|Player\Statistics||Runs||Average||Strike Rate||100s||50s||Conversion Rate|
Team India appears to have turned the corner with Manish Pandey’s scintillating ton ending the losing spree of games in the ODI series. The spin bowlers and newcomers Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bhumra joined the party in the first T20. The scoreline now reads 4-2 if the matches were an eight game series.
It has been my pet theory that if Indian batsmen do well in South Africa, Australia, England and New Zealand, they can be counted on as long-term prospects and should be persisted with more than any other batters who may pile up runs by the dozen on the subcontinent but who come up a cropper against the antipodeans and the English.
Towards this end, I decided to gather some stats about how Indian batters have fared against the above four teams in their home conditions.
The following is a list of Indian batters who average above 30 against South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia overseas.
The list is illustrious reading like a who’s who of Indian cricket in Tests with Mahendra Singh Dhoni bringing up the rear with an average of 30.58 with a highest score of 92 in 32 Tests and 55 innings.
Virender Sehwag, surprisingly, ranks just above him with an average of 33.11 from 29 matches and 54 innings. His highest score is 195 with four centuries to his name.
Let’s look at the list of players who have averaged over 30 in ODIs.
Virat Kohli tops this list with an average of 41.35 from 34 innings with four tons and a highest score of 123. Rohit Sharma follows with 40.71 from 32 innings and three hundreds.
Surprising entries in this list include Sunny Gavaskar, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina.
For an orthodox player, Gavaskar proved to be versatile and averages 38.94 from 21 innings with a highest score of 92 not out. Gavaskar scored just one hundred in the ODI format in 1987 in his penultimate game against New Zealand.
Jadeja makes this list—placed somewhere in the middle—with 35.84 from 21 innings with a highest score of 87. Dhoni’s faith in him might not be misplaced after all.
Dhoni’s other blue-eyed boy Raina averages 31.03 from 30 innings with a highest score of 100. He brings up the rear followed by Virender Sehwag with 30.2 from 35 innings. Evidently Sehwag was not the impact player against these four sides in their backyard. These are stats though and stats never tell the whole story.
The above two tables are for players who have played a minimum of 20 Tests or 20 ODIs.
There are no equivalent statistics for T20s. There are no players who average above 30 and have played 20 T20 games.
The following table lists batters who have averaged over 30 since Jan 1, 2005 against the four sides.
Amit Mishra is the anomaly averaging 84 from one innings.
Except for Dinesh Karthik who did well overseas especially in England and Gambhir who’s still struggling for form, the rest are rightly pencilled in by the selectors when it comes to choosing a Test side.
In ODIs, Pandey’s recent exploits see him top the list. Rayudu, Uthappa and Parthiv Patel offer the selectors an abundance of riches when it comes to choosing a replacement for MS Dhoni. Yusuf Pathan makes the list as well with a stupendous average of 46.75 from six innings.
The list of T20 players throw no surprises either.
These statistics , of course, don’t provide any sign of deserving talent among batters who have not appeared for India against these four sides in India colours.
India ‘A’ sides have toured overseas and Indian batters have prospered in hostile conditions. Those stats could have provided a larger picture of prospective talent.
But for me, it’s a no-brainer that if Indian batters have scored runs heavily overseas in these four nations, they are likely to do even better elsewhere and especially in home conditions.
Let no one tell you otherwise, least of all, MS Dhoni.
(All statistics courtesy Cricinfo’s StatsGuru).
Was it obstruction or was it self-defence?
Was it deliberate or was it instinctive?
Preservation of one’s self is an instinctive response in any living creäture.
Was Ben Stokes any different?
There is no one way to decide it—it all depends on which side you’re rooting for.
The third umpire’s decision is final. And Joe Wilson adjudged the left-hander out.
And that’s how it should have stayed.
Sure, Stokes was the first English batsman to be dismissed in such a fashion in an ODI.
Sure, he was only the seventh batter in cricketing history to be kayoed so cruelly.
