Archive for January, 2012
The desire to write grows with writing. — Desiderius Erasmus — And, writing something about cricket test matches these days is like a campaign akin to “Save the Dolphin”, “Save the Whales.” That is because people have lost interest in test matches and they think that test matches will become extinct like Dinosaurs.
No one knows the exact date, period or era in which cricket started, but international test cricket started in 1877, the origins are from England, our Masters and the Masters of this game of cricket which is famous for being a game for gentlemen — a game of the noblemen and aristocrats.
While I was struggling to find some background information about cricket, I stumbled upon some very interesting info on cricket and betting. Instead of narrating it in my own words, I would like to quote it here for our bloggers.
“Gambling, Match Fixing and Press Coverage:
Cricket certainly thrived after the Restoration in 1660 and is believed to have first attracted gamblers making large bets at this time. In 1664, the “Cavalier” Parliament passed the Gaming Act 1664 which limited stakes to £100, although that was still a fortune at the time, equivalent to about £12 thousand in present day terms. Cricket had certainly become a significant gambling sport by the end of the 17th century. There is a newspaper report of a “great match” played in Sussex in 1697 which was 11-a-side and played for high stakes of 50 guineas a side. With freedom of the press having been granted in 1696, cricket for the first time could be reported in the newspapers. But it was a long time before the newspaper industry adapted sufficiently to provide frequent, let alone comprehensive, coverage of the game. During the first half of the 18th century, press reports tended to focus on the betting rather than on the play.
MCC was itself the centre of controversy in the Regency period, largely on account of the enmity between Lord Frederick Beauclerk and George Osbaldeston. In 1817, their intrigues and jealousies exploded into a match-fixing scandal with the top player William Lambert being banned from playing at Lord’s Cricket Ground for life. Gambling scandals in cricket have been going on since the 17th century.”
This is another subject and I do not wish to delve deeper in this gambling and match fixing mess which is also a creation of the British, instead I will focus on the whining, whinging and crying of the Englishmen when they lose a test match especially if they are comprehensively beaten by the inferior ones like, those who were under the British Raj and those who were reportedly convicts etc., etc.
The current test series that is being played in the UAE between England and Pakistan at a neutral venue where Pakistan has comprehensively beaten their Masters by 10 wickets and within 3 days! As expected they started whining and whinging against the mystical bowling of Saeed Ajmal, who initially played a mind game before the start of the test match — giving them a taste of their own medicine — instead of targeting a player like the English and Australians do, he talked about his new mystery ball called the ” Teesra,” which worked better than expectations.
The Englishmen were bowled out for under 2oo twice and Ajmal took 10 wickets in the match and they cannot digest this defeat and are talking about Ajmal’s action. Instead of justifying myself with my views, I would like to copy paste another quote on Ajmal’s action, which will give a better picture of his bowling action.
” After all, it is a well-known fact that Ajmal has been cleared by an independent panel of specialists approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Dr Bruce Elliot – a professor of Bio-mechanics, Motor Learning and Development at the University of Western Australia – cleared Ajmal in 2009, when the Australian cricket team were struggling to deconstruct his mystery at the same venue. Elliot revealed that “during a comprehensive analysis it was apparent that the amount of elbow extension in Saeed Ajmal’s bowling action for all deliveries was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted in the ICC regulations.”
So it is evident that Ajmal’s action is clean and the ICC has approved the report and cleared him. So, why are they crying now? The comical and farcical thing is, the Englishmen are saying that Ajmal is hiding his elbow by wearing a full sleeves shirt. This is absurd, ridiculous and laughable. Should Ajmal roll up his sleeves and show his muscles to them? What sort of a complaint is this?
Even if Ajmal rolls up his sleeves, can the umpire or anyone for that matter by seeing his action with a naked eye can tell that it is within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted in the ICC regulations? You must have a bionic eye for that. The Englishmen and the Australians are cry babies and they cry shamelessly.
I am sure all Indian supporters must be very sad by the performance of the Indian cricket team. Not so long ago the Indian team was ranked by the ICC as no. ONE test playing nation and they lost 4 test matches in a row in England and lost one in Australia and they are on the verge of losing the second test too. That will make six consecutive losses.
Most Indian supporters and fans are not even watching these test matches anymore because the matches are all one sided and they say they already know the result so what is the point of watching and wasting your time?
There was some hope that India will play well at the Sydney Cricket Ground which is Tendulkar’s happy hunting ground where he has scored a double and three big hundred and in all occasions he has remained not out, so there was a lot of expectation and the media once again hyped up the occasion trying to coincide his 100th 100 with SCG’s centenary. And, that did not happened, at least not in the first innings. Tendulkar has one more chance and i.e., in the second innings but, his second innings average is in 30’s and he may not be able to do that and he will carry the burden in the 3rd test.
Although he did not play badly in the first innings, scored 41 runs which are not bad but, by his own standards it is bad especially on this ground but, law of averages and luck is not always in your favour. There are good days and there are bad days and that is happening with him. But, for Indian team especially in test matches, there are no good days.
None of the senior players are playing up to their past potential which means they have past their prime and it is about time to induct new blood. No one is asking for a total change, slow and gradual induction of new blood is always healthy. Because, the new players learn a lot while playing along the senior players. Tendulkar and Dravid can still continue for a year at least but, Laxman I have my doubts.
Gambhir has so far been a flop in the last 3 innings and it is not likely that he will change all of a sudden, it is not a matter of confidence alone but, it is a matter of technique and experience. His technique against fast bowlers on fast pitches has a flaw he cannot stop himself from edging the ball which is outside the off stump and constantly getting out in the slips cordon. Besides, he is out of form in the whole of 2011.
Sehwag was in good form until recently and he scored a double hundred in ODI but, in test matches the Australians seems to have gotten him with their speed, rising balls, short pitched deliveries and he is unable to attack freely as they are cramping him and not giving him room to play shots and his footwork is questionable since day one, but he has managed very well despite a lot of criticism but, there is always a time when your hand eye coordination cannot be 100% and without footwork it is very difficult to play accurate shots. So, he is unable to give India the flying start that he normally does. But, that is not a big scare for India.
The big scare is what will be the future of Indian cricket when these three big players viz., Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman will retire? Therefore, it is important to introduce new players from now rather than waiting for a 4-0 whitewash in Australia. Rohit Sharma can replace Laxman and Rahane can replace Gambir to see if they can contribute something because, the total of Laxman and Gambhir put together in 3 innings is only 21 runs.
So, there is nothing much India will lose if Rohit or Rahane cannot score due to pressure, but they are young and they should not be discouraged if they fail. For India there is nothing to lose if they drop Laxman. Because, if Laxman fails in all 4 matches then he will definitely be axed by the selectors. So, why not try Rohit now?
Dhoni has proved that he is not a test captain, he is very defensive and he knows nothing about setting an attacking field when it is needed. It was very obvious when Clarke and Ponting were dominating he did not attack, he opted for defense and used all defensive techniques like Kohli and Sehwag were used as bowlers.
India must also think of finding a new captain who is more suited for test cricket and that will save their team from taking a nose dive from number one to number five or six. The future of Indian cricket depends on younger players especially while Tendulkar and Dravid are in the team. It will benefit them a lot otherwise a defensive captain with defensive technique and approach will ultimately ruin the confidence of the team.
I am not writing anything about the bowling because, the Indian bowlers especially Zaheer, Yadev and Ashwin has bowled very well, it is FOR THE FIST TIME THEIR BATTING is letting the team down.
It is up to the bloggers to agree or disagree with my views but, I would certainly like to hear their views and opinions. I have written what I believe.
“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”— Gustave Flaubert