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, March 02, 2005

second day running ... go Chuckster

Its so bloody amazing that I don't have to make an effort to start off a post without it being about cricket. Frankly, if u do not start off the post by talking about Sania Mirza's win against Kutzensova at the Dubai open, u have to be an *unprintable* ... ;-). She beat her in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 and that too after being 0-4, 15-30 down in the first set. Can u believe this one? Go girl!!!

Anyway, I again went to Bloglet (www.bloglet.com) from where I have taken the utility for people to register for email alerts when I make a post. It was again inactive for some reason (maybe coz I didn't post for long) and I activated it. Hopefully, it will now send mails and people who forgot about beer chips and cricket will remember it again. Here is to hoping!!!

The upcoming series against Pakistan is really strange ... a team that has come off a beating at the hands of Australia meets a team that has had a lot of rest after a tour of Bangladesh ... ok, let me re-phrase that as "meets a team that has had a lot of rest. period.". What does one expect? In normal times, considering the teams that India and Pak have, I would expect an easy series victory for India ... but the last time India rested, they played awful cricket immediately afterwards. What will happen this time around ... ???

SRT is fit for this series ... hopefully all this talk about his elbow will die a natural death and not crop up again if he scores a duck or two. This tennis elbow thing has really gone on far too long to be funny ... once the man says he is fit and once the doctor / physio says he is fit and once the selectors say he is fit, no one should really talk about his injury again. Yes, after an injury a cricketer takes time to get into his groove but that is why the Duleep Trophy game he played two weeks back was so important - the West Zone vs. South Zone one.

What does he do??? Gets out for four in the first innings for which I do not blame him coz it happens ... sometimes the batsman wins and sometimes and bowler and here the bowler was no other than Kumble. So no shame in that one ... the idiotic thing in my opinion was in the second innings when he sent in Pathan at Number 3 and he made 61 to finish it off. I agree Pathan is an exciting find and a possible all rounder of class, but look at priorities ... presently, it is more important to make sure SRT is back in touch and it is not really that important to find out if Pathan can bat at 3. Unless he was injured / ill, this move makes no sense at all. If he was injured, then again, is this "tennis elbow" related? Will we ever hear the end of it?

It was funny to read about that Naved Hassan guy (the balding medium pacer in the Pakistan squad) talk about targetting SRT and Dravid in the current series. What man, today u don't really have to be a McGrath to mouth off about targetting batsmen ... at least with McGrath, u know he walks the talk ... but if every Naved and his uncle r gonna talk about targetting batsman, that too of the class of SRT and Dravid, then it should really be taken off the list of "mind games" coz it then belongs to the list of "mindless games". Incidentally, I read an interview by Anil Kumble recently where he talks about the concept of announcing beforehand the batsman targetted by a particular bowler ... he was talking specifically about McGrath and why he doesn't do the same. As part of his answer, Kumble said - "maybe I should start doing it too". Ok yaar, Kumble is no McGrath (yes one is a spinner, another a medium / fast bowler ... etc etc etc ... but I can still compare them and proclaim McGrath to be one grade above him ... sue me) but he is still good enough to walk the talk if he actually does talk. But don't tell me about Naved Hassan ... sharafat ka zamaana hi nahi raha.

So the man, the mouth, Shoaib Akhtar is gonna stay home. The more I see of Shoaib Akhtar, the more contempt I have for him. He has the potential to be devastating but for that to happen, he first has to wait for the world to think of him as good instead of telling the world to think of him as good. For the amount of talk he gives, Akhtar really should have around 600 wickets in ODI and tests ... maybe 700 ... then his talk would be equal to his walk. Right now, he is bullshit. In short spells, he could have been a handful for the Indians but nothing we couldn't have handled ... now we just get to beat him up in the ODIs. Damn.

Yuvi's inclusion into the test team against Pakistan again opens up the debate about whether he is an opener or not. Simply put, the middle order of Dravid, SRT, VVS and Gangs is not gonna change unless injury strikes and with Sehwag as one opener, the only possible spot up for grabs is that of the second opener. There r lots of reports over how Kaif should have been selected over Yuveraj and I agree with the basic premise of those reports - i.e. - Kaif is a better test player than Yuvi. However, in this scenario, when the only slot under contention is that of opener, there is no point in selecting Kaif and making him fetch the cold drinks. This way, with Yuvi selected, at least India has the potential to go in with either Gambhir or Yuveraj as opener. I don't say I agree with this ... coz as previous (and many times at that) mentioned, Yuvi as opener is not gonna work, IMO ... but at least u give Yuvi another shot at the slot he is aiming at, the second opener's slot. Might be unfair on Gambhir and with good reason, but it is upto Gambhir really. I am certain Gambhir will be the opener in the first test and Yuvi gets a look in only if he fails ... so if he doesn't fail, there is no question of anything being unfair coz he remains opener. If he doesn't do well ... well, it isn't charity we r talking about here ... and Yuvi is the captain's blue eyed boy. At least Gambhir should be well aware of the possibilities and can't say - Hey, I am shocked at the move of dropping me for the second test. U didn't grab ur chances, mate, if u have to say that.

I really thought that after the recent domestic season, Dhoni would have the inside track on selection but the selectors went with Karthick. I don't have anything to complain about in this coz Karthick hasn't really done anything wrong but he really hasn't shone in the limited chances he has got .... whereas Dhoni has shone as of late. Good to persist with Karthick but it might well change if India lose a test and Karthick doesn't do well with the bat. Face it, a good keeper is important but in today's world, it is essential he contributes with the bat ... Patel seems to have learnt the lesson bottoms up coz his batting is really coming along ... just his keeping that doesn't keep up. Dhoni in the Number 7 slot could be India's Gilchrist ... the guy who comes in and does something extra-ordinary. Somehow I never see either Patel or Karthick as being able to do something extra-ordinary ... they might do well ... but Dhoni might actually turn a match on its head. Karthick better watch out.

So the TV rights go to DD finally ... ESPN / STAR and Zee both get their asses kicked by the courts and what irks me about this is that the BCCI still comes out of this smelling of roses. They messed up the entire thing ... and still don't suffer. Sad.

Chalo cheers for now. Stay tuned for more of the Chuckster ... hopefully with a lot of Sania Mirza posts. Hey, this weekend, its the Australian Grand Prix ... let me see if I can give u something good on Karthikeyan's performance there.

The Chuckster

3 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Gana said…

    Dude,
    You are too harsh on Naved Hussain. It is the media (rediff ?) that created the headline that he wants to target SRT and Dravid . He bascially said,'it would be great if I get SRT's and Dravid's wickets" and that's not arrogant McGrathesque at all. Only if you had read the complete article !

    - Thanks

     
  • At Friday, March 04, 2005 6:06:00 AM, Blogger Chuck Inn said…

    Agreed about the Naved Hasan comment being harsh. I read the piece on Rediff (as u guessed) and a couple of other places ... I was in a tearing hurry and didn't really focus on the exact word but the headline. As u said, he basically said it would be great if he gets Dravid / SRT etc and nothing specifically about targetting them.

    BTW, there is this news item where the new bowler in the team, Mohd. Khaleel, a left arm fast (medium-fast???) bowler speaks about SRT's weakness against left arm bowlers. Good point though it is hardly secret ... by talking about it, he basically gets the media interested enough to start talking about pakistani strategy etc etc etc. Specially good to hear a sound technical point from a newcomer ... simply put, in the last couple of years, SRT has been terribly vulnerable against the left arm bowler, whether spinner or medium / fast.

    Apologies to all for the Naved Hassan comments.

    Cheers

    The Chuckster

     
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