Ranji Trophy Matches...
Deep is still kicking; Dinesh sends a warning
Wednesday December 28 2005 00:00 IST
SURAT: It may be all 'hunky-dory' in the wicketkeeping department
right now, with MS Dhoni and Parthiv Patel being selected for the
Pakistan tour and the former cementing his place in the team. But, wait
a second, competition may just be hotting up.
Not long ago, a wicketkeeper called Deep Dasgupta had arrived on the
international scene and impressed with his bat. The most gritty being
his 63 against South Africa at Port Elizabeth, 2001, opening the
innings, which helped India save the Test.
On Tuesday, at the Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Surat, a resolute
century (124 n.o.) showcasing his grit and tenacity to put Bengal in a
comfortable position against Gujarat, very much reminded of his innings
at South Africa.
What let him down, when he was dropped, was his keeping. Now, this
season especially he has come back strongly with the glove as well as
the bat, and has been leading the Bengal from the front.
The most interesting feature with the wicketkeepers in the country
right now, is that all are doing well with the bat, including Tamil
Nadu's Dinesh Kaarthick. With Dasgupta's century here in Surat, it
just makes the selector's job much more tougher.
While Dhoni is a good striker of the ball, Parthiv displays a good
cricketing temperament for his age and Kaarthick passes on as a
street-smart cricketer, Dasgupta has his pluses too.
Dasgupta is a kind of player who can hold the innings at one end by
playing the sheet anchor's role to perfection when the team is in a
bit trouble, tiring the bowlers out, which he did against the Gujarat
here. He is also a player, who does not let a loose ball go abegging.
He has all the shots in the cricketing manual and plays well both of
the front and back-foot.
When Bengal were in a spot of bother at 233 for seven, Dasgupta ralled
around his partner, Shibsagar Singh, to post an unbeaten partnership of
172 runs for the eigth wicket on Monday.
Somewhere down the line, he lost focus. He elucidates: " When things
were not going right for me, the mistake I made was taking advice from
a lot of people and reading stuff in newspapers, which played on my
mind and couldn't focus on the game. May be didn't enjoy really
what I was doing, with all sorts of things going through my mind."
Now, what's that change that he has incurred? "I always wanted to
play cricket. It has been my passion. And now more than anything I am
enjoying myself playing for Bengal. Right now, I am focussed and really
looking forward to a good season."
For the past few years, lot of chopping and changing has happened in
the keeping department, due to lack of form. It may not be surprising
if that happens again with all being in-form.
Kaarthick makes a point with bat
Tuesday, December 27, 2005 00:09 IST
MUMBAI: They say Parthiv Patel is a better batsman and is also more
adept at opening the innings if the need arises. They say the Gujarat
'keeper's glove work has moved up a few notches. They say he had
more runs than the Tamil Nadu stumper this season. They had reasons for
picking Parthiv over Kaarthick as the second wicket-keeper for the
Pakistan tour. The reasoning seemed logical.
But that was only till Sunday.
On Monday, against Mumbai, Kaarthick showed that he had the required
skill, the heart and the steely nerves for a battle. More importantly,
he scored runs, 98 of them in a total of 208, and was the only batsmen
to come out unscratched on a day when Tamil Nadu lost eight wickets
chasing Mumbai's 430 (over night 372 for six) at the ***hede.
An immediate recall to the Indian team would be wishful thinking, but
his 111-ball knock against a fired up Mumbai attack that had reduced
his team to 91 for six, gave the selectors some food for thought when
they sit down next time.
Tamil Nadu veterans S Sriram, skipper Hemang Badhani and opener Vidyut
Sivaramakrishnan were made to look like amateurs as Mumbai all-rounder
Ramesh Powar threw up his off-spinners at a discomforting length to
The opener perished giving the charge, in the tenth over. Sriram played
against the line and the spin to give a leading edge that skipper
Nilesh Kulkarni brilliantly plucked out inches off the field at extra
cover and Badani's painstaking 28 came to a close, courtesy Jaffer at
first slip again.Earlier, Avishkar Salvi drew first *** when he got
one to come back and knock out opener Hemant Kumar's off stumps off
the third ball of the innings. Later, debutant Abhishek Nair accounted
for the out of sorts S Sharath and S Badrinath to leave more or less
the tail as Kaarthick's company.
The wicket-keeper put to good use his time in the middle. He sent the
third ball he faced from Powar to the long on fence to begin his
counter-attack. If left-arm spinner Kulkarni's and Powar's figures
were sullied they owe it to Kaarthick's sweeps and dances down the
wicket, effective tools against spin that his teammates decided
More was in store as he hit Powar to the deep mid-wicket fence for a
six and then moved from 44 to 52 with consecutive boundaries off
Kulkarni - the first a straight drive and then a late cut. His
half-century consumed a mere 57 balls and he scored the rest of his
runs at a ditto rate.
National selector VB Chandrasekhar was impressed. "Kaarthick has
great potential as a batsman. He needs more knocks like this. It will
boost his confidence and only such big runs can get him back into the
Indian team," Chandrasekhar said.