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


  • At Wednesday, November 24, 2004 1:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you are being unfair to Tendulkar. Just in the last test he played some attacking shots and looked quite good.
    As for the failure here , it happens some times .
    And your remark that if his name is Kaif he would be playing in Ranji is not justified at all.
    Just in the past 5,6 tests , he scored a double century and a 195 however scratchy they may be. Kaif on the other hand never looks like he can score more than 60,70 max .
    I am more worried about Sehwag now. Not becasue of his batting . When everybody starts praising you from Sanjay Manjrekar to Nirmal Shekhar in The HINDU to SJM to Anu , that usually marks the peak of one's career. Like Tendulkar of 98 .When the opinion turns unanimous and everybody agrees heartily , that is when life starts playing cruel games. He may have another one or two good innings at most but after that I think Sehwag is going to have an ordinary year and he will be having some unlucky dismissals very soon.Of course, he will come back strongly later but not for another year.


  • At Friday, November 26, 2004 4:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cant agree more with chuckster. With due respect to Sachin , it has to said that he is not the guy he was a couple of years back. well actually more than that.
    Like to accept it or not , Sachin is the subject of cruel jokes as pointed out by chuckster and he is not helping his cause by adopting a defensive mindset. But there is not much criticism in the media as everyone (me included) gives him the benefit of doubt which i think he deserves for what has acheived over such a long period of time. But someone has to bell the cat, which, if this trend continues, will be sooner than later.
    Harishu points out sachin's recent big scores. But Sachin is not only abt runs. It is the way he gets them. the way he walks to the crease. The way he can force field changes.The way he demoralises the opponents by his sheer presence. The impact , the aura is just not there.
    enough abt sachin , though i have a lot more to share.

    The other major issue chickster has touched upon ..Gilchrist.
    He just symbolises the aussie mentality the world shud play cricket the way they do. We sledge and swear on the field but will share a beer off it. so u shud not have a problem with that.
    when Harbajan gives it back to them they cant stop complaining.
    We will bowl underarm when a match is at stake and even 20 years after the incident there is not a token of regret expressed.
    Back i 1999 when australia, still a long way to go in the 4th inns in the hobart test match against pak , lose their 5th wicket when gilly and langer come together. And langer gets a thick edge off a wasim akram delivery and coolly looks the other way as the
    umpire gives not out. And our man gilly, who now cant stop preaching now that he has walked a couple of times. what was he doing there? I mean he could have persuaded langer to be a gentleman and walkaway. But then how can the aussies go on to take 16 tests in a row.
    Here is a famous groucho marx line
    These are my principles. If U dont like i have others.
    just change it slightly to suit the aussies
    these are my principles. If I dont like it i have others
    Happy married life to chuckster. Love her as much as u love beer, chips, and cricket

  • At Friday, November 26, 2004 7:13:00 AM, Blogger Chugs said…

    i would be happy if Wright decides to leave. he has done very well for the last coupla yrs or so and has contributed to the teams improvement.
    but i think its time to get some fresh input and ideas and think about where this team wants to be in the future.

  • At Friday, November 26, 2004 10:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I liked most of ur comments..regarding the match, the dullness in it. But i dint enjoy the exaggerated comment ("If Tendulkar's name was Mohammed Kaif, he would be doing Ranji."). It went too far. it almost sounded like a tamil paper headline to me !! pls avoid such sentences. India can never drop Tendulkar !! We dont have so many great players (we struggle to drop Ganguly !!). i would also be tempted to look at Laxman's stats. Even Australia cant drop a player of Sachin's reputation. Remember they prolonged with Mark Waugh (who was far less consistent than Tendulkar)


  • At Friday, November 26, 2004 9:51:00 PM, Blogger Ari said…

    Hi Chuck,

    SG as consultant of the team show's he's done a great job with the slow run rate and very defensive mind set so "KUDOS" to SG for that.

    PPL its not like one doesn't recognise SRT or SHWG's talents. POINT simple, SRT is getting old which means he can't rely on his instincts and relfexes he has to be more patient and pbly take the role of RD(few years back) slow and steady. SHWG is a very young guy and he'll hit anything which is red and comes by his way, thats how he plays. ( A unfair comparison would be to ViV Richards: Viv wanted to hit and he would hit it harder as they come faster never technically blazing but he got all the runs he wantd to.. so is SHWG.)

    I wouldn't put any pressure on these guys, if all goes well WRIGHT should take it off very decently before the whole world knows how to plan against the Indian Attack, if you think SG can do any better to the aggressive mode of the team hell no!!

    Am so surprised ppl hardly made comments abt the "arrest" of the man with a gun (surely sounds like an amazin movie plot or a short story plot.) Can't imagine if SG wud plot want SRT to quit cricket via this manner (remember monica seles and steffi graff? i've nothing against graff but there's always this controversy which could linger.)

    If anyone thinks SRT is going to be "GOD" as he was before, you might want to try reading about Sir Gary Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Viv Richards, Clive Llyodd, (the bodyline series too) Larwood & Sir Donald Bradman.

    My predictions: If ego doesnt get to Shewags head and so dont have a dozen of Ad Agencies he would have the most explosive career and show them all that everything is entirely possible. I dont believe in stats much but for a guy who's survived for couple of years in Indian Cricket and who's dominated the record books with his 300+, there's just more to come.

    A small case studies fellas: the best marketed Atheletes:-->

    1. David Beckham (god knows why he plays but ppl surely worship him )
    2. MJordan (true talent absolutely)
    3. SRT (For the sheer size of India if you could sell a product which would give you Rs.1 profit you'll become a millionaire over a fortnight)

    Hoping Eden should get some quality wrt pitch and damn where are the SA's wives!!!!

  • At Monday, November 29, 2004 7:30:00 PM, Blogger kappax from Oz said…

    Hey Chuckie,

    Come on yaar... u post once ina blue moon & get 5 comments... life is very unfair :sob:

    On SRT, he is a gonna case as long as he has Wright & Sunny around... his game will improve when he meets up with Sandy Gordon sort of person.. the guy is so much messed up...

    People are always looking to think up excuses for SRT.. the current popular excuse is that due to age he can play his SRT of old... only problem is that he has proved that he can play that way when he wants... its not as if SRT had a string of failures playing that like SRT of old & so became SRT of new... SRT of new is more unproductive its just that there is a perception of solidity...



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