Archive for April, 2006

All quiet on the electronic front

April 30, 2006

Sorry, I haven’t been able to post lately. I’m out-of-town right now, but will be back in a couple of days and will have a few posts to help all of you waste some more of your time.

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How to take the fun out of watching a game?

April 19, 2006

Show the same couple of advertisements over and over again at the end of each over.

You know of any?

Utterly, butterly delicious

April 19, 2006

For decades now, Amul has been making ads that have a humourous spin on whatever’s in the news. And, as everybody knows, cricket’s often in the news in India. Here, I post some of these topicals (as Amul likes to call them). You can browse through all of them here.

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Image © Amul

This is one of the posts lost during the WordPress server crash over the last weekend.

Ponting vs Tendulkar

April 19, 2006

There was a scenario a couple of seasons ago when Warne and Murali were neck-to-neck with the most number of wickets in Test cricket. Then Murali went out for a while due to injury, and Warne took a clear lead. But Murali is much younger than Warne and hence is pipped to be holding the record when the two hang their boots.

We might have a similar scenario with Ponting and Tendulkar. The most number of Test centuries being the stat that will be contested here, of course. With 9 centuries from 14 Tests, Ponting is in the form of his life. And with 31 centuries, he’s lagging Tendulkar by only 4. He’s also 20 months younger than Tendulkar (April, 1973). Although Tendulkar is recuperating from a shoulder operation at the moment, he’s expected to be back in time for the Test series in the Caribbean next month. The progress of both the batsmen will be keenly followed by the entire cricketing world.

For an update to this topic, go here.

This is one of the posts lost over the last weekend.

RP Singh vs Pietersen

April 18, 2006

In the 7th ODI against England, RP Singh’s stats looked ordinary. He went for 44 runs from seven overs with no wickets to show for his effort. However, there was some wonderful bowling there where he kept Pietersen on a leash during the powerplay overs. We saw how Pietersen dug into VRV Singh eventually, taking 37 off his two powerplay overs. Well, that’s what he was trying to do to RP Singh, but RP bowled wonderfully well. Here’s the textual commentary from Cricinfo.

Rudra Pratap Singh replaces Irfan Pathan
12.1 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, drives it to off side
12.2 RP Singh to Pietersen, one run, driven wide of mid-off fielder and
quick single taken
12.3 RP Singh to Bell, no run
12.4 RP Singh to Bell, no run, defended to cover
12.5 RP Singh to Bell, no run, fuller on the legs, drives the ball to
mid-on
12.6 RP Singh to Bell, FOUR, Oh dear! good length delivery and angling
across, Bell drives it and got thick outside edge, ball flies wide
of diving Karthik behind the wickets, no slip was placed

End of over 13 (5 runs) England 52/2 (RR: 4.00)
RP Singh 1-0-5-0

14.1 RP Singh to Pietersen, one run, played to cover and quick single
taken
14.2 RP Singh to Bell, no run, beaten outside the off stump
14.3 RP Singh to Bell, one run, pitched outside the off stump, batsman
uses the angle and steer the ball to third man
14.4 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, length delivery, Pieterson comes
down the track and drives it straight to mid-off
14.5 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, down the leg side, played to square
leg, no chance for run there
14.6 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, pitched outside the leg stump,
turned away to square leg

End of over 15 (2 runs) England 59/2 (RR: 3.93)
RP Singh 2-0-7-0

16.1 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, turned away to on side
16.2 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, pitched up delivery on the leg
stump, driven straight to mid-on
16.3 RP Singh to Pietersen, no run, pitched on middle and leg stump,
Pieterson walking down the wicket and tries to work it away to
onside, ball crashes into the pads, loud appeal, turned down
16.4 RP Singh to Pietersen, one run, drifting down the leg, flicks it
away to fine leg
16.5 RP Singh to Bell, no run, good length delivery outside the off
stump, defended to backward point
16.6 RP Singh to Bell, no run, good ball on the stump, defended back

End of over 17 (1 run) England 71/2 (RR: 4.18)
RP Singh 3-0-8-0

Pietersen did hit three boundaries off of Singh’s next over, but one of those was an edge (inaccurately described as an intentional steer in the Cricinfo log). I’d like to see some more of RP Singh, but I don’t know why he is not getting more chances.

