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    February 06, 2006

    Grapes turning sour?

    Look who is blaming the weather for their team's shortcomings! I can understand Jagadish's frustration at today's result, it is always frustrating to lose, I know, but you can't really blame the weather or D/L for India's own mistakes! Yes, their own mistakes. Like bowling crap, and not batting well enough at the death.
    Of course, the series could have been scheduled at a better time, I've been saying all along that you shouldn't be playing at all at this time of the year. But then, you can't change the schedule mid way through a series, can you? Now that India are here, they might as well get used to the bad light and the weather and get on with it. Like Pakistan have.
    And on Duckworth and Lewis, again, I'm not saying I liked the game to finish in this way, I would preferred to have Younis Khan hitting the winning runs of the 49th over, so at least, in that case, a bit of credit would have come Pakistan's way for earning the win, rather then present whinge of India having been robed of a win that I'm hearing.
    But do we really know a better way of deriving results for matches affected by rain/bad light/whatever? I'm sure there is no reason why Jagadish wouldn't want to share any alternatives with all of us if he did.
    You can't also argue with the umpires either for offering us light when they did. Or against our batsman taking it. In the last over before they went of, Younis and Rana missed half the balls simply because it was too dark to see anything. And it really was that dark, if this was a test match the players would have gone off much earlier.
    Asad Rauf and Simon Taufel for my money did they best they could in the conditions, and India given they had the knowledge the game could have been decided on Duckworth Lewis, should have taken more care. Perhaps if Agarkar, Zaheer, Karthick and co. had bowled half as much of rubbish as they bowled, or if India hadn't collapsed following Sachin's dismissal, the result could have been different.
    Blaming the weather, Duckworth Lewis or anything at all expect the players for 'robbing' a win from India, I'm afraid, this will always come across as a case of sour grapes to opposition fans.

    Thus spake Zainub Razvi @ 9:50 PM |
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    8 sledge(s):

    It’s not in house fighting worma, it’s… ahem, let me see… intellectual discussion or intellectual exchange of views rather. :D

    I think our quicks certainly bowled a whole lot better then did Agarkar, Zaheer and Pathan combined together. And I also think that given we’d batted our fifty overs, we would have got more then India’s 329, so in that way too, India would have then bowled relatively crappier then us.

    It wasn’t really just the runs so to speak, it was more to do with which sides’ bowlers looked more likely to get a wicket, and which sides’ bowlers looked like being spanked out of the ground. And the popular belief (Osman Samiuddin, Nasser Hussain, Imran Khan, and Sanjay Manjeraker too) was that Pakistan was ahead on this count. Nasser actually said that if you take out Harbajjan and Kumble from the India attack it would be on par with a county attack, now I wouldn’t go in and discuss that over here, but that’s just to point out that India do have problems in their bowling. Big ones.

    And lastly, I don't like the term 'awarded' the win, I like to think we earned it. Awarded gives the impression as if we got it when we didn't deserve it.

    By Blogger Zainub (07-Feb-2006, 1:11:00 AM)'s my comment to which Zainub replied had..umm...'mysteriously' vanished earlier ;-)

    Zainub, While its good to watch from the line this 'in house' fighting at 24x7 ;-)....I thought I would chip in just one said " Like bowling crap, and not batting well enough at the death." - well I agree that India did not bat well enough at death, and we should have made more (read my post at sightscreen for more detailed thought) but to say that we 'bowled crap' is a bit misleading. So, if we batted badly and made less.....which means we should have got around 350? And you then say that Pak reached 311/47 because we bowled crap? Doesn't that mean Pak bowled crappier?? Way way crappier? And especially so because they got the early morning condition to use? (remember both captains wanted to bowl first)

    Although that does give me some satisfaction that we were better than Pak in one aspect, I would still not accept it. I think we should and could have got more. I also think that Pak bowled better than us in the initial phase (Asif and morning conditions were two reasons) but we did not bowl too bad either. This was just 'this kind of pitch' (or ground, I should say) I was surprised at Aridi not walking in at 3 (Malik did make up for it) because he could have won the match in 40 overs! The ground looked so small, and the outfield so fast, that often Dhoni was getting a boundary for 1/4 of a full effort!

    And btw, I personally do think that Pakistan was favourite for winning this, at the point that the match was stopped. Still, it wasn't a certainty. But the weather being what it was, they can't be blamed for being awarded the win.

    By Blogger worma (07-Feb-2006, 1:29:00 AM)  

    Zainub you got it wrong. Actually you're right on the count that had Pakistan batted for 50 overs they may have got 'slightly' ahead of Indian score (had they not committed wicket-o-suicide as they had set out to). But you said India batted poorly...which means India should have got more runs (infact everyone including Woolmer agreed that India messed up in the end, otherwise it was 350+ easily). Which means Pak bowled crappier? (unless you count those gift wickets of tailenders in the end which cost us runs).

