Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Test opening - Chopra has to be sensible

With all the talk about Chopra opening or Yuveraj, I sometimes get confused. Ok, so Chopra proved in the times he played for the national side that he can hold his own in international cricket. Ok, so he didn't hit the centuries but he blunted the new ball and IMO, did better than expected. The point against this would be - but what was the expectation? Can't deny it but Chopra surprised everyone simply coz he lasted and people didn't expect him to.

Now that he has crept into the team, expectations will definitely be higher. He can no longer get by with those 30s and 40s he has done so far. He has to aim higher or the hunt for an opener to partner Sehwag will go on. Now the onus is on Chopra to get those big ones ... he and the team management can talk endlessly about "Chopra's job is to stick around there and blunt the new ball attack" but he would also do well to remember Sanjay Bangar who also stuck around, supposedly at the team management's orders, scored minimum of runs and was replaced by Chopra himself. If "sticking around" was the parameter, Bangar didn't do a bad job; in fact the test victory England an year or so ago can be attributed in part to Bangar's holding the fort act as opener. Still he is out today ... and let that be a lesson for Chopra.

What are the team management's orders are relevant as long as the same team management exists and even if it exists, whether the same plans exist for the next series and the one after that. If tomorrow, either the captain changes or the selectors change, the new chaps will look more closely into the player's record rather than evaluate the player's team spirit. So, obey the team management, definitely ... but keep a defense by scoring big once in a while. In the end, for all the attacks one might blunt, a batsman with an average of 35 - 40 will always edge out a batsman with an average of 20.

Ganguly's wish to open with Yuveraj in test matches itself shows that Chopra hasn't totally impressed the team management. Hey, if he had, then why does team management (and Ganguly is the most important part of that) talk of replacing him? Whether Yuveraj will succeed or not is another matter but it shows that for the team management, the search hasn't ended.

Grow a brain, Chopra.


The Chuckster


  • At Friday, September 24, 2004 5:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With his tail between the legs, Ganguly will now sheepishly go and plead Chopra to open the innings assuming we not longer have selectors in command...his brght boy Yovi will be a nice 12th man to have, on current showng, that is !

  • At Friday, September 24, 2004 8:13:00 AM, Blogger chugs said…

    ganguly's thinking behind yuvraj as an opener is to have two attacking openers ala australia.

    given the benign pitches here in india it might succeed. but not with the woeful form the two are in.

    but i would be very disappointed if chopra is dropped. he did what he was asked to do.

  • At Friday, September 24, 2004 10:17:00 AM, Blogger aregon23 said…

    I say drop both Yuvraj and Sehwag into the sea. Neither of them have been in form and I would like to see them scoring 30-40 runs in consequtive innings.

    Sehwag promises more than he delivers. And the problem is everytime you have made up your mind to chuck him out of the team he scores and fast. Completely untrustworthy. Give me a solid batsman any day whom I can count on for staying power and grind the bowlers to dust. The concept of the game is to win, the means (grinding or blasting) is never considered other than in one or two innings in which the batsman did a fabulous job ala Sachin.

  • At Friday, September 24, 2004 2:10:00 PM, Blogger anantha said…

    Nice piece. but what prompted this tirade, particularly the last advice to Chopra?

  • At Saturday, September 25, 2004 9:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I fail to understand the argument that NOW Gangs will go plead Chopra or Chopra in last few months have proven to be better player than Yuvi. As far as i know he is still struck btn those 30's and 40's whether opposition is a club side in England or Kenya. Irani is another example of it. Yes Yuvi failed in last 4-5 ODI's but we are not talking about ODI's here. He was getting out most of time trying to force pace too quickly in the inning. Chopra i think will play now since SRT may not. But dont be surprise if Yuvi does better than him in first test and Chopra find himself out of team in second test. They may even make Parthiv open again if situation demand.


  • At Friday, October 01, 2004 6:26:00 PM, Blogger KSJ said…

    India should persist with Chopra at least for the First Test and see what happens. Akash has done very well in Australia/Pakistan and his 30's and 40's were very valuable knocks, always giving Shewag the leverage to attack the bowling. A big score is surely on the cards, now that he is playing at home. Yuvaraj on the other hand has matured very well, his century for Mumbai vs the Australians is a testimony to this and should Chopra fail the first two then it will be Yuvaraj/ Shewag in the third.


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