Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Give the bowlers their due

It's the bowlers who won the series against South Africa by restricting them to 227 in 50 overs and 148 in 31 overs. Dravid helped their cause by winning the toss and putting the opposition in both times. It was harder to bat first up in these conditions. When it came to the chase, the main thing was not to lose too many wickets to the new ball. Sachin's 93 in the second ODI was therefore important, and it's after a long time that he has contributed significantly to a team victory. That he also crossed the 15,000 run mark during that innings meant all the media attention focussed on him. I suppose it is natural to celebrate an idol's milestones but I think longevity-based records are less important than current achievements. The bowlers, for instance, hardly got any credit for delivering the goods despite their inexperience. That India won the 2nd ODI with six wickets to spare suggests to me Tendulkar's knock was not the decisive factor. The man-of-the-match award should have instead gone to Yuvraj Singh who picked up three wickets as a part-time bowler and then calmly steered India home with 49 not out. He bettered that with a 61 not out in the next ODI which India won easily, despite the early dismissals of Dravid and Tendulkar.

5 comments:

straight point said...

you have yourself said that batting first was difficult on these tracks and sachin's 99 came batting first that too when we lost early wickets...what else do we want from this man...why we want that every innings he plays should be perfect by critics point of view...he is human after all...

as i said in earlier comments that its a team game and there are other players involved also...lets leave sachin for a while and we will be doing ourselves and more over team india greater favor...

as for yuvraj...he was no doubt the man of the series not coz of volume of runs but for contributions in crucial moments both with bat and ball...

i agree with you totally in this regard that for bowlers we would have struggled to come close leave alone winning...the heavy weather our batsman made of last two chases, only confirms the point...as these wins were not as comfortable as score board suggests

Sumit Chakraberty said...

straight point, if you want to be charitable to sachin, that's another matter. but if you want to assess sachin's innings... yes, it was difficult batting first and we lost early wickets. but to be cautious at 36 for two is one thing. but to continue to be cautious till 194 in the 44th over, which is when we lost the third wicket, is ridiculous. it was not fair for the likes of yuvraj and karthick who had to come in to bat with only six overs left and throw their bats about straightaway. as an objective observer, you have to ask if sachin played with the team's interests uppermost in his mind or his own. if he had got out cheaply, i could have dismissed that as a human failing. but to keep going at a strike rate of just around four runs an over till the 44th over with eight wickets in hand was... well, not quite straight.

Cricket Guru said...

Straightpoint, Chandan,

I have replied to your comments on the earlier post. Just in case you have missed it.

Homer said...

a case can be made for Sachin getting two wickets in the last over of the last ODI.

Thing is, the team is enjoying itself and each others company and the body language is markedly different compared to even say, the Bangladesh series.

And I would read a lot more into Sachin inviting Yuvraj to share the man of the series honors than "mere posturing" or "the man's benevolence".

This finally is a team that will do India proud.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

the team always displays great body language when it wins. bangladesh was no opposition and the players knew it too. finally, sachin's two wickets came in the penultimate and last overs, and so were almost inconsequential. i do like his bowling though, and think dravid underuses him. i just wish he would stick to leg spin instead of trying to show he can do everything. But, you have to look elsewhere for the real positives on the Irish trip were...