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The problem with Indian batting is technical in nature. Lateral movement will always find us out whether it is of the slow or the faster variety. The newer generation of players is much worse in this regard. That is why Pujara is such a revelation. Just watch him go right back, and across, on his stumps or take a full step forward and one can see how different he is from the others. There is no point is pointing at Sehwag and saying footwork doesn't matter. There aren't many Sehwags around the world and his second innings record is an indicator of his issues when the conditions become more adverse. He still does a great job with his superb hands and balance but he is going to decline faster than Sachin or Dravid for it shows up more when the reflexes, hand-eye-coordination etc deteriorate with age.
The youngsters are fed so much on the shorter version that the solid basics seem to get a cursory reference if any.
It is amazing how Gavaskar and company keep taling of need to be mentally stronger while never mentioning the technical deficiencies in Indian batsmen, including Tendulkar who had a great technique but every now and then one bad habit creeps in and it claims him many a time before he himself realises and corrects. Fortunately for him he does not get dropped and often scores runs inspite of this. At one time it was cutting in the air and getting caught at backward point. At another time it was hitting on the up and getting caught close in on the off side. Then there was the uppish flick that resulted in a catch at short mid wicket and now it is the deflection off balls on the stumps early in his innings.
Most of his bad habits are picked in the shorter version. It happens to everyone including the greatest but our players, all of them one suspects, do not have to be the greatest to have a complete disregard for advise which doesn't seem to be forthcoming to outsiders like us. It is such a delight to listen to the commentary when the former English or Australian players are on the mike and hear them discuss the nuances of the game. All we can get from Gavaskar is "playing with soft hands" which applies to everyone and has for the decades Sunny has spent behind the mike.
But then it is the job of the coach to point out these things isn't it but where is the coach to tell the Indian superstars they have a chink in their armour. The last one was shown his place by Indians in the stadia, on the streets, on the net, Kolkata's Bengalis and by members of the Indian Parliament.
One commentator said yesterday that Yuvraj may have come back a bit too early from his illness and maybe he isn't fit. No word on that he may not be batting well period.
Gambhir has never learnt how to go back to a ball, cover the line of the ball and play it back to the bowler with a dead defensive bat. The way every opener (and anyone else wishing to counter quality pace bowling) must learn in the crib if possible. This causes him all sorts of problems against all types of bowlers. Bowl to him a ball a few inches short of front-foot-defense length just on or a few inches outside the off stump and watch him freeze. He has no clue what to do. In the limited version he just jumps out and lets go. Even to the faster bowlers. Anyone with a head can see the desperation in that shot. It gets away some times due to the fields in the shorter version. Here in the Tests, he just stays rooted to the crease and tries to tickle it as if giving catching practice to the slips.
It took some time for the bowlers around the world to catch on but now that they have he is getting more and more of this ball and his discomfiture would be hilarious if it were not so tragic for the Indian side. Yet no one amongst the Indian former Test cricketers seems to notice it or so it would appear from the lack of discussion on the matter o the air. I wish there was an Australian with a similar issue and then would like to hear Lawry, Chappell and Taylor discuss it threadbare.
The only time we seem to discuss nuances of the game are when Simon Hughes comes on with his hawkeye assisted analysis. This job used to be done by commentators once and still is in some countries. Its no wonder that these are the countries where Test cricket may eventually survive.
A couple of years ago, I had gone to Delhi and visited some of my old cricketing friends who were now running coaching nets. It was amazing to see the change in the inputs from the coaches in these nurseries of cricket. Looking at Pujara earlier this month was such a relief in that one realised someone somewhere is telling the right things to youngsters yet.
Last edited by SJS; 10-12-2012 at 01:36 AM.
And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW
Yeah we don't crap in the first world; most of us would actually have no idea what that was emanating from Ajmal's backside. Why isn't it roses and rainbows like what happens here? PEWS's retort to Ganeshran on Daemon's picture depicting Ajmal's excreta
Sick of Crabb telling us that he was in Wauchope. ffs ****, no one even knows what/where Wauchope is.
Parmi | #1 draft pick | Jake King is **** | PM me for my list of CW posters you shouldn't talk cricket with in Cricket ChatCome and Paint Turtle
Somebody remarked that Gambhir has been a fantastic player since his school days. Openers have no business compulsively opening the face of the bat in Tests, and that is why people like Gambhir and Phil Hughes will never be consistent at Test level. I'm amazed how these things never got ironed out while growing up, and more amazed still to see these sort of players getting second and third and fourth chances at elite level.
