Posts Tagged sachin tendulkar

Test cricket just not suited for India & sub continent conditions.

There is something prudish and snobish  in glorifying test cricket. Especially in the Indian context, since ages I have witnessed test cricket in the subcontinent heavily favored to the batsmen. A lot has been said about the climatic conditions and soil texture prevalent in India; not sure  if it is the only reason for us producing slow turning wickets.

 I have been following India cricket since the early 1980s. the one day world cup was what caught my imagination and propelled me from a ordinary follower to a passionate fan. One-day following soon shadowed into test cricket appraisals. After all they kept preaching that a true cricket fan always follows test cricket. One thing about test cricket is that it is the best test of endurance of a player. How can I forget the Dean Jones innings in the tied test in 87, followed by Gavaskar’s unsucessful marathon to save the test and series against Imran’s Pakistan in Bangalore! However such moments were far and wide between. At the same time, we could not follow the Indian team overseas except for the One day international matches . So a magnificent win by kapil’s devils over England in the mid 80s was followed only througha half an hour  highlights capsules. Even the great 1989 series between India and Pakistan; that debuted greats such as Tendulkar and Waqar Younnis was given the miss by the only state broadcaster present in India. Again what we saw live of that series was the one day format, between the two fierce rivals.

The stark difference between the Indian and an English or Australian fan lies in the fact that he/she has witnessed test cricket which is fast, result oriented and aggressive. This is in stark contrast to the games dished out in the Indian subcontinent. Even former Indian and Pakistani captains have admitted that the fear of loss saw them play out for draws. Slow batting featherbeds also helped their cause.

There is a ironical debate as to which is a greater rivalry the ashes or the Indo- Pak encounters. My take is that in terms of test cricket it is the ashes ; while the one day format honors goes to the Indo- Pak contest.

 Experts may disagree with my inference, but my whole analysis is based on a spectator’s inference. I would divide Indian cricket into two eras;” pre 1983 world cup” and the post 1983 world cup era. I know I am being grossly unjust to magnificent cricketers like Wadekar, Solkar, Vishwant and the magnificent four spinners ( Bedi, Prassana, Venkat & Chandreshekar); to name a few. But my problem lies in the fact that my generation (following cricket over 25 years) has just not witnessed enough good quality test cricket at home.

For us the great Indo- Pak rivalry for us evolved at Sharjah in the one day format. It had all the modern greats; Gavaskar, Imran, Kapil , Miandad to  Akram & Sachin play hard and fiercely  to define the other of all cricket battles. In the same corresponding period India and Pakistan did not play each other in test cricket for over a decade and that is where the lack of interest in test cricket amongst subcontinent fans originates. The tragedy of test cricket in the Indian subcontinent lies in the fact that Waqar Younnis and Wasim Akram never faced Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid in their prime.

 The situation looks even grimmer today. One major factor for rapidly diminishing popularity of India test cricket lies in the retirement of Anil Kumble. Kumble was the champion cricketer for India in every home series in the past two decades. The Indian batsmen would pile up the runs and Kumble would pick up a fifer in the second innings to give India victory in most home series.

Today as we celebrate centuries and milestones of our batsmen; our bowling without Kumble just cannot pick up 20 wickets( a mandatory requirement for a test win). As I write this piece Tendulkar is inching his way to another century, inconsequential and completely devoid of any chances of an Indian win. I was told cricket is ateam sport, defined as a  battle between bat and ball, however 1500 runs scored with neither side picking 20 wickets seems just not the prescribed great game of cricket.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

BCCI policy : Different player-statures; different rules

BCCI whip Niranjan Shah is always over eager to crack his whip on defenseless players like domestic boys of ICL, upcoming players like Chawla or the docile Laxman.

The latest discrepancy is handling Tendulkar’s issue on playing for Lashings in England with former teammate Dinesh Mongia (ICL Chandigarh Lions).

The bully Niranjan shah, now has his tail between his legs and has brushed the issue under the carpet.

I would again like to clarify that Tendulkar did nothing wrong & is completely justified in playing with his former national team mate for Lashings. This is why I want to see players like Kumble, Dravid Ganguly & more importantly Tendulkar fight for the right of their fellow cricketers who have decided to use the ICL platform to showcase their talent.

It has been agreed by one & all that the ban against ICL is unfair and draconian in nature; it amazes me as to how a country which has pioneered the cause of free market and liberalization allows its premiere sports institution (BCCI) to get away with monopolistic & restrictive trade practices.

The fourth estate has taken up the cause of the ICL players; after all it is the reflection of what the general public feels, irrespective of the success of the ICL. However public perception or media image are things BCCI and its chief –whip Niranjan Shah give a damn about.

However three players who can shake the BCCI are Tendulkar, Ganguly & Kumble and it is for these players to see the wisdom of the existence of the ICL & the benefits it offers their domestic counterparts in the country. After all it has been well documented as to how a single IPL cannot encompass the entire talent pool in the country.

The BCCI’s stance is best reflected when they conveniently do a u-turn every time they find themselves in the corner; how on earth can Niranjan Shah even dare to speak against Tendulkar , the country will skin him alive.

But objectivity requires that the rules should be same whether it is Tendulkar or Piyush Chawla, but when was the last time that objectivity was a term associated with the BCCI!!!!!!!!!

Comments (1)