tale of two tests seen from jaundiced eyes...

shared by straight point on Monday, November 30, 2009

i read this article from sidharth monga on cricinfo... the premise of the article is summed up as...

Just for the high quality of consistent fast bowling throughout the match, the Dunedin Test needs to be celebrated...

then what about kanpur test mr. monga...?

it had one team playing as attacking cricket as one would have seen recently... scoring nearly 5.50 runs per over for most part of the innings... scoring more than 400 runs in a day...

we get to see a 'troubled child' of indian cricket staging a comeback into team after good 18 months... making the ball talk both ways not only with new ball but old ball as well... the best reverse swing bowling on indian pitches after a while... on a pitch that was supposed to assist spin bowling... and finishing the game in three and half days... even when there were no demons in the pitch...

in nutshell... attacking test cricket at its best...

but no we must praise dunedin test coz that had pace bowlers doing a job under favorable overcast conditions representing teams that were hell bent on surrendering the initiative to other... there by making that test interesting only coz of their age old deficiencies...

never mind the fact that a pace bowler was man of the match in kanpur test match on a pitch and conditions that had little to do with it... but purely coz of his extraordinary skills...

but i guess the choice becomes easier in the end... coz on one side we had a test match that had equivalent of armani 'pace' tag attached on a picturesque location... and on another a test match that was played on subcontinent patta wicket... that had 'spin' tag attached to it like a stigma...

39 comments:

Late Inswing said...

Take a bow.
You hit the nail on the head. When a medium as good as cricinfo has blinkers on, it is not a happy state of affairs.

straight point said...

thanks late inswing...

cricinfo is fast becoming crapinfo where people log on to it just for the stats paradise...

Nathan said...

Yes, too little been said recently about the 2nd-3rd day swing assault of India. Hell of an effort. Sreesanth exploded back on the scene (Welegedara was a bit of a disappointment though; I guess people were right when they said it's probably just Indian batters messing up against new bowling, though we'll have a better idea next week).

Second innings was not so much about the pace, but even so Sreesanth got Dilshaan convincingly. Need to grease his arm a bit though, eke out that extra 10km/hr to make him genuine fast instead of fast-medium :)

Look on the bright side, though, at least no one is reacting to your match in utter shock that it actually had good cricket! New Zealand and Pakistan might be feeling at the moment that they are being damned with faint praise.

Nathan said...

Nice new banner, btw :)

vim said...

I agree about cricinfo, it is great for commentary and stats, but frequently the articles are drivel and frequently amount to little more than India bashing.

straight point said...

thanks nathan...

yes that's another way of looking at it... but when it comes from as renowned website as cricinfo you think nothing else but the partiality muted to the subcontinent pitches...

i have seen commentators and co. hailing test cricket when ball swing or seam from first ball... but you know what will happen if a ball tuns of first day itself... although both are as bad but you will see only the later being castrated...

and yes... both nz and pak managed to put life on a match that should have been cake walk for any of the two... :)

straight point said...

thanks vim...

and ys... how come they not see the obvious and acknowledge it... unless they have some agenda in their mind...

Wasim said...

SP

Monga was not making a comparison between two tests it is something which you are doing, that post was solely written for Dunedin test and it has many reasons to be celebrated.

First of all your assumption that the pitch or conditions had much to do with the quality of bowling is wrong, both Kiwi and Pakistan bowlers bowled extremely well.

Your second assumption that both teams were hell bent on surrendering the initiative to other is totally wrong, both teams were going at each others throat and every time when one looked to dominate the other team made a come back this is exactly what happens in good fights and not in timid surrenders.

But even if one has to judge by this standard then SriLanka perhaps never showed up in that match it was a total one sided affair.

In the Kanpur match there was only one pace bowler who performed whereas in Dunedin all six of them performed.

The pitch in dunedin was not that difficult to bat it was the quality of bowling which made the difference.

No SriLankan pacer could take a wicket in this match,only 8 went to pacers out of the 30 fallen, so you can't say the quality of pace bowling was matched with the Dunedin match. Yes SreeSaanth played an important role in India's victory but no other pacer stood up to his task that was not the case in Dunedin.

Kanpur test could have only one out come after the second days play that was not the case in Dunedin, why because both teams were quite balanced and they fought with each other blow by blow.

straight point said...

thanks wasim for presenting alternate view point...

as far as i saw the match the only bond and asif were bowing the way it meant to be... gul and the obrien were pedestrian for most part of the innings... infact both seems to have saved their spot for the next match...

as for my comment that both team were fighting with each other to surrender match... well its what i call catch 69 situation from the dis i saw it was 6 and 9 to you...

pakistan dropped catches upfront and allowed nz to score in excess of 400 and then when they had the match by its throat at 190 odd for 5 chasing 250 one should expect the team to walk away with the match but for that ugly collapse again...

hence my opinion... :)

straight point said...

