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, March 24, 2006

Why did we lose ... coz of the toss?

It is not as if I was thrilled at Dravid's two shockers - field 5 bowlers and then field first. But I wasn't too worried either coz eith Dhoni and Pathan's batting, we can easily make up for the sixth batsman ... and as the match showed, the pitch didn't really play a big factor so batting first or second might not have mattered too much.

For me, the blame has to be put on two factors - fielding + batting. When Dravid took 5 batsmen, we could still have won the match. When Dravid decided to field first, we could still have won the match. However, when we dropped between 10-12 catches plus one sitter of a stumping in the match, our outlook didn't look too bright. Finally when our famed batting line up (and the sixth batsman here would have just been eye-candy ... he would in most probability would have joined the procession to the pavillion) collapsed in the second innings, everything was up.

The question here is not of the sixth batsman ... tell me, if Laxman had played as the sixth batsman, he would probably have batted at 5 or 6 ... does anyone really think his presence would have prevented a collapse? See, maybe it would have and maybe it wouldn't have ... but definitely one cannot say that his presence would have prevented an Indian loss. However, the batsman making runs as they should ... and the fielders holding catches as they again should ... these two factors would have made India win this match for sure.

Shaun Udal takes 4 wickets to take England to victory ... can someone shoot me please??? No, on second thoughts, shoot Dhoni ... if we had any award for "Stupid of the match" like we have "man of the match" I doubt if we would have any other contender (again, let me repeat ... while Dravid's two decisions were not the best they could have been, they defintely were not "stupid"). And yes, I remember he is the guy who made the runs in the first innings ... but we Indians (players and fans) should understand one thing ... making runs in one innings or one match or two matches or three matches cannot / should not mean that throwing away ur wicket in any innings can be pardoned. Get out to a good ball ... u can be pardoned time and again. Get out the Dhoni way (2nd innings) and definitely one doesn't deserve a pardon.

Ok, let me state my personal preference on the 5 bowler theory. I say that if we have a completely dead / lifeless pitch (as in the first two tests in Pakistan) we can go in with 5 bowlers coz our aim should always be to get a win whatever it takes ... but if the pitch is not completely dead / lifeless, then put the responsibility on the 4 bowlers (and don't pardon the loss of form of one bowler etc ... all those things should be looked at before stepping onto the field) and play the extra bat. One may talk of 20 wickets being taken for a win ... but I always believe it is a batsman's game ... and an extra batsman would always serve u better. In case of a 5th bowler, one bowler will always be underbowled ... and the trick is in identifying which of the 5 bowlers would be under-utilized (and no ... it should not be left to vagaries like "form on that day") ... and replacing him with ur sixth bat. See, 4 bowlers or 5 bowlers ... there is only 20 opposition wickets to take ... but when u talk of scoring runs, there is no limit to the number of runs ur sixth batsman can score.

Right now, most media stories r about the toss and 5 bowlers and how Ganguly would have never made this mistake. Yep, in his five years as captain, I am sure Ganguly never made a mistake ... LOL ... anyways from Dravid, I don't expect this to be the last mistake ... he will make more and he is allowed to make them ... coz he is the guy who is doing the planning ... and he runs the show the way he thinks is best (or whether Greg C does it behind the scenes ... I don't really care) and sometimes he will screw up and that is still ok with me. So there!!!

Gavaskar crapped his usual crap ... he must be one of the happiest people around since he now gets to diss Chappell tactics ... he talked about too much ODI cricket and too much shuffling around being the cause for the batting failure and some such nonsense. Well, Mr. Gavaskar ... as far as I remember, Sehwag Dravid and Tendulkar have been in the team in a consistent manner and have always batted at 1, 3 and 4. Yuveraj, since making the spot his own, again has batted at 5. Jaffer as opener is bound to bat at 2. So kindly explain if u mean Laxman's ommission is what u mean as "constant shuffling" and also kindly explain if u think that Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Yuveraj would have performed better had Laxman been in the team.

Geez ... I wish Gavaskar would get a blog and stop polluting the newspapers ... at least I can avoid going to his blog.

The ODI team announced and my man, Venugopal Rao is in ... Raina and Rao, my two bets for the future.

Anyways, cheers

The Chuckster

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

As SRT and Dravid battle it out

Day 5 ... 270 odd required and two wickets down. SRT and Dravid in the middle ... this is what test cricket is all about.