Deteriorating quality at Cricinfo

April 18, 2006

Is it just me or does the quality of text commentary at Cricinfo seem to be going down? As an example, take Dravid’s run out in today’s game. Here’s what Cricinfo had to say:

13.5 Naved-ul-Hasan to Pathan, 1 run, WICKET, low fulltoss on the pads and Pathan flicks it away well in front of square leg, Malik moves across in the deep and fires in a good throw at the keeper’s end, Naved-ul-Hasan does the rest and Dravid is out by a long way – crucial breakthrough

Oh, really? The throw was at the bowler’s end. How could one miss something like that? And this is just one example. I’ve seen edged fours being defined as superb, steered shots and what not. Seriously? Another example’s when Pathan was reportedly caught by Afridi off a no ball. The commentary went on to describe that the umpire had his hand out rightaway. Funny thing is that it wasn’t a no ball, and Pathan was not given out because the ball had gone onto his helmet. This mistake was later corrected by the commentator, but still, how can you provide details about things that haven’t happened at all?

Cricinfo stores detailed information about each delivery (beyond what we’ve been used to in the past) and bases some of its stats on them. A while ago, they were doing an analysis of who were the best players in the world for each shot. Remember that? Well, how can they rely on such shoddy reporting?

I suppose we can’t complain though, since it’s free.

Dravid run out again

April 18, 2006

The 1st ODI against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi is going on right now. And Dravid’s run himself out again in yet another woeful way. At this rate, it won’t be too long before he surpasses Haq as the player that’s been run out the most often. On a slow pitch as this one, he’s our most important player. After a close call the previous ball, now Pathan’s run himself out too. These guys need to work on their running between the wickets. And diving too. I’ve now seen quite a few times that when batsmen are diving to make their ground, they hold their bat sideways, which means it bounces off the floor. Surely, somebody in the dressing room must be noticing this on tv.

On a side note, I am disappointed to see both Sehwag and Kaif “rested.” This most likely means they will both play in the next game. Since they’re out of form, India needs to make sure that we don’t play them together. But the management doesn’t seem to mind that.

No room for Powar

April 18, 2006

It may seem harsh, but it’s quite clear to me that there’s no room in this ODI team for Powar. Even if his heart is as big as his waist, as Gavaskar claims. There are three reasons that lead me to this conclusion. First of all, his bowling is not that special. The stats back me up. Let’s take a look.

Name Mat O M R W Ave Best 4w 5w SR Econ
Harbhajan Singh 5 50 5 187 12 15.58 5-31 1 25.0 3.74
RR Powar 5 47.4 1 202 7 28.85 3-34 40.8 4.23
Yuvraj Singh 6 42 3 180 6 30.00 2-32 42.0 4.28
V Sehwag 5 12 0 57 2 28.50 2-31 36.0 4.75

Yuvraj Singh’s and Powar’s stats are almost identical. Sehwag’s are almost similar too. He hasn’t done anything that makes him stand out from the part-time twirlers. Secondly, I think the reason he has half-decent stats is because of the type of pitches he has bowled on in this series. Even Sehwag and Yuvraj have half-decent stats, clearly an indicator of the pitch. The third and most important reason is his fielding. It’s simply abysmal. A player needs to be at least an average fielder; anything sub-par is unacceptable. Powar is not only slow in the field (and averse to diving around), but I’ve also seen him drop three catches (one of them an absolute dolly) in the four innings I’ve seen him bowl. Once saw him escort a ball to the boundary that could’ve easily been stopped with a slide. Until he improves his fielding standards, he should be left out.

MIA

April 16, 2006

My posts, not me. I had a couple of new posts since the last one on here, but they’ve mysteriously disappeared. Will dig them up and post them back up. Patience, friends.

The real culprit

April 12, 2006

Those who hate most fervently must have once loved deeply, those who want to deny the world must have once embraced what they now set on fire.
– Kurt Tucholsky

Much has been written about the riots at Guwahati. There’s been plenty of finger-pointing, but let’s be clear about one thing: the cricket authorities were responsible for this as much as the spectators. Indian cricket treats spectators like dirt, and events like this will happen until there’s some reform. Spectators have to stand in long lines to get tickets and to get into the ground, are often not allowed to bring what they want, have to put up with appalling conditions and apparently don’t even get their money back if there’s no game. It wasn’t all because of the disappointment of not getting to watch a game.