Let’s take this hypothetical situation, if someone held a gun to your head and asked you to select a batsman to bat for your life. Who would you choose? Would you choose a swashbuckling batsman? or a grinder and a nurdler?
You would probably choose someone in the mould of Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara, Shiv Chanderpaul, Mike Hussey or even Paul Collingwood because you know whatever the situation, whatever the pressure that situation brings upon them, whatever the condition of the pitch you can rely on them grinding it out and ensure the team will be brought towards safety (which in return will make sure you live 🙂 ). I mean the Indians didn’t name Dravid “The Wall” for nothing.
Take the same situation. Man pointing a gun to your head, but the difference is the team should win the match for you to live. Would you choose the same players as mentioned above??? Thought not… You would probably choose a Sanath Jayasuriya, a Viru Sehwag, a Herschell Gibbs or an Adam Gilchrist who can change a game in a couple of overs. Or you might even choose a bowler like Shane Warne, Murali, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath who can change a match with a couple of great spells.
That is the main difference between Match winners and match savers. Match winners will fail you at times but would win you many a match as well singlehandedly like Gibbs at Jo’burg in ‘that match’, or Jayasuriya in the Asia cup 2008 or Gilly in the 2007 WC final or like Viru in the Chennai test VS England or Shane Warne 1999 WC Semifinal. Whereas you can’t expect match savers to win matches at a regular basis, but they sure can be Mr. Reliable 9 out of 10 times.
If we take outstanding players like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting or Jacques Kallis they will fall into both categories. Where they could win their team a match singlehandedly or even could save a match when ever required. Like Ponting winning Australia the 2003 WC final and then going on to save the Old Trafford test in the 2005 ashes. This is why these types of quality players are a rare breed and are far and few between.
So who would you choose?
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Sachin isn’t the best, 17000 runs in ODIs and well past 12000 in tests, over 85 tons in both formats combined and close to 60 man of the match awards in ODIs, and the records go on and on, but wait a second what’s so special about it? After being in the cricketing arena for 20 years, and for a person who has played more than 400 ODIs and 150 tests, well you would expect him to reach these. Think again, is it possible? Or has he made it look so easy so we think it is achievable.
Playing for or on behalf of some people is a big challenge, especially when there is a billon of them waiting every day for you to score a big one, but still he has managed to cope with it very well and has scored as much as he can, but then again not a hundred every day so would you regard him as the best?
Sachin, Holder of so many records and for a man who is regarded as living legend, have you noticed how humble he is, have you ever seen him with a fancy hair cut or a rock start like looks or style. The players of the modern era always tend have something to say to the opponents, the worst part is even some spectator like these kinds of players, but for Sachin, only his bat speaks and when it does there is very little that the others can say. Can you call him the best because of that?
Let it be a cover drive, straight drive, pull or the hook, the little nudges, flick of the wrist shots and the innovative reverse sweeps you name it Sachin has got it all. (You can’t call him the best for that he doesn’t play the “Dilshan”)he is been a role model for every young cricketer in India and elsewhere, any young batsman growing up would want to look at his batting to study his technique and balance , is this because he is the best ?
Most people say he isn’t a match winner and he hasn’t won matches for India and they go on to say that he is not good when chasing, some say that he is good only on flat wickets, if you ask them one question “how many matches do you want Sachin to win it for India” the answer would probably be ten out of ten. So surely he isn’t the best is he?
Sachin isn’t the best, because being the best is not good enough, people always wanted more from him, but he has been and always will be something more than the best.
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Most of you all must have watched the movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, in that movie William Stryker tries to combine the best powers of the mutants to create his weapon 11…..
Just imagine what if the same concept could be implied in reality and an “Ultimate Spinner” could be made.
They say “spin bowling is an art” what if we can get some of the best in the business to paint a mega picture.
When we talk about spinners the first person comes into my mind would be the spin king himself, Shane Warne. It’s not only his bowling but the mere presence of himself and the aura he creates when he comes on to bowl would trouble many a batsman.
Who can forget the way he goes to his bowling mark, taking his own time setting up the field while tossing the ball in his hand, staring at the batsmen, making the batsman think too much, then follows his slow walk to the popping crease and with an artistic guile he delivers the ball, the rest is pure magic. The atmosphere he creates on the fields and in our TV rooms while he is bowling is mind blowing. With the amount of turn he gets and the amount of variations he had he would be our first candidate to our spin machine.
The next candidate would be the legendary off spinner from Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitharan. His unorthodox action and ability to spin the ball on any track has earned him hundreds of wickets. To be honest, I have not seen any bowler turn their offbreak and doosra so much as Murali does. With a calm mind set and a smiling face and rightfully dubbed ‘the smiling assassin’ he goes about his business without burning out. (Have seen him bowl more than 50 overs in test matches.) .
With Warne and Murali on the list our machine is already a master spinner but you would need someone like Anil Kumble to work hard and to be patient as a bowler. Anil not as gifted as the earlier two did a superb job for India with his limited resources. His change up being the wrong one which is normally darted in to the stumps, has earned him many wickets. Who could forget his brave effort to come out to play with a broken jaw against the West Indies. Kumble would bring discipline and character to our machine
Speaking of discipline and character there is one other bowler who does his business cleverly, Daniel Vettori. The black caps skipper does everything he possible could for his team. Though he doesn’t spin the ball a great deal he makes up for it with clever variations in pace and the with different delivery angles he uses from the crease, he makes scoring hard for the batsmen in all forms of the game. He is a thinking bowler and a quick thinker, wonder what he could have done if he spun the ball like Murali or Warne.
With our ultimate spinner almost done what is left is to do some final touch ups, to add a bit of mystery we can have the latest sensation in spin bowling Mendis, to add some spice we can have Bhaji, for style we can have “Boom Boom” Afridi, and for tweets we can always have Swann.(just kidding).
Now our “Ultimate Spinner” is ready and on his mark to bowl…….. Who would dare to face him……. of course you’ll need an “Ultimate batsman”
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I am in one the most beautiful grounds in the world, the stadiums are full from the start of play, and the match is a thriller. There is very little between the two teams, it has come to the last session of the game with both teams having even chance of winning the game. The first four balls of the over are dots, the crowd senses something is going to happen, the bowler is in his mark ready to bowl; there goes the fifth ball WHACK! The crowd goes crazy it is a boundary we start jumping up and down…… This is the typical dream we have every day.
Hi everyone we are the crickGeeks, like the millions around the world we like to watch, play, listen, talk, eat (if that is possible) cricket. Both of us work and study together, so we meet up six days a week (occasionally all seven days) and all our days usually start with the latest cricket news(if we don’t find any new ones we dig up some old ones ) and end with a question mark “what would happen on the cricket world tomorrow?”
Since cricket is running through our veins we thought it would be nice to share our thoughts, views and expectations on cricket with others .The result….(is what you are reading).
So please visit us to share some thoughts on our views, so let’s begin Living with Cricket.
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