Monthly Archives: February 2008

News and Views…

There have been a few things happening. So I thought I’d blog a “News and Views” type post.


  • India beat Sri Lanka to enter the finals of the CB Tri-Series. Praveen Kumar broke the back of the Sri Lankan innings through some incisive pace bowling. Sri Lanka never really recovered from there. I have been saying this for quite some time now… and I will say it again! I am not sure why Praveen Kumar should not be a part of every game that India plays. In fact, I’d even say that he is not a bad #3 option too! He has a reputation of hitting big sixes in domestic cricket.
  • After playing the last dead-game in Melbourne, the Australians will take on India at the SCG on Sunday March 2.
  • The latest round of reprimands and fines in cricket in Sydney in the CB series match between Australia and India has received due coverage in Australia. Contrast the approach of The Age (Jamie Pandaram) and The Australian (Peter Lalor). The latter opinion piece does not even mention that Ricky Ponting was fined in the same match for slow over rates!
  • Peter Lalor goes one step further today by suggesting that Ishant Sharma gave Saint Andrew Symonds a “foul mouthed spray”. Ishant Sharma copped a fine and in my view, that was fair enough. Did poor Saint Andrew Symonds deserve a spray for saying “Well bowled champ”? Oh no way!
  • Unfortunately, instead of saying that the Indians will not indulge in sledging and instead of saying that the Indians will work hard on learning how not to be affected by foul-mouthed hoons, its ODI captain has instead said, “It’s an art and [the Australians] are good at it, but the Indians will learn soon.” Pray why?
  • The BCCI, it seems, has had enough of all this nonsense and wants to empower on-field umpires to come down hard on sledging. It is not often that I agree with anything that the BCCI mandarins say, but on this one, I am on their side! I reckon on-field umpires should be given a yellow, green and red card. A Yellow Card is a first warning to a player in the match. A Green Card would mean that the player is out of the game for half hour. A Red Card would mean that the player sits out the rest of the match! The umpires decision is final. Period. That’s one way to stamp out all this on-field nonsense.
  • In his match report on the India v Sri Lanka match in Hobart, Peter Lalor says, “No, it was all very pleasant when India played Sri Lanka. More a neighbourhood social than an international match.” Wonder why? The team of All Saints was busy dressing up for the Allan Border Medal night. And when they were not busy dressing up, they were busy frothing on Radio!
  • Yes, just when you thought things were going along swimmingly, Saint Matthew Hayden jumped in, head, foot and arms flailing and called Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious weed”. How nice now! I would be surprised if Cricket Australia do not tape the big Queenslander’s mouth. If he worked in my organisation, I know what I would do. I do not know what sort of weed the big Queenslander has been smoking lately, but it is clearly having an effect on him!
  • The Indians think Matthew Hayden called Harbhajan Singh a “mad boy” in the Sydney match. So what if he did? But the big opening batsman from Queensland said, he called him a “bad boy”. Ooooh ooooh! Baddy Baddy Bad Boy! Phew, that makes it alright then! The “bad boy” tag — rather than the “mad boy” yelp — becomes even more acceptable to Hayden because he thought in his own simple mind that Harbhajan Singh should be flattered. But of course! Duh! “Bad Doy” is “a clothing range is it not? What the…..?
  • Did these guys go to school at all? Not that they have to, mind you. Clearly, some of them haven’t left the school yard where most people leave all of this puerile nonsense.
  • Read a transcript of Saint Matthew Hayden’s eloquent interview here. I am shocked that Cricket Australia are sitting on their fingers after this blatantly disrespectful interview. I thought the Australian way was to leave all the verbal nonsense on the field!
  • The Australians apparently got really upset with Harbhajan Singh after the Indian spinner reportedly subjected Australian skipper Ricky Ponting “to non-stop abuse” in the Adelaide match. Oh poor thing! That’s not fair, is it mommy? Get him a nappy… quick! Talking of nappies, Ricky Ponting is expecting one… Not a nappy… a baby!
  • Meanwhile Saint Pontiff Matthew Hayden has taken it upon himself to provide advise to young Ishant Sharma on on-field behaviour! Saint Pontiff Matthew Hayden said, “He is just young. I have said to him many times, you are 19, take it easy. At the end of the day you are 19, why don’t you just worry about your bowling for a while.”! Wonder why, at 37, Hayden does not follow his own advice? Things that make you go WTF…
  • So now Ishant Sharma needs advice too. Hmmm! Let’s not forget that this was the young lad that shook Andrew Symonds’ hand in Sydney in that infamous Test match. What advice is he going to receive from Saint Matthew Hayden — halo and all — on appropriate on-field behaviour?
  • India take on New Zealand in the U19 semi-final game in Malaysia.
  • Gary Kirsten has arrived in India to take up his responsibilities as Team India Coach. Anil Kumble and he met with BCCI officials. This is in preparation for India’s Test series against South Africa, who will play three Tests against India in India, at Chennai (March 26-30), Ahmedabad (April 3-7) and Kanpur (April 11-15).
  • One of Gary Kirsten’s immediate tasks will be the appointment of a team physio — John Gloster will quit his position at the end of the ongoing CB Series. Kirsten also appears keen to recruit his long-term business associate and mental skills coach Paddy Upton on a permanent basis! Perhaps Upton could teach the team to learn how to ignore (rather than retaliate well to) the Saints from the opposition team.

