Post by Aditya Basrur
Post by Shripathi Kamath
Maybe this will give him the confidence to start improving as a
batsman -- would be needed against the Aussies.
Actually, the more encouraging thing about the match seems to be the
bowling in the first innings. Patel is probably first choice keeper
for India in tests anyway, so batting is a bonus.
I think that his batting will be crucial, otherwise we may experiment
again with Ratra/Dasgupta/a-brand-new-18-yr-old-kid-with-potential
If the batting is so crummy in Aus that openers and the middle order can't
put on decentish totals on a regular basis, then the problems will be bigger
than some 18-yr-old with potential can solve. The keeper should, at worst,
have to bat with the tail. That would be an ideal situation of course.
Indian batting abroad is seldom ideal. My point is that in tests, the
keeper's work behind the stumps should be the first priority. The batting is
secondary. Indian bowling abroad is narrowly more hopeless than the batting
abroad, as a general rule, so any chances MUST be held on to.
This might be true to some extent - but it doesnt happen anymore, and
wont. There is no team in the world today that picks a keeper purely
on glovework IMHO, and ignores the batting - it isnt possible to do
in the cricket of today (test or ODI). In fact, IMHO a pure gloveman
who cant bat for nuts wont even make most Ranji sides nowadays - because
the role is different. In the early part of the century you had keepers
who might come #10 or even #11 on occasion - I cant think of even fc
sides in which that happens anymore, the keeper is *expected* to be
at least a #7 or so. Ratra was probably the worst batting-keeper India
has picked in a while - but that was because he was reputed to be good
with the gloves and could hit a bit with the bat too, and had improved
a bit (had scored heavily in U19 cricket his final year after failing
with the bat in U19 cricket the previous 2-3 years), and they thought he
would improve a lot. Finally IMHO it was his batting that undid him
the most, despite the stats - he had a century in Antigua (which is
still the most surprising Indian knock by anyone in a while to me), but
other than that he even looked horrible with the bat, apart from not
even getting to 20 at any time IIRC.
The good thing to me about Parthiv's batting here is that he is finally
getting fc batting experience, and that is key IMHO. From talking to
people even 2-3 years ago, Ive heard about Parthiv for a long time -
and it was as a very bright young talent, best seen arriving in quite
a while, someone who could keep very well *and* bat very well, better
than many other specialist bats. Of course this was when he was about
15 years old - that is, he was better than many other "specialist 15
year old bats". When he was 16 he used to open the batting for Gujarat,
and made 200 against Bombay U16. For his age-group he was *always* an
outstanding batsman (note this was *not* true of Ratra for most of
his younger days at all - Ratra used to always be a #7 or so for him
U16, U19 teams in his earlier days). Parthiv was then put pretty much
straight to the test team from U16 3-day games (and very few U19 3-day
games). IMHO the talent in terms of batting was always there for him,
lots of shots and some very good shots too - but not developed enough
for the highest level. But given his age it was always likely that it
would get there IMHO - because the way it works with batting in India,
the best 16 year old bats usually turn into the best 19 year old bats
and finally end up among the best 25 year old bats too (in that, the
final pool of batsmen for India are often players who are very well
known from the 16-year-old days - this has been true of all of the
current Indian batsmen in the national and A-teams, even if it isnt
always true of bowlers).
It was an aggressive innings yesterday - but then everyone played
aggressively (India scored 336 in 93 overs, that is just over a day's
worth of batting). Anyone who made runs did it fairly quickly. Jaffer
was the 2nd highest scorer for this innings, and he made 67 of the
first 91 runs before falling (sounds like a very typically lazy
Jaffer innings too - 67 with *15* fours! That is, 15 fours, and 7
singles in the course of the knock :-) Parthiv batted at #5, even
ahead of Rohan Gavaskar, and he had 22 fours in his 129 - clearly his
best fc knock ever by a very long way. And hopefully the sign of many
many more to come, IMHO. Clearly the idea of sending him higher in the
order in the course of this tour has been a great success already - the
idea was to give him the best chance to improve his batting, and at least
that part seems to be working so far.
Post by Aditya Basrur Post by Shripathi Kamath
Aditya [Pathan with Nehra and Zaheer for NZ?] Basrur
Your'e kidding right?
Srinath (if available, and we need three pacers)
Well, I was kidding, but just a bit.
I have Khan and Nehra at the top of my list. I think a series against NZ is
a good time to blood a replacement for Srinath. If the replacement sucks in
the first match, give Aggy a shot. If Aggy sucks, then get Srinath back in
for Australia. Or maybe not - just an idea I'm tossing up in my mind. I
don't think one test is a long enough period to judge a player by.
Srinath <if desperately needed by the time of the Australian series>
Alternatives other than Bangar.
