Showing posts with label AB De Villiers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AB De Villiers. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Battle of the Eras : 1990s vs 2010s

It has been almost 143 years since cricket was officially played as an international sport for the first time. It was in 1877, when an English team toured the Australian shores and played 2 test matches, which are now known as the ‘inaugural’ test matches. But it would surprise many to know that the first cricket match between 2 nations was played even before that – in 1844 between the US and Canada, at St. George’s Cricket Club in New York! The game has evolved a lot over the years, but the maximum expansion has been in last 30 years or so, with the advent of live television broadcasting, the massive amount of sponsorship money coming into the game, the coloured clothing in day-night matches, and many other changes. The rules of the game have also evolved, to make it more interesting for the viewers, and the dwindling interest of the not-so-die-hard cricket fans, led the cricket administrators to come up with a shortened version of the game – the T20 format, which reduces the duration of a match from 8 hours to 3 hours. The introduction of Indian Premier League (IPL) took the world by a storm and the game has only seen more money flowing into the game, and more viewers.
Change in Playing Conditions
From 1992 till 2005, only 2 fielders were allowed outside the 30-yard circle till 15 overs in an ODI, and then 5 fielders till the 50th over. This prompted the rise of swashbuckling openers like Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwithrana of Sri Lanka, who took the ritual of making the most use of fielding restrictions at the start of the innings by hitting the lofted shots. This trend was started by Mark Greatbatch of New Zealand and India’s own Krish Srikkanth. Currently, there are only 2 fielders allowed outside 30-yard circle till 10 overs, only 4 fielders allowed between overs 11-40, and 5 fielders allowed in last 10 overs. This had led to the batsmen having an upper hand and score more runs since there is 1 lesser fielder outside the circle for 30 overs. This prompted Shoaib Akhtar to comment that if this rule were in place earlier, a player like Sachin Tendulkar would have amassed thousands of more runs in his career!
Change in the Pitches
The rules are not the only factor of contention – the pitches have been made to be flatter and less hostile, even in test matches, than they were before the turn of this century. The reason being that the crowd wants to see fours and sixes being hit throughout the match, which makes the poor bowlers look even worse. Same has been the case in past few years.
The image below shows a flat pitch, which is effectively a ‘bowler’s graveyard’.
A close up of a baseball field

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The batsmen make merry on this pitch, giving a hiding to the bowlers. These are most common to find these days, since that is the demand of the crowd, to see the batsmen score heavily and get entertained.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Tete-a-tete with Prasanna Agoram, Proteas Performance Coach

DHCF: How did it all start for you? Given its quite a niche career option, what challenges did you face?
Prasanna: It's everyone's dream to play for India, whatever level of cricket you play and I was no different. When I was playing state level cricket for Tamil Nadu in age categories like all other young boys, I wanted to play for my country. It didn’t happen as I felt there are guys who had more talent than me. Then I became a qualified umpire in BCCI in 2000 dreaming about walking in Eden Gardens and Melbourne cricket ground but unfortunately it was not as easy as I thought and I don’t want to elaborate on this. Then finally I finished my Engineering in Electronics and Communication and went on to do my post graduate diploma in Computer Applications and was employed as a software engineer in Bangalore. This is when I saw an article in Hindu stating that a software company is developing a software for match analysis for Indian cricket team in 2001. I thought look I have decent cricketing knowledge and when it comes to developing software not many can match my speed. So I started developing match analysis software all alone from that time which I demonstrated to the National Cricket Academy. NCA employed me as their technical head in 2003 and the rest is history. The main challenge I faced was when few of the top cricketers and coaches kept on asking me that I not being a certified coach,  am I qualified to talk so much of cricket. Then thanks to Cricket South Africa I did my level 3 coaching certification from CSA in 2014  and now with so much of experience not many question my credentials.

DHCF: How has cricket analytics changed over the years?
Prasanna:  A lot. The amount of data one can derive is huge now. But let me make it clear, with the

Monday, May 23, 2016

Virat - The new God of Cricket !

