17 February 2009

Seaming (ly) Awry?

A mumbling Srinath has terrorized me for a few months now, espeically given that there is so little sensible mumble coming out of someone who has played so much international cricket. Like the proverbial flash in the pan however, Srinath's comments on the third Indian seamer finally add some serious value to what should be a more hotly debated issue.

To paraphrase what he said - Indian selectors must stop playing musical chairs with the position of the third seamer. This role has been fulfilled by Munaf, Praveen, Ganguly, Sreesanth and Ajit over the past few years in the Indian version of the rotation policy. If we accept that batsmen require a longish noose from which to hang themselves, why does the same logic not apply to bowlers, life for whom has anyway been made tougher by pitches that are getting slower and slower? Has Praveen done badly in the recent past to merit an exclusion? Didnt Sreesanth do enough in the little domestic cricket that he played?

I fail to understand how the allegedly best swing bowlers in the country are not on this tour (Zak excluded). Sreesanth and Praveen have been picked to play in India, Australia and South Africa (as the case may be), for their ability to swing the new ball and reverse swing the old one. Yet, when we go to a country which demands swing bowling expertise, we prefer the Soooparrstarr (Balaji, who hasnt played in a long long time and bowls only slightly faster than John) over these two? While I am all for one of them missing out for Ranji's highest wicket taker (preference for youth and all that), selections like Balajis' make one wonder whether the selectors are not suffering from some permanent brain damage received during their playing days.

As an aside, my prediction on the test series is a 2-1 victory to India, weather permitting. What say?


Homer said...


Sreesanth - injured
RP Singh - injured
Irfan Pathan - lost his swing

Praveen Kumar and Balaji bowl at around the same pace - Balaji has shown more control over his swing this Ranji season ( and that spell against Bengal should silence all critics about how good he is after injury).

Munaf is now the chsen third bowler - and thats not a bad thing really.. He has workd on his game and is a better bowler now than he was when he burst on the scene.

From a bowling balance point of view, we have everything in these five who go to NZ - hit the deck types, swin, left arm, right arm, seam..

Thats what we want, dont we?


TM said...

Irfan I wasnt counting in this list of seamers anyway, though it will be tempting to play him as an all rounder to get the extra bowling option. Didnt know Sreesanth and RP were injured - my apologies to the selectors for that one.

But between Praveen and Balaji, I would have picked Praveen - he consistently swings it a bit more I would think. Again, I dont think Bala has it is him to do too well in NZ. What do you think of playing the new guy?

Homer said...

the new guy is a bad idea.. its too soon to blood him


Khare said...

Homer, disagree on that one. Both Zak and Ishant were pushed into the national team without having played all that much first class cricket. While Balaji, etc. might be higher in the pecking order, maybe the selectors (brain damaged though they may be) are acting on a hunch that this guy is going to be that elusive third seamer Srinath keeps harping about?

TM, Pravin does seem to be a surprise exclusion. He seems to be the umpteenth indian cricketer to have been typecast as a one day specialist

Khare said...

RP seems to have been out of action for an awfully long time. Hope he can make it back soon.

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