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Ranji Trophy 2011-12: Super League

Ranji Trophy 2011-12: Super League  

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Amidst all the talk of abject failure Indian test team in England, will the Ranji season this year attract more attention from the fans, experts and media? Will the pitch committee produce sporting tracks for the FC matches to encourage bowlers? Will we get a detailed coverage at least? So what is the domestic schedule this year? Akash Chopra tell us in detail about it and what are the improvements needed according to him: Time For Home Improvement Aakash Chopra, August 27, 2011 India's domestic cricket is full of misplaced priorities and redundant ideas. The England defeat offers a chance to analyse its failings. Much has been spoken about India's terrible trounce in England - right from the lack of preparedness, poor planning to crammed schedule, everything has been meticulously discussed. But few have looked beyond the obvious and deliberated upon the fundamentals. MAK Pataudi, with his astute eye for cricket, hit the nail on its head by pointing out the importance of a robust first-class structure to strengthen Indian cricket. That India's poor show could be the result of a deteriorating domestic structure is an idea worth a thought. So, what is it that is marring the foundation of Indian cricket? Here's a look at the snags that need some urgent attention: Irani Trophy (October 1-5) - The most prestigious match of the season between the defending Ranji Champions and a team made up of the cream of Indian cricket marks the beginning of the new first-class season. It's a five-day match to showcase India's best talent. A brilliant way to start the season, it can serve its purpose only if the best cricketers in the country are available to play. I remember playing for Delhi in an Irani trophy match against the Anil Kumble-led Rest of India. It was a spectacle. But this year, the coveted Irani trophy clashes with the Champions League, which means cricketers from four franchisees won't be available for selection. Haven't we devalued the most important match of the season? Challenger Trophy (October 10-13) - Another brilliant tournament with a noble concept, giving fringe players a unique chance to rub shoulders with the best in the country in a 50 overs format. But over the last few years, even this tournament has faced the wrath of congested international and domestic calendars. Now, Challenger Trophy finishes in four days straight - there isn't even a gap of a day between the league matches and the final - and the senior team is seldom available to lift the standard. This year, even the availability of good domestic cricketers is in doubt because the tournament starts a day after the Champions League final. Is it not possible to find four days in the international calendar when the seniors are available? Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (October 20-26): The league phase of our national T20 tournament, held only a week before the Ranji Trophy, throws the preparation for the longer format completely off-track. If you prepare well for this T20 tournament, you sacrifice the preparation for Ranji Trophy. And if you prepare thoroughly for the all-important Ranji contests, you launch the T20 tournament on a low. Also, back-to-back T20 games leave little time to recuperate. And after all this, the national T20 champions don't even qualify for the Champions League. In any case, conducting another T20 tournament defies logic when IPL is showcased as the premier T20 competition. Also, the knockouts of this T20 competition are held in March, five months after the league phase. Ranji Trophy (November 3-January 15) - Firstly, we need to ask ourselves if we want Ranji Trophy to be the most important tournament. If so, we need to revamp this format which rewards mediocrity. Scheduling: In the present Ranji structure, there's a four-day match played every week with only three days break between consecutive matches. Now, if you finish a match in Jammu and if your next match is in Kochi, you spend a full day travelling. The next day is spent recuperating, leaving only a day to prepare for the next match. You can deal with this schedule for a couple of matches, and to endure this for seven or eight weeks is backbreaking. Because of the schedule, fast-bowlers learn to operate at 60-70 per cent of their capacity, else it is impossible to last the season without injury. No wonder one sees a major drop in pace from one season to the next. It's imperative to increase the gap by at least one more day, if not two days. Structure: The current division of teams - in Elite and Plate groups - leaves little cricket to be played by the Plate teams and the Elite ones who fail to qualify for the knockouts. It is observed that as many as 10 teams play only five matches a season, and another five teams play only six. Let's not forget the season lasts only five or six weeks. Is that what you play for an entire year? A niggle or mild illness could cost a player a full year. The solution is to split 27 teams into 3 groups of nine teams each. This will ensure that every team plays at least 8 matches in a season, increase the gap by a day and, perhaps, make all games a five-day affair. Points System: In the current scenario, the emphasis is on taking the first-innings lead, which I feel is an incentive to play mediocre cricket. Gaining a few runs as lead isn't the true reflection of a team's strength. We must change the points system to ensure there's little to gain in the first innings but substantial rewards for an outright result. How about awarding batting and bowling points throughout the game and 10 bonus points for a win? Better Wickets, Better Rewards: It's important to have pitches that help bowlers too. BCCI's pitch committee has done precious little to improve pitch standards. It is rather ambitious to expect players, brought up on surfaces with low bounce and no lateral movement, to suddenly find ways to succeed in hostile conditions. Pay Disparity: Another important issue is to bring parity between the payments for an IPL season and a domestic season. If there isn't a huge difference in pay packets, players won't sacrifice technique for acquiring T20 skills. Penalize: The onus of improving the quality of cricket in Ranji Trophy is on the state associations and they're given huge sums by the BCCI to do the same. Every association's contribution should be assessed by two yardsticks. No. 1 - the number of quality players produced at various levels, and 2 - the team's performance in national tournaments. If an association continues to underperform on both counts, they should be financially penalized. How about deducting 20 per cent from their annual package? Duleep Trophy (January 19-February 2) - what used to be one of the best tournaments is perhaps now redundant. It starts only three days after the Ranji finals and is a knockout tournament, which in effect means that teams can play a maximum of two matches. Are a couple of innings enough to assess a player? Is it possible for an assorted group of players to play as a team on such a short notice? If the answer is a no, please scrap this tournament and give Ranji its deserved space. Vijay Hazare Trophy (February 10-March 1) - Even while Ranji Trophy has moved on to being played between Elite and Plate teams, the Vijay Hazare Trophy (the one-day competition) is still played among zonal teams. The league phase lasts a week. It means having to play on consecutive days many times and at non-descript venues. Once again, quantity compromises quality. The knockout matches are of good quality but the shoddy league phase devalues the tournament. I recommend the same three-tier Ranji structure to be followed in here, to ensure enough games for all teams and adequate rest in between. Deodhar Trophy (March 6-9): Another good format, unfortunately serving little or no purpose, wrapping up in four days. If we don't have the time to do justice to tournaments of this quality, then let's not conduct them at all. Half-hearted efforts are no good. India's hammering in England is a shocker. But it is imperative to not get absorbed by defeat and instead look for a disaster management plan. The way ahead, in my opinion is to fortify first-class cricket, the breeding ground of present and future cricketers. ----------------------------------------------------------- Agree with most of Akash's point barring Ranji's structure and scrapping of Duleep trophy and my views are known in the thread "how to improve domestic cricket". One of the bloggers thinks that Indian cricket at the moment is going through an identity crisis and the board at the moment has confused itself if it is a cricket control board or a body that produces entertainment packages for people. I don't think he is quite far off the point here. After Srinath retired in 2003, we had a rich number of young medium pacers coming through our domestic cricket from Irfan Pathan to L Balaji, to Munaf Patel to S Sreesanth to RP Singh to Ishant Sharma, even if forget the likes of Tyagis, PKs etc. How many of such bowlers can you name after Ishant who debuted in 2007? One Unadkat who debuted in 2010 and one immediately discovered that he was nowhere near a test class bowler like what Ishant was when he debuted or Irfan was when he debuted or Munaf and so on. So there is no doubting that our fast bowling as well as spin bowling resources have stagnated badly and the terrible FC structure which ends in just 5-6 weeks is solely responsible for that. If it is not addressed immediately, we might be without bowlers within 3-4 years. So let us hope this Ranji season provides good tracks at least and BCCI does pay attention to scheduling, structure, point system etc from next season. Hoping for a good Ranji season ahead.

