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India v England, 3rd Test, Eden Gardens Kolkata

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Post by msp83 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 5:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

The third test of the series is getting underway at the historic Eden Gardens tomorrow. The series is at one all after 2 tests.
Eden usually is an intimidating place for touring teams. The crowd turns up large, although not on the scales of earlier times and it usually has the effect of India playing with 12. Could be an experience in itself for all players involved.
In the runup to the test, the pitch has been quite a talking point with the CAB curator engaging with a public spat with the Indian captain. Although the Eden wicket has lost some of its old spark, it has been producing results, often in the last session of the match. A used pitch will be used for the match and spinners might find some turn. How much of bounce will be available, has to be seen though.
The other factor could be the timing. In the eastern parts of the country, light fades early in winter and so the match will have a half an hour early start. Might just be of a bit of interest to the seam bowlers. Artificial lighting will be used if required.
On the team front both teams have things to think about. Harbhajan Singh got a national recall without doing much to deserve it, and his bowling in the Mumbai test was nothing spectacular. Seemingly he has some health concern and didn't train today. Anyways it is unlikely India would go in with 3 spinners on this track. Umesh Yadav is not fully recovered as yet, so Ishant Sharma should get his chance here. Yuvraj Singh too had some injury concerns following getting hit on the arm during training, but he seems to be OK.
For England, Ian bell is back from leave. Jonny Bairstow didn't make compelling case to take over from Bell, so the senior man should be back. Remains to be seen whether that would be at the expense of Bairstow or Samit Patel. There have been indications that Stuart Broad who has had an inneffective series so far is in line to be replaced by a fit again Steven Finn.
No major worries with the weather at this stage.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:25 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:Cook an absolute legend. Has to be one of the if not best opener in the world right now. clap

To be fair aside from Smith what competition is there in the test arena? proper openers seem to be like genuine fast bowlers these days,

But to Captain and open and push your average above 50 ... hes well on his way to HoF status.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:25 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:Cook an absolute legend. Has to be one of the if not best opener in the world right now. clap

I was going to write a post on that very issue later today - for me, him and Graeme Smith are the two stand-out 'conventional' openers of the moment (and if you look at their stats, there's very little between the pair), with Sehwag being the best of the 'aggressive' openers.

Let's hope that Trott can just pick up the baton now and show a return to something like his best form.

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:26 am

What do India do with Alastair Cook? He has become an absolute torcher for the Indian bowlers!.

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:26 am

Trott's of the mark. Last thing India would need today to see him getting back to form. But then, after him comes KP!.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:26 am

replays suggesting that one may just have brushed Compton's glove before hitting the pad, so maybe he's a bit unlucky, though by no means a shocker. Compton certainly thought he hit it (or was trying to con the umpire), England not really with the rub of the umpiring decisions so far in this test Wink

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Post by GSC Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:32 am

A sniff for India, Trott very much out of nick. Still need a few more to fall in quick succession.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:34 am

has Zaheer been brought on to bowl long hops? Erm not sure what that's all about, Cook cutting for two more between the cover sweeper and third man.

better from Zaheer, and some reverse swing, but Cook's outside off stumps and Dharmasena (who's having a great game so far) turns down the appeal). Then Zaheer overpitches, it swings a touch but right onto the middle of Cook's bat which drives it through extra cover for another boundary. Superb shot.

Drinks. India have a wicket, but England rocketing along probably just about makes it their hour again...

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Post by GSC Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:35 am

It looks like England will be less than 100 behind overnight, but for how many wickets. India would love to grab Cook.
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Post by Guest Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:36 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Cook an absolute legend. Has to be one of the if not best opener in the world right now. clap

To be fair aside from Smith what competition is there in the test arena? proper openers seem to be like genuine fast bowlers these days,

But to Captain and open and push your average above 50 ... hes well on his way to HoF status.

Well when you look at the other openers right now, aside from Smith and Cook it is hard to find someone that keeps the scoreboard ticking at a decent rate. Aside from the likes of Warner and Sehwag who are aggressive from the off and offer the chance to be taken early in their innings. What Cook has improved on superbly is the leave on off stump. The work Gooch has done with him has certainly helped Cook grow and grow as a top batsman.

Agree on his average and captaincy.

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Post by GSC Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:40 am

Trott needs to graft his way through like Sachin yesterday
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Post by EnglishReign Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:47 am

Superb work.

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Post by alfie Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:53 am

200/1 Smile

Handy start.

By the way you can blame me for the wicket of Compton ...walked back in after training in time to admire the score , watch a couple of fours and then...

Compton a bit unlucky , especially as the umpire looked a bit uncertain !

