Warne’s take: Sehwag, Tendulkar and the Fortress

December 3, 2008

For once, I agree with some of what Warne has had to say. This bit on Sehwag woke me up from my blogging lull and other energy-draining, spirit-dampening stuff that’s been bogging me down of late. Here’s a thrilling bit on our very own Viru.

Virender Sehwag was facing Pakistan’s medium-fast bowler Abdul Razzaq, who was reverse-swinging the ball, and the way the Indian handled him is narrated in an interesting story in Australia’s legendary spinner Shane Warne’s just released book.

“Sehwag came up to (his batting mate Jeremy) Snape and said: ‘We must lose this ball. I have a plan’. Next over he whacked the ball clean out of the ground, forcing umpires to pick another from the box that would obviously not reverse straight away. To which Sehwag said: ‘We are alright for one hour.’ Smart I say.

That’s amazing! Maybe it’s only amazing to stupid spectator me. Here’s a dimension to cricket that I didn’t think batsmen had. Perhaps not too many people have it. Perhaps that’s also why there’s only one Virender Sehwag.

As to be expected, Warne is all fan-girlish about Tendulkar. Perhaps that has more to do with the way Tendulkar has played Warne than Tendulkar the batsman.

It’s not too interesting that Warnie rates Dravid among the best for many Aussies respect Dravs. He could very well have been called the Fortress, not just a Wall, says Warnie. You’d have to break thru the Wall to see the God (or get the guy at the other end). Ah nostalgia!

I’m now itching to buy that book.


India Draws – Ind vs Aus 2008-09: Day 5, 1st Test, Bangalore

October 13, 2008

After what seemed like an eternity, India has managed not to lose a match batting 4th. I had mentally written them off and that mostly due to the poor show in Sri Lanka. I’m still trying to tweak Cricinfo’s statsguru to spit me the results of India’s draw percent when batting second. I’m pretty sure this must be low (esp in the last 3 years). From memory I recall only 2 from the last 3 years – the one at Lords (which really shouldn’t count) and one against South Africa.

Going by that, this is an achievement. But what that also says is that the Aussies have lost some of their sting without McGrath, Warne and Gilchrist (behind the stumps). Haddin has a long way to go. Watson, Haddin, Cameron White (who also plays for Bangalore Royal Challengers) don’t really strike me as great Test cricketers. Unless they go the Symonds way with their game, we may see some mediocre results from them in the near future.

As for India, NB from Soulberry’s TCWJ puts so succinctly, what seemed so muddled in my mind. To me, here are the worries:

  • Middle order: Granted, we’re getting some stinkers from the umpires from time to time, but the middle order isn’t really on strong footing. There are flashes of brilliance, but only flashes, and that’s causing anxiety. Ganguly seems best of the four at the moment. Doesn’t that tell a story in itself (with due respect to Gangs of course)? Meanwhile at the top order, Gambhir has not had too many answers either.
  • Spin bowling: We all know about Harbhajan’s “I-need-a-wicket-to-start-thinking”. That apart, Kumble has been very worrisome.
  • Fielding: Allright, we’ve never really been a great fielding side, not even when the Fab four where in their prime. Gambhir’s dropped catches were atrocious! So much for the “young-agile-fielding-sides”

Interestingly this time, both teams have seen some decline from previous glory. Can India put a 300 plus total? Can the middle order post 200 runs by themselves? Can India bat better than Australia? Can Australia take 20 wickets? Will they bowl better than the Indian quicks? Strange how it can become isn’t it?

Maybe we will get only 2 results from this series.


Is Sri Lanka Dravid’s bogey?

July 22, 2008

There was an article lately on cricketnext about Dravid’s practicing against a spinner who has an action like Murali. Meanwhile, avid Dravid follower and fellow blogger K5-litij has dug up some curious facts here. I was intrigued enough and did my own research and the stats are interesting indeed:

1. Dravid has been dismissed by Murali 5 times, next only to Warne and Shoaib Akthar who have got him 7 and 6 times respectively

2. Dravid’s highest of 107 against Sri Lanka is his least highest-score (against each individual nation)

3. Dravid averages 30.6 against Murali.

Curious, aint it? Perhaps that is why he has said that it’ll be a mistake to focus only on Mendis.

Jokes apart, I would agree with that. Murali poses a definite threat and I also agree with Ottayan, who suggests that Vaas could be the most lethal.


IPL Saturday: Chennai vs. Kolkata, Bangalore vs. Jaipur

April 26, 2008

A double-humdinger is about to play out today with a two pairs of evenly matched teams ready to challenge each other. The Chennai Super Kings vs. Kolkata Knight Riders, touted mainly as the Ganguly vs. Dhoni match will feature a few interesting duels including Ishant vs. Dhoni. I will be interested in the field that Ganguly sets for Dhoni, Parthiv Patel, and Kaif – all three being cricketers brought to limelight under Ganguly’s captaincy.

I expect the Bangalore Royal Challegers vs. Rajasthan Royals to be a cracker of a match with two deep strategists Dravid and Warne facing off. Bangalore will be boosted by the inclusion of Pakistan’s Misbah ul-haq but continue to be plagued by Sunil Joshi in the absense of Kumble. The most interesting contests here will be  Warne the bowler vs. Dravid the batsman. For once, I will be hoping that Misbah doesn’t land himself in trouble with the (largely unforgivable) scoop shot.

Cheers Kolkata and Bangalore! 🙂