Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by Ambrish Sundara » Wed, 10 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Hi,

The World Cup has come and gone. The Singer Cup too has been played. For
all Indian supporters, the performance of the Indian team has been
nothing to write home about in either of these tournaments. If there is
anything that has been consistent about the team, it is its
inconsistency. Thanks to some insipid batting by the so-called strong
batting lineup and even more insipid leadership of Azhar, the Indian
team, has rightly lived up to Gavaskar's description of it as 'paper
tigers'.

Save for Sachin and Sidhu in the batting department, and Kumble, Raju,
and to a lesser extent, Srinath, in the bowling department, the Indian
team has looked like every inch like a pampered set of individuals,
lacking all purpose and direction. These are not the ravings and
rantings of a frustrated Indian, but of someone who has all along
insisted that the Indian team is just a group of individuals lacking the
class and dedication to perform and win in the highest echelons of
cricket.

Sri Lanka has shown what team spirit and combined effort can achieve.
For a team, whose class was doubted not too long ago, the men from the
Emerald Isle have shown that they are perfectly capable of achieving the
very best. On the other hand, India, has always rested on its laurels
and has never been adequately prepared top class adversaries on the
cricket field. The performances of the Indian team, in the World Cup,
showed that India can be outplayed fairly easily. If it was Sri Lanka
who swept aside India in the World Cup, it was the Pakistanis who showed
their prowess in the Singer Cup. Let us sportingly accept that Sri Lanka
and Pakistan have outplayed us, and we lacked the wherewithall to
withstand their onslaught.

If India needs to improve even an iota, there is a lot of cleaning up to
do. As a first thing, Azhar has to step down gracefully, NOW. He has had
his moments in international cricket, but he is definitely not upto it
anymore. A captain is expected to lead by example, and Azhar has failed
to set any sort of example. He has contrived to get himself out in the
most atrocious ways, just when the team was looking up to him for a good
performance. This reeks of nothing but irresponsibility. Mind you, I am
only talking of Azhar as a cricketer, and my statements are based only
on his on-field performances (or for that matter, the lack of the same).
I have no intention of mixing up his personal and cricketing lives.

This raises the next question, who is to lead India ? I have a couple of
suggestions in this regard.

1. Navjot Singh Sidhu - He has been one of the most consistent
performers for India, and yet has been the most under-rated cricketer in
the country. He has the requisite experience in international cricket
and has captained Punjab at the national level. He has always seemed to
be a cool and level-headed person on the field. Again, judge him, only
by his on-field demeanour and performance. Donot mix up his personal and
on-field activities.

2. Sachin - The popular choice - I have great respect for Sachin's
abilities and have found him to be pretty cool-headed. What holds me
back in extending full support to him, is the fact that India is heavily
dependent on this little dynamite, and I have just that bit of fear,
that captaincy might prove to be a bit too much to ask of him. He
definitely is captaincy material, and has to be saved for the right
time.

3. Manjrekar - This man would have been an automatic choice if he had
been more consistent in his performances. With his place in the team
being in question, Manjrekar has unfortunately lost out on the chance.
It is till not too late for him. If he can come up with some mind
boggling performances, he still stands a chance, slim though.

4. And last but not the least, the surprise - Anil Kumble. This is
another very consistent performer for India. He has shown that he is
India's main weapon in the bowling front, and has always answered the
call to perform. His experience as Karnataka captain, as well as his
stint with Northamptonshire have exposed him to the varieties and
vagaries of cricket. He has shown that he has a very level head, capable
of maintaining poise, even in the face of the worst adversity.

This settled, we now have to turn to the composition of the team. India
needs a very good opening pair, capable of giving us a good start, and
placing us on a good pedestal. Sidhu should be an automatic choice.
Personally, I donot want Sachin to open the innings. Times without
number, it has been proven that the Indian batting crumbles when Sachin
is gone. Let us have a specialist opener for the job. Vikram Rathore has
not been tested and he has to be given the break. I donot have much of
an idea about his technique and temperament, but we have to give him the
chance to prove himself. If he fails even after a good number of
chances, we have to think of alternatives. Names which come to my mind
are -

1. M.V.Sridhar of Hyderabad
2. Sameer Dighe of Bombay
3. W.V.Raman of Tamil Nadu
4. Sujith Somasundar of Karnataka

RSCers could probably think of other options (maybe better ones ?!?!?!)

