Sunday, October 14, 2007

Secret revealed!

India is on the verge of losing the 6th ODI against Australia. At 189-2, our required run rate was around 7.5 runs an over. With only 17 overs left, India chose to send in Rahul Dravid, who has been in pathetic form. People in the pavilion are Yuvraj, Uthappa and Dhoni himself. Why?

As I write this post, India has just lost the match. We lost the match not because of our bowling, it was again our batting. And the main culprit was our top scorer, Saurav Ganguly. He has opened the innings and scored 85 runs in 110 balls! That is equivalent to scoring at 4.6 runs per over when our required rate is 6.3!! This under normal circumstances would be considered ok, but when you are chasing 318, this is sacrilege. He has successfully managed to figure out the mantra to stay on in the Indian ODI cricket team. Keep scoring runs, no matter what the strike rate or situation. People will remember his 50's and forget how useless and sometimes detrimental the scores actually were. Here are his significant scores after his return to international cricket and the number of balls taken to get these scores.

73 in 99 balls (Strike Rate: 73)
42 in 75 balls (Strike Rate: 56)
39 in 54 balls (Strike Rate: 72)
72 in 104 balls (Strike Rate: 69)
59 in 79 balls (Strike Rate: 74)
53 in 60 balls (Strike Rate: 88) {Sachin in this match was scoring at strike rate of 120}
41 in 59 balls (Strike Rate: 69)
85 in 110 balls (Strike Rate: 77)

He is averaging around 53 in ODIs this year and we have not won a single match because of his performances. In the same time, Sachin and Rahul, the other two oldies have scored match winning innings on multiple occasions, but have a lot lesser average than Saurav. In fact, Rahul and Sachin are the first two in line to get dropped from the team in the "oldies rotation system".

Even in todays match, he played so slow that he left little too much for the rest of the folks towards the end. Today is one of the occasions where his batting has already cost us the match! I don't like Gambhirs technique, but his attitude is spot on. The selectors would be well advised to pack our team with match winners rather than folks whose performances make no or negative impact on the match!

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