India's Dream Cricket Test Team

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:38 pm

Yes, Kumble was better abroad in his last five years or so. But, in that period too, he was not that great in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or New Zealand. Kumble was a very India-centric bowler. Ashwin is similar except he has done well in Sri Lanka. And, still has a significant part of his career left to show that he can do it outside Asia. Prashant, thanks for doing the numbers. As it shows, among the candidates, Kumble is the worst abroad and it is not just a case of small sample size. So, we can say that Kumble was pretty average abroad. Also, 33/wicket is ~10% better than 36/wicket. So, Kumble was indeed the worst among the spinners abroad. He does not deserve a place abroad. You cannot pick just cherrypick Kumble's best years and ignore 60% of his career abroad. There are no intangibles for me. Kumble was the most disappointing spinner abroad imho, gave me the most heartbreak abroad after the highs at home. Abroad, you cannot pick a spinner who does not spin the ball. In India, the breaking pitches, made his straight balls have variation off the pitch. Abroad, you have to spin a genuine spinner to get something out of the wickets. Uncovered pitches don't make it that much easier for a leggie. Today's bowlers have better fielders backing them up and get a lot more lbws after the advent of ball-tracking. I'd go with Gupte (or Chandra).

Bedi was an atrocious fielder and batsman, but, if you have the likes of Kapil, Ashwin, Kumble, Jadeja, Irfan, etc. playing, you can afford a true #11. I don't mind replacing him with Mankad, etc. as PKB wanted above.
Last edited by prasen9 on Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby rajitghosh » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:44 pm

When Gupta and Mankad played fielding standards were abysmal. Otherwise they would have got more wickets. Also remember that Mankad made his debut at the age of 29 having lost his best years to the war. If these 2 greats had some close in fielders like David things would have been different.
For Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar and Venkat, they tended to share the wickets. Often Prasanna or Venkat was asked by Pataudi to hold up one end while Chandra or Bedi attacked from the other end. Of course the quartet had great close in catchers like Solkar, Abid Ali, Wadekar, Gavaskar and Venkat himself. In fact in sharing wickets even Durrani and Nadkarni played in the same era.
If the choice had to be a left arm spinner nobody compares against Mankad, given his batting abilities.
For the off spinner Ashwini qualifies by the same logic.
For the leg spinner a freak bowler like Chandra would qualify. He would not perform every day but when he did he would win matches.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:45 pm

I could live with Mankad, Ashwin, and Chandra. A minor quip would be that yes, if you have four good bowlers, they split the wickets, but the averages still should be good. So, you will have to look at the numbers differently. Nadkarni was pretty good too.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:52 pm

Interesting that we are not in consensus wrt our spinners. Wrt our batting, if we want to choose a team to play abroad, here is whom I would pick: Gavaskar, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Amarnath. As of now, Amarnath has done more than Kohli. Kohli has a chance to rectify this. If Amarnath is too slow for #5, then I would play Rahane. Again, Rahane and Kohli are incompletes and let us see how they pan out.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Prashant » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:06 pm

No love for VVS Laxman away?

Laxman averaged 49 at home & 50 away - Mohinder Amarnath averaged only ~30 at home, but ~52 away. Those seem comparable away given that VVSL played about double the number of tests...

By the way, I speak as someone who was pissed off when Laxman made the team in the first place, because he was a pure quota selection. But he definitely won me over.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:37 pm

For a fourth inning chase, I would get Laxman. But, I remember the out-of-the-world batting by Amarnath against the most hostile pace attack I have ever seen in their own lair. And, maybe I am biased by the WC win, which strictly speaking should not count, but, it does impact my subjective judgement, I think. So, the tossup goes to Amarnath. It was a mystery why he could not do much at home. I also did not think Laxman averages 50 abroad until you pointed it out. But still, I will stick with Amarnath for now.

Update: Actually, Laxman averages 51.6 at home and 42 away. Worse away than Patil and Kohli.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby SaniaFan » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:52 pm

I think Kapil was better than Zaheer abroad as well as in India. Kapil just stretched his career too long and ruined his record a bit.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Prashant » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:58 pm

prasen9 wrote:Update: Actually, Laxman averages 51.6 at home and 42 away. Worse away than Patil and Kohli.


You're right, I looked at statsguru wrong. In that case, definitely Amarnath...