— Mohan

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Bad starts cause a loss…

India lost a tight game to Australia thanks to two bad starts. India started badly while bowling and recovered in the middle overs! While batting, again, India made a hash of the start. Although the Indian batting recovered from that wobble, the magnitude of the bad start meant that India lost by 18 runs. The fact that India got that close is a credit to the Indian middle-order batsmen!

As M. S. Dhoni said at the post-match interviews, India can take a lot of positives from this game.

When India were bowling, an Australia total of 380 seemed likely at one stage. Australia got off to a sensational start with Ponting and Hayden murdering the bowling attack. In particular, Sreesanth bowled like a millionaire! He bowled so inconsistently that one almost whipped the prayer mat out to seek Ajit Agarkar’s re-appearance in the Indian line up! India pegged Australia down to a less daunting 317. In particular, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh bowled brilliantly. This meant that India’s 4-bowler strategy appeared to have worked… just! I am not sure if this is a strategy that can be persisted with.

Despite the good bowling in the middle overs, in order to win, India would have had to overhaul the highest 2nd innings total at the SCG prior to last night.

Another bad start — this time in the batting — meant that, at 51-4, a score of 200 looked like a huge mountain to climb. Yet, India recovered, thanks to Gautam Gambhir, M. S. Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh to get to a total of 299!

There are positives and these include the middle-overs bowling and the middle-overs batting. There is little doubt that M. S. Dhoni is a calming influence on this team. He rallies his young cadets to keep fighting till the end. In players like Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan, he has a core set of players that will respond positively too.

Gautam Gambhir is batting really well these days. He was in fine form and batted with a calm head on his responsible shoulders. In the absence of firepower at the top and with the dodgy form/knee of Yuvraj Singh, on this ODI tour, Gambhir has been the foundation on which the rest of the team has been built. If he had lasted until the ball-change in the 34th over, the match result may well have been different; a fact that he acknowledged himself in the post-match sound-bytes!

The performance of Robin Uthappa was also a revelation. Prior to this game he hadn’t really had a major opportunity to showcase his undoubted skills. Apart from a weakness that he has early on in his innings — of shuffling too far forward and across — Uthappa looks like a sensational and dependable batsman. He has a calm head on his shoulders and, like Gambhir, appears to love a tight situation! In that sense, he has a Michael Bevan like quality to his batting. Along with the indefatigable M. S. Dhoni, Uthappa looks set to play a long innings in Indian cricket.

The match was played at the SCG, the very cauldron that saw the infamous MonkeyGate explode in the faces of the Australia and India teams! The same venue saw the alleged instigator of that blow-up cause another one last night — this time with Ishant Sharma. After being bowled by a beauty from the young Indian tearaway, Symonds appeared to say something to the Indian bowler who responded by giving Symonds a few directions to the dressing room. It is somewhat unlikely that Ishant Sharma will escape a fine and a reprimand.

