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    May 24, 2006

    Well done, Thanks a lot and now we want the old Kaif

    Yes, we really see a different Kaif now, but, I would be delighted to see the old Kaif who can score ducks and single digit scores at will. We would love to carry you in the team. Because, that's when the team kept winning and now your Kallis-like fifties are killing the team and suddenly a major world-cup contender looks pathetically pedestrian especially against a team which can look superior only over Zimbabwe. Thanks to Kaif, people have started to talk that there is little or no difference between the two teams. He almost lost the match for his team in the first ODI and was one of the culprits in the second ODI and was the prime criminal, to me, yesterday at St. Kitts. When you have got your eye in especially after playing second fiddle to a wonderful innings from Sehwag, the team expects you to score some quick runs towards the end and ease the pressure for the others. In such circumstances, a 90-ball 60 should be converted to a 110-ball 90, atleast, if that initial 60 runs have to be of any use. If not, the 60 becomes completely valuable to the opponent. Dhoni, for a change disappointed his team and supporters, but you can expect him to blast the opponents very soon. With Kaif, would anyone dare to think on those lines? Ok, let him not blast the opponents - can he atleast make some authoritative and useful (for India) runs? Yuvraj's absence was very badly felt yesterday as his replacement, Venugopal Rao, looked completely out of place. All said and done, India might win this series. But still, there's a lot to think about the future for the team's think-tank as the world cup is nearing and also the coach has let out a few words.
    One thing I can tell you is, if we're not winning Test matches and we're not a good Test match team by the end of 2006 (then), we've got the wrong people.

    I hope those words don't mean that we would be a good Test team and devolve in the shorter form.
    Thus spake Ganesh @ 1:23 PM |
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    9 sledge(s):

    Kaif was doing ok...he did not reach the stage where you expect him to convert 90 ball 60 to a 100 ball 90...so how do you know he wasnt likely to do it? He's capable of it...and he looked in decent touch here (unlike first ODI). His runout was cause due to Venu's pressure creation, and a bit of misfortune that his bat toe was above the ground due to the dive. His runs were valuable to the team...and had he stayed, I think India would have done better than what they finally ended up with. Isn't that reason enough to believe in him, as of now?

    Also, do remember that all teams need 1 or 2 such anchors...if he's in good touch he's well capable fo doing that. Venu is another story :)

    By Blogger worma (24-May-2006, 2:28:00 PM)  

    worma: if you want to keep talking that "he is capable..", you can go to any extent. what did he do is the question and thats what matters. he just made a 90-ball 60 and helped the windies and did *NOT* convert that into a 110-ball 90.

    the best comedy yday was when he got out and as he was walking back, i saw him throw the glove in disgust and anger. i just hope the match referee saw that and hand him a suspension for a few odis with immediate effect - that said, the windies may appeal to the icc that the referree was biased towards india by suspending kaif.

    just now a friend of mine told me that "kaif - fielding = laxman". wondering whether to laugh or grin!

    By Blogger Ganesh (24-May-2006, 4:18:00 PM)  

    Kaif - fielding is a bit less than Laxman, I think. But I would still choose Kaif. The point is, if someone is capable and has done it in the past, how much do you want to persist. And once he starts showing signs of recovery, do you then dump him?

    Ok, lets forget that he *could* have gone on to that 110 ball 90, I think his 90 ball 60 was still valulable...if only we'd had the team composition right in the first place. Had it been a Raina like player (it wud have been Raina had YUv played) instead of Rao, Kaif's contribution was still valuable. Do not judge the performance of someone by the mistakes/drawbacks of someone else :)

    By Blogger worma (24-May-2006, 4:39:00 PM)  

    yes, the 60 was still very valuable to west indies.

    forget raina, rao, yuvi, whoever...kaif has a role to play in the team. rao cannot improvise being very new. but, kaif should, but its very clear that he couldnt which means he is not fitting in the "scheme of things" that rd & gsc boast of all the time. but, why the hell do you keep giving kaif so many chances?

    as i had said, his ducks were more valuable to the team as it didnt take 90 balls ;)

    By Blogger Ganesh (24-May-2006, 4:48:00 PM)  

    Name Mat I NO Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 Ct St
    M Kaif 3 3 1 131 66* 65.50 68.22 - 2 2 -
    SK Raina 3 3 1 60 27 30.00 68.18 - - 1 -

    Kaif has more runs, at a better strike rate, in this series than Raina. Why is he getting all the stick?

    By Anonymous Geoff (25-May-2006, 12:46:00 AM)  

    I don't understand your issues with Mohammad Kaif? You can't have a team full of Shewag's or Gilchrist's.....you need balance. I see Kaif in the Michael Bevan mould, building an innings and run chase around him. There are enough players in the Indian batting line up like Dhoni, Shewag etc who can blast away. I hope your obvious bias isn't because he comes from Uttar Pradesh.

    I think Greg Chappell is on the right path keeping Mohammad Kaif in the team....especially for the test matches too. When I went over to India in 2004 to watch the Australians win back the Border/Gavaskar Trophy, I was appalled to see Yuvraj Singh initally picked ahead of Kaif, the selectors finally getting it right and Kaif held a brittle Indian batting line up together on more than one occasion.

    Now with era of Ganguly the pretender finally a memory, Indian can move forward with a line up that includes the elegance and technique of Kaif and the supremely talented Yuvraj.

    By Blogger Roger Gooselips (25-May-2006, 5:34:00 AM)  

    elegance of kaif? wake up roger!

    By Blogger Ganesh (25-May-2006, 12:31:00 PM)  

    Kaif has done enough in the last 2-3 games to ensure he's given another long run. Also does anyone have a clue what Rao is doing in the side? His game is unsuitable to the position he bats in (#5/#6). The reason everyone is taking potshots at Kaif rather than Raina is because Kaif, as the experienced hand, is definitely expected to bat according to the situation and do it consistently.

    By Blogger Jagadish (25-May-2006, 3:13:00 PM)  

    The travails of Rao remind me of the likes of Bell and Solanki, top-order players, coming in down the order for England in ODIs. The way to get the best out of them is to let them build an innings and accelerate, and if you won't let them do that, don't play them.

    By Anonymous Geoff (25-May-2006, 4:01:00 PM)  


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