marc71178 - President and founding member of AAAS - we don't only appreciate when he does well, but also when he's not quite so good!
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Beware the evils of Kit-Kats - they're immoral apparently.
Completely agree about Bari and Taylor and Engineer is a personal favourite as well - with all his flamboyance.
You are right about Stewart. He did improve which is the whole point about Dhoni. MSD has shown remarkable instincts and gifts to modify, very positively, his rustic boy-in-the-street batting style and the results are before us. I have absolutely no doubt that if there was widespread talk of his awful keeping he would make a genuine attempt to improve but everyone in India pretends he is the cats whiskers. He is not but no one is willing to say the king is nude.
Sometimes I wonder whether people are just not willing to say or they have no clue as to what good keeping is all about. But then how can it be. Guavas jar played alongside Engineer and Kirmani and against the likes of Knott, Taylor and V
There is this huge pledge of silence amongst Indian commentators that is bewildering and damaging. It is there for all to see whether it is lack of criticism for the super stars, refusal to discuss DRS, negative aspects of IPL or the exaggeration of its virtues (besides money) etc
I think that the problem with Stewart and Dhoni is that they are expected to be expert batsman. This means that their practice time must be split between batting and keeping out of necessity.
This I find to be a double-standard because no coach expects a specialist bowler to concentate on his batting to the extent that he can average 35-40 in the No.7 position. He spends most of time learning to bowl fast, or spinning the ball.
So perhaps the reason that Tallon, Evans, Hendriks and all those guys were so good is because they batted No.9 and therefore could spend 80-90% of the training time catching a ball, and performing stumpings. Not sodding about in front of a bowling machine with bat in hand.
Just a thought.
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But keeping is different from batting and bowling in a very important way. Almost without exception, every great keeper will tell you that one is either a keeper or not. Of all the cricketing skills, this is the one that needs the most natural aptitude. There haven't been great keeper who were 'manufactured' by great coaches or former keepers whereas there have been quite a few who discovered purely by chance that they had it in them.
I think it is this natural flair and aptitude that makes this such a special skill and makes great keepers so few in comparison to other skills.
It is possible to become a passable keeper by just coaching and training who, in the current Indian context may not even be noticed as not being a natural. However, the really top class and natural keepers will have to be discovered rather than invented.
It is important to understand that what keeping asks from an individual is neither easy nor natural. Imagine in a Test match situation, in a long innings lasting, say 150 overs, doing 900 sit-ups? Then doing it again a second time in a day or so. A keeper does as many sit ups as the number of balls bowled by all his bowling team mates put together in his entire career. This itself is an awesome strain.
Add to this the fact that these are not ordinary sit ups. You don't just go down and come up standing. You go down and then rise only as much as the ball does and stay there till the stroke is completed and THEN only you come up. This is unbelievably straining and difficult to do which is why this is what separates the great keepers from the others. Most keepers get up as that is the body's natural inclination - to continue to rise once he starts rising. To let the ball dictate how much you will rise and at what speed is not just unnatural and straining but requires a remarkable level of concentration and discipline. No batsman ever watched the ball as closely as a great wicket keeper does ball after ball after ball - doing it right through every ball, every over of every innings !
Then there is the footwork and the complete awareness of what is happening. A goal-keeper in football doesn't just keep his eyes on the ball he is acutely aware of what the opponent is doing, his body-feints, his feet and all. A great keeper, while his eyes are focused on the ball, has an intuitive grasp of what the batsman is doing. I am amused when people talk of how difficult and well nigh impossible it is to take inner edges down the leg side.
Yes it is difficult but you give yourself no chance unless you are doing the right thing as a keeper instinctively. Most great keepers are moving when it appears the ball is going in that direction and that invariably means the possibility of an inner edge. So many keepers have written that they move further than where the ball would end up un disturbed to give themselves a better chance in case the batsman got a touch.. The modern day keepers and the bowlers are as surprised as everyone else when an inner edge lodges in the keeper's gloves (standing up mind you) once in a blue moon.
There are not many keepers who have written their memoirs but those who have make fascinating reading. It also shows us how little we know of what goes to make a great keeper.
That the great former cricketers should display the same ignorance is doubly sad.
Last edited by SJS; 05-03-2013 at 08:26 PM.
Sadly, with the shorter games, especially T20 becoming more and more popular, it seems that batting > wicketkeeping for a wicketkeeper.
At least Sri Lanka still has Prasanna keeping, whilst Sangakkara does in the shorter forms, due to the much more needed batting prowess. I have no clue why we played Haddin in the ODI's, but not in tests. I don't see Wade as having that big an advantage over him in batting.
SJS you mean squats and not sit ups
A vote each for Evans and Knott ?? Wow ! Did I ask for the worst keeper to play 75 Tests or the best ??
Kirmani need not think much about the vote for him I guess. He is in exalted company here :o)
Last edited by SJS; 06-03-2013 at 12:16 PM.
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Of course, there is only one valid option and that is the point being made here.which is, to spell it out, sort of . . .
How can such a poor keeper play 75 games at the highest level and be headed for well over a hundred . . . Maybe even the highest number of games ever by an international keeper.
The fact that he is considered the only valid option is just a further emphasis on the validity of that question. That's all . . .
And yes I do have an agenda . . . It is top secret though
If Dhoni plays a further 73 Tests then I'll eat my computer.
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