Hm. Salvi's leapfrogged Agarkar a little quickly, surely? They *did* play
about 3 games together last year in the Ranjis, 2 of them in the semis
and finals in which they took the new ball together, and Agarkar was
the better bowler in all 3 games (and by a bigger margin in the semis
and finals). And Salvi has since gotten injured and not bowled a ball
on this tour so far with a split webbing. So it should still take a
little more work from him before he can move clearly to the #3 spot.
Post by Aditya Basrur
I'm not sure how they'd work out who's good and who's bad. I think we should
look at moving away from Srinath more aggressively. He seems to want to
retire, and no doubt he'll still have enough gossip to pass on to Deep
Point. But if we can find a reliable bowler whose name is not Agarkar, in
Tests, than I'd be happier. Aggy has disappointed too much too often. He may
have had a reasonable Ranji Trophy, but I'd like to see him play some
slightly higher representative Cricket before he's risked again at Test
level. It would have been useful for him to go on this A-tour, but it didn't
work out. Perhaps the warm-up matches against NZ (if Dalmiya's still
allowing those) would give me a clearer picture. At present, however, I'm
happier with him in ODIs only, and a possible 12th man for Tests.
Surely the question is not who was disappointing or not, but simply who
is the better of the options present, who is the best of the rest. And
we actually *do* have performances lately to compare them and pick one.
I dont know about it "not working about" for Agarkar going on this A-tour -
he could have been selected if the selectors so wished, but they didnt.
I dont think he's actually doing anything at the moment - everyone is
just taking a break (he isnt playing League Cricket in England either
IIRC, as many other Ranji players are). He was not picked for the A-tour
because he isnt seen as being an A-level player right now - he is more
secure in his position than Salvi/Balaji/Pathan are in theirs.
Take Pathan, for instance. He basically emerged in the Duleep Trophy of
2001-2002, a year and a half ago, when he came out of the U19s and was
picked for West Zone purely because of Vengsarkar (DBV was manager of
India U19, and insisted when he came back home that more U19 players be
given a shot at the Duleeps that year - even though they had missed a
lot of the Ranji season. Pathan was thus picked ahead of players like
Iqbal Siddiqui for the Duleeps even without any Ranji games that year,
and he responded by being the top wicket-taker among *all* bowlers for
the year in the Duleeps! It was a quite outstanding performance).
However, as a result of that Duleep performance, Pathan was elevated to
India-A to tour Sri Lanka - and on a rain-affected tour he actually wasnt
*that* good, he was outbowled marginally by Balaji on tour. On returning
to India Pathan actually *slipped* - he did poorly in domestics, and
was actually *not* among the pacemen picked for the tour of WI (the 4
picked were Balaji, Yohannan, Rakesh Patel and Salvi). Pathan stayed
home and had a very poor year actually - he only had 18 wickets in
7 Ranji Trophy matches at an average of 39.33. His team got to the
semis, but Irfan was poor for most of the season anyway.
He even got to play against Bombay in the semis to round off the season,
head to head against other India contenders. The figures were as follows:
Agarkar 15-4-46-5, Salvi 10-4-20-1; Zaheer 23-8-46-5, Pathan 26-5-93-0,
Rakesh Patel 24-10-54-1; Agarkar 9-5-10-1, Salvi 7-2-13-2.
As you can see, Pathan was comfortably the least effective of the
seamers in this match. But when it came time to picking the A-team
to England, Zaheer/Nehra/Agarkar were not A-type guys, and Rakesh Patel
had just failed badly in WI-A. And Yohannan apparently has had enough
tours already and isnt being considered for A-teams anymore. So they
went with Salvi, Balaji, Bhandari and Pathan, IMHO in that order - after
the domestics IMHO Pathan was the #4 pick for this tour.
Now on this tour all the pacemen uniformly sucked for the first OD and
the first 2 3-dayers - but still Balaji was probably the best of a
very poor lot, better than Pathan. Pathan however has turned it around
this last week - having a good OD game (1/32) and a good fc first
innings here (4/60). Thus so far Pathan has been best on the tour
overall among a poor pace-performance overall - but surely not nearly
good enough to be suddenly all the way in India contention, not after
his latest season. (Salvi has escaped all the carnage, because he
hasnt bowled a single ball all tour long due to injury).
This tour still has a ways to go, of course, and hopefully Pathan
will keep up his recent form and keep improving - but as of the moment
Iam not even sure he is in #5 seamer spot for India (ahead of Balaji),
in fact I think he isnt ( all this, BTW, is assuming Srinath isnt
playing anymore, else everyone moves down one spot in the rankings).
As of the moment, IMHO, it is still Agarkar at 3, Salvi at 4, and
probably Balaji just ahead of Pathan for 5 (Balaji keeps having monster
Ranji seasons, 2 years in a row now, far better than Pathan or others -
but Balaji is also now on his 4th consecutive A-tour without really
breaking out at all, which must surely hurt his rank a bit).
Sadiq [ Misra might be sneaking ahead of Karthik, too ] Yusuf