Monday, January 14, 2008

Cliche Corner

I understand that Sachin Tendulkar spent some time with Yuvraj Singh and gave him some valuable tips, to break his lean trot with the bat. And what were they? After analysing the latter’s game and thinking long and hard, he dispensed the wise advice that Yuvraj should tighten his game for the first 15 minutes of an innings.

You might think that such rudimentary stuff is meant for 12-year old schoolboys attending coaching classes for the first time, and not to someone playing Test cricket. But, apparently, it is never too late to be taught the basics. Any time is funda time. No opportunity is to be missed for mouthing cricketing clich├ęs.

So, here are some useful tips for the Indian cricket team as they get ready to face the Aussies in the third test match to be played at Perth from the 16th.

It is absolutely important that the openers give us a good start and the middle order builds on that foundation and consolidates. The tail-enders should also chip in with some useful contribution. Every little bit counts, trust me..

Knowing the way the Perth wicket behaves, my advice to the batsmen would be to get their eyes in, keep their heads down, watch the ball carefully, leave the wide deliveries alone, punish the loose ones, keep the scoreboard moving with singles and twos, pierce the field for the occasional boundary or more by placing the ball well, rotate the strike cleverly, and avoid mix-up in running between the wickets.

When it is our turn to bowl, the Indians must pitch the ball at the right length and maintain a tight line. A couple of early break-throughs, followed by a few more wickets will put the team right on top, believe me. Medium pacers must make the ball move away or into the batsmen, depending on whether they are attempting an out-swinger or an in-swinger. Spinners should vary the arc, flight, spin and the pace judiciously to keep the batsmen guessing. Don’t believe the story spread by the Aussies that the ball spins in the opposite direction in the southern hemisphere, due to negative Coriolis effect. And, avoid bowling no-balls at any cost. Make sure that, at the point of delivery, both your feet are planted well behind where the umpire is standing.

The importance of fielding cannot be overemphasised. Every run saved when you are fielding is one run less to chase when you are batting. When throwing in from the deep, make sure that the ball goes straight into the wicket-keeper’s hands, unless you are aiming to knock the stumps at the bowler’s end. Grab all catches that come your way, for, if I may coin an ingeniously original phrase, catches win matches.

The wicket-keeper must not stand too close to the stumps as to be beaten by the faster deliveries, nor stand too far as to miss stumping chances. He should stand somewhere between first slip and leg-slip, on the line perpendicular to the one connecting the square-leg umpire and point.

And, finally, some words for the Indian captain. You must be in control of the situation at all times, either by leading from the front or by pushing from the back. Remember to win the toss and decide correctly on whether to bat or field first. Set the field to suit the circumstances and to contain the batsmen. Bear in mind that the Indian cricketers are our ambassadors and should, at least, perform as well as the cars of that name. Incidentally, I hope that you remembered to have your car removed from your garage in your residence at Bangalore. As Wasim Akram pointed out once, it is always a good idea to take this precaution.. If you win the match, the crowd will notice that you don’t have a car and will gift you one. If you lose the match, the crowd will not be able to find your car to burn it.

I am sure that if these simple tips are followed, the Inspired Indians can take the pants off the Awesome Aussies.


Anonymous said...

Ah!! soo looveed this one :)! Straight out of Ravi Shastri's mouth I say!
Considering the current situation, what should the umpires do? Give the right decisions at the right time, eh? :D (which effectively would mean - respond positively when Australians appeal and negatively when Indians appeal!)

maxdavinci said...

aren't these things prolly every team needs for almost every match?

It's like a page out of any coach's notepad.

sad part is that on paper they look fantastic, and the team that comes closest to implementing them emerges victorious!

Bit Hawk said...

Haha...that was completely brilliant! I seriously wished I had written this :)

Anonymous said...

superb.Please email it out to Ravi Shastri, Manjrekar, Sidhu, Laxman Siva, Arun Lal who can practically read it verbatim on a particularly dull afternoon session.


Anonymous said...

Also if you could somehow avoid the Aussie players from learning from your blog that would be useful for the Indian team.

Raj said...

Kiran, I ghost write for Ravi Shastri.

maxdavinci, that was quite profound, man.

bithawk, thanks

md, these guys don't need any help with cliches, trust me.

anon : YEs, can't let the Aussies steal our thunder or the cliches