Daily Archives: 10 April 2007

News in brief: Tuesday 10 April, 2007

-Mahesh-

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Future Team Prospects II

This is the second in a series of blogs talking about players who could represent India in the near future. The first article spoke about two batsmen – Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary.

Piyush Chawla

Piyush Chawla is not a completely new name to Indian cricket fans as they have already seen him in action against England when he debuted at the age of 17. A leg spinner in the classical mould, he came in to prominence in the England U-19 tour and then took the wicket of one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar clean bowled with a googly in a Challenger trophy match.

Although India won the game, his test debut against England was less than spectacular – he sent down around 15 overs and took just one wicket – that of Freddie Flintoff.

 He has had a dip in form with the ball this season with only 16 wickets in 6 matches in the Ranji Trophy and just one 5-for (compared to 35 wickets in 7 matches in the last season with 4 five-fors). His batting has improved though, and he has had a couple of good knocks this season – a 75 against Saurashtra and a 61 against New Delhi.

Time is however on his side and he will improve with more matches and some exposure to touring sides and selections in India A teams. BCCI would also do well to send him to Terry Jenner to hone his skills. With India’s spin cupboard looking quite barren, Piyush Chawla offers us some hope. It is upto BCCI to nurture this youngster to make sure that he is not lost like the other 17 year old legspinner who promised so much, yet only flattered to deceive – L. Sivaramakrishnan.

-Mahesh-

Can Mazumdar do a Hussey for India???

In India there is a general perception that a player over the age of 30 should not be made to make an international debut. But I was looking at the case of Michael Hussey and his success at the international level and wondered if there was anyone of comparable experience, talent and form to get into the national side. The first name that I came across was Amol Mazumdar. So I just pulled out his domestic record and this is what I get.

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
127    192      22    8685    260 51.08 22     50 140  0

Now let us look at Michael Hussey and his domestic record.

Mat  Inns  NO   Runs HS   Ave    100 50   Ct St
193     345       33     16956   331*   54.34 44   75 209  0

OK, the Hussey record is so much superior. No comparisons. He has played more games and scored tons more centuries. Also the Australian domestic competition is at a much higher level. But we had our own Sachins and Dravids coming through our own ‘inferior’ domestic seasons. So!!!! But I am interested in a couple of factors here.

1. They are both approximately the same age.

2. They both have a very similar batting average.

3. In about 70 odd more matches, Hussey has scored about 20 more centuries and 25 more fifties.

My point is in the next 8 tests, if Mazumdar can score about 800 odd runs at an average of 40 odd with about 2 or 3 centuries we have got someone who is doing better than what Sehwag has done. Can we see if there are other comparable over 30 candidates out there. Mazumdar is in good nick now, Mumbai has won the Ranji Trophy, and if Mazumdar can do better than what I want him to do, he could even be considered India captain! Anyway we are speculating and this is an India fansite!!

– Sanjay

What ails the ‘seniors’?

Mahesh Krishnan has recently posted on players who are likely to make the cut in future.

While we need to groom these youngsters, we need tactical short term solutions to take on the coming season. For this, we will still need the seniors to do the job.

I am looking at the current lot of players to see what is holding them back

Sachin Tendulkar:
Some people self-limit themselves. They do not achieve a fraction of what they are capable of because they are afraid to try; and because they are afraid they will fail.

To me, [the new] Sachin falls in this category. I think what he needs to do is decisive action. In crunch situations the fear of failure immobilizes him. In my opinion to overcome this fear, he must act, and act boldly. Sachin is best when playing aggressive cricket and worst when playing passive cricket. Years ago we touted Sehwag as the new Sachin, now Sachin has to turn into the new Sehwag.

Bottom line – He needs help before time runs out, big time.

Virender Sehwag:
To steal a quote, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

I think in Sehwag’s case whatever he has done over the last two seasons has’nt worked at all. To me it is obvious that teams have worked out his weaknesses and strengths. He needs to re-think his role as a opener and try the lower middle order.

Perhaps he should take a break from the game, then play State / county cricket and score tons of runs in the middle order to gain the confidence back. He should look to getting a county contract for a couple of months since the domestic season is over. I would’nt mind him missing the English tour if this helps him in the long run.

Rahul Dravid:
Rahul Dravid makes a better public relations officer than a captain. He has grown up with Sachin, Laxman and Ganguly and has a good mateship going with them for years. But when he dons the captaincy cap he seems to be worried about the possible rifts that can come about by being open with players.

A leader needs to be forthright and assertive. Dravid seems to pussy foot around issues with statements like “Sachin knows whats best for him”. The fact is, he should have spoken to the seniors about their role that he as a captain wants them to play. As much as I admire Rahul Dravid for his batting prowess, in my book as a captain he has been a found wanting. I have a feeling the reason Dravid allied with Greg Chappell was for the qualities he himself lacked – ‘Calling a spade a spade’.

Unless Dravid has learnt from his mistakes and acts fast, we will need a new captain in a year’s time.

-Vish