He taps the ball to short mid-wicket and sprints like a hare. He carves it wide of sweeper, races two and turns for a third while his partner will be panting to finish the second run. As the shock wave of the ball scorching the stitches on the webbing of his hand, he allows the nerves to absorb it without flinching. When long time aggressor Gautam gets unruly, he grins to himself and leaves Gambhir even more frustrated. When Morris tries to play mind game on Rahul, he doesn't ask him to cower but express positively and what we get is a six over fine leg by Rahul.

When Gayle, AB or Rahul is on song, he doesn't dance but plays the second fiddle to perfection. He doesn't compete with team mates playing well, he tries to complete them. He scores eighty and admits in post match conference that he took 10 balls too many. When boys his age are chasing girls and targets, he's chasing monuments. If you're playing against him and win the toss, don't bat first. You've lost it there, unless you pile up runs that a single human being can't chase.

Batting first, he piles runs and then hopelessly watches his bowlers leak runs like the municipality taps without anyone to bother. He comes back in the next match and scores even more. Winning is what matters to him as he seldom shows as much passion on personal achievement as he shows when he knows the team is winning. Given a choice between scoring a hundred and losing a match against scoring 99 and winning, he would choose 99, every single time. Very few have been where he is yet he admires Gayle and ABDV and backs Rahul to the hilt.

We have seen great players, match winners, record makers, record breakers, legends, absolutely selfless team players, God of the off side, the God and pretty much everything on the Cricket field. We have seen the Dravid tenacity. We've seen Tendulkar straight drive. We've seen the Sehwag upper cut. We've seen the Ganguly cover drive. We've loved the Laxman pull shot. We thought we have seen all that we could have hoped to see.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

4 Reasons Why India Won't Win this World Cup

India's performance so far in this World Cup has been beyond everybody's expectations. No one would have imagined that India will win the opening matches by such huge margins. Some fans are secretly fearing that the team has peaked too early in the tournament. In the last edition which India won, they raised their game to the next level in the knockout stages. It will be hard for them to do that this time around or to maintain the form they have shown thus far.

Death Bowling has been India's nemesis for as long as ODI cricket has been played. It didn't play a part in the matches so far as the oppositions faltered before reaching that stage to exploit this weakness. It would be impossible to escape in the later matches and that is when the real test would be for the Indian bowlers.

Batting at the Death. It has been a worry for India for some time now. Other teams, having players like Maxwell n AB De Villiers, have redefined the rules of batting at the death. Double the score at the end of 30 overs rule is a passe. New rule is triple the score at the end of 25 overs. With a fragile lower middle and lower order, it would be very difficult for India to catch up. 

Last and the most important factor. Ravi Shastri is not commentating this World Cup. Do you remember any glorious moment in the Indian cricket history in the past 2-3 decades when he was not up in the commentary box? Yuvraj's 6 sixes, WT20 triumph, WC triumph !

Saturday, July 21, 2012

England vs South Africa - The Batsmen To Watch

The series between England and South Africa that starts at the Kia Oval on Thursday, is the most eagerly awaited, non-Ashes series I can remember for quite a spell. And well it might be, for it pits the world’s best test team, England lest we forget, against the team ranked third. Further, it brings forth a battle between what are widely considered the best two bowling attacks in world cricket. The juices are flowing alright! 
England take on South Africa in this three match series having made light work of their summer warm-up act, the West Indies, beating them 2-0 in a three match series. The final match at Edgbaston was all but rained off, otherwise it would almost certainly have been a clean sweep.
Having also beaten Australia 4-0 in an ODI series this summer, England will be in buoyant mood right now, although South Africa will provide a much stiffer challenge than either of those two managed. 

With a bowling attack led by the imperious Dale Steyn, the world's best bowler, who is backed up superbly by the improved Morne Morkell, Vernon Philander, who performed so well for Somerset earlier this season and not forgetting the leg breaks of Hampshire old boy, Imran Tahir, South Africa have an attack that will give England's batting order a rigorous examination.