The one down slot has to be given to a batsman, capable of holding the
innings together. Manjrekar looks like the one to turn to, for the
moment. The four batsmen mentioned above could also be thought of in
this mould. Sameer Dighe would have to come up with more consistent
performances to really let the selectors plug for him.

Sachin has to come in at number 4, and that should be the place for him,
both in the longer and shorter versions of the game.

The next slot has to be opened for one of the following -

1. Rahul Dravid of Karnataka
2. Saurav Ganguly of Bengal
3. Vinod Kambli of Bombay
4. Ajay Jadeja of Haryana
5. V.V.S.Laxman of Hyderabad

Dravid's failures in the Singer Cup notwithstanding, he has to be given
some more chances to prove himself. Saurav, Kambli, and Laxman may have
to wait a while, but they should not be shunted out completely. Jadeja's
inconsistency is what worried me always.

For the number 6 spot, a few names come to my mind -

1. Diwakar Vasu of Tamil Nadu
2. Sunil Joshi of Karnataka
3. Syed Saba Karim of Bengal (formerly of Bihar)
4. Robin Singh of Tamil Nadu
5. Nayen Mongia

The bowling attack would have to consist of 5 players, from the
following -

1. Javagal Srinath of Karnataka
2. Salil Ankola of Bombay
3. Paras Mhambrey of Bombay / Venkatesh Prasad of Karnataka / Abhey
Kuruvilla of Bombay
4. Anil Kumble of Karnataka
5. Venkatapathy Raju of Hyderabad
6. Narendra Hirwani of Madhya Pradesh

All the players mentioned above could form the core of the Indian team.
Based on whether we are playing the ODIs or the Tests, the composition
of the team could differ. A utility player like D.Vasu or Robin Singh or
Sunil Joshi could be included for the ODIs, at the expense of one of the
specialists.

Let us learn from the Australian team of the eighties, which remained
undaunted even in the face of every kind of adversity, and is today the
mighty *** power in international cricket.

What I have suggested above, is not the panacea for the ills bogging the
Indian team, but possible attempts at solving some of the problems. With
players like Sidhu, Manjrekar, SRT (WOW !!!!), Kumble etc. providing the
experience, the others could combine their skills with those of the
veterans, to try and bring some amount of stability to Indian cricket.

But THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that will definitely change the course of
Indian cricket for the better, is a change in the attitude of the
officials manning Indian cricket. We will have to provide our bowlers
with better tracks to operate upon. Our batsmen will have to be groomed
on a variety of tracks, not the dead ones they accumulate their tons in
domestic cricket right now. If this can be handled in the right manner,
all is still not lost for Indian cricket. If we donot learn from our
mistakes now, it will not be long before we become the wooden spooners
of international cricket.

BCCI - ARE YOU LISTENING ??????

Regards


 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by tendolkar_gop » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>>>........
>>>For the number 6 spot, a few names come to my mind -
>>>1. Diwakar Vasu of Tamil Nadu
>>>2. Sunil Joshi of Karnataka
>>>3. Syed Saba Karim of Bengal (formerly of Bihar)
>>>4. Robin Singh of Tamil Nadu
>>>5. Nayen Mongia

Assuming your 1st five selections to be (based on earlier part of this message
which has been snipped) :  

  Sidhu,Rathore,Manjrekar,Tendulkar,Dravid

Don't you think that dropping of Azhar is drastic ? I would select
him ahead of Manjrekar, who can go as part of 16 member team to England.

Also, need a keeper better than Mongia. May be Karim !! Mongia can go as a batsman
and reserve wicketkeeper.

You have considered Dighe for the opener/#4 spot. Has he been good with the bat
this season ? Also how does he compare with Mongia as far as keeping wickets
is considered ?

Quote:
>>>The bowling attack would have to consist of 5 players, from the
>>>following -
>>>1. Javagal Srinath of Karnataka
>>>2. Salil Ankola of Bombay
>>>3. Paras Mhambrey of Bombay / Venkatesh Prasad of Karnataka / Abhey
>>>Kuruvilla of Bombay
>>>4. Anil Kumble of Karnataka
>>>5. Venkatapathy Raju of Hyderabad
>>>6. Narendra Hirwani of Madhya Pradesh

How about :

  Srinath, Prasad, Ankola/Vaidya/Kuruvilla/Mhambray/D. Vasu, Kumble,Raju.