Sure, to be run-out is the unhappiest and unlikeliest way any cricketer expects or wishes to be dismissed and to be considered wilful in obstructing the natural course of a game is worse.
The opposing skippers have their viewpoints.
Steve Smith called for a referral after appealing and has no qualms about his decision. He will not be losing any sleep over it.
“If you’re out of your crease and put your hand up to stop the ball, it’s out.
It might have looked a bit worse because it went back to the bowler, but it’s exactly the same as me turning for a second run, putting my arm out and stopping the ball.
The ball wasn’t going to hit him, he was out of his crease, he put his arm out and got in the way of the ball. The ball was going very close to hitting the stumps.
If you read the rule book, we’re well within our rights to appeal and the umpires have given it out.
Not at all. I’ve got no dramas with that (his decision to appeal).
I thought it was the right decision at the time and I still think it’s the right decision.”
The English were united in deriding Smith’s characterisation of his act.
English skipper, Eoin Morgan, said:
“A guy throws the ball in your direction and all you can do is flinch.
You don’t have time to think. It was a natural reaction to avoid the ball. Mitchell Starc was about five yards away from Ben Stokes.
The decision was made. It would have been a lot different if we were fielding.”
(Would it, Morgan, would it, really? Easier said than done, Eoin, easier said than done.)
Michael Vaughan said :
“Anyone who has played the game knows that when the ball is thrown at you from close range like that you put your hand up to protect yourself. When you see it in real time he fears the ball is going to hit him. It was obvious. It was a poor decision.”
Alec Stewart added:
“He was taking evasive action; he’s looking the other way. Show me someone who can catch the ball looking the other way?
You would have thought between the three umpires that common sense would have prevailed.”
Shane Warne was not quite rooting for Smith and his side.
Law 37 (Obstructing the field) states quite categorically:
“1. Out Obstructing the field
Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, as defined in Law 33.1, he wilfully strikes the ball with
(i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury. See also Law 33.2 (Not out Handled the ball).
(ii) any other part of his person or with his bat. See also Law 34 (Hit the ball twice).
2. Accidental obstruction
It is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is wilful or not. He shall consult the other umpire if he has any doubt.”
Stokes himself is not chuffed about the manner of his exit.
Team-mate, Steve Finn, was quite vocal with his antipathy.
“I think everyone in the dressing room, when we saw it in real time, we all thought he was taking evasive action. When you watch it in slo-mo, the fielding team were entitled to appeal if you’re going by the letter of the game. The fact that it was in slow-motion didn’t help Ben’s cause.
How often does the bowler feign to throw the ball but doesn’t actually do it? But this time he did let the ball go and, by the time you realise the bowler has actually let the ball go, then first and foremost you’re worried for your safety rather than worrying about where your stumps are.
Everyone in the dressing room was disappointed but I don’t think the game was won or lost at that moment. In the dressing room, we weren’t overly happy.”
If there was any doubt in Smith’s mind about the mode of dismissal, he should have retracted his appeal and let the game continue. This would have been within the ambit of the Spirit of the Game. He need not have looked further than former India Test skipper MS Dhoni and his recent magnanimity in rescinding his appeal against Ian Bell’s dismissal for walking out for tea before the bails were whipped off by the on-field umpires. But I guess, no one, least of all Steven Smith, wishes to be termed a sucker in this ultra-competitive day and age.
MakeTimeForSports makes an attempt to get India Test skipper Virat Kohli to clarify his stand on MS Dhoni’s leadership.
1) How are you today? Are you able to express yourself freely?
Yes, without a doubt. I wouldn’t be talking to you otherwise.
2) Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin have come out in support of your predecessor and current ODI skipper MS Dhoni. What are your views on their remarks?
It’s not disrespectful to be willing to die for your skipper but the skipper is just a representative of the team and you should be willing to die for all your teammates. That’s the essence of team spirit. The spirit of Dhoni will linger on in the dressing room long after he’s gone and, in Ashwin’s case, on the field as well. Besides, this is probably the best and last chance for Raina and Ashwin to be dubbed Sir Suresh and Sir Ravichandran by his Royal Highness Maharaja Mahendra Singh Dhoni the First—or so a tweeting bird informs me!