Now that he's been exposed for his prodding and opening the face, and refused to let it go, can't think of any other reason other than it has worked in ODIs and T20s. He plays that shot for runs so often in ODIs to get a single or two.
That and its too drilled into him to just drop it obviously.
Gambhir's fall has been disappointing to say the least. His dismissals in 2nd dig Melbourne and 1st dig Sydney are a disgrace. An opener should not be going out like that.
Sachin's comment and Gavaskar liking it is
How is one to judge the coaching standards of other countries, by and large it has to be from the over all techniques of the youngsters coming through at the top level now that the touring teams do not play much against first class sides and one knows next to nothing of the first class level cricketers of other countries.
So it is easier to see what is happening closer to home.
Then there is the influence of the shorter version of the game, the flatter wickets and smaller boundaries it has brought, the orthodox strokes introduced in the smallest version and the, at times, blind rush to copy them irrespective of the much higher than acceptable level of risk. The much stronger bats which alongwith the smaller boundaries have tended to reduce the gap between the above average and the very good. Then comes the test match and a good bowling side and one can see who stands where.
It is still an absolute delight to watch the youngsters coming out of Australia and South Africa. Today we bemoan the lack of fulfillment of promise by Rahul Sharma but that is because he shows all the makings of a top class player as far as being technically equipped is concerned. It is mentally that he is fragile. This is nothing new. One has seen so many players in the past with great promise who fell by the way side. I coluld name some you may never have heard of who were thought to be absolutely marvelous prospects. Gursharan Singh of Delhi and Punjab comes readily to mind.
But the difference between now and then is that we lose Rahul and we feel "oh hell now where are we going to get another player of that caliber from" but when we lost Gursharan one felt sad for the unfulfilled promise but there were so many others coming up who were very good as well that one soon forgot about him. This is not happening any more in the Indian talent pool.
The youngsters, more and more, seem to be coming equipped for the shorter version and that, as mentioned before, brings with it built in issues with technique as well as mental make up.
Similarly in bowling. Yesterday there was a discussion going on about how Indian bowlers can not swing the new ball and wait for the ball to grow old so that they can get reverse swing while the reverse, someone mentioned, was true for the English bowlers. While this may not be hundred percent true, the fact that top order international cricketers think so is mind boggling. Surely, almost every one watching the game seriously hasn't forgotten Wasim and Waqar.
Sreesant may be an idiot (is actually) but he swings the new ball beautifully when brand new and irrespective of which make the new ball is. It has to do with the grip, wrist position, bowling action and follow through. This is not rocket science but if this is what top cricketers are going to discuss on prime time (which is what cricket's test match analysis must be considered) then surely there are wrong things being said every day in the cricketing circles in this country. Otherwise where is this crap information arising from.
In England's first innings, Dhoni standing up to the stumps mised a ball completely and it went through for four byes. The ball had kept a trifle low and the commentator sympathised with Dhoni saying how difficult it is for the man standing up. This is BULL of the worst stinking order. The man standing up has to stay down till the ball pitches and then get up along with it as it rises from the surface. This is the first principal of wicket keeping. If Mt Bhogle doesn't know it someone should have told him in the thousands of hours he has spent on TV.
My grouse is not just with technique which is the coach's job but how little it is paid attention to by those who pretend to be cricketing pundits and who you have to line up on busy telephone lines to ask cricketing questions.
Finally aside from technique, no Indian cricketer on air has gone on to criticise Dhoni's demand for turning tracks let alone make fun of him in light of what Monty did to our pretensions to be the better players of spin besides being better bowlers of it.
The wider public relies on what they hear from those on air to learn their cricket and we are contributing to their dumbing down. The coaches are doing their bit towards the small minority that actually takes up the game seriously :o)
Last edited by SJS; 10-12-2012 at 02:13 AM.
The most depressing thing about this debacle is that we just know in our gut that the Indian setup lacks the collective willpower to do anything. I'd say this is on par with what brought on the post Ashes introspection in Australia? There is something rotten at the core here. Real change needs to be swept from the grassroots and upwards but I'm pretty sure Test cricket isn't the BCCI's priority, nominally or otherwise, as is the case in Eng or Aus.
Yeah there were definitely people who were calling for Monty to play, and equally some saying it would be stupid to play him.
Monty has won for sure.
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