Daily Archives: 27 February 2007

Beware of “Old” Teams

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka’s vice-captain has commented about this 2007 World Cup edition belonging to the veterans of the game: Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Sanath Jayasuriya.

I would go one step further in this regard.

In terms of overall ODI experience, Team India with a combined total of 2203 games among its World Cup fifteen is only 14 games behind the Sri Lanka team total. Australia is in the third place on this metric. I did not bother looking at other teams since I do not believe they would even come close.

On paper, as a result, India and Sri Lanka are seemingly the most experienced sides in the World Cup. The World Cup is a different beast altogether when compared to a low-intensity ODI game. In these games, as countries like South Africa, New Zealand, and England for that matter, have realized, cumulative experience makes a big difference to the overall end-result. While youth and fitness are important factors in determining victory chances, I do believe big-match experience counts significantly when it comes winning the World Cup.

With the added complexity of uncertain pitches in the West Indies, this World Cup will most certainly be a tournament that is played out as much in the minds as it is on the grounds. India and Sri Lanka are most definitely ahead of the pack.

As a result, I would actually add more to the list of names that Sangakkara has referred to. Players such as Anil Kumble (Sanjay Subrahmanyan and Mohan Krishnamoorthy have already discussed his utility at length), Sourav Ganguly, Marvan Attapattu, Muthiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar are all going to be key figures.

I am predicting that this going to be World Cup for the experienced.

I am predicting that we are going to witness an India v Sri Lanka final.


Sreesanth on Song


Sreesanth is working on penning and performing a song written by himself in prep for the world cup!

– Srikanth

World Cup Outlook Calendar

CricInfo have the WorldCup fixtures — at this stage, the warm-up games and group games only — as an Outlook .ics file.

Follow this link and upload the schedule into your Outlook.

— Mohan

Vice captain Sachin Tendulkar

We haven’t talked about Sachin Tendulkar’s vice-captaincy role on this blog. In the recent past, a few big-name past players have weighed into this issue. Kapil Dev thought it was an unwise move. Anshuman Gaekwad has weighed into the issue too and has hailed this a good move. Of course, Gaekwad was coach when Tendulkar was India captain.

Kapil Dev said he was opposed to Sachin Tendulkar being offered vice-captaincy. He indicated that the vice-captain should be a ‘grooming’ role for a future step up to captaincy. Given that scenario, he’d have preferred someone younger. Sane thoughts. Wise thoughts. However, he then proceeded to blow sanity away — like only he can — when he said the vice captaincy should have been offered to Sourav Ganguly! Last time I checked, Ganguly was (and still is) 360 days older than Tendulkar! Duh!

Let us remind ourselves that Virender Sehwag was vice-captain in the South African ODI series. Due to his shocking form with bat, he was replaced for the Tests by V. V. S. Laxman. After all, if a players’ place in the team itself is in question, pray why have him as the vice-captain?

The World Cup team has Sachin Tendulkar as vice-captain.

Firstly, as Gaekwad says, Dilip Vengsarkar should be commended for coaxing Tendulkar to take on the vice-captaincy role. This is a move that has Indian cricket’s interests at its core. Tendulkar has always been a loyal, passionate and unshakeable servant of Indian cricket. I do not believe that the vice-captaincy will not do much to either diminish or augment that aspect of his game. He will play as only Tendulkar can. He has always been a fiercely responsible and a thorougly committed player that has the team’s best interests at heart. Again, I do not believe that the vice-captaincy mantle will not do much to either diminish or augment that aspect of his game.

Yet, I think this is a good move because I think it sends a strong signal to the rest of the team. The combination of Dravid, the process-freak-and-workoholic and Tendulkar, the committed-passionate-wizard — both with over 300 games of ODI experience — will send a message to the rest of the team. Where one will drive the players to give off their best by dint of his own work-ethic and discipline the other will exhort to give off their best by dint of his passion, pride and commitment. And when needed, the two will scrum to come up with ways of dealing with tough situations as and when they crop up.

— Mohan

India-Australia ODI Glut…

Tim May has lashed out at the glut of India-Australia games that are being planned over the next year or so. We have pointed out on this blog a few times over the last few weeks that India has an extremely crowded schedule in 2007 through to mid-2008.

What seemed like a brief respite in the schedule in May 2007 has now been filled with a meaningless India-Australia series in Ireland. Ricky Ponting immediately expressed his exasperation at this announcement. The Ireland games are mainly to accommodate India’s TV Rights commitments — India have to play a minimum number of overseas games a year. This was after an attempt to play an India-Australia ODI series in New York — of all places — fell through. According to CricInfo, “Under the conditions of an agreement signed between Zee TV and the Indian Cricket Board, India have to play 25 offshore ODIs over a five-year period.”

Ponting expressed concern over the crazy scheduling of the Ireland series.

Now Tim May has weighed in to the glut-argument. He says, “Australia will play India 21 times in the eight months from June this year. From the perspective of players and spectators, it’s going to dampen your interest. And it detracts from the commercial value of the product. Vision has been lost about what’s important and what is not.”

— Mohan