...and wasim still i would have not had a problem with mr monga for praising the match for up and downs but as i said... his basic premise to celebrate that test was the pace bowling... overlooking the fact that most part of that test match there were overcast conditions that assisted only one type of bowling which is pace...

Rishabh said...

seriously, even I have stopped reading articles on cricinfo of late. They are becoming weirder and soon they will be the weirdest cricket site. You are absolutely spot on with your question SP. Sree deserves a lot of applause for bowling his heart out.

Ben said...

Jaundiced indeed. All this wailing and gnashing of teeth about poor journalism and India bashing because India wasn't praised in an article about Pakistan and New Zealand.

Honestly, leaving aside any comparisons with what was happening elsewhere in the cricketing world, the Dunedin test was a great match. The bowling was of top quality (and overcast conditions are only 'favourable' when compared with clear conditions in the same match; clouds don't turn a pace bowler into a demon) and the batting wouldn't suffer in comparison with the bowling, two notable highlights being Umar Akmal's debut and the first innings partnership between McCullum and Vettori. But the best aspect of the test was how both teams fought right the way through. Every time one team surrendered the advantage, they fought to get it back. The Dunedin test deserves all the praise it is getting.

Wasim said...

SP

May be we watched a different test match, you are calling GuL and Obrien pedestrian at best probably you didn't watched Obrien's spell on the last day.
Gul had his off moments in the match but he was brilliant during most of the match if catches were not dropped his figures would have been much better, 8 overs 7 maidens 1 run in his first spell and you call it pedestrian seriously I have to question your judgement here. O'brien dislocated his finger joint got it pulled back on the field and went straight back to bowl a match winning spell and you call it pedestrian, the deliveries on which Malik, Yousaf and Fawad got out could have taken any player out.

If the quality of batting on both sides is to be blamed then what you have to say about the SriLankan batting which got out cheaply on a dust bowl twice, why are we giving too much credit to the bowlers on this one.May be it was the fragility of the SL batting.

The whole match was not played in over cast conditions as you said, and just having clouds out their do not guarantee reverse swing or seam movement. The state of the pitch the condition of the ball and the speed of the wind are also very important factors which you completely ignored. You can't reversing the ball or seaming it if the clouds are out the condition of the ball at that stage is the most important.

Even if conditions favored at times the bowlers only great bowlers can exploit conditions to their advantage thats what great bowling is about. Why Murali is being criticized he failed to exploit a spinning track.

You also missed the long bowling spells of Martin and Aamer, A few of Aamer's spells were reminiscent of a young Akram.

To comment on a match you have to watch the whole match not just the highlights I think you have not seen the whole match otherwise knowing you I am sure you wouldn't have differed from Monga.

Besides why we had to compare these two matches, if one goes by your logic then one can't praise a match which doesn't involve Indian team. People liked the Dunedin Match because it was not one sided any side could have won the match until tea on the last day.

Nathan said...

"O'brien dislocated his finger joint got it pulled back on the field and went straight back to bowl a match winning spell"

Yikes!

O'Brien just never seemed as hard core as all that...

Golandaaz said...

I guess the NZ-Pak match was hard fought and indeed better of the 2 test matches. However I do think people going gaga over it and using this as a proof that TC needs to be saved a bit misplaced.

straight point said...

Jaundiced indeed. All this wailing and gnashing of teeth about poor journalism and India bashing because India wasn't praised in an article about Pakistan and New Zealand.

thanks ben... my argument ends with your last sentence... if that you feel the post is all about.

straight point said...

wasim... first and foremost i am not comparing two tests but the mindset of writer who categorically said that for pace bowling only we should celebrate the dunedin test...

my argument is based on that only... for whatever i know of cricket its no rocket science which of the two tests i am taking about were favorable to swing and seam bowling...

the second match featuring india was just incidental... had lets say oz of sa featured in that match we all know all the world would have been falling over each other for lavishing praise on the kind of attacking cricket a champion side played...

you are talking about obrien's last day effort and that was exactly i was talking about... but for the last session he would have been dropped from the team for the next match... even he admitted that he was not bowling well till then...

straight point said...

gol... the twist and turn in the match came from two teams in capabilities... specially from pakistan who were 190 odd for 5 needing further 60 runs to win a test and still managed to lose it by 30 runs there by losing 5 wickets for 30 runs... the famous collapse by now which happens almost with every (test) match they play... so what was new in the match...?

it was interesting viewing at the cost of one team doing what it has been doing regularly... so i find nz fighting the win bit hard to digest...

straight point said...

yes rishabh i just wanted to say... that sree's effort should have been praised more coz it came under conditions that had little to do with it...

straight point said...

nathan...

he was fighting for his test spot then... ;-)

Ben said...

wasim... first and foremost i am not comparing two tests but the mindset of writer who categorically said that for pace bowling only we should celebrate the dunedin test...

