Wednesday, November 25, 2009


10 Questions About Indian Cricket I Need Answered (On-Field)

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With the general environs as imperfect and contradictory as they are, I've found it nigh on impossible to constrict this list of on-field questions to 10. Tell me what you think (in no particular order):

1. Why do all Indian "speedsters" capable of bowling north of 140 km/h suddenly feel the need to become military medium trundlers who struggle to reach 125 km/h? Of the current crop, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth are prime examples.

2. Why does Harbhajan Singh deem it of utmost importance to bowl flat on middle and leg when he is well aware the result will be easy runs, irrespective of the batsmen's incompetence against spin? Moreover, is he so vital to Team India that he can't be sent back to Ranji cricket to rediscover his mojo?

3. Why do Indian fielders, irrespective of their fielding prowess (or more commonly, lack their of) lob the ball back to the keeper? Surely, a throw of intent fired in over middle stump, even in a non-run out situation, will plant seeds of doubt in the batsmen's minds the next time they consider a risky run?

4. Why does Team India need to put in an atrocious fielding effort before it can pull its finger out and set the field on the fire in the next game? The marked improvement in performance over the course of a few days signals a lack of intent and poor attitude in the previous game, which effectively implies effort levels deep south of 100%. When did players begin picking and choosing the matches in which they could be bothered putting in? What is the difference between this attitude and a vague form of match fixing?

5. As a continuation of the fielding theme, why don't Indian wicketkeepers run up to the stumps more often than not after every ball? Why do they take the ball with one hand while the other lays limp by their sides? Why do they not demand that fielders throw the ball to them within a 30cm diameter of the stumps?

6. Why does the team management continue to select players who are clearly unfit or have shown zero net improvement in their game, eg. Munaf Patel? For all his great work and success it is a blight on MS Dhoni's captaincy to see and hear him back players of Munaf's ilk who appear to have no desire to improve their attitudes and / or take their games to the next level.

7. Why does VVS Laxman always give the opposition at least 5 opportunities, in the first 15 balls he faces, to send him back by hanging his bat 3 miles from his body? Such peace offerings to the 'keeper and slips cordon have, in my estimation, resulted in a career average approximately 5 runs per innings lower than what it could have been for Team India's very own Picasso.

8. When will Yuvraj Singh be told to lose his spare tyre or lose his place in the team? Yuvraj's fielding standards have been receding faster than Virender Sehwag's hairline and Yuvraj's recession can be squarely attributed to the rise in his love handles. Surely this is reason enough to read him the riot act.

9. When in and set during overs 15 to 35 in ODI's, why does MS Dhoni, and recently the remainder of the batting line up, feel it unimportant to send the ball to and beyond the ropes? Logic dictates that an increased tempo during the middle overs will lead to higher totals, no?

10. Why can't Virender Sehwag bat in ODI's like he does in Test matches? Even if Sehwag scores 5 in the first 5 overs of an ODI, but manages to get his eye in and timing going, a more prolonged period of mayhem is likely to follow than when he tries to start butchering from the very first ball he faces.


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