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Agree with most of Akash's point barring Ranji's structure and scrapping of Duleep trophy and my views are known in the thread "how to improve domestic cricket". One of the bloggers thinks that Indian cricket at the moment is going through an identity crisis and the board at the moment has confused itself if it is a cricket control board or body that produces entertainment packages for people. I don't think he is quite far off the point here. After Srinath retired in 2003, we had a rich number of young medium pacers from our domestic coming through from Irfan Pathan to L Balaji, to Munaf Patel to S Sreesanth to RP Singh to Ishant Sharma, even if forget the likes of Tyagis, PKs etc. How many of such bowlers can you name after Ishant who debuted in 2007? One Unadkat who debuted in 2010 and one immeditely discovered that he was nowhere near a test class bowler like what Ishant was when he debuted or Irfan was when he debuted or Munaf and so on. So there is no doubting that our fast bowling as well as spin bowling resources have stagnated badly and the terrible FC structure which ends in just 5-6 weeks is solely responsible for that. If it is not addressed immediately, we might be without bowlers within 3-4 years. So let us hope this Ranji season provides good tracks at least and BCCI does pay attention to sceduling, structure, point system etc from next season. Hoping for a good Ranji season ahead.
also remember we haven't given many chances to pacers and only bowler ready for international in last 10 year was Munaf only. Irfan too was not international standard. Ishant was same too. Irfan was really overhyped by us fans. Munaf forget his way. we need to give chances to young guys rather recycling tried and tested failures.

