Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

India v. West Indies: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

I know I’ve been harping on this all day, but I have one more thing to add. First, from Cricinfo:

In all, India are without Tendulkar, Dhoni, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Gambhir and Ashish Nehra for the ODIs. They will also have to do without Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir and Pujara for the Tests.

Here’s what I have to say: if India lose to the West Indies, perhaps someone of some importance will start taking this issue seriously.

If India wins against the West Indies, god help us. If India wins, it means two things:

  1. An Indian B-team is good enough to beat the current top West Indies team at home.
  2. No one will take seriously the schedule and conflict of interest issues highlighted by the the top-half of the team sitting this one out.

Who Looks Out for Indian Cricket

Ultimately a lot of this boils down to conflict of interest, which is what Sharda Ugra was referring to in my last post. Who is looking out for the interest of “Indian cricket”?. Here’s Kartikeya at A Cricketing View:

If it is Leipus’s job to make sure that KKR players are able to play for KKR for the 6 or 7 weeks that the IPL is on, and forget about what happens during the other 45 weeks in the year, then he’s doing it well. KKR have insisted that Gambhir was “fit” to play their final game on May 25. But if his job is to be Gautam Gambhir’s doctor, then he’s done it poorly – Gambhir’s likely to miss a number of games because of an injury which worsened under Leipus’s care. These are two very different job descriptions, and it is up to you to decide which one you choose.

I’m not trying to fault the IPL or BCCI. Not entirely. But someone with authority has to look further than a couple of months, clear-headed, with only the good of Indian cricket at heart. There doesn’t seem to be anyone with the financial incentive and authority to do so. A player’s association would serve as counter-balance, but it may not be enough.

Me, Myself and I: A Schizophrenic BCCI

Sharda Ugra writes a great piece on the gambhirta of Gambhir’s injury and who should be responsible in the future:

Consider this: were the Gambhir matter to be brought to a meeting between a single representative each from the BCCI, the IPL governing council and the franchises, N Srinivasan could possibly sit alone in a room and talk to himself. He is the BCCI secretary and its president-elect, a member of the IPL Governing Council and the owner of Chennai Super Kings.

The Secret Behind All Sports Commentary

I just had to put today’s xkcd comic up here:

XKCD: Sports

XKCD: Sports

The Atul Bedade Syndrome

The year was 1993 and the manager of the Indian cricket team, Ajit Wadekar, had just had a heart attack. Skipper Mohd. Azharuddin was working hard to keep the news from his team. India was about to face the UAE in their international debut. India was returning to Sharjah after a more than two year hiatus, for the first time since Aaqib Javed‘s humiliating hat-trick of LBWs.

More importantly, for the purpose of our little tale, a young man from my childhood home of Baroda was about to make his debut. The word on the street was that the only way he scored runs was in sixes. Atul Bedade brought a fierce reputation from the domestic game. He promised to be Jayasuriya before Jayasuriya, Yusuf Pathan before Yusuf Pathan. He walked in at four down with a few overs to go and left with a whimper.

And so it went with the rest of his career. As he would walk in, the commentary team would inevitably say something like “the bowler should be worried, this man can hit everything out of the park.” Atul Bedade was expected to and tried to hit everything out of the park. In seven months and thirteen matches he hit 158 runs, thirty of which came in sixes. And then he receded in to obscurity.

There were quite a few reasons I started thinking about Bedade recently.

  1. Bedade may have thrived in the IPL. For a season or two, but maybe more.
  2. Afridi’s recent batting career is a classic Bedade. More appropriately, Bedade’s career was like recent Afridi. Not a real comparison, of course– Afridi the bowler, and Afridi the (former) explosive batsman have been terrifying limited over opponents. Alhamdulilah, indeed.
  3. I can only think of three batsmen who have lived up to the kind of hype I addressed above for long innings and a long career: Sehwag, Jayasuriya and Gilchrist. Not coincidentally, all of them have done well in Test cricket.