3) Dhoni’s coach Chanchal Bhattacharjee and yours’ Raj Kumar Sharma have commented on India’s abysmal showing in the ODI series with Sharma terming the 2nd loss the ‘Black Sunday of Indian cricket’. Your thoughts?
Look on the other side. It was a Bright Sunday for Bangladesh. You win some, you lose some and make some remarks about the team not being able to express itself freely. Sunny side up, my man, sunny side up.
4) What do you think should the Indian team do to be able to express themselves more freely and with more clarity?
For a start, they should grow beards like mine and curse and glare when they are adjudged out. They should also consider dating film-stars and models. I’m sure Anushka can introduce them to some of her single colleagues.
5) Would you have considered stepping down if it had been you in the driver’s seat and not Dhoni yet the same outcome?
Huh! The possibility never crossed my mind.
Disclaimer: The character(s) are real but the interview is fictional.
Two captains hit the headlines for being participants in fractious misdemeanors on the field.
Both have been punished for their transgressions.
The Indian ODI and T20 skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni collided with Bangladeshi fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman during the first one-day in Mirpur. Dhoni was docked 75% of his match fee and Mustafizur 50% of his.
At the Copa America in a crucial group encounter against Colombia, Brazilian star forward Neymar laid into his nemesis Camilo Zuniga for being physical with him.
“Camilo! Camilo! Thanks a lot! Bet you’ll call me after to say sorry. Son of a b****.”
Zuniga was the man who knocked the Selecao skipper out of the 2014 World Cup with an ill-advised tackle that could have crippled Neymar prematurely ending his soccer career.
Brazil succumbed 0-1 in an ill-tempered game and Neymar vented his frustration by aiming a headbutt at at goal-scorer Jeison Murillo when the match ended.
Neymar has been provisionally suspended and received a red card for his trouble.
Violence and bad behavior have always been a part of sport. More so, professional sport.
No one likes losing. And particularly so no one likes losing after giving what they believe to be their best. Let none tell you otherwise.
More so when it is what they do for a living.
And the perceived injustice is worse when the gladiators feel that they are not in control.
That certainly seems to be case with Neymar with the star forward lashing out at the standard of refereeing in the ballgame.
“They have to use the rules against me. The ball hit me on the hand without any intention and I got a yellow. That’s what happens when you have a weak referee. I only lose my rag when officials don’t do their jobs. There was a melee, but he didn’t need to send everyone off.”
MS Dhoni, on the other hand, is the epitome of cool. He is said to have nerves of steel.
That the Indian skipper was party to an unsavory incident where he appears to be the aggressor is strange indeed.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mustafizur Rahman were found guilty under Article 2.2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which penalizes “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play during an international match“.
Match referee Andy Pycroft said:
“In the hearing, Dhoni defended the charge on the basis that the bowler was on the wrong line and realising that he couldn’t avoid the collision, he used his hand and arm to push him away as he went through to ‘minimise the impact. However, my assessment was that Dhoni deliberately pushed and shouldered Mustafizur, which was inappropriate.
Even if there was a narrow gap between the runner [Raina] and the bowler, an experienced Dhoni should have tried to avoid the collision as cricket is a non-contact sport and the players are expected to avoid physical contact at all times. On this basis, I fined Dhoni 75% of his match fee”.
Dhoni’s experience was a crucial factor in the adverse decision. His adversary, on the other hand, was making his debut.
“The bowler (Mustafizur) thought I would move away while I thought he would. But as none of us did, we collided. This can happen in any match. It’s nothing big. I spoke to him later.”
The Indian skipper’s explanation is specious.
Some sections of the media believe that Virat Kohli should be handed over the reins in all formats of the game. Mohinder Amarnath, in particular, believes that Kohli brings a refreshing approach to the game and it is time a young Indian side are led by one of their own.
Is the pressure telling on the man from Jharkhand?
Or is this a mere aberration?
Time, and results, will tell.
