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    October 10, 2008

    Abraham Lincoln, on fielding and cricket

    Watching the Indian fielding yesterday, it was so obvious that a generational change is needed in the Indian team, for its fielding alone, if for nothing else!

    To paraphrase an apocryphal Abraham Lincoln quote - "You can hide some of the fielders all of the time, and all of the fielders some of the time, but you can not hide all of the fielders all of the time."

    It's not just the over-35s who're slouches. Yesterday, Australia was taking quick singles and converting singles into twos against just about every fielder.

    Ponting said his side would play 'new age' cricket, targetting India's "seniors" (not sure if he meant it as targetting their running between wickets, or their fielding, or both!). Actually it's hardly 'new age' cricket. This is the way modern cricket is. India's fielding positively belongs to the 'pre-90s' era of cricket!

    As an aside, I wonder why play only goes on for 90 overs, and stops when 90 overs have been bowled. There was enough sunlight yesterday for at least 30-45 minutes more of play. They could have bowled another 10 overs in that duration, implying 100 overs for the day.

    Whenever possible, the umpires should really try and get in 100 overs bowled. If a game starts at 9.30 am and ends at 4.30 pm, with sunlight around till 5.30 pm, it seems such a joke. In contrast, 100 overs will be bowled in a one-dayer played during daytime, starting at 9.30 am going on till 5.15-5.30 pm. Why can't tests also have 100 overs bowled a day? I can understand it if the light isn't good enough to start early or end late, but surely that isn't the case here, or indeed at several other grounds.

    If playing an extra half-hour isn't possible, the anachronistic tea break really can be removed. 20 minutes is wasted. Instead, the players can take an extra drink's break, which only lasts 5 minutes. This means 15 minutes extra playing time a day, which is around 4 overs. I'll still take that marginal improvement!

    In fact, once it has been established that floodlights can be used in test matches everywhere, I am all for having at least 7 hours of play a day, to ensure that at least 100 overs are bowled, with the lights being used if the sun is playing truant.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:56 AM |
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