Most Match Referees will, these days, slap a fine on send-offs to the dressing-room unless of course, it is carried out by “fine Australian cricketers” — when such actions will be seen as “natural aggression, which should not be removed from the game” or some such platitude. Be that as it may, giving the batsman a send-off is a no-no and young Sharma should be prepared to cop it on the chin!

In another interesting twist in last nights’ game, the match referee, reacting to a claim made on Channel-9 by Ian Healey, seized M. S. Dhoni’s gloves after the veteran Australian gloveman claimed that Dhoni’s gloves were illegal!

The Indian team should ask some searching questions of its opening bowlers and opening batsmen. I would not be surprised if we see either Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag drop down the order in the all-important game on Tuesday against Sri Lanka. Similarly, I would not be surprised if Sree Santh is asked to sit out that game. The team may also want to accommodate Praveen Kumar in the mix.

— Mohan

Heaven

Sunday was heaven for a thwarted cricket ambition such as mine.

The Aham-udai-yaaL (Tamizh for owner-ess of the home) was away for the afternoon, the children were nominally in my care, but in reality were happily engaged in activities involving mud and water in the backyard, and I had a choice of two cricket games involving India on the widescreen.

India v Australia at the SCG on Channel 9.

India v England at the Kinrara Oval in the U19 World Cup on Foxtel.

And I kept flicking between both, with extended sojourns at Kinrara particularly when Ponting was brutalising the attack.

The Indian U19 lot are top dogs in this tournament. Dav Whatmore’s charges are an aware lot. In addition to having all the skills (fielding in particular) a lot of them move with the mien of future stars and have the hairstyles to prove it.

Some names to watch for.

Shrivats Goswami.

Packed as the side is with spinners, watching him keep to them is particularly pleasing. Light on his feet, he rises with the release and moves in early anticipation. (Parthiv, are you paying attention?) Therefore, he is in position early for leg side takes.

And athletic too. This episode is from the previous game v WI. Mid on (Srivastava?) threw into the gloves. It was a spectacular dive-surface and release effort, so a degree of waywardness was forgivable.

What stood out was Goswami’s acrobatic dive outwards, his collection and rapid underarm release-while airborne AND blindsided-to hit the stumps.

Virat Kohli

His century against the WI was urgent and a captain’s knock that I think put the match out of WI’s grasp. Unless he’s been coached, he seems to have mastered the soundbite as well. His post match interviews are crisp and to the point.

George Binoy writes that at the previous edition, Indian media interest swelled as India progressed, and he expects the same this time around.

Given the quality of the cricket on display I’d suggest that we, the great unwashed, tune in as well.

-Soundar-.

Will IPL bidding drama cause team friction?

Andrew Symonds is set to make more money than Ricky Ponting (USD 400,oo), Matty Hayden ($375,000) and Mike Hussey ($350,000) combined! Surely, Symonds is not worth more than the three combined or four times what Hussey is worth. Ponting may not be in blazing form this year – he averages 10.66 in the CB series, but Symonds hasn’t fared any better – he averages just 8.40. Compare this to Mr. Cricket, Mike Hussey, who averages 56.33 in the series, and you start wondering what the logic is behind the parity in the $$$ amounts.

Even if you leave current form out, none of the other factors I could think of (availability, marketability, and just ability) seem to justify the parity in the bids. I do however wonder, if any of this will cause any tensions in the dressing room. Surely, you can’t blame Ponting for being miffed at his IPL worth, particularly compared to Symonds’!

In other sports, when a player gets snapped up for more money by another team, he leaves all his original team mates behind to move to other team. In IPL though, after the tournament is finished, the players go back to their respective countries and share the dressing room with the same old players. There will be some initial teasing, but I wonder if it may end up becoming jealousy and lead to friction within the team.

I am probably not alone in thinking that some of the players’ allegiance will also come under scrutiny when their performance for their country slips, while their IPL form is strong.

Only time will tell….

-Mahesh-

Who’s Who in the IPL Zoo — II

Edit on 22 Feb 2008, 10:45am

A few clarifications (from this article in TOI):

Each players’ annual salary is the amount that they were bid for (pro-rated for the number of matches they are ‘available for’).

The penalty for the Jaipur team is that they will pay the difference between their spend amount, ie., $2.925m and the minimum (lower-bound) salary amount, ie., $3.3m, to the IPL. So, Jaipur should expect to be fined $375,000.

