Saturday, April 04, 2009

Why not keep it simple?

I'm glad that it has rained a bit at the Basin Reserve. And I hope someone has pointed out to MS Dhoni that it'll get darker an hour sooner there. For hopefully, this lunatic suggestion going around that India should just keep on batting, and batting and batting will die the quick death it deserves. Get the lead to 500 and declare, and give yourself time and plenty of runs on the board to set attacking fields and get the 20 wickets to win. Why imagine the Basin Reserve will remain sunny and dry till the end of the fifth day? And if you don't think you can win despite setting a target of 500 I'd suggest a hunt for the proverbial chullu-bhar.

PS: Given the light situation at the Reserve, its not clear to me NZ will even be able to bat late today (especially as the quicks will be on).  Perhaps then India will bat on for as long as they can today and declare tomorrow. 

3 Comments:

Blogger cricketanalysisdotcom said...

Although I would like to see a result in this Test, I can't blame India for not declaring right away. Although the conditions are different New Zealand may well be able to make 531 in two days - they did it in the last Test - which would be a disaster.
My problem is instead with India's approach in the last session or so. I would have liked them to see more urgency toward getting quick runs, as an extra 50 runs would have greatly sped up the declaration tomorrow. Hopefully we do see the declaration before lunch at the latest.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Cricket Tragic said...

Samir, something I have observed in your posts during the last month or so is that you seem to be always harping on every small thing that MSD does wrong, rather than applauding him on what he does right!

Don't worry, I ain't no Indian nationalist (I'm not an Indian, for that matter), but it still bothers me to see someone who even has a blog on cricinfo to always dwell on the smallest issues.

You should look at this from the angle Dhoni seems to be looking at. MSD might be wanting to get some permanent scars on the NZ bowlers by grinding them to dust. By keeping them on the field for as long as possible, it may help them in the future! And besides, they have plenty of time, so why not give the batsmen like Yuvi plenty of practice?

However, I wouldn't discount NZ's chances, with players of the class of Ross Taylor, Baz and Jesse. Dan Flynn can also be a hard nut to crack on his day, as would be the other Dan! Don't be surprised if NZ go for broke!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Jaunty Quicksand said...

Samir,

There are some reasons for MSD's approach. I will blog about it in more detail but here are some key points:
a) Check out this scorecard and see just what one batsman did. Notice that it took New Zealand just 93.3 overs to post 451. Yes, it featured a once-in-a-lifetime innings, but it shows it can be done.
http://content.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/match/63981.html

And the match was over in just 4 days!

b) The Indians have shown that if you get set it is very hard to be dislodged. In the previous Test, New Zealand batted 155 overs to score 615 runs. Surely, with the series at stake and the Kiwis prepared to go down 2-0, if need be, to win this Test (as stated by Vettori) they will go after any target.

c) The team that scored 451 had Nathan Astle, Cairns, and McMillan - this one has the following batsmen who could be ODI greats by the time they are done - McCullum, Ryder, Taylor, and Guptill.

d) I agree with Cricket Tragic - give MSD a little room. After all, for all that he has done, he is allowed some leeway. I understand what you are trying to say, that he has been getting away with some defensive tactics at times. But I see the other side of the equation, too. He is willing to change and often does during the course of the innings. It is not as if he is always defensive, a la Gavaskar, or bereft of ideas when things go awry, a la Ganguly. He looks like he is (if anything) thinking ahead a step or two. He has an intuitive mind that reads the flow of the game very well. At this point, I say, he knows what he is doing.

e) Enjoyed your column on CricInfo about how it feels to be in a zone. You hit the nail on the head. Funny, though, how our zones are in innings where we score 30-odd while Gambhir seems to have been in it for more than a year (check out his Ranji scores from last year).

Cheers

2:35 PM  

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