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also remember we haven't given many chances to pacers and only bowler ready for international in last 10 year was Munaf only. Irfan too was not international standard. Ishant was same too. Irfan was really overhyped by us fans. Munaf forget his way. we need to give chances to young guys rather recycling tried and tested failures.
Irfan was surely international class ,he was good in his first 2 seasons before he lost his action.ishant got 5 wickets in his first test.fast bowlers are picked on promise and pace more than experience,in india its extremly hard to build a pace bowling attack as we play 2 spinners at home .so again third seamer has to wait and if he performs badly in odis he is dropped .we do not plan things we just do it in india.which is the problem

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Irfan was not overhyped, he is perhaps not a test class bowler (though hopefully maybe an allrounder good enough to chip in with useful runs and wickets) but at his best he was a very good ODI cricketer. Rudra and Sree proved themselves as test class and international standard but did not have the commitment to maximise their potential.

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Having said that even as a test bowler Irfan had a fine debut series and with Balaji a good tour of Pak in 04. Not to mention test hat trick and man of the match in arguably our best overseas test win in the last 5 years. Another sad case of what might have been.

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Having said that even as a test bowler Irfan had a fine debut series and with Balaji a good tour of Pak in 04. Not to mention test hat trick and man of the match in arguably our best overseas test win in the last 5 years. Another sad case of what might have been.
He is still young enough,hope he does well in domestic as in odis he will be of great help.

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Groups for Ranji Super Group A Rajasthan Mumbai Karnataka Uttar Pradesh Punjab Railways Orissa Saurashtra Group B Delhi Tamil Nadu Bengal Gujarat Haryana Baroda Madhya Pradesh Group A :woot:

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What purpose does the Mushtaq Ali trophy serve? Take that out and you add 15-16 days to the domestic schedule which could mean adding an extra day between challenger Trophy matches, each of the Ranji Trophy matches and some more days for the Duleep Trophy. Another thing that the BCCI needs to relook is the TRDO scheme which for reasons best known to BCCI was closed down in 2007. The likes of Dhoni, Irfan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Raina, Chawla all came through because of that sheme.

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What purpose does the Mushtaq Ali trophy serve? Take that out and you add 15-16 days to the domestic schedule which could mean adding an extra day between challenger Trophy matches, each of the Ranji Trophy matches and some more days for the Duleep Trophy. Another thing that the BCCI needs to relook is the TRDO scheme which for reasons best known to BCCI was closed down in 2007. The likes of Dhoni, Irfan, Sreesanth, RP Singh, Raina, Chawla all came through because of that sheme.
I remember reading that the Talent Resource Wing was somehow revised in format, that made it less effective. I think match referees now are asked to spot talent at matches on the BCCIs behalf, whereas it used to be Vengsarkar and his team before. M Waingarkar writes some very good columns for cricinfo on domestic cricket, I read it there

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I remember reading that the Talent Resource Wing was somehow revised in format' date=' that made it less effective. I think match referees now are asked to spot talent at matches on the BCCIs behalf, whereas it used to be Vengsarkar and his team before.[b'] M Waingarkar writes some very good columns for cricinfo on domestic cricket, I read it there
Actually he was the one who started this entire concept of a TRDO while working as a consultant with Karnataka Cricket Association in 2001. Later BCCI under Dalmiya decided to have TRDOs at national level with Vengsarkar as its head and some 20 odd TRDOs under him. A TRDO would watch the local matches in each state, send feedback to BCCI/Vengsarkar on those matches and if a TRDO found any special talent, Vengsarkar would go to watch him play and then recommend him to NCA/national sides/Challenger tropy sides etc. Unfortunately the wonderful system fell prey to the ego clash between Dalmiya group and Pawar group and when Pawar and his cronies took over in 2006, it was given a silent burial:((