But Cook is maintaining his incredible run of form as captain : five games he has led England ...and five hundreds clap

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 06 Dec 2012, 9:53 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Cook an absolute legend. Has to be one of the if not best opener in the world right now. clap

To be fair aside from Smith what competition is there in the test arena? proper openers seem to be like genuine fast bowlers these days,

But to Captain and open and push your average above 50 ... hes well on his way to HoF status.

Well when you look at the other openers right now, aside from Smith and Cook it is hard to find someone that keeps the scoreboard ticking at a decent rate. Aside from the likes of Warner and Sehwag who are aggressive from the off and offer the chance to be taken early in their innings. What Cook has improved on superbly is the leave on off stump. The work Gooch has done with him has certainly helped Cook grow and grow as a top batsman.

Agree on his average and captaincy.

Its quite remarkable that he was within a whisker of being dropped ahead of the away Ahshes tour, and not withouit good reason.
Gooch has had his failures (Bopara) but identifying the fix for Cook and getting that work done, massive plus.
I would say though that Cooks still got a (relatibve) issue against the moving ball, and has always been strong in these kind of conditions. Hes one of the few players whos away average far outweighs his home one.
That is what makes him so valuable for a series like this though, too many batsmen have failed to cash in on tracks like this.

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Post by LivinginItaly Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:04 am

Buongiorno Chaps,

Don't want to put the mockers on Trott, but this could be the perfect opportunity for him to play himself back into form in a relatively (given the match context) low pressure situation.

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Post by alfie Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:04 am

Cook got off to a good start in his debut Test , in India. And he seems to handle these pitches better than most English batsmen.
Agree he is more vulnerable in seaming conditions at home , but I think he is getting better overall , so suspect he might start rewriting record books in the summer as well.
Has to be up there with Amla and Clarke as form batsmen right now.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:13 am

Captain Cook, oh what a man!

Something about these people that are born on the 25th December eh Wink
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:14 am

From Ali, TMS inbox: "Alastair Cook's projected career record if he retires in 2022 at the age of 37, based on his current record: Tests-229, Innings-403, Runs 18,832 and 100s-61. He could be on his way to becoming the greatest Test batsman of all time."

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:17 am

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
Its quite remarkable that he was within a whisker of being dropped ahead of the away Ahshes tour, and not withouit good reason.

I don't think they would have dropped him, nor should they. He'd only had a poor summer which had followed a good winter, and was already building some good stats. I always believe that loyalty pays when invested in the right people - for that reason I think England must stick by Broad: take him to New Zealand and play him back into some form.

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:21 am

Grant Holt V2 wrote: From Ali, TMS inbox: "Alastair Cook's projected career record if he retires in 2022 at the age of 37, based on his current record: Tests-229, Innings-403, Runs 18,832 and 100s-61. He could be on his way to becoming the greatest Test batsman of all time."

That type of projection is always very dangerous. Unforeseen circumstances are often lurking round the corner.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:24 am

Shelsey93 wrote:
Grant Holt V2 wrote: From Ali, TMS inbox: "Alastair Cook's projected career record if he retires in 2022 at the age of 37, based on his current record: Tests-229, Innings-403, Runs 18,832 and 100s-61. He could be on his way to becoming the greatest Test batsman of all time."

That type of projection is always very dangerous. Unforeseen circumstances are often lurking round the corner.

Could be too generous, might not be generous enough. Might come true, might not. Lets hope all going well (touch wood) he does it
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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:33 am

Cook and Trott just playing for stumps in the last half-hour or so, can't really blame them for that I guess.

Stumps, and that could scarecely have gone any better for England. Just 100 runs behind with 9 wickets in hand, England showing just how good this pitch really is for batting, though India's bowling has been a bit disappointing again. Cook reigns supreme at the moment, another fabulous century from England's captain, keeping up his happy record of a century per test when he's captain Very Happy

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Post by VTR Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:33 am

Excellent day again! Good little partnership there once Compton was gone. India would have hoped 1 could bring 2 or 3 but had no further luck.

Key first hour tomorrow, Cook will have to start again which could create a chance for India and the new ball will be due. If England can get through that then 500+ and a winning lead has to be acheivable

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:45 am

England should try and score 600+ here and bat India out of this game.
It is an ugly flat pitch. It was a massive effort on the part of the England bowlers to bowl India out for 316. That was at least 150 runs short, considering India's rather weak bowling the batsmen should have put up 500.
Now they can look forward to a long and hard and day and a half. Cook has already done his bit and looking good for more. Kevin Pietersen is yet to bat. Jonathan Trott is slowly finding his touch. Only Ian Bell is left to find a bit of touch and the way things go that is just an inevitability, a matter of time.
But then its Eden Gardens, perhaps someone in the Indian ranks will play a big hand and let the side get away with a draw somehow.

