and-then statement simply because an innings-by-innings perusal of his stats would reveal the truth dating back to the '99 world cup when he was India's best batsman (his WC average is btw 61.43).

Not for a moment am I comparing Ganguly/Dravid with Tendulkar/Yuvraj. My argument is you need both types of players. And in my memory, India hasn't lost a ODI in recent years (dating back to '01) because of Dravid's so-called slow batting.

If however your memory is tainted by his recent 12 at the Oval, I can only say that, IMO, Dravid was justified in batting that way. Besides, that was a Test, and one would have to be a total retard to question Dravid's credentials in that form of the game.

So the next time you open that mouth and say "Shallow" (or rather type), do some thinking and research.

PS: I know you.

musafir said...

And oh yes, if you think sixers and fours are the only way one can get runs in an ODI, I can't help it.

Anonymous said...

Dei enna da aachu unakku ??

musafir said...

anonymous

I got bored of being the nice guy.

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

ah well ncie guys are over rated anyway...:)

Anyway am gently avoiding the Dravid's snail-trail-nail argument as that doesnt interest me much. But am piqued by this

If however your memory is tainted by his recent 12 at the Oval, I can only say that, IMO, Dravid was justified in batting that way

Frankly I followed that laborious innings ( and that is using the adjective as kindly as possible ) and I very much doubt whether any "strategy" was involved in it ( I am assuming that's what you hint at with saying that Dravid was "justified" etc etc..I can scracely expect someone like you to "justify" someone for playing like his shoes got stuck in a gravel ) but still am curious to hear what you think Dravid could take solace from? ( other than it just was one of those "days" ).

Though water under the bridge what is your opinion on not enforcing the follow on? I thought that was ridiculous , way defensive and extremely negative...

musafir said...

TMWWT

3 down for 11 (or was it 12?). The ball is talking. And you get stuck in a rut. So what do you do? You look around. Your non-striker is playing a really wonderful counter-attacking knock. And having decided to not enforce the follow-on, all that you want to do as captain is get some runs and play out time to make sure you don't lose. So, instead of losing your wicket by trying to get out of the rut and get some runs (which were anyway coming courtesy Ganguly), you decide to grind it out, especially when there is a risk that those following might perish by not being able to counter the swing.

Perfectly justifiable, IMO. Lose the battle, win the war. It didn't make for pretty cricket but it did the job (my INTJ tendencies speaking out there).

As for not enforcing the follow-on, I guess it's a matter of style and how much belief you have in your team (whether Zaheer was fit enough to bowl or not being a secondary issue). I'm with Vaughan on that -- would have done the same. Especailly after that last wicket stand in England's first innings. Thge last thing you want is two people from the English team doing a Calcutta on us. Boils down to style ultimately. Like I said earlier, lose the battle (or draw it, in this case) and win the war.

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

musafir

I would agree the 11 for 3 situation could be an extenuating circumstance *if* Dravid had shown any indications of being in control of what he was doing. I am not sure whether you managed to catch some action but I saw the match for some 10 odd overs.

It was a very very different Dravid who was on strike there. The one word which would put his state simply is "clueless" ( I was tmepted to use hapless..). He padded a full toss ball..that says it all doesnt it? He was definitely struggling and it was very ungaily to watch him bat like that. Also did you see the first ODI? What in the name of Good ol' Bradman were Dravid and Dhoni thinking??? What was their strategy totaly beats me...yes again 40 odd for 4 is not exactly a great situation but does that in any way justify their pathetic approach? Show me some gumption please!
Maybe I am reading too much into it but getting the feeling Dravid is throwing in the towel much too early these days when the chips are seemingly down. Hey atleast "try" to make a match of it.

By war I guess you mean the series...does it really matter? For me personally each game is a "war" in itself...lets say there is a 5 test match series..and if team A wins the first match and plays out for draw for the next 4 matches would you still say they won the war?

My INTP tendencies say Pshaw!

musafir said...

TMWWT

Yes, by "rut", I meant that -- being clueless and withdrawing into a shell. I caught the highlights and it wasn't easy on the eyes. But then, hey, you just have a different way of looking at it.