And it is true that five of the eight franchises, however, spent more than the maximum salary-cap of $5m. However, since players may be “either completely unavailable or only available for less than four of the matches in 2008, 25 per cent of the fee bid for that player in the auction will count against the $5 million purse”.

Edit End

This is the second in the continuing series on the IPL as the tournament takes shape and forms and follows Srikanth Mangalam’s post on the player auction. And the website for the IPL is now available here, although don’t be surprised if you do not find much there!

I am not sure I understand how the auction works. I thought that there was a cap on spending of $5m. If that is the case, it would appear that apart from Mumbai and Hyderabad, all teams have violated that rule:


  • Mumbai Team:
    Owner(s): Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani (Indian billionaire)
    Team Cost: $US111.9 million
    Name: Undecided (Suggestion: Mumbai Mariners)
    CEO: Unknown
    Manager:
    Coach:
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $4.97125m = $3.85m + $1,121,250 to Sachin Tendulkar (icon)
    Players: [8 players] Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Robin Uthappa, Shaun Pollock, Loots Bosman, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando
    Team catchment area:
    What else does the team need?: A wicket-keeper, 2-3 middle ‘steady’ order bats, 2-3 pace bowlers, an extra spinner. Has 5 overseas players (only 4 can play in any game).
    Initial comments on team: Good pace attack. Could go far. Need a few steady batsmen in the middle order.

