Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

India’s Harbhajan Problem

Sharda Ugra writes what I was going to, but better:

In the last 12 months, [..]  Harbhajan has nine wickets with an economy rate of 4.30, but an average and strike rate that has gone through the floor of his career figures.

At the World Cup so far, it’s two scalps in four games, with an economy rate of 4.07. Were his role just to contain, in this age of heavy bats, small grounds and Twenty20 attitudes, the economy rate could be something he could boast about. For a strike bowler not to be striking, though, is an indication that something is blunted.

Dhoni’s argument is that the batsmen have been content with seeing him off, and then taking on Yuvraj. Which is why Harbhajan is economical, and Yuvraj gets the wickets.

It’s a sound argument, and one that Sangakkara may be trying to make with respect to Muralitharan as well. And as long as India is winning, the argument will stand unchallenged.

As long as India is winning.

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What if everyone could compete for the Ashes?

Nick Barlow asks (and answers) a fascinating question:

A thought struck me as I was looking at the Cricinfo archive yesterday – what if the Ashes hadn’t stayed as purely England vs Australia series, but – when other countries started playing Test cricket – had been seen as an accolade everyone could play for?

He then proceeds to track this “alternate” Ashes from 1891 to 2011, when India retain the Ashes by drawing the series against South Africa.

Not a bad idea for a a Test Championship– you could always have a reigning heavyweight champion of Test cricket, with contenders clamoring to knock them down.

Of course, in Barlow’s “alternate” Ashes, Zimbabwe held the Ashes from 1998/99 to 99/00 by beating India at home.