India v England 4th ODI .. passing thoughts 5

So…in the end England did win the match !
Let me see what cliches I can use here: “Inability to finish things off”, “lack of killer instinct”, “losing the hunger”, “letting the opponent of the hook”…

It seemed last night that by the time they got Colingwood out, the Indians had run out of steam. They were charged up when the English came out to bat. Something was said and words were flying around. The whole team looked like they wanted to prove a point…it was a pretty sight.
Somewhere, at the point when Owais Shah got out, the Indians seemed to be saying to themselves “ we have shown them…that ought to tell the world what we are capable of. Let’s get back to square one now”. The feeling that the point had been proven and there was nothing else to show the world…that is what takes away the hunger.

I have commented previously about how the Indians get charged up only when something is said to them…mostly something unpleasant. Remember the events of World Cup 2003 ? Remember India v Australia series 2001 ?…that is a big list.

Playing for your country and the chance of making millions should be motivation enough, in my book. It should charge you up every day, every night. If you feel the energy and motivation draining, you should sit the game out and let some of the other guys play.

No ?

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India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts 4

Wickets falling fast now….

Owais Shah out…caught at bat-pad (actually glove…)…back-of-length ball from Powar ..with a little loop. Shah lunges forward..should have played back to that. It was a harmless little delivery, really. It looks like Shah had come in with a pre-determination to play forward to to the tweakers, no matter what. There was a lofted shot over mid-on off Chawla on display earlier on from Shah. He did not manage to reach the pitch of the ball (he also danced down the wicket and ended up at least two feet away from the line of the ball !) on that occasion either. The only thing that saved him was that he was closer to the pitch then. This time he was way off the mark…

Colingwood run-out. That is a shame…he was playing so well…playing so late…alas he was late in getting to his crease too !!! (cheesy again, eh !)

India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts 3

Fielding…I think that is what will eventually ensure that India will lose this match…especially out-fielding.

I believe there are two aspects to a good out-fielder:

1) The ability to dive (that includes sliding wherever necessary) and

2) Anticipation

I would like to see how many out-fielders move even before they see the ball. When you are standing 70-75 yards from the bat, it takes time to register what kind of a shot the batsman has played (especially if you are standing behind the wicket — third man, fine leg, backward point etc). This is where out-fielders miss out on those crucial couple of seconds before they make their move.

What is needed is some kind of anticipation. You start reading the pace of the wicket, the length the bowlers are bowling, is the batsman predominantly front-foot or back-foot etc..

If the wicket is quick, you know the ball is more likely to come finer. On a slower wicket, you know it may come to you squarer. Does the batsman prefer the paddle-sweep or the slog-sweep ?

I would like to watch videos of Indian outfielders (especially Powar) and see how well they anticipate…at what point do they make their move….I guess it is just a little too late.

India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts 2

Pieterson out ! match on ! (toh Videocon)…okay that’s cheesy !

Pieterson got out trying to pull a ball from outside off. That, in my mind, is the biggest “get-out” shot in international cricket…especially to the quicks. It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how strong you are..people are never comfortable with that shot. Yet, almost every batsman has made that mistake one time or the other in their careers.

Why is it such a difficult shot to play ? Because the bat has to start from pointing to the wicket-keeper and ends up pointing to fine-leg. When the line of the ball is middle-stump the batsman has time to swivel, get in position and brace for the impact before bat meets ball.

Now, consider what happens when the line of the ball is off-outside-off: The batsman is still in the process of winding up. He is still getting ready to swivel. He is not ready for impact of bat with ball. It gets worse if the ball is quick.

I have seen two batsmen pull the ball from outside off-stump successfully, over and over again. Sachin “Don” Tendulkar and Aravinda “Mad Max” D’Silva. The reason these two were so successful was because they had good eyes. They were able to judge the length of the ball in a jiffy and get in position. The other trick was to hit the ball in the air, almost like a hook shot. They usually did not try to get on top of the ball (and roll their wrists as most folks like to do).. The idea was to get under the ball and hit it up and over square-leg.

I wonder why other batsmen do not do that….

As I write, Flintoff drives to point, uppishly. Yuvraj takes the catch…Indians are thrilled …game most certainly on !

India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts

Writing this as I watch the match this is more like commentary.

Piyush Chawla is brought into the attack now…Gavaskar was just saying that Dravid should give the young man a bowl coz its now or never for India.

I was thinking: India have two quality spinners…why arent they on ? Surely England won’t need 50 overs…so it makes sense to have all your bowlers have a go..

Dravid really needs to bring in Powar too…in fact, considering the way he is fielding, the bowler’s crease is the best place to keep Powar right now !

links for 2007-08-30

The South Carolina comedy show…

I will just keep quite on this (too much of this already on the internet)  and point you to

Number 1: the video link:


Number 2: To an explanation…

Snytax under pressure

 OK…now you can laugh…