Monday, January 18, 2010

Viru the Frank; India the Rusty

I'm going to respond to Homer's comment on my last blog post here.

I think Sehwag is being rightly pilloried. Maybe Bangladesh will not take 20 wickets. But in the interests of consistency, we should note that had someone else said something similar (about any team) in the world, and then his team had suffered a collapse, the same response would have ensued. More to the point, when the world's #1 team collapses against the world's worst test team, tongues will wag. India could still win this match, but Bangladesh deserves credit for doing what they did yesterday. I'm not saying Sehwag needs to be muzzled, but if he is going to be "refreshingly frank", then folks shouldn't mind if there are some "refreshingly frank" responses as well.

My original point is something quite else. Why does the Indian team get so rusty so quickly? We just came off a series where Team India scored a quintillion runs and won in style. Can they ever string together some consistency so that they don't constantly give the impression of needing long periods to warm up?

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Blogger Homer said...


India's rust or lack of ability to hit the ground running has been a problem for some time now. And it will be difficult to change mindsets till there is a wholesale change in personalities ( at the cost of experience).

As regards Sehwag's comments, taking a quote out of the context it was made and beating up Sehwag because of a perceived collapse is stretching credibility.

Given that a Test match lasts 5 days, maybe the critics should wait until the end of the test before making their criticism known.


10:42 AM  
Blogger IC Chip Engineering Inc said...

Yes, the selectors need to give some thought to replacing the current lot.

It seems like Karthik effectively cannot overcome Dhoni\'s back spasm and a better batting WK could be Parthiv Patel.

Dhoni\'s replacement based on performance in FC is:

Parthiv Patel, 159 innings, @40.85

It may be time for the selectors to also look at how much longer Laxman can carry on. There are some possible middle order heavyweights in the domestic scene with great fielding skills as well. So for Yuvraj and Laxman the several possiblities from the FC scene are:

Rahane 58 innings @65.44
Pujara 72 innings @56.00
Murali 54 innings @55.01
Sharma 50 innings @53.52
Tiwary 58 innings @52.76

The cut-off point has to be a minimum average of 55 and a mininum playing experience of about 50 innings, that way if a player is lucky, initially, it will cancel out in the long term. So the longer he has played the more accurate the average.

A batsmen\'s average tells you at what level he is playing the game. It gives a chance for the selectors to assess if he needs to be persisted if he fails and was a bit unlucky initially.

With a combination of age, sample size and fielding skills, Rahane is the top contender for Yuvraj and Laxman, the next contender is Pujara.

Selecting a player on looks tends to biased and political. The co-relationship between middle order bats and spinners are pretty good. Technique may play an important role in openers sometimes but Shewag can overcome that with temperament and talent. For fast bowler, height and body size are important.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Homer: Can you elaborate more on what sorts of personnel changes you have in mind? You think the rustiness has to do with the senior players?

As for Sehwag's comments, I agree that the "can't-take-20-wickets" claim would be rationally evaluated at the end of the test (and right now, I'm not backing the Bangers to do it). But, given the circumstances, I wasn't surprised he copped flak.

I expected normal service to resume at some point - I only wish the Indians hadn't gone off yesterday!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Nikhil: Much as I hate to think of it, I wonder if Karthik's time has come and gone and whether it might be time to bring Parthiv back.

As for the youngsters you mention, I'm sure all of them are going to gain some international experience this year. I wonder if the BCCI has a phase-in strategy for them.

6:47 PM  

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