March 30, 2007

Aila - Alvida ?

March 30, 2007 Posted by Vijay , 3 comments
I have always been a great fan of Ian Chappell. He gives candid opinions, on cricket. On why the game should be kept simple. Pre-World Cup in an interview he mentioned, that batting is a very simple thing. When one tries to analyse the nitty gritties, of the batsman falling over, playing across the line, opening the face of the bat, it dilutes the essence of batting. The best way to bat in a cricket match is - To defend the good ball, and punish the bad ones. As long as the bat is used to strike the ball, the batsman will continue to be successful.

His views on the game, with respect to the fact that coaches cannot be of major influence has been proved again. Dravid was given the team he wanted. Though apparently Greg Chappell, the almost outgoing Indian Coach (If I may put it that way) wanted Suresh Raina in the team. Now, why Greg even thought of roping in a below par performing Raina, only he knows. Infusing young blood is always good. But it should be taken in a sensible way after assessing performances. Now that we do know that a coach has only as much say as giving suggestions, how can he make a difference to a team on ehe cricket field ?

Cricket is probably the only game where the captain has to be intelligent, brilliant and tactful in his moves. No other sport demands such skills of tactfulness and strategy than cricket. As a result, any decision taken by the captain on the field gets scrutinised and comes under the microscope. Dissection of these views is more prominent these days with the vast influx of the television and media. So, unless a Hansie Cronje Earpiece help is given to a captain by a Bob Woolmerish coach, the game will remain as one which the captain has huge responsibility of. No coach can ever help a captain on the field. And in this context, maybe the Indian team maybe well off without even having a coach !

Ian Chappell , probably one of the best ever cricket captains the game has seen, will continue to be heard. And if anyone wants to hear a truthful and precise analysis he is the man to listen to. When a cricketer of his stature comments that Sachin Tendulkar, needs to hang his boots, it will stun the entire Indian Population, which has till now idolised the maestro till now. Because for the first time in his illustrious career we are hearing that Sachin should be dropped. I tried to dig into a few statistics to find out if Sachin's performances have really dropped over the past few years. Indeed, they have. Test Cricket being the real test of skills of a cricketer, I found out some statistics which really won't help Sachin's cause of staying back in the team:

Test Match Statistics - Sachin Tendulkar, April 2004 - April 2007:

Test Matches Played - 23
Innings played in - 36

Runs scored - 1209
Not Outs - 3
Centuries - 2 (Including a scratchy 248* against the Bangla Tigers !)

Double Centuries - 1
Half Centuries - 6
Average During This Span - 36.36

Career Average As of April 1st 2004 his average stood at - 58.39
Career Average As of April 1st 2007 his average stood at - 54.71

Interestingly - his 248* helped him equal Gavaskar's World Record 34 centuries, and the only other hundred, helped him break this record. Makes one wonder whether its all about statistics for our little master!

A century in ODIs here and there is all Sachin has been able to produce. But to Sachin's credit, he still has managed to do decently well in ODIs and test as well. But is that what Sachin has come to be? Just a man for statistics as Ian Chappell points out? Maybe, that has always been the case. Now, when Ian Chappell says, Lara will be remembered as the more dangerous batsman during this era than Sachin, he should be knowing what he is talking about. Let's look at Lara's Test Match record during the same time period as Sachin's.

Test Match Statistics - Brian Lara, April 2004 - April 2007:

Test Matches Played - 27
Innings played in - 47
Runs scored - 2765

Not Outs - 1
Centuries - 10 (Including 6 scores above 150, none against Bangla !)
Double Centuries - 3 (Including the current standing World Record 400*)
Half Centuries - 5
Average During This Span - 60.1

Career Average As of April 1st 2004 his average stood at - 51.33
Career Average As of April 1st 2007 his average stood at - 52.89

Ian Chappell knows what he says. Brian Lara is miles ahead of Sachin in the past 3 years. Lara seems to be hungrier than ever before averaging an astounding 60 per innings, and belting 3 double centuries no less in the same period. If it is statistics that Sachin is looking at, maybe he really has to rethink how well it is panning out of late. Has Sachin lost the appetite for scoring runs ? Even the statistics don't seem to be helping Sachin !

Statistics : HowSTAT!

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F e r r a r i said...

When will you start realizing that Cricket is an idiots game, played and followed by idiots? :) It is the analysis of who should do what, that leads to the downfall.

How will you react if a pani puri selling guy, tells you how to code or rather tell your project manager how to run the project?

Its after all a game. Don't you people get sick and tired of talking about it? I think there is more to life than Cricket

Ganesh said...

I absolutely agree that Sachin Tendulkar may not be the best batsman in the world- maybe he is not even in the top 5 list of current world batsmen.(ratings dont lie,after all) But that doesn't mean Sachin Tendulkar should retire- as long as there is no replacement in India for a person of his calibre, I think Sachin Tendulkar should continue in the Indian cricket team

Anonymous said...

Im tired of this "SACHIN NOT A MATCH WiNNER".Even though i dont agree with this, i have a question.
Why should a single person win a match,There are other five batsman in a Team of 11.
OK. If he is not fit to continue,comeon show me the Replacement.Yuvaraj was given Enough chances(for this dravid was Opener).
Why should a person retire when
1.he feels that he has to something to offer and enjoys his game.
2.selectors and Captain feel that he can add value to the team.
3.Most of the international cricketers feel, he is still a force.
Problem with us is we are "Glory Hunters".We dont understand the game or love the game.A person is watching the game for love of game will never want Elegant Batsman Out,when he is still capacable of delivering.
We just need Our Country to win.