  • Bangalore Royal Challengers:
    Owner(s): United Breweries Ltd, Vijay Mallya (Indian billionaire)
    Cost: $US111.6 million
    Name: Royal Challengers
    CEO: Charu Sharma
    Manager:
    Coach: Venkatesh Prasad, Team India bowling coach (likely)
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $4.835m = $3.8m + $1.035m to Rahul Dravid (icon)
    Players: Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Cameron White, Mark Boucher, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Dale Steyn, Nathan Bracken
    Team catchment area: Karnataka, Goa and Services
    What else does the team need?: 2-3 middle order bats, an extra spinner, 2-3 pace bowlers, an extra spinner.
    Initial comments on team: Looks too uni-dimensional, staid and somewhat boring that does not quite fit the dashing Kingfisher brand! Needs a few more attacking middle order batsmen. Has 6 overseas players (only 4 can play in any game)
  • Hyderabad Team:
    Owner(s): Deccan Chronicle
    Cost: $US107.01 million
    Name: Undecided (Suggestion: “Hyderabad Blues”, after the Nagesh Kuknoor movie or “Hyderabad Hunters”)
    CEO: P. K. Iyer
    Manager:
    Coach:
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $5,885m
    Players: Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, VVS Laxman, Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, Chamara Silva, Shahid Afridi, Scott Styris, Chaminda Vaas, RP Singh, Nuwan Zoysa
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: This team looks set, as is! Do not be surprised if these guys go on to win it! The team needs 2 right arm pace bowlers and a spinner or two! But one problem is that this team has upto 8 overseas players (only 4 can play in any game)
  • Chennai Super Kings:
    Owner(s): India Cements
    Cost: $US91.0 million
    Name: Super Kings (a Krish Srikkanth kind of name!)
    CEO: Unknown
    Manager:
    Coach: Robin Singh, Team India fielding coach (likely)
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $5.925m
    Players: Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming, Michael Hussey, Parthiv Patel, Suresh Raina, Jacob Oram, M. S. Dhoni, Albie Morkel, Joginder Sharma, Muttiah Muralitharan, Makhaya Ntini
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: Don’t be surprised if this team meets Hyderabad in the finals! The fact that Chennai (like Hyderabad) did not have an “icon player” meant that they almost have a full team now. The team needs an opener (perhaps), a middle order bat and another paceman and then looks set! But one problem is that this team has 7 overseas players (only 4 can play in any game)
  • Delhi Daredevils:
    Owner(s): GMR Holdings
    Cost: $US84.0 million
    Name: Daredevils
    CEO:
    Manager: T. A. Sekhar, Sunil Valson
    Coach: Greg Shipperd, current coach of Victoria, Australia (likely)
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $5,658,750 = $4.825 + $833,750 to Virender Sehwag (icon)
    Players: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik, Manoj Tiwary, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Karthik, Farveez Maharoof, Daniel Vettori, Mohammad Asif, Glenn McGrath
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: This terrific fielding unit looks a bit light on to me! The bowlers have a ‘similar’ look to it. All bowlers are overseas bowlers and this could come to bite this team in the backside! One problem is that this team has 7 overseas players (only 4 can play in any game).
  • Mohali Team:
    Owner(s): Priety Zinta (Bollywood Actress), Ness Wadia (Wadia Group), Mohit Burman, Karan Paul.
    Cost: $US76.0 million
    Name: Undecided (Suggestion: “Mohali Mannequins” or “Mohali Monsters” or “Mohali Marauders”)
    CEO: Unknown
    Manager:
    Coach: Tom Moody
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $5,683,750 = $4.62 + $1,063,750 to Yuvraj Singh (icon)
    Players: Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Yuvraj Singh, Simon Katich, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Brett Lee, Sreesanth
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: This looks like a terrific bowling unit! It needs a wicket-keeper and two opening batsmen! If they get good starts, expect this team to go far! An advantage is that this team has only 5 overseas players (4 can play in any game).
  • Kolkata Team:
    Owner(s): Red Chillies Entertainment, Shah Rukh Khan (Bollywood Actor), Juhi Chawla (Actress) and Jay Mehta.
    Cost: $US75.09 million
    Name: Undecided (Suggestion: “Kolkatta Kingpins” or “Kolkatta Chillies” or “Kolkatta Dadas”)
    CEO: Unknown
    Manager:
    Coach: John Buchanan
    Physio:
    Event organisation:
    Player Cost: $6,072,500 = $4.98 + $1,092,500 for Sourav Ganguly (icon)
    Players: Sourav Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Brendon McCullum, Tatenda Taibu, Ajit Agarkar, Murali Kartik, Shoaib Akhtar, Ishant Sharma, Umar Gul
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: This also looks like a strong outfit. It will be interesting to see Ganguly captain Murali Kartik! It has two wicket-keepers (both overseas players) and that could be a luxury too many! The team has 7 overseas players (4 can play in any game).
  • Jaipur Team:
    Owners: Emerging Media, Lachlan Murdoch, Manoj Badale, Suresh Chellaram.
    Cost: $67.0 million
    Name: Undecided (Suggestion: “Jaipur Jawans” or “Jaipur Jumbos” or “Jaipur Jets”)
    CEO: Fraser Castellilno
    Manager:
    Coach: Greg Chappell (most likely)
    Physio: Ian Fraser (likely)
    Event organisation: Wizcraft (likely)
    Player Cost: $2.925m
    Players: Justin Langer, Graeme Smith, Younis Khan, Mohammad Kaif, Kamran Akmal, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Warne, Munaf Patel
    Team catchment area:
    Initial comments on team: This team has a weird look to it! At a first glance it would seem that they have screwed up their auction! A fact substantiated by the teams’ immediate post-auction fine! Firstly, even without an icon player, this team has only 8 players in its ranks, of which 5 are from overseas (only 4 of which can play)! It has very little bowling options!

So that’s where things stand at the moment.

— Mohan

The IPL Tamasha!

Well, the bidding is over, the scalps have been announced. I am reminded of the Bill Murray starrer, Groundhog Day, wherein men are auctioned to women for a one night stand. Here we are, Juhi Chawla, Preety Zeinta and the likes have won their men for several “one day sits in the shacks”…Anyway, here is the list of the winners.

 Jaipur Shane Warne (US$450,000), Graeme Smith (US$475,000), Younis Khan (US$225,000), Kamran Akmal (US$150,000), Yusuf Pathan (US$475,000), Mohammad Kaif (US$675,000), Munaf Patel (US$275,000), Justin Langer (US$200,000)

Chennai MS Dhoni (US$1.5 million), Muttiah Muralitharan (US$600,000), Matthew Hayden (US$375,000), Jacob Oram (US$675,000), Stephen Fleming (US$350,000), Parthiv Patel (US$325,000), Joginder Sharma (US$225,000), Albie Morkel (US$675,000), Suresh Raina (US$650,000), Makhaya Ntini (US$200,000), Michael Hussey (US$350,000)

