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    May 13, 2006

    Nass, you can surely do better

    It was during the last year's Ind-Pak series that I got to hear Nasser Hussain's commentary for considerable durations and I was so attracted not only to his style but also the way he analysed the game at several points. I was so eager that he be on commentary stints, but actually he was just in during those break-time talks. But, he was a total disappointment to me with England coming into the picture during the Ind-Eng series where the Test series was shared 1-1 and England were almost crushed in the ODIs. He was too biased, obviously towards England on various occasions.

    Again, yesterday I had the displeasure of hearing him during the Lord's Test between England & Sri Lanka. He was showering his usual praises on skipper Flintoff and he managed to add "a very brave declaration earlier today" to that. When he said that, England had declared at 551/6 and Sri Lanka were 50-odd/2. All of us would have heard commentators being biased towards their countrymen and praising them out of the way, but this sounded a little overboard.
    Thus spake Ganesh @ 8:12 PM |
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    7 sledge(s):

    Sorry, but I disagree with you Ganesh. For me Nasser is one of the better young commentators in the game.

    He calls the shots as he sees it - and if he praises England, it has a lot to do with them actually doing well more than any thing.

    It was indeed a brave decision in the sense that England could have carried on for a few more runs. England decided to declare - a positive approach on which Hussain was spot on.

    By Anonymous Pratyush (13-May-2006, 10:50:00 PM)  

    pratyush: I'll differ on your assertion that England could have carried on. When England were 450 odd for 4 on day two, I distinctly remember telling Ganesh on IM chat that England had enough runs now to win by an innings. I didn't hear Nasser's commentary, but 550/6 doesn't seem a "brave" declaration to me :)

    By Blogger Jagadish (14-May-2006, 9:20:00 AM)  

    Okay I will elucidate further.

    At 550/6 England or most teams might not have declared and aimed for at least a 600.

    When you declare at 550, it means a follow on wont occur if the Lankans make a 350 - despite the weakness of the Lankans, very much possible if a few of them got going (like in the second inning).

    England decided to back themselves and declare at 550 - 'if Lankans get 350, well played and we will fight on..' - a situation where they could have easily played it safe and carried on.

    Thus brave for me.

    Cheers. :)

    By Anonymous Pratyush (14-May-2006, 11:40:00 AM)  

    I think 'brave' is probably the wrong word. Brave would be double declarations like Vaughan's in Johannesburg, or declaring behind to force a result. Flintoff's wasn't especially brave, but it was bold, and it was very good. As Pratyush said, it placed the emphasis on the England bowlers, and as it happened coincided perfectly with the first cloud cover of the match.

    By Anonymous Geoff (14-May-2006, 1:02:00 PM)  

    Let aside the declaration stuff. If we use the ICC's "standards" [for want of a better word], then the Lord's pitch doesn't fit in, right? Day 1 and 3/4ths of day 2 were batsmen oriented. The last quarter of day 2 and most of day 3 have helped the seamers. So, it must be a crappy wicket :)

    By Blogger Jagadish (14-May-2006, 2:46:00 PM)  

    I wonder what the ICC's pitch standards will make of Ashley Giles! The pitches are supposed to be receptive to spin, but if he's bowling on the fifth day then questions might be asked.

    By Anonymous Geoff (14-May-2006, 3:22:00 PM)  

    geoff: I suppose that means the ICC will then come up with player standards. Batsmen must be no taller than 6'4". All-rounders are an exception. Quick bowlers (bowling > 85 mph) should be no shorter than 6'2". Spinners should be no taller than 5'10", which explains why I'm a mere medium paced trundler. Swing, seam and quick bowlers must take at least two wickets on the first two days. Spinners must turn the ball by at least 3° when it is the 4th or 5th day. Batsmen must make at least 80% of their average when it the 3rd day. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum!

    By Blogger Jagadish (14-May-2006, 5:57:00 PM)  

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