SRT has been a great player and even his harshest critics can't deny him that title. However, it is often how people go out that lingers on in the mind ... and it is not as if SRT is on his way out of international cricket today but he is definitely no spring chicken.

SRT's past will remain glorious ... and it is upto him to ensure how we remember his last days (last years???). Sourav Ganguly had a very good career ... in fact, at one time, he was India's best ODI bat and this was when SRT was also playing very well. However, his exit wasn't pretty and when one thinks of Ganguly in the coming years, the image that might come could be of a lazy whiner rather than a glorious captain. Similarly for Kapil Dev who in his last days in international cricket evoked more comments of "wish he would get that damned record and get lost" than any of praise. Sounds cruel but for me, that much is true.

How will we remember SRT ... this test might be a factor when we remember SRT after his retirement, whenever that might be.


The Chuckster

SRT booing - what is the big deal?

Long time no posts ... and if I were a famous writer, I would say I had writer's block ... but since I am not famous, lets just say I am too bored to blog nowadays ... am taking medication for it and hope to recover soon.

I read with some degree of amusement the hoo-haa regarding the booing of Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhade. Some of the reactions bordered on the ridiculous like that of Ajay Jadeja who termed it probably the saddest day for Indian cricket. Vengsarkar went on to call the spectators fools and proudly told of his achievement of getting some spectators thrown out of the ground who later booed Ian Bell when he was returning after being out.

Remember the last time u went to see a movie and didn't like it? Remember the last time the theater erupted with whistles and boos when the people who pay hard earned money feel they r being shortchanged? Would u say that those people r fools and should be thrown out of the theater? Some might say yes, coz it spoils the fun for the others ... but this wouldn't hold good for people watching a match in a stadium ... some people booing shouldn't spoil anything for the others.

See, for me it is as simple as this - A guy pays money to come into the ground and watch a match. He has certain expectations in terms of what he will get back in return for his money ... and he is definitely within his rights to expect something worth his money. See here, before someone comments on the obvious - booing is different and hurling abuse is different. When I say "boo", I mean expressing displeasure with someone / something by whistling or making hooting noises ... and not calling the person @#$!%^ or $#$#%^!.

What makes booing cricketers different from booing filmstars? Sachin Tendulkar didn't get booed because he failed in the first innings at Mumabi ... he got booed coz he has repeatedly been letting down the expectations of the people in the recent past ... and it just went past boiling point. SRT is a darling of the people but the Indian public is also in need for fulfilment of its desires and needs - a big score from the man when the team is in trouble, not awkward pokes that remind one of Ajit Agarkar or Zaheer Khan.

SRT failed, as he usually does nowadays and the public reacted. Probably, if it had not been SRT he might already be cooling the benches ... since it is SRT he is still the undisputed number 4 of the team ... and to say that people do not even have the right to boo his bad performances is really ridiculous.

A question for Vengsarkar ... assuming u meant "booing" and not "abusing" when u said that u got some people thrown out for booing Ian Bell, who gave u the authority to dictate how people express their sentiments?

See, the same public which is being criticized for booing Tendulkar goes to the polls and elects governments ... we trust them to do that and surely we can trust them to judge a cricketer ... really, I do believe it is much simpler.

A single man did not boo Tendulkar ... it is a movement that is gaining ground slowly and steadily and just like a man can vote for the BJP one time and the congress the next time, he can applaud SRT one time and criticize him the next time ... he has that right and the Vengsarkars and others of his ilk cannot take away that right. As for Ajay Jadeja who thought it was Indian cricket's saddest day ... man, get a life! There is more to Indian cricket than worshipping Tendulkar.

BTW, I am just salivating at the thought of hearing Sunil Gavaskar's take on the matter. i.e. - if he is able to speak with all that indignation choking him down.

Chalo cheers people

The Chuckster

P.S. - A thought struck me so putting this at the end ... please do not equate SRT's booing to the Calcutta crowd booing the entire Indian team and supporting South Africa ... in my opinion, the two are not the same and the same arguments do not hold.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Just a couple of links

Click here for the story of Indian cricketers and Dhobi discount

Also there seems to be some controversy over Sania Mirza's breakup with Shahar Peer of Israel as a doubles partner ... basically, Sania didn't want to invite the wrath of the muslim community by playing with an Israeli player. What hogwash!!!


The Chuckster