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Thread: The era of defensive captaincy

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    The era of defensive captaincy

    Nasser Hussain started it with his 8-1 and 7-2 fields and bowling a foot wide of eithe the off stump or the leg stump. Now, captains the world over have become specialists in sending off 5 guys to the boundary with 2 or 3 catching around the bat. In effect, this makes the game a stalemate, really...


    The reason is, on a good pitch like the ones at Mohali and at Mumbai, the ball is always doing a little something. And with the fielders in the deep, there is no real incentive for the batter to take the bait and play some attacking shots. They have to defend. Also, who would want to cover drive a decent outswinger ONLY to get a single and risk being taken by the ever present slips? Same with the spinners. No one is willing to down the track and just tap the ball through mid on or mid off and take the single. Vaughan was very good at this (but it was such captaincy that cost him the ICC champions trophy final against the Windies), Flintoff seems good at it too, Rahul has gotten better at it, Inzy is good at this too, Ponting is decent in this as well and so is Atapattu. I am afraid the days of Steve Waugh and Sourav Ganguly attacking the other side with packed cordons for McGrath, Warne, Kumble and Harbhajan seem a thing of the past. The Ashes was awesome but it seems to be more and more of an aberration than the real thing. If this is indeed the case, I think it spells doomsday for the likes of Pieterson, Sehwag, GAyle, Gilly etc.


    Anyone notice how few sides are scoring 500+ these days, except on real belters like the ones we had in Pakistan during the first two tests against England?
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    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    All true. But it must be agreed that pitches are getting flatter by the year, and only a fool or Ponting would put in 7 catchers with the ball moving straight as a die. The fact remains that curators the world over are responsible for these farces, with the bowling side having nothing to gain, and nothing to count on but the stupidity of the batsmen.
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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LongHopCassidy
    All true. But it must be agreed that pitches are getting flatter by the year, and only a fool or Ponting would put in 7 catchers with the ball moving straight as a die. The fact remains that curators the world over are responsible for these farces, with the bowling side having nothing to gain, and nothing to count on but the stupidity of the batsmen.
    I ask again, Lloyd apparently reported the two pitches where India won against Sri Lanka as poor pitches... And the folks at Pakistan and at Nagpur, who manufactured roads in the name of pitches, get away scot free. Is it just that Lloyd has no idea about the part the spinners play in matches and so he reports any pitch which offers them assistance as a poor pitch? Certainly, I would rather see those tracks than the belters we get these days. I mean, Antigua should NEVER host another test again, really...

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    In the Test match of 1882 the English bowled to a 8-1 field which they called off theory.

    So these things come in cycles the scoring rates are still pretty good?
    You know it makes sense.


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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    They are, but honestly, when Udal and Panesar bowled to that in and out field to Dhoni and Pathan, I got the feeling there was no way any batsmen could really make too many runs off them. The ball was turning a bit and holding after pitching and was bouning quite high as well. There is just no way batsmen can score runs when fielders are covering the two options they have: either to attack or to defend. You CANNOT keep getting singles on such pitches with such fields and think you can play a long inning.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani
    They are, but honestly, when Udal and Panesar bowled to that in and out field to Dhoni and Pathan, I got the feeling there was no way any batsmen could really make too many runs off them. The ball was turning a bit and holding after pitching and was bouning quite high as well. There is just no way batsmen can score runs when fielders are covering the two options they have: either to attack or to defend. You CANNOT keep getting singles on such pitches with such fields and think you can play a long inning.
    What do you think the answer would be? A new law where umpires can call wide if they think a team is deliberatly bowling wide to stop a batsman from scoring?

