Virat Kohli is avowedly a proponent of the “six batsmen, five bowlers” theory in Test cricket.
The dynamic India Test skipper believes that it is the only way to win games and be aggressive.
In theory, it is a wonderful ploy. Six batsmen should be able to get the team the desired runs on the scoreboard. Five specialist bowlers ought to be able to bowl out the opposition and restrict them if required. This would also decrease the load on the fast bowlers, especially the Indian ones who seem to lack the legs to come charging in at the end of the day when the new ball is available. Bowling 18 overs in a day is somewhat more palatable.
“I would want someone like R Ashwin, who is averaging 40 with the bat in Test matches – you really can’t ask for more from an allrounder – and someone like Harbhajan Singh to step up with the bat, and [Wriddhiman] Saha too. If those three start clicking, you literally have eight batsmen, and you can’t really ask for more as a captain. It’s basically up to the first six to take more responsibility and we are confident of doing that.”
The above statement requires further analysis.
The stratagem, as stated, will execute just fine on sub-continental wickets. It is when India tours England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa that the shortcomings become evident.
The team need batsmen who can exhibit patience, fortitude and technique abroad to counter the fast bowling threat. The nucleus of the side, thus, has to remain unchanged. I am not a fan of the ‘horses-for-courses‘ method of selecting the side.
Quicker, bouncier wickets would need Team India to play three or four pacers. Are any of these in the all-rounder mold? Except for Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Irfan Pathan (perennially injured), none of the current lot inspire confidence.
Gone are the days when the likes of Madan Lal, Roger Binny and Manoj Prabhakar could be counted on to contribute 20-30 runs with the bat and two to three wickets with the ball.
Fast bowling all-rounders, as a breed, are almost extinct on the Indian cricketing scene while batsmen-wicketkeepers flourish aplenty.
Perhaps, the new Ranji regime where games are played on grassy pitches with steeper bounce will revive the species.
The Indian team, in the 3rd Test, accepted a tame draw instead of grasping a victory within reach.
Much has been said and written about the Indian batting line-up’s unwillingness to take up the challenge of scoring 180 runs in 47 overs.
Not much has been made of the Indian bowling’s lack of incisiveness and penetration when they should have gone for the kill. The last five West Indian wickets added 121 runs between them.
The Indian and international press have unflinchingly condemned the No.1 team’s tactics.
“I would also like to suggest that there should be no water for bowlers at the boundary end.”
Former India opener, Sunil Gavaskar, is flabbergasted at the ICC’s decision to abolish runners for injured or cramping batsmen.The master bat believes that the rule should be extended to bowlers and fielders as well, levelling the playing field.
What he really meant:
“No runners for batters? What next?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Let’s have substitutes for umpires, too.”
More random thoughts on the IPL:
The debate of ‘club over country’ should be put to rest , at least when it comes to Indian players.
Virender Sehwag will miss the rest of the IPL due to a shoulder injury he has been carrying for the past one year. He should have been allowed to take a break after the World Cup but his IPL masters would have been displeased. So Viru hoists the Delhi Daredevils until he can carry them no more.
Delhi Daredevils are no longer in the reckoning for a playoff spot.
No ‘butcher’ for the West Indies tour and perhaps half the English tour.
2nd May, 2011
Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to raise a ruckus about his axing from the West Indian side.
In a second letter to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Ernest Hilaire, the batsman questions his dropping for the Pakistan tour of West Indies.
Hilaire had squarely blamed the West Indies Player Association (WIPA) for Chanderpaul’s outburst in his response to his earlier missive.
The Guyanese was quick to respond saying:
“I may not be Dr. Chanderpaul, but I have been a top-ranked international batsman and we have to be able to think critically under the most intense and stressful situations.
It is therefore distressing that you blame WIPA by implication, if not overtly, for my letter saying that WIPA was offering me "ill advice". You may not be aware but I have faced the best bowlers in the world in my career and I know how to counter-attack. Furthermore, I am my own man and would ask that you respect that!"
The West Indian bat raised issues on the mishandling of injuries by the administrative body.
Coming on the back of a controversial decision by Chris Gayle to play the IPL rather than represent the band of nations that is the West Indies, the episode paints a sorry picture of the state of Caribbean cricket.
Chanderpaul may no longer be a sprightly young man but he should be allowed to decided when to quit the game.
Chanderpaul rarely courted scandal in his distinguished career but the lackadaisical attitude of the powers-that-be raised his hackles.
This man will not go quietly into the night.
The batting power-play—is it a boon or a bane?
Teams have benefited and teams have suffered in this crucial period of the innings.
There are two schools of thought as to when the batting power-play should be taken.
The ICC ODI World Cup is almost upon us.
Practice matches—prior to the hurly-burly of the tournament—are in full swing. Teams are trying out combinations and players are trying out shots and deliveries—making sure that they are set for the real thing.
If this is the Final Frontier for India, is the run-up to the series the Final Countdown?
If Tendulkar scores his 50th ton in the first Test, will he be a centurion or a half-centurion at the Centurion?
Virender Sehwag keeps marching to a different beat, massacring pace and spin alike.
The Sri Lankans are at the receiving end this time around and they aren’t happy recipients.
After the exit of Adam Gilchrist from the hallowed sport , Sehwag is dreaded most by bowlers around the world.
It is not that he simply dominates the bowling; he takes the match by the scruff of its neck and turns it inside out.
Bowlers are said to win games. But Sehwag is a match-winner, in every sense of the term. He is a captain’s delight and when on song is a treat to watch. He is unorthodox but it is this very trait that makes his batting a thing of beauty forever.
He is belligerent,in the Richards mold. But he is ever humble; not for him the swagger and bravado of the West Indian legend.
Quote of the day:
Advice to writers: Sometimes you just have to stop writing. Even before you begin. – Stanislaw J. Lec