To tell you the truth, I did not really watch much of this World Cup’s final featuring Australia and New Zealand.
Switching on the telly after returning from morning Mass, with Brendon McCullum gone cheaply, it would be an uphill task for the Kiwis to compile a formidable total. Two more quick wickets followed and I switched off the set-top box.
For a partisan Indian supporter like me, the final held no thrills or attraction. Most World Cup finals have been one-sided affairs and there was no reason for me to believe otherwise.
Catching up with the morning news, Michael Clarke’s farewell announcing the final would be his ODI swansong caught my eyes.
“A World Cup victory would be a great way to sign off,” were my immediate thoughts. And I dwelled again on the emotional eulogy he delivered at Philip Hughes’ funeral. Clarke will always have his share of detractors but that was the day he displayed how far he has travelled from being ‘Pup’ and the ‘Bad Boy’ of Australian cricket.
Noon and the Kiwis had folded up for 183. Despite Sunil Gavaskar’s vain attempts at drawing comparisons between the ’83 final and Sunday’s mismatch to keep viewer interest in the game alive, it was evident that barring a miracle the Australians were well on their way to being crowned five-time champions.
It was so, with Clark crafting a well-made 74.
Australians were world-beaters yet again.
What he said:
“They are called the tigers, which is a tough animal; you mess around with a tiger, it kills you. We have to respect tigers, especially in their own forest.”
It is the battle of the minnows of Test cricket; Zimbabwe tour Bangladesh playing three Tests and five ODIs.
Although the South African nation has a winning record against the South East Asian country, their coach Stephen Mangongo is unwilling to underestimate their capabilities.
The Zimbabwean side are visiting abroad for only the third time since their return to Test cricket three years ago.
What he really meant:
“I don’t care what the Bangladeshis are elsewhere; at home, they are a handful. Tigers at home are dangerous indeed.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“The Zimbabwean cricket squad wholeheartedly supports the WWF campaign: ‘Save Tigers Now.'”
What he said:
“We believe we are being hoodwinked and are being treated like little school boys, yet we are being asked perform and play against professionals.”
Current Windies team skipper, Dwayne Bravo, makes no bones about his displeasure with the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby Test/ODI/T20 fees have reduced by 75%.
The West Indians are in India to take part in a five match ODI series. The players are considering striking in protest against the agreement signed by WIPA President Wavell Hinds with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) without player inputs.
In a letter addressed to Hinds on his squad’s behalf, Bravo outlined the disputed items as follows:
1) Our Test/ODI/T20 fees have been decreased by 75%.
2) No compensation for the use of our rights. That has been decreased by 100%.
3) Our ICC fees have been decreased by close to 100%.
He further requested Hinds to question the WICB on the following points:
1) Have the WICB Board members and staff taken a pay cut as we are being asked to do or at all. Our information is that staff have been increased both in numbers and their salaries.
2) Have the WICB declared their million dollar television deal
3) Have the WICB declared how much they are being paid extra for the matches outside of the FTP like this India tour.
4) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from the sale of CPL to Digicel our most lucrative tournament.
5) Have the WICB declared what they are getting from Digicel as the team sponsor.
6) Have they declared their financial arrangements with Governments for the international and regional home series.
What Dwayne Bravo really meant:
“The players draw in the crowds and the WICB profits from their efforts. Why are we being treated like errant schoolboys without any say or input into how West Indian cricket is to be run or administered? Are we clueless or numbskulls or simply freaks who entertain?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Let’s discuss this over drinks during the first ODI at Kochi on the 8th.”
What he said:
“Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf went while crying. When Inzamam was leaving, I was the one who went and clapped for him.”
Pakistani veteran bat Younis Khan is furious at being left out of the squad for the ODI series against Australia. The Pakistani Cricket Board (PCB) indicated that he will not be considered for next year’s World Cup either.
“Don’t select me, not even in Tests. I sacrifice my future.I am saying a simple thing, if they are saying that youngsters are future of ODIs, then where is the future of Pakistan in Test cricket? Don’t select me in Test matches and make [the youngsters] the future of Pakistan in Test cricket too. But what will happen if they can’t make a team for ODIs and Test matches after five months, will they again do recalling?
