Sunday, August 19, 2007

A scheinprobleme

Apologies for the break in blogging; a mini-vacation intervened to make things like that impossible. Much has happened since then: India wrapped up their series win over England and began what promises to be a grindingly long set of one-day internationals (which, I'm sure you've heard dozens of times by now, should have been shortened, and a test match or two added to the summer's routine). One last note on the following-on, versus not-following on controversy. Its a fake debate; the statistics do not indicate either strategy as being more risky or more adventurous. For the life of me, I simply cannot understand why batting again "puts the game out of reach". It does not; it most emphatically does not. You expose yourself to the same risk as you do when following-on i.e., minimal. They are both safe strategies, because, hello people, you have a lead of over 200 runs. While batting last may be seen as a risk of the follow-on strategy, I suggest that any side that finds itself in trouble after it secured a lead of 200, deserves to be in that position, and probably didn't do enough to win the match in any case. There is only one question in my mind: are your bowlers ready to bowl? are they tired? do the conditions suit them? (OK, fine, thats three, but you catch my drift). Thats all. Those questions were the only ones needed to be asked by Dravid on the fourth day. Ok, I'm done. Thats the end of that. Now, lets get on to wondering about the Pakistan and Australia series. (Incidentally, for a very good example of not following-on when it made the most sense, check out the Oval in 1976 - the West Indies chose not to enforce the follow-on for obvious reasons despite securing a lead of 252: it was a hot summer; England had kept them out in the field for a while (scoring 435 off 129 overs). But when the West Indies openers went out, they went out in the same conditions that had oppressed their bowlers. They promptly put England to the sword, rattling along to 182 in 32 overs. The rest is history. )


Blogger Ayush Trivedi said...

Are you trying to say that Dravid should have enforced the FO? If you are, how does it matter?

PS. Good to see you back :>

1:59 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Ayush, thanks for the welcome. Enough on the follow-on I guess (I was struck by Dravid's comments about "living-room" types in his post-match interview - I was thinking, "Hey, thats me you're talking about!).

9:21 AM  

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