Monday, November 4, 2013

India-Australia Batathon - Short Notes & Arbit Stats-26

The 7-match ODI bat-a-thon between India & Australia has come to an end. Here are a few short notes:
  • It was a bat-a-thon not a cricketing contest. A cricketing contest involves a fair contest between bat and ball. Here it was between bat and bat. An occasional 300+ chase gives a thrill but a regular everyday dose will not sustain anyone's interests.
  • A seven match series played over 3 weeks with a couple of games getting rained off was certainly not something to excite the interest especially given the focus of the two camps. The Aussies are focussed on the home Ashes (otherwise why would they call off Johnson a day before the decider) and India have their focus on giving a fitting farewell to the cricketing God. For the first time ever there was more coverage of a Ranji game than an international series.
  • There is no safe total in ODI cricket in sub-continental conditions. T20 experience has ensured that with wickets in hand teams can chase down anything. A required rate of 10 for the last 20 overs is a stiff but not impossible task now. 350+ targets were gunned down without even breaking into a sweat.
  • George Bailey has earned the respect. He should be drafted into the Test team for the Ashes.
  • Rohit Sharma, Dhawan, Kohli & Dhoni's exploits hid the abject failures of Raina & Yuvraj. If they can't get going on these tracks then what hope can we have for the next World Cup. Dear Selectors - its time to bring in the likes of Pujara, Rahane & Rayudu into the playing eleven.
  • Bowlers across the teams - You have my deepest sympathies. No point blaming you guys for the misdeeds of the powers that be. The contest has become so lopsided that only an extra-ordinarily good bowler can survive against ordinary batsman.
Totally  Arbit Stat - Glenn Maxwell scored the fastest 50 by an Australian, James Faulkner got the fastest century by an Australian, Vinay Kumar had the worst performance ever by an Indian bowler. All in the same game. Yet it was Australia who ended on the losing side.

Record Alert - Rohit Sharma & George Bailey - now are the respective record holders for the highest & second highest individual runs in a bilateral series. A true bat-a-thon this series was

Post-Script - Some of the behavior on display from the players can only be described as "not cricket". The abuses, getting into verbal battles, mocking another's injury, the send-off - this is not what as a fan I like to see on-field. Its just a game after all. Whatever people might suggest otherwise. There is something called sportsman spirit. Just try to remember the following.

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