    Anyway, lets come out of this word-game. Lets look at it this way. I agree that currently Asif is bowling in a different league than most Indian bowlers (I think in this form there's hardly anyone in the world who would bowl better, but then such forms are purple patches, plus no batsmen in the world has 'studied' his style...the real test comes from the second season...not putting down his performance or anything...just a general fact).

    But besides Asif, who else? Rana was not even a tiny shade better than any Indian bowler when he was bowling to our batsmen. It was only later that he cleaned up tailender.

    And lets ask Hussain how many county bowlers take first over hat-trick even in county matches (and there the conditions are almost *always* helpful). Pathan is a very very good bowler....ofcourse he is more suitable for certain kinds of conditions...and ofcourse people now *know* what to expect from him (this is what I mean by second season, remember how Younis and co use to fall like nine-pins to his bowling, now they've learnt). But hey...even Asif would struggle in certain conditions (I don't think he would have made an inch of a difference in the 400+ partnership in Lahore?)

    And lastly, the Pakistani bowling looked a shade better because of the initial use of the conditions. Remember that both captain wanted to use it? And Pak got to use it.

    Btw, that we still got to 320+ is a big thing in itself....although given the second innings conditions and Pak batting lineup, it obviously wasn't enough.

    But enough of this long rant :-)

    By Blogger worma (07-Feb-2006, 1:39:00 AM)  

    Just one thing, I didn't say India batted badly through out, I just said they batted badly at the death.

    And I also don't agree with Nass' county comment, he has the tendency to just stick to his preformed notions about certain Indian bowlers, and he refuses to let go of them, no matter what.

    One last thing, I don't think it's only Asif. Yes, he's obviouslt the big difference, but Rana by the looks bowled pretty well towards the end to get his tail end wickets. He was better then Zaheer Khan and Agarkar in my opinion at least.

    By Blogger Zainub (07-Feb-2006, 1:57:00 AM)  

    Yes yes...I did mean 'batted badly in the death'...even then my comment stands...that Pakistani bowlers were worse, as per this logic :)...but I promise I wont bring it up (and anyway I dont believe it is true)

    Well, Rana did bowl well to the tail....but remember that was the *tail*...which Indian bowlers never got to bowl to (I think Agarkar and Khan could have bowled a few yorkers to Arshad and Asif, they're not that bad bowlers!). Also, our tail was looking to accelerate at that point of time, they did not have an asking rate (of 6 per over or similar)..they wanted to get as much as possible...maybe 10 per over...sometimes this is a problem for team batting first, they aim for the moon (which looks possible at the moment, going by top order's success) and fail to grab even the earth (ok I got my phrases mixed up...but u get the idea)

    By Blogger worma (07-Feb-2006, 2:59:00 AM)  

    worma: We don't really sync up with each other and say "This is what I'm going to post about. Are you in agreement?" ... and this is true in fact even before Zainub came on board.

    zainub: It is not sour grapes by any stretch of imagination. I most certainly don't want _any_ one-dayer to finish this way. Like I mentioned, my argument would have been the same had Pakistan been found to be short of the D/L target when the game was called off. I'm not even claiming that India deserved to win. The scheduling of the games in this season is what I mentioned. I looked up season-wise sunshine for Peshawar and December-March are the worst months. The PCB obviously has to satisfy its various affiliate units, so it awards matches to cities where the weather isn't quite ok for cricket at this time of the year.

    I don't quite agree with this "get on with it like Pakistan have" comment. Would the Pakistani batsmen have come off if they were actually behind the runrate? Obviously not. It isn't my case either that they shouldn't have yesterday. They wanted to win, obviously. They were given an opportunity to do so by some tardy slog over batting by India's middle/lower order and some poor bowling for the first 30-35 overs or so.

    I do have one observation though. Pakistan has a much superior bowling attack. They let India, who has a much less explosive batting lineup (given that the likes of Dravid and Kaif are in the middle order) get to 328. So Pakistan's bowling 'attack' got collared around too, didn't it? India with a significantly inferior bowling attack ran a much stronger/explosive Pakistani batting lineup _very_ close. I am not convinced that the game was actually "over". The thing is the D/L rules [obviously] cannot factor in a possibility of three wickets falling in quick succession, easily likely when there are tailenders. Doesn't Peshawar have floodlights installed? I thought that was a must on any ground which hosts an international nowadays.

    By Blogger Jagadish (07-Feb-2006, 9:45:00 AM)  

    jagadish: I was kidding! Ofcourse I understand how group blogs work, here and elsewhere :-)

    And I agree with your observation. As you would have noticed, I was also trying to point to Zainub about the Indian vs Pakistani bowling.

    By Blogger worma (07-Feb-2006, 3:22:00 PM)  

    Got the point, worma. You emphasized the fact that Pak got the better bowling conditions. My point was about how Pak's attack was [supposedly] superior and their batting was also more explosive and suited to one-dayers.

    By Blogger Jagadish (07-Feb-2006, 3:28:00 PM)  

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