And to answer your question about the war -- without going into dependencies -- I would have no problems with such a 1 - 0 result, you saying Pshaw or not. Get the job done already. But then such an analogy is over-simplifying the issue considering how precious overseas wins are and how an inexperienced bowling attacj cannot become a matchwinning one within the span of a test.

musafir said...

TMWWT

As for the first ODI, I saw what happened. Honestly, it was a stupid decision to bat second. There was discernable zip off the pitch when England were bowling, and everyone was struggling with the extra pace off the pitch. As for Dravid's and Dhoni's strategy, I guess they were just trying to salvage whatever pride they could and probably (in vain) hope for a mad dash at the end. Not everyone wants to go down blazing.

That said, to extrapolate these to saying Dravid chucking the towel early is just indulging in conjecture. If anything, he seems to know that anything is possible (defeat in the Oval Test and victory in the first ODI).

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

Yes but what exactly is the "job" here begs the question doesnt it? It is not the issue of domestic or overseas series..all those should really be secondary...that was a match which had to be taken one at a time. It wasnt the classical "big picture" here because series win doesnt really indicate is one Where Dravid could have earned my respect ( ignoring the bit he doesnt care a dman etc etc) . To me the series win is more like a pyrrhic victory. A victory where Dravid didnt exactly cover himself in glory.

Forget the jejune Vaughan's of the world...is there any doubt in your mind what Australia would have done in the same poshish?


Yeah I was appalled he chose to chase in that pitch...but that apart I was talking about Dravid's attitude when the chips are down but yes I know there are too less statistical points to even make a conjecture...but Dravid as a captain..well..mmm...

musafir said...

TMWWT

I guess what would be interesting to know is how Dravid perceives his own team. That would be worth a fortune. If Ricky Ponting lost having set 434 (or was it 433?) or Steve Waugh lost having decided to enforce the follow-on at Calcutta, I believe it has something to do with the way they viewed their own respective teams. I think Dravid doesn't think too much of this particular Indian team (and fairly so, IMO), despite it having the most accomplished middle order in the world (in Tests). That, in combination with his no-risks nature, IMO, might have some bearing on his choosing to play it safe. And Vaughan jejune? Even after the 2005 Ashes?

As for the nature of the job, well, to each his own (I was wondering how many comments it would take before I said that). For me, a victory at the Oval would have been splendid, but I'll take the 1-0 any day, tired as I am of seeing series after series being squandered abroad. One can't afford to overlook the fact that, all said and done, this team (Test and ODI) is still far from being at its best. And as captain of such a team, I think Dravid is doing a good job. He could do better, yes, but right now I'll take whatever he's getting us.

And the numbers will tell the story when Dravid retires.

~A said...

Ah!! Dravid and Ganguly - super comparison (that too good years of Dravid with not-so-prolific years of Ganguly...I am going by my memory...i'll leave the facts/stats to you).

I never talked about ODI in specific...anyways, you have chosen to pick that...fair enough.

I never opined "India doesn't need Dravid-type players". I am a fan of his for what he does to the team consistently (over the last 4 years or so...oh yeah...i don't want to go to cricinfo...i know enough to say this). He has screwed up many times in, my opinion in terms of how he went about his innings in his career (not in terms of win/loss - determining one person's role in a result in this type of sport is mostly futile...but in terms of what I like to 'see' in that situation).

Well, in your opinion he may be justified to score 12 in so many balls (including a 4, if I remember it right...again...i'll not bother about the cricinfo stats here..he would be completely justifiable had he not scored that 4 or anything else and scored just '0'...wouldn't he? ).

I have my gripes about his captaincy.

"The next time someone accuses him of being slow, they're going to get it in the face." - I think I made a mistake by wrongly interpreting this as "The next time someone defines him of being slow, they're going to get it in the face."...If you intended to mean that, I find it shallow. [having read almost all of your posts , I am betting on you intending to just mean what you had written...if so, I was wrong.]


PS: I know you know me. And I know you/some of your stories well enough too..Besides the point.

PPS: Btw, Google captcha is "onefee"...first time I'm seeing something readable in this!! Strange!

musafir said...

~a

I distinctly dislike arguing with someone who doesn't want to look at the facts.

I think 01-07 is a considerable time period over which to sample the SR. So, objectively and subjectively, Dravid triumphs over Ganguly over the long run, at least in cricketing terms.

