Ponting goes unnoticed

English: Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne

This one is going to be a very short note. I just realized that Ricky Pointing in this series is averaging 2.75 in the 4 matches that he has played.

It is interesting to see that when in test series by this time when Dravid, Laxman and Co. were playing slightly better compared to Pointing every one was talking about their retirement. Somehow, Pointing gets unnoticed.

See the entire list here

.

Advertisements

Indian Media has to learn to respect the Greats

Indian Media would be the first one in the world that continues to belittle our heroes by asking others. I dont know but for many years Indian Media has been asking the world who is better – Bradman or Sachin? We have never seen an Australian ask that question yet we are somehow obsessed with comparing our heroes with others.

Sachin scored the first double-century in the history of Cricket. On 24 Feb 2010, Sachin achieved the biggest milestone of all. It happened when no one was even thinking about it. But, who else could have been better to achieve the milestone. Sachin had already been coined the “God of Cricket” and this was icing on the cake and yet when our media should have been celebrating the success of this man and the fact that his is an Indian which should make us proud – they compared Sachin with “The Don”. They both are heroes and they both deserve recognition for what they did.

And today, when Indian Cricket needs to take time to sit back and think about what the next steps are our media does the same – this time asking Imran Khan if Sachin should have retired after 2011. And interestingly Imran Khan thinkg Sachin should have citing the reason that “he should have retired on his high”. A quick check since the World Cup final 2011 tells me that Sachin has not played any one-day cricket. He will be playing his first ODI since the World Cup Final in the Tri-series in Australia.  And, then you see his test record since World Cup 2011.

  • 3 Series and 11 matches – England, West India (home) and Australia
  • Average 37.04 against his career average 55.44
  • Strike Rate of 54.21 against his career SR of 54.09
  • 6 half-centuries
  • 778 runs (less than a calendar year)
  • 430 of those have come in boundaries

Agreed that Sachin has had better series, but the stats above dont tell me that he is on his career low. Lets not forget the patches in 2000s where he was not scoring and everyone had written him off.Sachin has always been subject to criticism when he is not scoring centuries. The period of 2004-2007 is considered as one of the bas phases in Sachins career, but if you look at stats, you will notice that he was still scoring at least 700+ runs in every calendar year – much better than any other average cricketer.

Who are we to tell Sachin who is the best cricketer when he has to retire and yet India Media is asking the question to people of the world who seem to have forgotten to look at the stats before stating what they open their mouth. I hope that Indian media can learn to cherish and be proud of our people.

 

 

Where does it end for Indian Team?

India cricket crest
Image via Wikipedia

In December last year, as India was starting its tour of Australia, we all had high hopes – India had not done so well against England, but we knew Australia was also struggling and for some reason we all hoped that England was a bad dream.

Yet, the dream continued and Clark & Co. made sure that they do not let Indian team even a droplet of respite. They came time and again inning after inning and made sure that India was kept on back foot. Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and finally Adelade – Indian Team hardly had any chance. All of India went through the pain of seeing their team loose 8 test matches on the trot on foreign soil. And I do not see the end anywhere near.

Last 2 series we have been saying that it is the “Speed” of the pitches that we are not prepared for. Less that 6 months, and India will be playing in the sub-continent against their neighbors. This will really let us what is wrong with the Indian Team – the pitches or something more fundamental. Unlike West Indies who we played in 2011, Sri Lanka themselves are looking for wins and will not make it easy for Team India.

To top it all, there have been rumors of the Trinity resigning, where the players have not been saying anything about the topic. It is just so frustrating not to see what the Indian think tank is thinking. Or are they waiting for another train wreck to happen. Many have said, retiring the seniors as they are not moving their best is the way to fix the team; while some are saying we need an overhaul of the India Cricket. While all this happen, the players themselves have come out and spoken like they do not care (or at least that is how I feel). When I feel embarrassed, the way my team played, how can Ashwin not feel the same way. I guess that is what leads to these losses. It was Ashwin, only who did say (paraphrase and not quote) “We have lost the series and hence we have nothing to loose”.

If this is the attitude of the Indian Team, then this downfall will never end. We first need to a way to motivate ourselves into winning, they need to decide what the benchmark is. They set it too low, and we will never be the best team in World. And, same goes for the legends too. I love Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag – they have done things for this team that I can not say less. But, they need to either step up or step down.

