Tag Archives: Cricket

Statistics are like …

Some days back (Ok months actually) I had come up with some statistics courtesy the friendly stats guru. Now Andy Zaltzman has come with some gems of his own. Read it here.

While the whole article brings up some really interesting points, the conclusions drawn from the statistics are simply fab.

Conclusions:

1: Nothing.
2: If you judge players entirely on double-centuries and 10-wicket hauls, you may not present yourself with an entirely accurate view of their skills.
3: Kallis is an inferior cricketer to both Guy Whittall and Chris Pringle.

• Here’s another quirky one for you: Muralitharan has hit more Test sixes than Graham Gooch, Keith Miller, Martin Crowe or Wally Hammond. (Which possibly explains why Murali was signed by an IPL franchise, but none of the others were. Least of all Hammond, who, admittedly, is past his best, but would have been worth a few dollars in his pomp.)

• And Waqar Younis has a higher winning percentage as a Test captain than any of Clive Lloyd, Mike Brearley or Mark Taylor.

Oh well if now I could just push the stats of this blog as well.

Slam Bang Oh Please Shut Up

No please don’t get me wrong. I have no sadistic traits, at least  they have not been discovered yet. But today I was actually enjoying the discomfort of Dilshan and company. Too bad that it had to be abandoned mid way.  But I will get to that a bit later.

Frankly I did not enjoy the current India-Sri Lanka series at all. The bat dominated a bit too much and it was not bowler’s fault at all. The pitches were so very placid and the boundaries so very short. I absolutely cringed every time Arun Lal said “That’s a monstrous hit” when it actually landed only 73 meters away. Also I can bet Dilshan would not be playing that scoop on a Perth or Durban track.

Here is what Harsha Bhogle has to say on Rajkot’s match

Rajkot was a cricket occasion, not a cricket match. It was a spectacle, not a contest. It wasn’t good for cricket.

He further says

The ball was rendered incapable of throwing up a challenge. At the heart of cricket’s magic, the reason all of us are so enamoured by it, is the fact that every ball is a contest. The bowler conceives the challenge, sets his line, his length, his movement, the placement of fielders, and presents it to the batsman, who must then unravel it and respond.

And then there is another challenge. It is relentless and it must be that way. The moment the delivery of the ball to a batsman is no longer a challenge, the contest ceases. It is no longer cricket. Or maybe it would be to the same extent that boxing would remain a sport if each boxer is allowed three minutes at a punching bag and the winner determined by who hits the bag better.

Many cheered, as they might have in ancient Rome when Christians were thrown to the lions. The hitting of a boundary was no longer an event, no longer a victory for the bat over the ball. It was routine, almost par for the course. Was the bowler thinking of getting a batsman out or was he fearing where he was going to be hit? Was there a sigh of relief at a dot ball? Did submission accompany a bowler back to his mark in place of aggression.

This brings us back to today’s game.  Of course the pitch had variable bounce. A few went to the keeper on second bounce and a few leapt up from length in the same over. But didn’t batsmen play on uncovered pitches earlier without the protective armour. Also suppose, just suppose,  had the bounce been consistent with pronounced movement of the seam, would Arun Lal, Ravi Shastri and even the venerable Sunil Gavaskar called this a good pitch? I doubt. Because now the definition of a good pitch is when the batsman can just plonk his foot and hit through the line without caring for line and length.

I wonder would we see bowling machines instead of bowlers in the team in the future because pretty soon no body would want to be a bowler.

Life is strange.

The oldest player in the side is now leading Royal Challengers Bangalore.  Cynics would say that this anyways is a test side. In old news Rahul Dravid became the first Icon player to complete 500 runs in IPL.

In some more older news Akash Chopra, KKR discard is now a member of the expert panel on Sony. So far he has stuck to cricket and not resorted to any salesmanship. He is also dignified enough to talk nicely about his (ex)team.

Amazing wit

Unlike his batting, Sunil Gavaskar’s commentary is hard hitting and contains great one-liners. During yesterday’s T20 India-Sri Lanka match he came up with one such gem.

Describing Pathan brothers partenership he said, “They must do to Sri Lanka what Lehman Brothers did to the world”. Ouch

An enthralling book.

It is going to be a prolific day for me. After all two blog post on a single day from me tantamount to 150 that Gautam Gambhir scored today :P.

Ok Ok. I think I should get back to the point. Some days back, I had blogged about an article by Ramachandra Guha on Anil Kumble. Mighty impressed by that, I bought this enthralling read “A Corner of a Foreign Field” by the same author.  The book analyses the Indian psyche with regards to cricket. After all, just recently ICC created a mini storm in India by not including Tendulkar in its list of greatest batsmen. The book explores how cricket was first played by British soldiers in India and then how slowly, natives started liking the game. It also gives an interesting insight into the politics and the social system of the times.

Parsis, who followed everything British, were the first ones to adopt the game. Interestingly nationalist like Dadabhai Naroji also had a keen following in the game. Slowly others started to follow the game, reasons and means being different for everyone.

Now we have reached a stage where perfect strangers can discuss the game passionately for hours. Remember the Reliance ad “Square cut maarna tha na yaar”.

We should have been taught history in this manner only.What games did Ibrahim Lodhi followed? Did Auranzeb play “Gilli-Danda”?  Then I am sure I would have maxed history paper. 🙂