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    I believe it already exists and I think Shepherd did call a wide or two based on that law in an Australia/NZ test back in 98 or 97. But I just think even with such a law, the umpires would be so afraid of calling wides that they won't do it. Maybe a field restriction of just two on the boundary on one side of the wicket if you are going to have a 7-2 field. Like, if Hussain wants Freddie to bowl a foot outside off stump to curb Sachin from scoring and he has a deep thirdman, a deep cover and a long off. If you restrict it to just two fielders on the boundary on the side of the field where you have 7, it might make things a bit more even, esp. when the spinners are bowling.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Outside leg such a law exists, certainly - but there can and hopefully never will be any provision for such a thing outside off.
    Quite simply - such field-settings and bowling are in some cases the only answer to such pitches and incapable bowlers.
    All told, though, there was little wrong with the Mumbai and Mohali pitches - good, spin-friendly wickets IMO, and it says a lot that Kumble was especially successful on the Mohali one and, in the end, Udal on the Mumbai one.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani
    I ask again, Lloyd apparently reported the two pitches where India won against Sri Lanka as poor pitches... And the folks at Pakistan and at Nagpur, who manufactured roads in the name of pitches, get away scot free. Is it just that Lloyd has no idea about the part the spinners play in matches and so he reports any pitch which offers them assistance as a poor pitch? Certainly, I would rather see those tracks than the belters we get these days. I mean, Antigua should NEVER host another test again, really...
    Lloyd's an idiot. I've never liked him as a match referree.

    Those two Ind-SL test wickets were awesome. They offered the batsman a chance (seen through the 400+ scores on the odd occasions) but the spinners were aided as well. Hence in the 3 tests, one was a washout and the last 2 had results.
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    All told, though, there was little wrong with the Mumbai and Mohali pitches - good, spin-friendly wickets IMO, and it says a lot that Kumble was especially successful on the Mohali one and, in the end, Udal on the Mumbai one.
    The wickets were fine, but I don't think they were only spin-friendly. They offered everyone something. There was more bounce than you usually see in Indian wickets (which can only be good for Indian batsman in the future, in the hope they get used to more bounce seen in other countries) which allowed the pace bowlers to get some assistance.

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    International Coach tooextracool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    The wickets were fine, but I don't think they were only spin-friendly. They offered everyone something. There was more bounce than you usually see in Indian wickets (which can only be good for Indian batsman in the future, in the hope they get used to more bounce seen in other countries) which allowed the pace bowlers to get some assistance.
    I thought the Mumbai wicket was an especially good one. Consistent bounce till the very last day, offered turn and bounce for the bowlers and a little bit of seam movement, not to mention a lot of reverse swing. If the 2 teams could catch the game would have been over a lot earlier.
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    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    I loved the wickets on offer at the first and second ODI between Pak and SL. They were a true test of a batsman's mettle and unsurprisingly enough, almost all batsmen floundered badly.


    Inzamam certainly belongs to the Bombay school of thought when it comes to captaincy.
    Handing over the ball to Afridi and opening the field when you have the opposition pegged down to 56-7 with a certified tail-ender on the crease?

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    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    There was more bounce than you usually see in Indian wickets (which can only be good for Indian batsman in the future, in the hope they get used to more bounce seen in other countries) which allowed the pace bowlers to get some assistance.
    It's also good now you seem to have 2 quick bowlers who could potentially become major players.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    The wickets were fine, but I don't think they were only spin-friendly. They offered everyone something. There was more bounce than you usually see in Indian wickets (which can only be good for Indian batsman in the future, in the hope they get used to more bounce seen in other countries) which allowed the pace bowlers to get some assistance.
    Well - those who could actually move the ball sideways, yes.
    Of course - it goes without saying that turn and bounce is far, far more useful than turn and little bounce.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleg
    I loved the wickets on offer at the first and second ODI between Pak and SL. They were a true test of a batsman's mettle and unsurprisingly enough, almost all batsmen floundered badly.
    Totally useless! That's not what the crowds want to see! They want to see fours and sixes, and bowlers treated like they're just there as a sideshow!

    (BTW, just to absolutely clarify - this is NOT my thoughts on the matter, but what many people seem resigned to at present)

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