Sehwag – has a test average of 50+ which is awesome, but since 2010 when he played New Zealand where his match score was 150 (96 & 54), he has had only one 100+ match score in 13 matches he has played. Until that test match Sehwag has been consistent in scoring centuries say one in every 5 matches (on average). So that average would work because then there were others who would score around him and provide India a solid start.

Dravid – has a test average of 52 which again is awesome. And he has been doing better scoring 7 centuries since 2010. Yet, he has failed to perform in the other inning of the match. None of the match scores are over 200 since playing Sri Lanka in Nov 2009.

Sachin – with a test average of 55+ no matter what I say about him is going to be less. He has always come back and proven people wrong. Whenever someone said – he is done; he would come and show why he is God of Cricket. Yet, he has also now scored a match score of 200+ since October 2010, where he scored a double century against Australia in Bangalore.

No one wants to let go of their legends, but a time comes when we have to let go. Not when they are in their prime, certainly not when they are at their worst – we need to find a time when they can add value to the team and get a player ready to replace them. This time I think we have missed our opportunity and it will come to haunt us very bad and we as fans will have to live with many more losses after we have seen the rise of India Cricket.

The worst is that I do not see an End in sight.

It is about who you are

In the World cup match between India and West Indies, Sachin Tendulkar once again walked after given not out because he knew he had nicked it and was out. A debate that has come to haunt this game many a times. Last time it was with Gilchrist in WC 2003 and now this time in 2011 it has already happened with a few top notch batsmen – Sachin, Ponting and Jayawardena – the full story is here.

I see this as something you live you life – do you want to have integrity as a part of your life or not. There are many things you do in life only you know and there is no way someone else can find out. It is for you to decide how you deal with it. You can try and explain your scenario to others, and hope they understand you.

I am going through a similar phase and hope that the ones I love understand that my decisions may lead all of us though a tough patch in our lives, but it about integrity and legacy we want to leave for our child.

Decisions that are right are happy moments but we are defined by the way we stand by our incorrect decisions.

Cricket WC2011 – Mid-term assessment

Today in World Cup cricket the 24th match was played, that takes us to just past mid-way of the group matches (total being 42). There are 14 teams which have 10 test playing nations and 4 from the associations and at this stage there are only two teams who look somewhat formidable in this stage. Let us start with Group A.

 

Group A

Pakistan looks quite good sitting at the top of the table winning all the three matches and two of them against the minnows, but their performance against the Sub-continent side Sri Lanka was impressive – and that was not expected. However, Australia who lost one against India in the pre-cup games, is doing quite well winning 2 out of 2 but not against top sides. Their first test of the cup was against Sri Lanka, but then it was washed out. So their only next test before they get into Quarter finals will be against Pakistan late in the schedule. Until that happens no one knows where Australia will be. New Zealand seems to be doing average and most probably will qualify given Zimbabwe, Canada or Kenya wont be able to win against the Kiwis.

 

Group B

This is a more interesting group. Let me start in a very interesting way. India beat Ireland, Ireland beat England, England beat South Africa and South Africa beat West Indies. This does not mean that India is doing best. It simply means that this is a very open group at this point. Ireland is a surprise package, only if they would have beaten Bangladesh they had a good chance of qualify into Quarterfinals. South Africa was doing very well until they ran into spinners from England on a turning pitch. That showed how can they not play spin well. England lost to Ireland and was a surprise win over South Africa; but overall their bowling have been dis-appointing where they gave more than 290 runs in more than 2 occasions and two times it was against Ireland and Netherlands; India was the third occasion. India has not been doing very well either. Their decision to include Piyush Chawla over Pragyan Ojha or Ashwin came back to haunt them against England where he gave away 3 sixesin the penultimate over and India ended up with a draw where they could have won. And then against Ireland he was most expensive giving a boundary in every over he bowled. But, India’s consolation is their batting looks like holding up very well , they are not cracking under pressure. Yuvraj is back in form and so is Sehwag and Tendulkar and Kohli. India’s next big test will be in last 2 group matches against West Indies and South Africa.

 

For me from Group A, Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will qualify. And from Group B it will be India, South Africa, England and West Indies. However, I do not have a prediction of who will move to the semi-finals yet. Maybe after another 2 weeks when some of the giants have faced each other is when I can make up my mind.