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    February 15, 2010

    Sloth Sehwag and it is time to ban football in cricket

    Sehwag today scored a hundred in 87 balls. For most others, that'd be a rate of scoring which would be hard to surpass. But the problem with Sehwag is that he already has a test hundred where he took only 78 balls - against West Indies in 2006. In fact, he has another 100 made in 87 balls - against Sri Lanka in 2008. So by all yardsticks, this is a crawl from Sehwag.

    So far, he has 19 test hundreds. Of those, 5 were scored at a strike rate of 100 or more and 9 were at a strike rate of 80 or more. His "slowest" 100 came off 164 balls (against England in 2002).

    For comparison, Adam Gilchrist had 17 test hundreds. Of those, 6 were at a strike rate of 100 or more and 11 were at a strike rate of 80 or more. His slowest 100 came off 160 balls, in the test that Australia nearly screwed up against Bangladesh in 2006.

    That's the indication of how merciless Sehwag and Gilchrist have been (and in Sehwag's case, will continue to be) to bowlers.

    Around 10 days ago, a few minutes before the start of the first test between South Africa and India at Nagpur, Rohit Sharma was the latest casualty of international cricket teams playing football as part of their warm-up routines.

    Now, I don't lay any sort of claim to being a fitness drill expert, but it seems logical that a game like football which is 'physical' in nature is a wrong choice for a warm-up routine, especially just before start of play. You could argue that since the 'games' are played amongst team members, the likelihood of someone doing something stupid is too small. Yet, why take the chance?

    In the last couple of years, there have been at least 4 other instances where a warm-up football game resulted in a player (potentially) being out of action.
    Perhaps it's time to change the rules to allow the playing XI to be changed if a player suffers a serious injury after the team sheet has been submitted.

    That's what happened when Brad Haddin was replaced by Graham Manou at Edgbaston last year. Who would determine if the injury is serious? Perhaps the decision needs to be jointly taken by the physio/doctor from the opposition and the ICC match referee.

    One way to prevent abuse if the laws are changed is to give the match referee the power to prevent the replacement player from batting, bowling or fielding in case it is subsequently determined that the injury was not severe or was faked.

    Why do we need this law change? Injuries are much more commonplace now and can happen at any time during a game. It makes no sense to penalize a team for an unfortunate accident, especially if they find themselves a bowler short.

    There have been so many occasions when a bowler has broken down during a game, resulting in the fielding captain being forced to use part-timers or over-use his main bowlers. In Shane Bond's case, that approximately equals the number of innings he has bowled in.

    Shane Watson could nick himself badly while shaving, trip over his shoelaces or collide with the pitch roller. Simon Jones twisted his knee at Brisbane in 2002.

    It's not just about the bowlers. A batsman could injure himself and the batting captain then has to make do with one less batsman.

    Substitutions are par for the course in a lot of other sports. So why shouldn't cricket follow suit? After all, the idea of using substitutes in ODIs has already been trialled and sadly filed for posterity.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:32 PM |
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    3 sledge(s):

    In my opinion, any injury that happens before the match (say the case of Brad Haddin) can be considered, but you can't seek direct replacements for injury during the match. Sometimes, that might cause a great deal of advantage for that team. I feel the substitute rule in cricket is perfect and should remain as it is. And with respect to Sehwag - yes, he's has been smashing and ruthless on opponents and will continue to be so. Everytime he goes into bat in a test match I have a remote feeling that this guy is going to hit a massive one.

    Good post mate.


    By Anonymous Aditya Ravindran (16-Feb-2010, 8:19:00 AM)

    By Blogger Unny (17-Feb-2010, 9:04:00 PM)  

    Aditya - How would a replacement for a player injured during a game result in an advantage to that team? Assuming they picked their first choice XI, this'd mean that the replacement would have got in only if one of the first XI players got injured before the game. As for Sehwag, I'm sure he's going to be the first chap to beat Viv's record for the fastest 100. After Gautam was run out in this test, he scored just 9 runs in the next 25 balls he faced without hitting a single boundary. So you can well imagine how quickly he'd have got to 100 if he'd scored more runs in those 4 overs.

    Unny - Love that screenshot, hopefully it isn't the case tomorrow. Duminy and Prince are due to score, tomorrow could well be when they come to the party

    By Blogger Jagadish (17-Feb-2010, 10:30:00 PM)  

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