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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pathetic cricket

Now that the Chuckster is a married man, there are so many things to look after. In some ways, I am glad the Indian and South African teams are playing such lousy / boring cricket. At least I don't feel guilty in not updating my blog properly. Frankly, the cricket going on doesn't deserve it.

I read this report about a man with a gun being detained by the police ... he was actually sitting near the boundary and the TV cameras picked him up and police were informed. How this major security breach happened is a different matter but really, if a couple of shots had been fired, I think no one would have complained; at least the monotony would have been broken. Joking apart, this is a serious matter for the people concerned with security to look into .... but really, the cricket was pathetic.

When Dravid bats the way he has been batting in the past couple of test matches, he reminds me of the Dravid of three years back when watching him bat took all the joy out of watching cricket; could cricket really be that boring, that pathetic? One would take a look at the Australians batting and then at Dravid and wonder; are they playing the same game? Of course, over the past couple of years, Dravid has become a gem of a test player (and a more than good but not excellent ODI player) but geez, his past couple of tests have been so pathetic. About Tendulkar's failure, I really don't know what to say; his status is such that people in office were actually betting each other on whether he scores a duck or whether he would go above ten runs etc. The same Tendulkar who once inspires awe today inspires crude jokes and cruel laughter. And judging by the media interviews he gives about changing his game for the team and becoming mature etc, one can only assume that the chap just doesn't get it. U know what they say - "I see dumb people. They don't know they are dumb".

It is surprising that Tendulkar doesn't get it even while watching Sehwag bat. The guy who was the "Tendulkar clone" some years back today would walk into the test and ODI team ahead of SRT, at least if one puts sentimentality aside. Imagine u only had one slot to fill and two among SRT and Sehwag to choose from. Who would u pick? Sehwag for me any day. Till the day SRT says - "ok, so screw responsibility; I am gonna go rape some bowlers" and then he would be my number one pick again coz if he ever decides to play like SRT again, Sehwag's batting would look like a cheap imitation. He will never get the class in his shots that SRT once had; of course class doesn't get any extra runs. A 4 is still a 4 ... go Sehwag!!!

The less said about Hall's batting, the better. Of course, SA drew the match coz Hall batted the way he did but really, just like they fine teams for slow over rate or for bringing the game into disrepute by their gestures etc, can't they fine guys like Dravid and Hall for bringing the game into disrepute by batting the way they did? People of Kanpur are supposed to be really excited at seeing the wives and girlfriends of the SA players - lol ... Greame Smith's girlfriend, a well known swimsuit model in SA, is nicknamed Slinky Minky or something like that - and I can understand that ... there is nothing out there in the middle that stimulates the brain or any other part of the body ... at least watching the SA babes is never boring.

Gambhir's score was pretty good but his batting was too flashy and scratchy to get him top marks in my book. This day he got a score of 90 ... the same performance on some other day - rather on 8 out of 10 days - would get him 10. Too many edges and flashes.

Murali Karthik whined after the first day about the pitch. In all these years of watching Kumble bowl, irrespective of whether he took 6 wickets in the innings or 0, I never heard him complain in the middle of the match .... after the match, he might give a guarded comment but he doesn't give it as an excuse for his not getting wickets. On the same pitch Karthik whined about, Kumble took 6. Shows u why Karthik is the third spinner in the team, right?

Can someone tell me what Sunil Gavaskar is doing as consultant to the team? I have nothing against his earning extra pocket money but what exactly is he achieving out there? Seeing the performance of the team once he become consultant, it is clear that even if he hasn't done anything bad to the team (I wouldn't credit the team's performance completely to Gavaskar ... a consultant doesn't have that much influence on what a team does or does not do) it is obvious he hasn't done anything good either ... simply coz there is nothing good out there to notice. Kapil flopped as coach .... is Gavaskar gonna walk the same road? [pssttt ... naughty rumours suggest Gavaskar's name as the next coach after Wright]

Reports also say that physio Andrew Leipus is out after the current series (correspondingly another report quotes board secretary as saying the contracts are being renewed)... it is not like the BCCI is sacking him ... it is like he wants to get more out of his career than what he is getting now .... he has learnt whatever he could and wants to move on. I am also hearing stuff about Wright not being keen on a renewal of contract but again, each bloody media report contradicts the previous one. So I dunno ... personally, I think it is time to move on ... Wright has contributed immensely to the Indian team ... someday when we talk of the greatness of the Indian team, the names of Sourav Ganguly and John Wright will be taken together as the architects of change ... but the staleness of the team suggests that it is time to move on.

Some reports also suggest that Tendulkar would be rested from the tour of Bangladesh that follows the SA tour. Hmmmm, I think he hasn't crossed 10 in his past 10 innings if one leaves aside his 50 against Australia in Mumbai .... will his absence be that great a loss? Really, has Tendulkar's absence at any point of time over the past two years made that much of a difference? I think not. World Cup in South Africa, he was the Tendulkar of old; the rest of the time in the past couple of years, he has been the Tendulkar who survives coz of name and fame. If Tendulkar's name was Mohammed Kaif, he would be doing Ranji.

The debate about Gilchrist's walking crusade and his recent tiff with McMillan in the first test amused me - Gilly thought that McMillan touched one and he should walk like all decent people do; McMillan basically told him to piss off. I think Gilchrist should stick to what he does well and that is batting and keeping. We all know he claimed catches on the India tour that were no way near the bat so we know he is no "Hareesh Chandra". Gilly is getting too big for his boots; that is what it is. So he walks when he snicks it ... rather, for the past few matches, he has developed that habit. Great, bravo, cheers. Now shut the phuck up and let people play cricket the way they want to.

Anyway, don't know when I make my next post ... if the next test is like the first test, I might start following golf; surely that will be more exciting.


The Chuckster

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Chuckster is back

The Chuckster is a changed man. Marriage and a honeymoon almost makes him forget the pain of the test series defeat to Australia. Not totally, but almost.

Anyway, what is past is past. India won the final test and brought a little bit of respectability to the series scoreline. About the whining about the pitch by the Aussies, they should take some time and look at the replays of the dismissals. The pitch may have been difficult but most of the dismissals were due to bad shots or good fielding etc.

Finally about Ganguly's 2 match suspension (as of right now, the ICC has suspended the suspension, thus making him free to play the SA series), it was long overdue. If one looks at all the matches of the Indian team over the past two years or so, more often than not, they are behind the time schedule and not by a small margin either. Rather than cursing his luck at being suspended, Ganguly might be better served wondering how he escaped for so long. See, point is that there is a rule and it has been enforced here. Yes, this rule is not enforced uniformly across all matches across all match referees etc, but if one guy implements it correctly and the others don't, I don't think the guy doing the right thing oughta be cussed, really. It oughta be the other chaps who don't follow the rules who should be given the stick.

Anyway, poor Dinesh Mongia. After hitting a ton and considering Ganguly's suspension, he must really have fancied his chances but with the ban being put on hold, his knock has no value except as a reminder when more injuries occur.

Ramesh's knock in the same tour opener was disappointing. Ramesh has had a rought time of it in the past and many would say for no fault of his but then he can either sit and cry about it or can make his way back to the second opener's slot. The only way to do it is scoring big and he just blew a chance. He isn't getting any younger and he would do better to grab such opportunities when they come. Else some day in the future, he will be sitting at home with a warm cup of tea and wondering about "what if ....".

BTW, anyone who hasn't yet ... take a look at the new SA sensation named Amla. With his bald head and huge beard, he makes Saeed Anwar (after his religious thingy set in) look smart.

Good to be back.


The Chuckster