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Post by Silver Thu 06 Dec 2012, 11:09 am

Looking good for England, the deck's in their hands at the moment. If we can negotiate the first session without the loss of too many tomorrow, and particularly if Cook stays in, then we'll be in a great position. Agree on batting India out of the game if possible, they underperformed on a flat pitch and should be made to pay the price. Their confidence is low, so now's the time to put the foot down...in a steady way Wink

Well done Alastair Cook, massive achievement and quite frankly, couldn't happen to a nicer chap. He's an excellent role model for any young cricketer, I'm delighted for him!

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Post by eirebilly Thu 06 Dec 2012, 11:09 am

Its amazing that this is only Cooks 5th innings so far this test series and he already has 491 runs Shocked
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 06 Dec 2012, 11:17 am

Its actually quite unfair on some of the middle order oplayers who are barely getting a look in

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 06 Dec 2012, 11:25 am

So to answer my question posed last night - it's a flat pitch, and Cook is liking this very much.

England did well to wrap up the Indian innings just as things looked like they could become annoying. Then it was the Cook show again, with good support from Compton and Trott. Thought Sharma was India's best bowler. Ashwin again ineffective.

Test still with a long way to go, but an indian win looks unlikely: with 3 days left it would require a couple of English collapses. England should be looking to bat through tomorrow (and end on about 500) then reassess. Pietersen if he gets in of course will up the tempo.

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Post by alfie Thu 06 Dec 2012, 11:38 am

Well England could hardly have had a better two days after losing another toss...and yet there is still plenty to do.
Still 100 runs behind , but with the start they've had they would have to be aiming for a lead of 200 plus. The new ball is due early tomorrow, so first thing is to ensure these two stay together and negotiate it...let KP have his fun some time after lunch , hopefully. The bigger the lead the better - India might not make as many early mistakes second time around. But you'd think by day four the pitch might be getting a bit tricky to bat on.
What a series Cook is having clap

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Post by dummy_half Thu 06 Dec 2012, 12:21 pm

Exactly 100 behind for the loss of only one first innings wicket, and scoring at pretty much 100 per session, so we should be level by lunch tomorrow.

There's plenty of time if our batsmen continue to apply themselves properly - scope for Cook to build a really big score and for Trott to play himself back into some sort of form before the inevitable acceleration when KP and Prior are batting. Good chance of having a lead of 200-250 by the end of the day (depending on how soon KP gets in and how many he scores).

I'd even be happy with us batting until lunch on day 4 if we can, to set India over 300 just to avoid the innings defeat and with 5 sessions to defend on what presumably will become a more spin-friendly wicket.

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Post by skyeman Thu 06 Dec 2012, 12:44 pm

Ahhhhhhhh Mr Muckherjee, got one thing right, "the better batsmen will prevail" but his prediction of pace and bounce Doh

An enforced retirement looms me thinks.


Fantastic day for England, looking like the good team they are again.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 1:27 pm

Another dominating day for England, we haven't played cricket like this for 12 months. Big well done to Cook for getting his 23rd hundred - and it makes 5 out of 5 for his captaincy as well. Not to mention he's also reached 7,000 Test Runs - a true England great. Well done to Compton as well for getting his first fifty and he may feel a bit aggrieved with the decision to give him out.

England are in complete control, 216/1 trailing by 100. Today has shown how flat the track the is, the Indian bowlers haven't been able to match their English counterparts and the England batsmen have filled their boots. A lot can change with a few quick wickets but that doesn't look like happening. England should try and bat all of Friday and add 300+ to the total.


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Post by robbo277 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 1:53 pm

Agree with most of the sentiments on here. No need to try to force the game tomorrow, just try to bat the day and see where we are at close. Good opportunity for players like Trott and Bell to come in and play there way back into form. As someone mentioned, they'll have to graft hard like Tendulkar did in the first innings, but if they did they can look to cash in.

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Post by Fists of Fury Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:07 pm

Wonderful batting from Cook and Compton.

He's a grand fellow our captain, isn't he.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:07 pm

Good stat here from the BBC:

"India's last 5 first innings scores at Eden Gardens prior to this match were 631, 643, 616, 407 and 411. This is their lowest total first dig since their 171 in that extraordinary win following on against Australia in 2001."