Since India's immediate tour is to England, and that too in early summer
or spring, Hirwani would be a liability. Another bowler who needs watching
is Sunil Joshi of Karnataka. He bowled decently at Chepauk on a batting
wicket.

Quote:
>>>BCCI - ARE YOU LISTENING ??????

Hope so !!

Anyway, my team to England would be :

Sidhu,Rathore,Tendulkar,Azhar,Dravid,Karim, Kumble,Srinath,Prasad,Raju,Ankola,
Manjrekar, Vaidya/Kuruvilla/Mhambray, D. Vasu, M.V. Sridhar/Kambli,Mongia

IMHO Kumble would make a good captain. I know Tendulkar has been groomed as a captain,
but Kumble is as cerebral and as important to the Indian team as Tendulkar.

Regards,

--Gopal

 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by Rohan Chandr » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>BCCI - ARE YOU LISTENING ??????

I sincerely hope not, given that you want to completely drop a man who
has averaged 56 in the last 3 years and 4 months of Test cricket :-)

Rohan.
--
+1 (415) 497-5992

http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~rohanc

 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by Vilas Jos » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00


|> >
|> >BCCI - ARE YOU LISTENING ??????
|>
|> I sincerely hope not, given that you want to completely drop a man who
|> has averaged 56 in the last 3 years and 4 months of Test cricket :-)
|>
|> Rohan.
|> --
|> +1 (415) 497-5992

|> http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~rohanc

This is pathetic. He has an avg of 56 because of his performance against
England. Lets have a look at his avg minus English series. Dropping him for
Enlish series may be a drastic but do you really feel that he can contribute
against RSA? I doubt it.

His performance in this WC on and off the field (Bijli may have different opinion) was pathetic. He looked stupid when he got out, it was disgusting the way he holed out. His after match comments less said the better about them.

Given his performance in Tests and ODI over last 2-3 years against WI/RSA/Aus does this man deserves to be in the team? He may still have few good scores in
him but do we carry him in that hope or look forward to building a new team.

This is where dropping Kambli is so stupid. Azzar and Manjrekar have done
little or shown no consistency to maintain their place. Where as Kambli
is being dropped even before given a chance. Whether he fails abroad or
against oppositions other than England will have to be seen. But atleast give him a chance to prove himself

Show me what Kambli has done less compared to Manj/Azzar/Jadeja to be dropped?
Dravid deserves a place but not in place of Kambli. Why not drop Azzar or Manjrekar.

Vilas

 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by Rohan Chandr » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Name            M       I       NO      HST     RUNS    AVGE    50/100
SR Tendulkar    17      23      5       179     1325    73.61   8/4
MA Azharuddin   17      19      1       182     1023    56.83   4/3
NS Sidhu        16      21      0       124     1193    56.81   6/4
VG Kambli       17      21      1       227     1084    54.20   4/3
SV Manjrekar    8       13      2       66      376     34.18   3/0
M  Prabhakar    16      21      2       120     598     31.47   2/1

Quote:
>This is pathetic. He has an avg of 56 because of his performance against
>England. Lets have a look at his avg minus English series. Dropping him for

53.93. Pathetic, eh?

Quote:
>Show me what Kambli has done less compared to Manj/Azzar/Jadeja to be dropped?

While I don't for a minute feel that Kambli should have been dropped
from the ODI side just now, here are the comparisons you asked for,
over the last two+ years of Test cricket.

                        I       NO      RUNS    AVGE
MA Azharuddin           12      1       670     60.91
AD Jadeja               4       0       180     45.00
SV Manjrekar            13      2       376     34.18
VG Kambli               13      0       291     22.38

Does this answer your question???

