Sreesanth da man?

One of my big arguments before today’s semifinal between SL and NZ was that tomorrow’s 11th man toss-up for India should be between Sreesanth and Chawla. No Munaf, No Nehra. If SL win, India should play Sreesanth, and if NZ wins, India should play Chawla. Now that SL has won it, Sree it is!

Let’s look at SL – they have largely been clinical so far. Except when they lost to Pak. That was also the only occasion none of their top four scored a half century. They did get exposed against NZ this time as well. Let’s face it – SL have a below average middle order (except Angelo, who I have extreme respect for). Moreover, they have four pure bowlers who can hardly bat. So, the recipe to defeat SL is easy to understand and difficult to implement. Get 3 of their top 4 back cheaply.

Pak has been a rather poor batting side getting whittled for less than 200 on more than one occasion in an otherwise high scoring tournament, and a tremendous bowling side managing to restrict the opposition nevertheless. Umar Akmal has been the only relatively consistent batsman. There are no tonners in the side, and their war veteran, Younis Khan, has looked out of sorts. Also, not surprisingly, they have looked more susceptible to pace than spin.

Indian batting has been positive, except for the Powerplay collapses, with Sachin, Sehwag, Gautam, Yuvraj, Virat (and Raina) amongst runs. Indian bowling, on the other hand, has struggled to get rid of top order batsmen. Tamim Iqbal (BAN), Strauss (ENG), Porterfield (IRE), Amla (SA), Smith (WI), Haddin (AUS) – one of the openers has scored a half century in 6 out of 7 matches they’ve played so far. So, it can be safely said that they need something different against SL. The problem with Chawla, Nehra and Munaf is that there are no surprises (barring Chawla’s googly) when it comes to them running in, throwing ball, and going back for the next one. India’s 11th player has been, generally speaking, a value destroyer for the team. Not really contributing much or bleeding sufficiently to cause enough worries in a close match.

This brings me to the conclusion that India should play Sreesanth in both the matches. Sree has some pace, and a lot of histrionics in him, which will come handy. He is not predictable. He himself doesn’t know what he will come up with next, and can produce some unplayable deliveries by design or by accident every now and then. Mohali pitch should have something for pacers. Both SL and Pak have reasonable good players of spin bowling. Lastly, looking at the 12 non-descript overs bowled by Munaf in the last two matches, I am sure MSD can hide Sree in a corner, if required. He is definitely a better fielder than Munaf, and hopefully, will talk sEo much that some opposition batsman will lose concentration.

Let’s spare a thought from Pakistan’s perspective as well. They will have to win it through their bowling. However, it’s the inadequacy of their batting that makes me wonder if they can win. Their bench is not likely throw a batsman who can take care of their woes. They can surely hope that a Younis/Misbah does an Inzamam. But then, Pakistan team hasn’t really every performed up to the predictions. They, usually, write their own destiny, a minute at a time.

However, there is a very disturbing reality to “what happens if Pakistan defeats India”. For one, India not playing the finals would mean a likely 70%+ reduction in the potential revenue from the final (for various parties), just as India playing the finals would maybe increase the currently projected revenues by 20% (these are educated guesses). The producers and directors will have to set the IPL pre and post-production work in full speed right away. Dhoni will have to request Jharkhand Govt. to increase the protection levels for his family. Sachin will be heartbroken. And a nation full of zealots will look for a new religion.

 

Eleventh Hour googly:Eleventh Man

One of my big arguments before today’s semifinal between SL and NZ was that tomorrow’s 11th man toss-up for India should be between Sreesanth and Chawla. No Munaf, No Nehra. If SL win, India should play Sreesanth, and if NZ wins, India should play Chawla. Now that SL has won it, Sree it is!

Let’s look at SL – they have largely been clinical so far. Except when they lost to Pak. That was also the only occasion none of their top four scored a half century. They did get exposed against NZ this time as well. Let’s face it – SL have a below average middle order (). Moreover, they have four pure bowlers who can hardly bat. So, the recipe to defeat SL is easy to understand and difficult to implement. Get 3 of their top 4 back cheaply.

[AD1] Pak has been a rather poor batting side getting whittled for less than 200 on more than one occasion in an otherwise high scoring tournament, and a tremendous bowling side managing to restrict the opposition nevertheless. Umar Akmal has been the only relatively consistent batsman. There are no tonners in the side, and their war veteran, Younis Khan, has looked out of sorts. Also, not surprisingly, they have looked more susceptible to pace than spin.

Indian batting has been positive, except for the Powerplay collapses, with Sachin, Sehwag, Gautam, Yuvraj, Virat (and Raina) amongst runs. Indian bowling, on the other hand, has struggled to get rid of top order batsmen. Tamim Iqbal (BAN), Strauss (ENG), Porterfield (IRE), Amla (SA), Smith (WI), Haddin (AUS) – one of the openers has scored a half century in 6 out of 7 matches they’ve played so far. So, it can be safely said that they need something different against SL. The problem with Chawla, Nehra and Munaf is that there are no surprises (barring Chawla’s googly) when it comes to them running in, throwing ball, and going back for the next one. India’s 11th player has been, generally speaking, a value destroyer for the team. Not really contributing much or bleeding sufficiently to cause enough worries in a close match.

This brings me to the conclusion that India should play Sreesanth in both the matches. Sree has some pace, and a lot of histrionics in him, which will come handy. He is not predictable. He himself doesn’t know what he will come up with next, and can produce some unplayable deliveries by design or by accident every now and then. Mohali pitch should have something for pacers. Both SL and Pak have reasonable good players of spin bowling. Lastly, looking at the 12 non-descript overs bowled by Munaf in the last two matches, I am sure MSD can hide Sree in a corner, if required. He is definitely a better fielder than Munaf, and hopefully, will talk so much that some opposition batsman will lose concentration.

Coming back to today’s match;Let’s spare a thought from Pakistan’s perspective as well. They will have to win it through their bowling. However, it’s the inadequacy of their batting that makes me wonder if they can win. Their bench is not likely throw a batsman who can take care of their woes. They can surely hope that a Younis/Misbah does an Inzamam. But then, Pakistan team hasn’t really every performed up to the predictions. They, usually, write their own destiny, a minute at a time.

However, there is a very disturbing reality to “what happens if Pakistan defeats India”. For one, India not playing the finals would mean a likely 70%+ reduction in the potential revenue from the final (for various parties), just as India playing the finals would maybe increase the currently projected revenues by 20% (these are educated guesses). The producers and directors will have to set the IPL pre and post-production work in full speed right away. Sachin will be heartbroken. And a nation full of zealots will look for a new religion.

Dhoni will have to request Jharkhand Govt. to increase the protection levels for his family. Maybe its time for another eleventh hour googly from him and get Sree in.


 

[AD1]Do u want it after 3rd and 4th para…talk of pak side first and then Srilanka as first matc h is Pakistan. Migfht go better after the intro

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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