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:25 pm

good stat. Mike was right last night in that we only really know how good a pitch is once both teams have batted on it, but yesterday it did look pretty flat. Today confirmed what we suspected: India's first innings looks well below par. India will of course massively regret dropping Cook on just 17 (what looked like a low but reasonably straightforward chance), in fact India's fielding was pretty ordinary (overthrows and too many cheap singles given away to the infield). Another worry for India is how flat Zaheer Khan looked: on a pitch offering reverse swing he should have been a big threat, but really never found his rhythm. Age/injuries catching up with him? Sharma bowled pretty well without reward, while the spinners looked unthreatening on a pitch not offering much.

question to msp (who knows more about these pitches than the rest of us do I suspect): is the pitch likely to deteriorate as the game goes on? Uneven bounce for the seamers (thinking Finn in particular)? more turn? or will it stay pretty flat throughout?

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Post by VTR Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:31 pm

Its amazing how things turn round so quickly. 2 weeks ago we were being written off as rubbish and were going to lose 4-0. Now a lot of us are rightly confident that we can go 2-1 up.

I think it must have a lot more to do with than just selecting Monty, the whole team seems to be adapting to the conditions after a slow start e.g. Compton and Anderson are getting better game by game.

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:36 pm

I think Zaheer has looked a different bowler ever since coming back from injury - still skilful and still the best Indian seamer, but slower, less able to get big reserve swing and nowhere near the World XI some had him in a few years back.

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:41 pm

skyeman wrote:Ahhhhhhhh Mr Muckherjee, got one thing right, "the better batsmen will prevail" but his prediction of pace and bounce Doh

An enforced retirement looms me thinks.


Fantastic day for England, looking like the good team they are again.

Curators like Mukharjee are disasters. MS Dhoni ones called this wicket an ugly one, there is no better description.
Said that, there is absolutely no justification for the underperformance with the bat that India had. Of course England bowling unit did a terrific job, but the likes of Gambhir and Yuvraj should take serious responsibility for the predicament that the team find themselves in.
Yuvraj for me, has at most 3 innings to redeem himself as a test player, and the first of those has to be a decent effort.
R Ashwin is now becoming a bit of a concern really. He's not able to extract anything out of such an ugly track. But playing in India, he has to expect a lot of such useless tracks. If he can't get the ball to turn and bounce, he should be willing and able to do the borring stuff as Sanjay Manjrekar calls it, keep it tight in terms of both line and length. He bowls 4 good balls and the next 2 would be hit me balls. So there is no pressure whatsoever on the batsman. Ojha is doing a little better job in this regard.
Zaheer has been disappointing. If ever India needed their leading paceman to make an early significant impact, this was where. Zaheer not only didn't pick any wickets, but also offered too many loose balls by his standards.
Agree with Mike, Ishant Sharma looked the better of the lot, Cook wasn't entirely comfortable against him and he didn't give away too many runs. But again, there is no wicket to show for all that. And unlike Zaheer, Ishant can't blame the fielding.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:49 pm

One of the notable features in the last couple of matches is that England have upped the intensity of their play - up to the last Ashes series we always looked like a strong and determined team who would chase down everything in the field and missed very few chances. Over the last few series we've dropped away from that level, but we seem to be on the way back now. Panesar is a great example of this intensity when bowling - always seems to have the batsman under pressure even if he's not getting huge help from the wicket.

India largely appear to just be going through the motions at the moment - little pressure from the bowlers, backed up by half-hearted efforts in the field, while most of the batsmen (Tendulkar and Dhoni excepted this match) have played lackadaisical innings.


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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 2:51 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:good stat. Mike was right last night in that we only really know how good a pitch is once both teams have batted on it, but yesterday it did look pretty flat. Today confirmed what we suspected: India's first innings looks well below par. India will of course massively regret dropping Cook on just 17 (what looked like a low but reasonably straightforward chance), in fact India's fielding was pretty ordinary (overthrows and too many cheap singles given away to the infield). Another worry for India is how flat Zaheer Khan looked: on a pitch offering reverse swing he should have been a big threat, but really never found his rhythm. Age/injuries catching up with him? Sharma bowled pretty well without reward, while the spinners looked unthreatening on a pitch not offering much.

question to msp (who knows more about these pitches than the rest of us do I suspect): is the pitch likely to deteriorate as the game goes on? Uneven bounce for the seamers (thinking Finn in particular)? more turn? or will it stay pretty flat throughout?
Going by past standards, the wicket should stay decent throughout the match. Don't think it'll stay as flat and ugly as it has done for the first couple of days, there should be slow turn by the 4th day and more important, the bounce could be a bit more up and down. Good, skillful bowling will have more life from the track perhaps from day 4, and the early start can be useful for good seam bowling.
You can't just turn up and turn your arm over to get wickets on day 4 and 5, but there should be a bit more life. Said that, good batting would produce runs even on day 4 and 5 as well.
But then Eden tracks had something of a bit of life on the first couple of days as well. But Anderson got his wicket mainly through reverse and Panesar through excellent control. Poor Indian batting helping them a bit as well.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu 06 Dec 2012, 3:33 pm

OHH MY..

