Tag: Test Cricket

Turning tracks

India won Test series against New Zealand 2-0. After winning the first Test at Hyderabad by an Innings and 115 runs Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the wicket was not turning enough. Spinners had got 18 wickets out of 20. R. Ashwin got 6/31 and 6/54, total 12/85. About Bangalore wicket he said it was like that of Napier. The curator said the wicket will be sporting one with equal chances to all. India won the Bangalore Test by five wickets.

What does Dhoni want? Spinners getting 20 wickets out of 20 in every Test. Perhaps he wants spinners to bowl the new ball. First bowler will get six wickets in his over. Next bowler gets four wickets off four balls. The Innings of rival team is over on zero. Indians bat as long as they want. The spinners repeat their feat in the second Innings. Indians are victorious.

What next? Spinners may do well on Indian tracks. Some may be better than Indian spinners. Dhoni may want umpires who rule favourably when Indian bowlers appeal and unfavourably when visiting bowlers and fielders appeal.

Some call Indian team “Lions at home, lambs abroad.” Some others call “Tigers at home, pussycats abroad.” That description is not accurate. Indians had victories abroad and defeats at home. A great team wins anywhere. Australians twice won 16 Tests in succession. Indians should strive for greatness and not mediocrity.

New Zealand did not have a practice or warm-up match before Hyderabad Test. That was home advantage for India.

Club over country

There is a feeling that cricketers prefer club over country. Gautam Gambhir playing IPL matches when he had an injury and opting out of West Indies tour is one instance. As Dean Jones put it was a choice between 11 crores for IPL and 2 crores for West Indies tour. It is said that as per contract Gautam Gambhir would have got the full amount of 11 crores for IPL if he had played five matches. He did not have to play other matches. However the contract could have something in fine print that required Gautam Gambhir to play all matches to get the full amount. When Sri Lanka wanted its players to return early for practice for England tour they were told that payments to players will be held up. Lasit Malinga retired from Test cricket instead of giving up IPL.

BCCI owns IPL. Franchisees pay money to BCCI and players. They want to recover their money. Franchisees drop players whom they do not want. BCCI wants money and does not care about players getting medals for country and did not send a team to Asian Games.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh are not in ODI team for West Indies tour and some of them will miss Tests. Zaheer Khan did not ask for rest. BCCI has rested him. Some feel India is sending its B team to West Indies.

Making a choice between club and country is limited to few players. For those who have played many Tests and ODIs and are sure of their place in the team it does not mean much playing for the country. Players who are tired are given rest. Some players are in ODI team but not in Test team and vice versa. Players who play both formats ask for rest. Players who play one format don’t ask for rest. Players of ODI team are also in T20 team.

If players get more money for playing for the country than playing for club they will opt for country.

Cricketers play for money and they are not hesitant about it. When the team won the world cup, BCCI gave one crore rupees each to players. BCCI was not obliged to give. But cricketers demanded five crore rupees each which was a surprise. The demand was justified by senior cricketers saying that only top players benefit and future is uncertain. When everyone is given the same amount it is wrong to say only top players benefit. All know future is uncertain. BCCI again gave one crore rupees each to players.

Cricketers today make more money than ever before. Besides money from cricket they make money from endorsement of various products. If a cricketer is presented with the choice of receiving Padma Shree from the president of India or earning one crore rupees by shooting for an ad film and he chooses to do the ad film there is nothing strange about it.

TRPs for IPL 4 were lower than any previous edition. If franchisees find IPL a loss-making venture they will not pay huge sums to cricketers and the problem of choosing between club and country will disappear.

BCCI, cricketers and rest

With cricket being played throughout the year players getting injured is more frequent. Some cricketers want matches to be reduced so that they can have rest. BCCI has signed contracts and it will lose money if it cancels matches.

Very few players represent India in Tests, ODIs and T20. BCCI is ready to give rest to players who want. When Anil Kumble was Test captain and Sri Lanka series was played Mahendra Singh Dhoni had rest.

The tri-series involving India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka ends on 28/8/2010. Champions League in South Africa is from 10/9/2010 to 26/9/2010. India versus Australia series is from 1/10/2010 to 24/10/2010. India versus New Zealand series is from 4/11/2010 to 10/12/2010. India versus South Africa series is from 16/12/2010 to 23/1/2011. ODI World Cup begins on 19/2/2011.

India can have many teams. The players who play in Champions League can be rested for Australia series. When India plays home series it can have three teams: One for Tests, one for ODIs and one for T20. Players in one team will not be in other two teams. India is ranked no. 1 in Tests so the best players will be in Test team. For ODIs and T20 we can even have multiple teams with local teams representing India. If an ODI is in Nagpur, Vidarbha team can become India Team. If a T20 is in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh team can become India Team. Test players will not be part of local teams. Let us not worry about performance because India recently i.e., on 10/8/2010, lost to New Zealand by 200 runs and had at one time lost to Sri Lanka by 245 runs. For local players it is once in a life time opportunity and they will do their best and we may unearth talent. With matches being played all over the country players from different parts will get their turn. BCCI does not have to spend money on travel of players.

When India plays abroad it can have two teams: One for Tests and one for ODIs and T20. Cost of travelling will be more but player performance will be better.

If BCCI implements these ideas there will be no player fatigue and injuries will be few. After South Africa series there is enough time, i.e., 26 days gap, for the ODI World Cup, to begin. Best players can be selected from any Test, ODI or T20 team or the players who do well and make India win ODI matches at home and abroad.

Those who do well in T20 may be promoted to ODI and those who well in ODI may be promoted to Tests. After promotion if someone is found unfit he may be demoted.

King – a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/king

Pope -a novel: http://go4quiz.com/vincent/pope