"He has screwed up many times in, my opinion in terms of how he went about his innings in his career (not in terms of win/loss - determining one person's role in a result in this type of sport is mostly futile...but in terms of what I like to 'see' in that situation)." -- if that's all you have to say, I don't see the point in continuing to argue. It leads to a slippery slope. That way I could call Afridi slow in terms of how I want to see him bat. You can keep saying Dravid "screwed-up" but it looks like you don't have anything to back it up. Show some proof before you make arbitrary statements.

Semantics and misinterpretations apart, I believe Dravid is not a slow player. I think he can step up the scoring rate when the situation demands and can make it into any of the top ODI teams in the world on the strength of his batting alone.

PS: Full disclosure always helps.

~a said...

Ok...I take that ("he screwing up many times" back. I was wrong in stating so.

"I think 01-07 is a considerable time period over which to sample the SR. So, objectively and subjectively, Dravid triumphs over Ganguly over the long run, at least in cricketing terms."

Why not take their career averages/striking rate, longer run - isn't it?? Shall we? (If not, explain why you have a problem with that)

Dravid - 71.2 (he was scoring heavily in 99, I think - I wonder how slow he was!).
Saurav - 73.6
Sachin - 85.6
Chanderpaul - 70.36
Ponting - 80.27
G Smith - 82.00
Matty Hayden - 78.53
Sangakkara - 74.42
Jayawardane - 77.00
Gilly - 96
Gibbs - 82
Kallis - 71.4
M Yosuf - 74.4
Inzamam - 74.2

Facts apart, and hence subjectively only, I don't think Dravid is a "slow" player (like Boycott or Gaekwaad). But, I don't think he can step up any time he wants (or the situation demands). And I don't think he'll walk into "any" top ODI team.

PS: I don't know how.

musafir said...

~a

Heh.

"He had a poor start to his ODI career. But then, one also has to recognize the way his ODI game has drastically changed over the last few years (especially after that Kent stint). What I'm trying to say is Dravid's been as good as(or even better than) Ganguly as far as strike rate is concerned over the last 7 years."

Besides, even those statistics show that Dravid compares favourable with the rest. he's a few decimal points away from Kallis and is better than Chanderpaul. Oh yes, right, I know what you're going to say -- both Kallis and Chanderpaul are slow and can't step it up.

Cricket is rife with examples of how people turn it around. Heck, take Matthew Hayden. If the Australian selectors were to pursue your brand of reasoning, they would have kept harping about his early days and never have given him a second chance.

I'm repeating this -

1. Dravid struggled to make runs when he came into the ODI side. He couldn't rotate the strike. He got bogged down.

2. He also spent 2000 at Kent topping the battign averages, before which he was India's best batsman in the '99 WC. After that, he metamorphosed into a clever ODI player.

I think your reasoning misses both the forest and the trees. I'm just glad that the selectors and pundits know better.

~A said...

All I wanted to portray by quoting the numbers was to say where Dravid stands with respect to Strike Rate. He is comparable to a few and not comparable to more than a few. I was not trying to determine whether Dravid is a 'good' ODI player or not. I am not foolish to determine a worth of a player by his SR alone! I didn't state so - you have assumed that - suit urself.

I put those numbers to reflect on your statement that he can fit into any ODI side on the merit of his batting alone and that he can step up the strike rate if he chooses to.

These are what I stated:
"I don't think Dravid is a "slow" player (like Boycott or Gaekwaad). But, I don't think he can step up any time he wants (or the situation demands). And I don't think he'll walk into "any" top ODI team."

And that...

"I was wrong in stating earlier that he screwed up many times".

And I completely agree with: "He also spent 2000 at Kent topping the battign averages, before which he was India's best batsman in the '99 WC. After that, he metamorphosed into a clever ODI player"...simply put "he has improved a lot" - I agree.

I don't agree that he can step the scoring rate at will, I don't agree that he can walk into any ODI side in the world (I doubt he can enter into the World-ODI-11 or Aussie-ODI-11).

PS: Wondering why anyone would be glad that "pundits know better".

PPS: Ofc, cricket is rife with examples! Use then when needed, not to speak against something which never existed in the first place!