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Showing posts from October, 2012

Space Out Domestic Leagues & Scrap CLT20!

The Champions League is around and like a routine there is debate and discussion around the tournament’s relevance and/or its structure and/or its format. The league in principle is rosy - providing a stage for lesser known club players and sides, but in the context of taking it to the level of say, a T20 World Cup, it appears woefully below that; both in terms of following/interest and level of competition. While there is a barrage of question marks on the existence of the tournament, here is an account to suggest a way to optimize the output from T20 cricket in general.
T20 cricket (in most countries) has four distinct ways of presentation - a domestic league (aka IPL), Champions League T20 (CLT20), international matches (during tours) & the World Championship. The way T20 cricket has emerged, each of the above entity is promoted like a gala event. But do we seriously need so much of T20 cricket? Picture this for an average Indian fan in 2012 - 6-7 weeks of the IPL, 2 T20Is versu…

Cummins Promises A 'Colorful' Future!

Second semi-final, Gayle & Samuels trying to set up a big total. The score reads 53 for 1 after 7. Bailey hands over the ball to Cummins to bowl the 8th over. First ball - full and boom! In the arc for Samuels to smack it to the advertisement boards behind the extra cover fielder for a four. With a couple of sixes preceding this over, Samuels is in the mood to butcher anything in his arc. Second delivery - takes almost a decade to reach the other end, Samuels goes for the big slog, misses and timber! A moment of sudden stoppage for a vehicle traveling on an expressway! The remaining 4 deliveries are alternate full, quick and genuine slow deliveries short of length; just six runs off that over. Zoom out; in the context of the 205 for 4 total that WI amassed, that over didn't count much.
16th over of the game against India, Cummins has Dhoni & Raina to contain. Australia hasn't let India gain any momentum until then. Short of length to Raina for a single first up, quick …

Is There Need For Dhoni's Demotion?

A rare feature of the ongoing T20 World Cup has been the lack of quality leadership across big teams; and India’s skipper isn’t an exception to that observation. The man who could do no wrong, turned everything to gold has somehow lost his magic wand somewhere since IPL-4 last year. It could be a bad phase, a few series of running into in-form sides or he is leading a side that is just not good enough; a wise fan would say a bit of all!
What has surprised onlookers has been the lack of shrewd moves or instinctive decisions on field for which Dhoni is reputed for, rather his tactics appear to be in sync with behind-the-scenes boardroom strategies. Is this a recurring trend or some pieces of distinct isolation? Is his street-smart mind running out of ideas? Is the pressure of leading India in all the formats draining him out? These questions have been generated as a consequence.

Grey Areas Of T20 WC!

As it happens with a tournament exit for technical reasons rather than performances and consequent impulsive reactions from fans/followers, India’s ouster from the ICC World T20 2012 has got people talking about the loopholes in the system structured for the World Cup that has been used for 4th occasion now! There are a couple of distinct issues here and most likely they are being mixed up without any reason. Let us begin by addressing the format first.
All the 4 editions have had a similar format for group and super-8 stages; with 4 groups of 3 teams each, top 2 qualifying for the super-8s. The groupings are done differently, either by previous tournament positions or ICC rankings, but never by the open draw method. The super-8s are fixed based on ICC rankings and group stage points aren’t carried forward. A major flaw with this methodology is that you almost make the contest between the best two sides in every group a dead rubber. 4 World Cups and beyond Bangladesh beating West Indie…

The Need For Innovation In Cricket Commentary!

What makes cricket-watching on TV a good experience? Is it the quality of telecast or the graphics and the analysis the broadcaster sets up or is it the commentary that makes TV cricket a compelling exercise? Probably a bit of all biased towards the last feature. Back in the 60s & 70s (before TV came into India) cricket commentary was a highly respected facet of the game, for it was completely dependent on the person behind the microphone to picturize live events to an audience that had no other access. The stories that transpire to today’s generations from fathers, grandparents are fascinating; a common line that emerges is the quality of the commentator that made cricket following a wonderful activity.
Soon television entered households, cricket adopted a colourful version and cricket following subtly changed to cricket watching! Enter 2000s and the television industry boomed, leading to multiple channels broadcasting cricket. The variety & diversity could be a good thing but…

Gambhir Samasya!

India’s progress in all the formats over the last 5 years or so has a few major stakeholders who are spoken of very often - Sehwag, Virat, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Zaheer and a few others. Amidst that group is an individual who doesn’t quite generate flamboyance nor does he appear lazy in his outlook, but goes about his business his own way; ever so like the legendary Dravid. The parallels don’t end here, just like many of Dravid’s knocks had overshadowing moments, Gambhir’s match-winning knocks don’t quite generate the applause and critic review that they deserve. Instead when he is struggling for runs or getting out early, statisticians are out there to stack numbers against him, experts find fault with his mental preparedness and others point flaws in his movements.
T20 cricket is said to be the format for the all-rounders, yet digging down the stats a bit you would probably discover you need openers in good nick, quickies hitting their straps rather than your no. 6 & no. 7 in form or the…