Mumbai Sachin Tendulkar (icon), Sanath Jayasuriya (US$975,000), Harbhajan Singh (US$850,000), Shaun Pollock (US$550,000), Robin Uthappa (US$800,000), Lasith Malinga (US$350,000), Dilhara Fernando (US$150,000), Loots Bosman (US$175,000)

Bangalore Rahul Dravid (icon), Anil Kumble (US$500,000), Jacques Kallis (US$900,000), Zaheer Khan (US$450,000), Mark Boucher (US$450,000), Cameron White (US$500,000), Wasim Jaffer (US$150,000), Dale Steyn (US$325,000), Nathan Bracken (US$325,000), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (US$200,000)

Hyderabad Adam Gilchrist (US$700,000), Andrew Symonds (US$1.35 million), Herschelle Gibbs (US$575,000), Shahid Afridi (US$675,000), Scott Styris (US$175,000), VVS Laxman (US$375,000), Rohit Sharma (US$750,000), Chamara Silva (US$100,000), RP Singh (US$875,000), Chaminda Vaas (US$200,000), Nuwan Zoysa (US$110,000)

Mohali Yuvraj Singh (icon), Mahela Jayawardene (US$475,000), Kumar Sangakkara (US$700,000), Brett Lee (US$900,000), Sreesanth (US$625,000), Irfan Pathan (US$925,000), Ramesh Powar (US$170,000), Piyush Chawla (US$400,000), Simon Katich (US$200,000), Ramnaresh Sarwan (US$225,000)

Kolkata Sourav Ganguly (icon), Shoaib Akhtar (US$425,000), Ricky Ponting (US$400,000), Brendon McCullum (US$700,000), Chris Gayle (US$800,000), Ajit Agarkar (US$330,000), David Hussey (US$675,000), Ishant Sharma (US$950,000), Murali Kartik (US$425,000), Umar Gul (US$150,000), Tatenda Taibu (US$125,000)

Delhi Virender Sehwag (icon), Daniel Vettori (US$625,000), Shoaib Malik (US$500,000), Mohammad Asif (US$650,000), AB de Villiers (US$300,000), Dinesh Karthik (US$525,000), Farveez Maharoof (US$225,000), Tillakaratne Dilshan (US$250,000), Manoj Tiwary (US$675,000), Gautam Gambhir (US$725,000), Glenn McGrath (US$350,000)

The bidders sure did spring a lot of surprises. Most aussies went for much lower than expected. Symonds, expectedly became the first millionaire followed by Dhoni. Shocking winners include David Hussey, Yusuf Pathan and Mohd Kaif. The bidders certainly made informed decisions on the Indian youth brigade. There is quite an interesting story on how VVS Laxman gave up his “icon” status to allow Hyderabad to purchase Symonds.

Chennai looks a really strong team on paper followed by Kolkata and Hyderabad. I predict that Mumbai will not fair well, too many old timers in the side. Having said that we do not know the full team yet that will include the Under 19 folks as well.

Here’s to a crazy beginning to an Indian summer…

– Srikanth

Series for the ‘keepers

We are past the half way mark of the CB Tri-series and one thing that has stood out is that fact that the 3 wicket keepers from the 3 teams have dominated the batting. For Sri Lanka, KC Sangakara has scored 260 runs at an average of 65 with one hundred and one fifty. He has been their best batsman on display so far and has scored close to twice the number of runs of their next best batsmen – his captain Mahela Jayawardene (134 runs).

For Australia, Adam Gilchrist has scored 212 runs at an average of 70.66, and although he hasn’t been his usual belligerent self, we have seen some clean hitting in the 118 and 61 he scored against Sri Lanka. Michael Clarke pips him by 4 runs for the top scorer spot in his team though.

India’s own captain, MS Dhoni has also top scored in the series with 260 runs at an average of 86.66. He has two fifties to his credit so far and has held the Indian innings together in almost every match.

I thought I’d just mention these facts in light of my earlier post titled – Should Dhoni give up his gloves? Gone are the days when the wicket keeper merely acted as a buffer between the batsmen and the tail…

-Mahesh-