Monga merely said that the Dunedin test featured high quality fast bowling throughout. There was no implication in his piece that it is the only test that featured high quality bowling.

However, when you look at it, there was only one match played this weekend that featured high quality fast bowling throughout. Full credit to Sreesanth for his achievements in the 2nd innings, but quality fast bowling was notably absent from the 1st and 3rd innings of the Kanpur test.

the second match featuring india was just incidental... had lets say oz of sa featured in that match we all know all the world would have been falling over each other for lavishing praise on the kind of attacking cricket a champion side played...

Well funnily enough there was a third test played this weekend that did feature Oz, who demolished the Windies to a similar degree as was seen in the Kanpur test. And I don't see anyone lavishing praise on them. If you are going to complain that India weren't given their due then it is only fair that you acknowledge Australia.

straight point said...

ben...

you can't be serious comparing west indies with sri lankan team who is currently ranked 2... however shit the ranking system may be but there is some reason why west indies consistently feature at the bottom...

even west indies will beat them if they play self in a test... more or less the same way oz beat them...

Nathan said...

Still can't believe the Sri Lankans are #2 without no wins in the last two racked up against either Australia or South Africa and only a 2-2-1 record against India.

Funny old game. Funny old ranking system, too.

straight point said...

yes nathan... the current ranking system is more of stealth than anything else where you gain more coz of others' loss more than your wins... hence you see srilanka pushing ahead without doing much...

but by the token why don't west indies push ahead...? ;-)

Ben said...

you can't be serious comparing west indies with sri lankan team who is currently ranked 2... however shit the ranking system may be but there is some reason why west indies consistently feature at the bottom...

No, I am not comparing WI and SL, I am comparing the media response to the test wins by India and Aus in reply to your claim that Aus would be receiving lavish praise.

The fact is both the Kanpur and Brisbane matches were sorry examples of tests and they have been given about as much media attention as they deserve. And I cannot for the life of me see why you and the people commenting here think that Cricinfo is wrong to praise the Dunedin test. Furthermore, I cannot follow your logic in using the article by Monga as evidence that India is being slighted, though I also think it is unjust that you don't equally acknowledge, under this logic, that Australia is being slighted.

Can you explain to me, do you think Monga should not have been writing about Dunedin but instead he should have been writing about Kanpur? Or do you think that if he was going to write about Dunedin it was necessary for him to also write about Kanpur? And if he did write about both Dunedin and Kanpur, should he also write about Brisbane?

Nathan said...

Wow, I mangled my comment...

"Without any wins in the last two years" is what that should have been.

straight point said...

ben...

not for once i am saying that he should not have been writing about dunedin but what i want is that for all the praise of dunedin there should be acknowledgment if not equal for the kanpur... and if i am expecting this from a site who covers cricket world and call itself home of cricket... than i dont feel i am asking too much...

and also going by you logic beating bangladesh or west indies should be given equal amount of weightage than beating a team which is in top three...

so the opposition you are playing with does not matter at all...

so beating a lowest rank team and beating a top team inside four days is the same thing... and if that is the case i can't see any reason why we should argue any further... :)

straight point said...

you can say that again nathan... :)

midoff said...

As I see it everyone agrees Cricinfo is 'shite' (pardon my french').

Any alternatives?

straight point said...

ott...

crapinfo... :)

Wasim said...

SP

I can understand your excitement and your reason to be upset at Monga.It was one of the rare moments this year when an Indian fast bowler came good.

But you see SreeSaanth bowled well only in first innings and was the sole fast, actually medium fast bowler who bowled well in that match so it doesn't pass the test for consistent high quality bowling.


Pakistan lost last five wickets for 30 odd runs because they were not batting against a friendly pace attack on a subcontinental batting paradise.

straight point said...

wasim...

i thought you saw recently concluded srilanka pakistan test series... :)

Soulberry said...

Maybe Mr.Moinga has a different assignment!

Both efforts were good for test cricket.

In Crackinfo, these days, it is even more imperative to write in a particular way to keep that paycheck coming home from the paymaster.

Maybe someone else was covering the series and match and not Mr.Moinga.

Wasim said...

SP

I did watched that series and I hope you did it too, it was not played on the usual subcontinental dust bowls:)

straight point said...

indeed the paycheck sb!

so while we see at least three (or more) articles on dunedin nobody praised how india played the most attacking cricket seen in recent times...

straight point said...

please accept my apology wasim... for i just remember srilanka pakistan test series was played in australia...

scorpicity said...

I didn't watch the other match. IOB came into the news just when you wondered what is he doing in that team first of all :).

straight point said...

the servers were down and he could not blog for a while... so he decided to bowl for nz in free time... :)

Wasim said...

SP

So according to your knowledge only Australia can prepare supporting tracks.

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