I won’t die and I won’t be 70-year-old in four-five months, if they don’t let me play with dignity then so be it. They have hurt me, they have hurt me when they said that players like me have no future. Then who has a future? So a player like me should shoot himself? When they are 35, 36, players like me wake up at seven ‘o’ clock, show commitment, I can do only this. Instead shoot ourselves, don’t play cricket at all, don’t play domestic cricket at all? I will wait for 4-5 months. They are saying that I don’t have a future, I will wait, I am not retiring, I will wait, may this team go ahead, if they make the team [strong] I won’t come back.”
“I came back after almost 17-18 months, but they said he is not in our future plans. Who has a future then? I give my 120% as a player, I am perhaps the only cricketer [who does so]. I am not saying drop a youngster and let me play. I am just saying that justice should be done with players like me, give us what we deserve. My nephew died and I came back. When they do such things with senior players, what will youngsters think. Change doesn’t come like this, you can’t wave a magic wand.
Don’t let everyone be treated in a similar manner, those who have raised the flag of this country, don’t disrespect them otherwise no youngster will play for Pakistan.”
The former skipper advised Pakistani youngsters thus:
“Is this my mistake that when youngsters struggle they come to me instead of going to coaches and I do help them? I try to help Pakistan, and still I am surprised that I have played for 14-15 years for Pakistan.
I never told anyone to back me in media or phoned anyone [about selection]. If I deserve Test matches and ODI I should be given chance. Is this my fault that I don’t go to selectors? I don’t call them? I don’t meet them before going for the match? England media was very harsh on us in 2009, when they used to allege us that we were doing ball tampering, then I stood firm and I defended Pakistan. I was the captain when Pakistan won the World T20. If this is my mistake, then my suggestion to youngster is don’t play for Pakistan. Don’t think about playing for Pakistan.”
What he really meant:
“Very few (Pakistani) cricketers are allowed to go out in style like Sachin Tendulkar. They are pushed out whether they like it or not. It’s just not cricket that they are (I am) unceremoniously dropped.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Can you lend me your kerchief, please? Mine’s soaked and salty.”
What he said:
“Even my mother asks me every time I come to Lucknow, koi ladki toh pasand nahi aa gayi wahan (have you selected a girl yet)?”
Suresh Raina is perturbed that no one including his mother believes that he visits Lucknow simply to catch up with his school friends.
“But I actually come here to just unwind with my friends. I have very few friends, and I share a special bond with them. I have a lot of matches coming up after the Champions League, there’s the West Indies tour in October. I know I will not be able to meet my friends for a long time now. So I made a short trip to Lucknow between two tournaments. She(my mother)’s been after me for a while now to get married, especially since my closest friend has also tied the knot. Each time I go back home, my marriage is the topic of conversation.But I have put off any wedding talk till after the World Cup. Abhi ussi pe focus karna hai. (I have to focus on that.)”
The Chennai Superkings star revealed the secret behind his recent success in the ODIs and T20s against England.
“After I was dropped from the Asia Cup squad earlier this year, I did a lot of introspection as far as my game was concerned. I had to go back to basics, and just perform very well. I spent months with single-minded focus on training, fitness, discipline. I trained at the Lucknow Sports College and in Mumbai, and I spent a lot of time with my friends and family to regain my confidence. You can’t take everyone’s advice, because everyone has a different opinion, so you need to depend on your friends to give you the right advice. That confidence helped me to play my natural game, and tackle the pressure. Pressure tha (there was pressure), but I knew I can turn things around. When I got on the flight from Mumbai to London, I was ready to give my best. And I am so happy I did. It was very important.”
What he really meant:
“My mother wishes I’d make the most of my trips to Lucknow and kill two birds with one stone. Find a girl and meet my pals too. She’s pragmatic that way.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“What?! And be embroiled in a senseless wrangle with the press about the presence of a girlfriend or wife on tour?”