Thursday, November 30, 2006


When I was in +2, a teacher of mine was not happy with the way I held a pen. He believed that my writing speed was slow because of the particular grip I used. He even pointed out this to my father who was a colleague. This gave me a harrowing time for those two years and even now I am curious to look at the grip employed by others.

I believe rather strongly that each has his or her own way of holding a pen. There can also be a hereditary pattern out here. Ultimately, it is not the grip that decides the outcome, but it is the matter and the quality of the handwriting that are important.

Much in the same lines, I also have come to the conclusion that as Indians we are obsessed about techniques when playing cricket. Whenever a batsman is dismissed, the commentators-Indians come up with the reasons. Faulty technique is the readymade answer. The same kind of reasoning is employed when a bowler is hit for a boundary. What is hilarious is the fact that bowlers are able to find fault with the techniques of the batsmen and batsmen are able to do the same with the bowlers.

Former cricketers and coaches talk about the copybook or the textbook technique. What is the textbook or the coaching manual that is to be taken as the best? A different person based on his personal experiences has written each one. So how can a player of a different era can correlate with a present player and his needs?

Players are different in terms of physique and so use methods best suited to them. Players change the methods in the light of the conditions and the match situations. Here it is the adaptability and not the technique that is the key to the outcome.

The Indian team has not been lacking in technique but has been unable to adapt to the conditions abroad. Too much emphasis has been given to correct the technical flaws and even a player as successful as the great Sachin Tendulkar has been unable to decide on the balls that are to be left and those that are to be played.

Monday, November 27, 2006



Where is Mr. Jaywant Lele now?

Well as Secretary of the BCCI, he once famously predicted a loss for India with a scoreline of 4-0 in the test matches in Australia. Of course, like a true public figure, Mr.Lele had the temerity to deny the quote. Whether it was true or not, the Indian team could not disprove it. With the display so far in the two matches, the scoreline will be 4-0 for the home team.

The team under Dravid has proved that the defeat or rather the trashing at Durban was no aberration by putting up a spineless display under the tabletop mountain.

The start of the match was nothing short of a dream with Zaheer Khan picking up both Graeme Smith and Kallis for nought. The home team lost 6 wickets with not even 100 runs on the board. Sachin let go a caught bowled chance offered by Kemp and from then the whole complexion of the match changed. I wonder what would have been the reaction if another bowler grassed the catch.Of course, that was not the sole reason for the dismal show.

Dravid is shown reading Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ in an ad. But he looked completely lost when his bowlers fluffed their lines.. More than 100 runs were scored off the last 10 overs.

The batting effort was no less atrocious. The third man caught Sehwag brilliantly and Sachin went while playing a pull shot. It seems Kaif can do no right . What made the selectors go in for Dinesh Karthik in the first place. Karthik is a wicketkeeper and this begs the question. Is a wicketkeeper-batsman better qualified to play on the pacy wickets when there are specialist batsmen sitting on the bench?

The chief Selector, Dilip Vengsarkar justified the inclusion of Wasim Jaffer on the ground of his ‘superior technique’. Then what made the team management go in favour of Karthik ? What happened to Dinesh Mongia?

Dhoni struck the ball nicely for a 50 but that was not enough. The laboured effort of Dravid helped India go past 91.

Looks like the process and the experiments are finally showing results.


Before the start of the Ashes, a lot of doubts were expressed over the ability of the Aussies. The concern related to the age of a lot of the key players of the home team. McGrath and Warne are well past 35 and Damien Martyn, Langer and Hayden are also not young either. But McGrath and Warne have been the pick of the bowlers in the Brisbane test. Langer scored a 100 and Ponting who is also past 30 also scored in both the innings.

Age had caught up with the ability and reflexes of Brian Lara many years ago. But he is the best batsman of the West Indies in the first two test matches in Pakistan. His 34th ton belied the all the talk of the effects of ‘father time’.

In the 3rd one dayer at Capetown, Shaun Pollock first scored runs giving good company to Kemp and then took the wickets of batsmen a lot younger. True, the pace has surely gone but the batsmen could not handle him.

The only exception seems to be Sachin who looks completely out of sorts.

Is there anyway that Laxman and Ganguly could find a place in the team for they are also over 30 ?