Bits and Pieces
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Thursday, January 06, 2005  

Pavilion End

This is a continuing discussion from Anand's post, that lamented bowlers not finding a place in the West Indian "Top Five"-list of all time greats.

Now thats totally ridiculous. How difficult would it have been to just look back at all those marvellous achievements and vote fair?

Referencing the Guardian article in Anand's, statistical parallels (five-fors versus a century) are just what Selvey says. Contrived.

To add to Selvey's analysis,
I attribute the differences to the basic form of the respective arts. Duration of a batting innings is limited by the batsman's failure. And it ends just there. And during that period he gets a fan's unwavering attention [aah...do we, humanimals, not love those whacks?] . Whereas a bowler has to either endure his spell (after coupla bad overs) or wait for Captain's next decision. And rarely does he get a chance to be in the thick of things, alone. Except maybe during the fag end of a ODI/Test.

A bowler's success depends on the performance of his 10 other team-mates. And that kind of dependance plays on any performer's mind. Imagine Sachin having to depend on 10 fellas to score a bunch. Batsmen have their minds free of that pressure atleast. [ To be fair, batsmen can afford only one failure ]

So it's upto the connoisseurs in us, to weigh the two forms seperate. As a parting question, why have past bowlers shunned the sport's administration charges so overwhelmingly?

[and another] Could that be a reason for the promotion of batsmen-friendly pitches and a general apathy towards bowlers? [that was only a nested question]

posted by pradeep | Permalink | (11)

11 Comments:

I have not saved the mails I send you. You can either post them or send it to me.

By Blogger AR, at 10:14 AM 

Pradeep >
A bowler's success depends on the performance of his 10 other team-mates. And that kind of dependance plays on any performer's mind. Imagine Sachin having to depend on 10 fellas to score a bunch. Batsmen have their minds free of that pressure atleast. [ To be fair, batsmen can afford only one failure ]

AR >
I have totally opposite opinion. Suppose Sachin and 10
Banglas play with Aussies. Do you bet Sachin will get
50 batting at 4. (For all purposes we will be in Test
mode no ODI please.)
You need 2/3 guys sticking with him to get those runs.

Quite the opposite is true for bowlers. Take the
example of Wasim/Waqar. In my memory, nobody else
made pitch/fielders redundant as these two guys did
over a period of 4-5 years in the early 90s.
Since they pitched up instead of bowling short as
windies of 80's did, they got most of their wickets
through lbw/bowled. This makes the fielders redundant.
The pitch being redundant was due to the fact that
they could use new/old ball with the same level of
devilishness.

Pradeep >
So it's upto the connoisseurs in us, to weigh the two forms seperate. As a parting question, why have past bowlers shunned the sport's administration charges so overwhelmingly?

[and another] Could that be a reason for the promotion of batsmen-friendly pitches and a general apathy towards bowlers? [that was only a nested question]

AR>
Very few bowlers have been made captains. Kumble, Vaas, Murali fine cricketers but never destined to lead.
One of the reasons Kumble was not given a chance to lead was that he could not bowl overseas. Does this mean Ganguly can bat everywhere?
Except Pakistanis no other country gives bowlers a chance to lead.
I think the part of answer lies in bowlers not being made captains. Also the general apathy towards them. A vicious cycle indeed

By Blogger AR, at 12:18 PM 

Sabash...seriyana potti !

By Blogger The Last Blogger, at 2:10 PM 

Pradeep,
I dont want to comment here...bcos i'm an amateur, when it comes to cricket logistics.
So let me be a spectator and watch u two guys fight. :-)

Come-on pradeep... hit Anand's yorker to boundary..or else 'clean bowled' :-)

By Blogger JaganLee, at 3:54 PM 

its all money guys. people like batsmen, so prepare batsmen friendly pitches.
the difference btw batsmen and bowlers are that of a director and a cameraman, respectively. both are creative, depends on team work, and finally yearns for appreciation. its a tough comparison.

By Blogger saranyan, at 6:46 PM 

Cricket-haters can as well stop reading at this point. [smiley]

Nanbargalae, I am not contesting Anand's stand here. Rather, am attempting to sort stuff and bring abt a balance (which is always difficult).

But to answer your poser Anand,
Why go hypothetical? Not long back, there were times when Sachin had several opportunities to exhibit his wares while his 'team-mates' managed to fail with clinical precision. To put it in perspective, no team is weak per se. Using a cliche, it's in the mind. So if we try to home into your virtual field (Banglas against Aussies), Sachin's drives could get the others going and before you know, he could be well past a 50! [ well it was only hypothetical, wasnt it?:) ]

Now compare that to a bowler's plight: a misfield, a dropped catch or a lazy effort plays on a bowler's mind affecting his next delivery. The dependance is tremendous, if you consider the kind of effort that a bowler puts to set a batsman up for that magic delivery. And a Parthiv drops a lolly. Relate back to our batsman-scenario...its not that a Sachin is going play out 100 deliveries itching to hit that magic 'boundary', that a Ganguly-mistake could affect him. [ I dont know, somehow this feels like going way too far to explain a simple point ... yeah, can see you nodding]

Midway Conclusion - different premises. Concur with Paran's director-cameraman analogy here.