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:07 pm

I think Zaheer faded a bit in the last few years too. I will look up their last few abroad series later when I have the time. Their bowling difference should be small. If it is Zaheer vs. Kapil straight up, you take Kapil because of his much better batting and fielding skills.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Atithee » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:00 pm

Must there be a "fast spinner" in a team even if they're there to take the shine off the ball and hand it to the spinners? I wouldn't have any specislist "fast spinners" of yesteryears in my dream team; just use Amarnath etc to take care of that role. As I've proposed all along (the Atithee theory), pick only the bowlers who can bat. There is no better proof of the validity of this theory than our recent turnaround. So, Kapil will find a place.

No love for Gundappa Viswanath among the batsmen? Merchant, Umrigar, .....?

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:40 pm

Actually, if you go by the numbers and Kohli bumps Hazare, then we would have Pujara, Rahane, Hazare for the second team. Or you can tag-team Pujara/Rahane. Pujara at home, Rahane abroad.

And, I have always supported playing bowlers who can bat if their bowling is not significantly better. Makes absolute sense. If you have no bowlers who can bowl, then choose bowlers who can bat. That is why Jadeja was chosen over Ojha in the first place. Actually, both could bowl in India but not abroad (yet). So, why not choose the one who can bat and field. Which is why Bhuvi should be automatic --- and he should be told to practice his batting, lately it has slipped a bit.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Prashant » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:58 pm

Atithee wrote:No love for Gundappa Viswanath among the batsmen? Merchant, Umrigar, .....?


Relying purely on memory, I think of Viswanath as a style over substance guy. Utterly beautiful to watch but didn't put together enough great innings.

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Atithee » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:36 am

cricinfo profile of viswanath is quite good:

Gundappa Viswanath was a true artist with the willow - his strokeplay, particularly the late-cut executed with lumberjack-strong wrists, was nothing less than divine. He was equally adept against pace and spin - waiting on the ball against the fastmen and using twinkling footwork against the spinners - and he came good when it truly mattered. Though statistics don't convey it, Vishy was every bit as crucial as Sunil Gavaskar to the Indian team of the 1970s. Right from his century on debut in 1969-70, he performed better when the chips were down than any other Indian batsman. Especially memorable was an unbeaten, matchwinning 97 against a rampaging Andy Roberts at Madras in 1974-75. Viswanath often excelled on pitches others found difficult - witness his matchwinning 124 out of 255 on another fiery, bouncy Madras wicket against West Indies in 1978-79, and innings of 83 and 79 against New Zealand on a Christchurch greentop in 1975-76. He played the game in its true spirit: a century had little value to him if it didn¹t contribute to the team cause and he disputed an umpire¹s decision only once, recalling Bob Taylor in the Golden Jubilee match against England in 1979-80. It cost him the Test, one of only two where he led India, but to Vishy, it mattered more that the game should be played fair.
H Natarajan

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby Varma » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:58 am

Atithee wrote:...he disputed an umpire¹s decision only once, recalling Bob Taylor in the Golden Jubilee match against England in 1979-80. It cost him the Test, one of only two where he led India, but to Vishy, it mattered more that the game should be played fair.
H Natarajan

I never knew about this part of Vishy's career. My hats off to the legend :notworthy: !

Thanks for sharing it, Atithee.

- Varma

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Re: India's Dream Cricket Test Team

Postby prasen9 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:33 am

I loved watching Vishy bat. If I had to watch old cricket videos, I would watch some of his most famous innings. However, I have a problem with players who turn up when the going gets tough. It means that they don't turn up at other times or don't turn up as much. I love players who give their 100% all the time even if they are not as gifted. That is why I like Kohli even though at this point, he has not been as good a batsman abroad as Rahane. Kohli turns up every time. He does not do a Vijay or a Shastri or a Yadav in that he does not try to hit out after getting his 100. I don't know if Vijay's back was hurting him though due to which he decide to hit out, get some runs, and get out instead of playing like he did to get to his 100. Anyway, a run scored in the 4th innings is as good as a run scored in the 2nd innings in the final run. So, whenever I see a distinct difference in performance when the team is not in trouble and when the team is in trouble, I have issues with that. For if you can focus better when the chips are down, you should be able to do even better when they are not down. This is wrt who I want to play to win me the game. As I had said, if my choice was to create memories and videos to watch later, then Vishy waltzes into the middle order. Dravid waltzes out.


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