Rohan.
--
+1 (415) 497-5992

http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~rohanc

 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by Vilas Jos » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00

For your information here is Azzar's avg against AUS/RSA/WI and ENG (these are the contries we played in last 2-3 years)and then tell us if his avg of 56 is not padded simply due to his performances against ENG. May be we should play him against ENG only, because against all other countries he is rather avg (I am being charitable here):

England:
In Ind          653 runs (8 inns, 1 NO )     Ave  93.28 (this is what makes his avg look artifically good)
In Eng          583 runs (11 inns, 1 NO)     Ave  58.30
Total     1,236 runs, Ave 72.71
Australia:
In Ind          126 runs (4 inns,      )     Ave  31.50
In Aus          305 runs (12 inns, 1 NO)     Ave  27.73
Total       431 runs, Ave 28.73
South Africa:
In Ind
In SAf          120 runs (6 inns,      )     Ave  20.00
Total       120 runs, Ave 20.00
West Indies:
In Ind          185 runs (5 inns,      )     Ave  37.00
In WI           113 runs (4 inns,      )     Ave  28.25
New Zealand:
In Ind          153 runs (4 inns,      )     Ave  38.25
In NZ           366 runs (5 inns,      )     Ave  73.20
Total       519 runs, Ave 57.67

Against Eng 93.28
        Aus 27.73 (In Aus 94)
        WI  37.00 (In Ind half of it on a dead pitch)
        SA  20.00

For better comparison would be to breakdown his perfomrmance against each conuntry as seen above. Lets not live in the past, a stylish 20 is useless when your team needs a large score. He may have been a good batsman before but today he is a liability.

His ODI performance: less said the better.

He is preventing other newer batsman from getting a chance. The question is not whether he should be a captain but whether he should be in the team as a regular batsman itself.

Tell us why not try Dravid, Amre (what he did not do that Azar did). There in lies future. Hope Eng series will see the demise of Azar. With Prabhakar gone and Azar (hopefully soon), India has a chance to re-build for next 5 years.

Vilas


|> >
|>
|> Name            M       I       NO      HST     RUNS    AVGE    50/100
|> SR Tendulkar    17      23      5       179     1325    73.61   8/4
|> MA Azharuddin   17      19      1       182     1023    56.83   4/3
|> NS Sidhu        16      21      0       124     1193    56.81   6/4
|> VG Kambli       17      21      1       227     1084    54.20   4/3
|> SV Manjrekar    8       13      2       66      376     34.18   3/0
|> M  Prabhakar    16      21      2       120     598     31.47   2/1
|>
|> >This is pathetic. He has an avg of 56 because of his performance against
|> >England. Lets have a look at his avg minus English series. Dropping him for
|>
|> 53.93. Pathetic, eh?
|>
|> >Show me what Kambli has done less compared to Manj/Azzar/Jadeja to be dropped?
|>
|> While I don't for a minute feel that Kambli should have been dropped
|> from the ODI side just now, here are the comparisons you asked for,
|> over the last two+ years of Test cricket.
|>
|>                   I       NO      RUNS    AVGE
|> MA Azharuddin             12      1       670     60.91
|> AD Jadeja         4       0       180     45.00
|> SV Manjrekar              13      2       376     34.18
|> VG Kambli         13      0       291     22.38
|>
|> Does this answer your question???
|>
|> Rohan.
|> --
|> +1 (415) 497-5992

|> http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~rohanc

 
 
 

Reflections on the performances and composition of the current Indian team (Long)

Post by S.Jagadi » Fri, 12 Apr 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
> His performance in this WC on and off the field (Bijli may have different
> opinion) was pathetic. He looked stupid when he got out, it was disgusting
> the way he holed out. His after match comments less said the better about
> them.

Now now ... I saw the Aus, Pak and Semis in the WC. Of the 3, I've forgotten
how he got out against Aus (ct Healy it says). He was playing well against Pak
when a brilliant catch by Latif got him ... not his mistake. And as for SL,
everyone failed miserably ... of course a lousy shot !!

Then coming to the Singer Cup, he waas middling the ball well against Pak but a
controversial decision ggot him out ... since I was at the ground, I din get to
see any reaply ... but the way in which he was given caught behind wen the
appeals were for stumped was pathetic !! *Wonder if those 2 umpires have any
prior experience*. In all, he's played his share of bad shots, and has been
afflicted by bad luck too ... but dammit, dat isnt enuf to sack him ! I think
England's gonna be a watershed tour for Azza ... somethin like it was in 1993
against England ... somehow he seems to be gettin chances against Engand, from
his debut till now !

--
S.Jagadish

Nanyang Technological University
Die hard Kamal Haasan visiri ... "Vaazhga Kamal, Vaazhga Kalai"
Mayajaal : http://www2.ntu.ac.sg:8000/~sf918168/mayajaal.html