On Wasim/Waqar, I nod in total agreement.
But for curiosity sakes, wonder how they would've fared against today's superior batsmanship! Bowling against a Sehwag or a Hayden or a Gilchrist can drain the juice out of you. ODI or Test, not a problem. Especially with the perils around pitching the ball up. Moreover, looking back, Indians dread the 80's as much as Parthiv his gloves. Once you lose in your mind, what good can holding a bat against those raging W's do to ur scorecard? Success begets success. And romp they did around the world.

This is certainly not to take away anything from what those two bowlers achieved. Plain arm-chair commentary. Keep it going.

Captaincy - well, although I have my opinions it has been one of the most difficult skills to judge. [ as in, who could be better] Dressing-room vibes, off-field decisions, calmness under pressure, intuition and many more. These and such, dictate captaincy more than anything else. And these we dont see on television. But if you would like to hear me conclude, Ganguly is a much much better candidate than Kmbl, not to underrate Kmbl's skill as a bowler. Lets hold that for another day, while the primary discussion goes. I agree with you on your vicious cycle theory though.

By Blogger pradeep, at 8:14 PM 

Pradeep>
On Wasim/Waqar, I nod in total agreement.
But for curiosity sakes, wonder how they would've fared against today's superior batsmanship! Bowling against a Sehwag or a Hayden or a Gilchrist can drain the juice out of you. ODI or Test, not a problem.

AR>
When Hayden made his debut against Ambrose and co he played a few matches and dropped for good before making a great comeback against our friendly attack in 2001.

Sehwag I have never watched him in a test match to have an opinion.

If any World XI is picked, Gilchrist along with Don and Sobers would be the first players to be written on the team sheet.

In my opinion, the quality of bowling has taken a beating due to the ridiculous amount of cricket played throughout the year. 3 back to back matches in Aus/Pak and E/SA. God help cricketers.

Also Test cricket is much devalued with Bangles and Zombies thrown in to improve the averages.

Give me Ranji I will take it any day than the Bangers/Zim matches. Have you noticed that TN is out of SFs. Mixed emotions. Sad that TN is out and glad that we had result oriented games this season. I remember the ridiculous batathons of 80/90s
when most of the games were decided by first inns.

Hopefully we will start producing quality bowlers and batsman who are not only flat track bullies.

Pradeep>
Ganguly is a much much better candidate than Kmbl, not to underrate Kmbl's skill as a bowler.

AR> I am curious why Ganguly is better than Anil Kumble?

By Blogger AR, at 10:30 PM 

Sad, bowlers are the most affected.

I pity Int'l cricketers too. But with only these many test playing nations and a growing appetite for the game (especially the Int'l version), there is no way out. Glamorizing domestic editions is the only solution that I can think of. Atleast until China, USofA, Argentina and other such nations participate in a big way. [I want to see these 3 nations for sure - would be a big boost for the sport]

I didnt know TN was out. As you said, Ranji is getting better. Elite/Plate classification is probably helping.

By Blogger pradeep, at 1:58 PM 

Captaincy >
Kumble ranks high up there as a fighter, in my opinion. For all his skills, he has had to do a Sitayana (Trial by Fire) every now and then to justify his selection. It's only a guess, but I think when one is subjected to such difficulties, it may have improved his resolve to be in the side but wouldnt have allowed thots on mind games that Ganguly so deftfully executed against the visiting Aussies in 2001. That series was the turning point for Team India. As we must remember that we were never in need of talents. All we needed was someone to take it to the opposition.

Moreover, I have never found Ganguly to be inadequate in his capacity as captain, to look for someone elsewhere. He has produced results. And he was *The Man* when we needed unabashed agression to help pass the transition phase. And yes, almost every one of his team members blossomed from the time he took over.

By Blogger pradeep, at 2:03 PM 

Correction:

"...that Ganguly so deftly executed against the visiting Aussies in 2001."

By Blogger pradeep, at 2:07 PM 

From a cricketing novice perspective,
Cricket is all about how you can sell the game. Its the money that counts. And money doesnt blow in the direction of a fantastic bowling attack with the batsmen having no clue to whats going on.

People want to see sixers and fours and a 300+ score on every one dayer. Its hard but if you notice statistics, the average number of runs scored by a team batting first in a one days is easily past 250 these days. 300+ is fairly common when Aus, India and any other good batting team is in play. But if you think of even 5-6 years back, there were a handful of 300+ scores ever with 240 being a really good score.
The average bowler is content with a 10-0-45-0 in a one dayer. Rare are the 10-x-28-y, x,y>0 days.

I remember watching Waqar and Wasim decimating even the best of batsmen. I have seen the English and to an extent most of the best teams struggling to decipher Shane Warne to no effect. I remember Allan Donald ripping past the bat so many times, I lost count. Where is that today?

I am now seeing more of 5 sixers by a batsman in a game. Couple of 100s a game and teams chasing 300 odd and winning in one dayers. I am not saying if its good or bad for the game, but its definitely the batsman who are calling the shots, quite literally.

By Blogger The Last Blogger, at 8:06 AM 

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