COOKY clap

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Post by VTR Thu 06 Dec 2012, 4:42 pm

I'm sure some on here will remember this name: I have just noticed SwamyCricketAnanda is spamming the comments page on BBC Cricket. One of the saddest, most bitter individuals I have ever come across but good to laugh at!

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Thu 06 Dec 2012, 4:45 pm

To be fair he is playing a character. Very much like Greyghost who inahbited the rugby boards (recently departed , again)

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 5:14 pm

You know things are bad for India when Bumble asks whether Sreesanth would liven things up...

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 06 Dec 2012, 5:22 pm

The fast bowler situation must be a worry for India. Zaheer Khan, fine bowler though he is, looks very much on his last legs. Sharma I'm not sure will ever make the grade (though he still has time on his side I guess), msp I think said Praveen Kumar lost a bit of pace after his injury, and he wasn't that quick to start with. Vinay Kumar is just incredibly average for me. That means India are basically relying on Yadav and Aaron coming good, but already they seem to be struggling with injury worries. Do India have the conditioning program in place for developing genuinely fast bowlers, and stop them picking up these injuries as much as possible? It's a valid question you feel, as India have never been the keenest on fitness issues...

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 5:33 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:The fast bowler situation must be a worry for India. Zaheer Khan, fine bowler though he is, looks very much on his last legs. Sharma I'm not sure will ever make the grade (though he still has time on his side I guess), msp I think said Praveen Kumar lost a bit of pace after his injury, and he wasn't that quick to start with. Vinay Kumar is just incredibly average for me. That means India are basically relying on Yadav and Aaron coming good, but already they seem to be struggling with injury worries. Do India have the conditioning program in place for developing genuinely fast bowlers, and stop them picking up these injuries as much as possible? It's a valid question you feel, as India have never been the keenest on fitness issues...
At the moment, India's pace bowling hopes rests on Umesh Yadav. Perhaps PK will rediscover his usual pace and will be back, but then he's again out with another injury. Aaron has major injury problems, and unlike Yadav, he at the moment is just about pace and not much else.
There are some interesting domestic seamers, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who can also contribute a bit with the bat, but I doubt whether he would have the consistent good pace to trouble international batsmen. Ishant is an enigma, still a potential, after 5 years of international cricket.
Its all about Yadav and a hope about Praveen Kumar.
Have to mention another bowler here, someone many in India think who got a very unfair deal from the selectors. Pankaj Singh, who's only India appearance was in an ODI match, has been taking lots of wickets on the flat tracks of India and has been an important component of Rajasthan's last couple of Ranji title wins. He has had a fine start to this season as well. But the selectors do not seem to be taking note.

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Post by VTR Thu 06 Dec 2012, 5:43 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To be fair he is playing a character. Very much like Greyghost who inahbited the rugby boards (recently departed , again)

True, but he's been doing it for approaching ten years now across the various BBC messageboards. I think that is pretty sad and desperate, akin to someone doing an Ali G impression today.

Anyway, back to the cricket. Some discussion on lack of quicks coming through in India, but surely the lack of spinners is the main concern as that is a traditional strength.

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Post by msp83 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 5:51 pm

VTR wrote:
Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:To be fair he is playing a character. Very much like Greyghost who inahbited the rugby boards (recently departed , again)

True, but he's been doing it for approaching ten years now across the various BBC messageboards. I think that is pretty sad and desperate, akin to someone doing an Ali G impression today.

Anyway, back to the cricket. Some discussion on lack of quicks coming through in India, but surely the lack of spinners is the main concern as that is a traditional strength.

Indeed it is a real major concern. But if you have curators like Prabir Mukharjee, then you can't expect spinners to come through. Beyond Ashwin and Ojha there is the aging, out of form Harbhajan Singh. Then there are Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra, both are short of international class.
Shahbaz Nadeem and Ravindra Jadeja have been the best spinners in the Ranji Trophy this season, doesn't look well, not one bit.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 7:18 pm

When are India going to get a top-class fielding coach. Today really highlighted their ineptness in the field.

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 06 Dec 2012, 7:21 pm

In fairness Trevor Penney is supposed to be one of the best.

Mostly to do with lack of interest I would say.


Last edited by Shelsey93 on Thu 06 Dec 2012, 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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