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From what I've seen the national team selectors mainly go to matches when the player has been already considered and just to go there as a formality. Case in point, heading over to see the Baroda Ranji match when considering Munaf/Yusuf for the WC team. Perhaps a much more proactive methodology would be welcomed. Sometimes I get the idea that the commentators covering the domestic scene know a lot more than the actual selectors :giggle: In fact, anybody following the domestic cricket and watching it on TV can also get a fairly good idea about upcoming talent. More often the cream of the crop at the junior level does get a break in the Ranji Trophy when an opening occurs. And even the India A/ emerging players teams are more or less justified. I would put the emphasis on spotting the correct talent at the junior level and the development required for them to succeed once they break into the Ranji Trophy. Overall, nurturing the talent after it has been spotted is the main issue and the resources required to further develop the talent. TRDW

TRDW — the way to go TRDW's basic principle is to assess talented players in the prescribed format, writes Makarand Waingankar In 2002, the BCCI formed the Talent Resource Development Wing to identify raw talent, and despite having loopholes in the team selection process, the TRDOs through objective assessment system recommended some indubitable talent that has then made it into the Indian team. In fact, the majority of players in the Indian team are from the districts. The technical committee headed by Sunil Gavaskar has now strongly recommended the continuance of the TRDW. It is to be hoped that the BCCI will not apply the convoluted process while accepting the recommendation of the technical committee. It was in 2001 that I introduced the system in Karnataka to unearth hidden talent in the districts, and within three months the talent that was identified from the districts made things difficult for the Bangalore boys. The principle of the project was simple. The talent parameters were assessed by different TRDOs of the KSCA, thereby removing the bias. The BCCI, impressed by the success of the KSCA project, formed the Talent Resource Development Wing in 2002 under the chairmanship of Dilip Vengsarkar. To the credit of the BCCI, it never interfered with the implementation of the project and left it to Dilip Vengsarkar and Brijesh Patel. In a country where the selection process can still be manipulated, the appointment of the TRDOs by these experts was challenged as the associations could not push their supporters. Not letting the associations interfere with the appointments of the TRDOs was one of the important principles of the project. Selection process The selection process in India, based on vote-cost principle, has shaken the confidence of many top quality cricketers. After scoring 774 runs in the West Indies, Sunil Gavaskar and his opening partner Ashok Mankad were replaced in the West Zone team by batsmen who were neither talented nor prolific scorers. At the junior level with money coming in, the manipulations were just as devastating. To halt the trend of manipulations, the TRDW was formed. The basic principle of the TRDW is to ask its officers, who are experienced first class players, to assess talented players in the prescribed format. With each boy getting assessed by different TRDOs, there was no bias as there was no way any of the TRDOs could know how their colleagues had assessed a particular boy. The percentage in the talent section was then compared with the field performance and the boys excelling in talent and performance then were selected for the development process at the NCA. With each of the 20 TRDOs watching not less than 15 to 20 matches, they were each assessing around 350 players thereby helping the five-member national junior selection committee. Pathan, Dhoni, Raina, R.P. Singh, V.R.V. Singh, Piyush Chawla and many others are the products of this system. The problem that needs to be addressed is that after the talent is identified, it has to be developed and for that to happen the NCA has to have a proper monitoring process. A boy is more with his personal coach than with the NCA coach and unless a communication system is established between the personal coach and the NCA coach, the nurturing aspect which is so crucial will not give us expected results. The TRDW should be involved in the selection process of the Indian junior teams. Though neither the chairman of the TRDW nor any of the zonal chief TRDOs has a vote in the selection committee, their technical inputs would definitely strengthen the process. The TRDOs are an experienced lot and their commitment to the job reflects in the reports they submit to the NCA. In fact the BCCI, by asking each association to have a TRDW, would be able to unearth more hidden talent. At the moment, the BCCI TRDOs are assessing the talent by watching inter-state junior matches but if each association forms TRDW, the talent base will be broader. It can create more options for the national selectors. http://www.hindu.com/2006/05/30/stories/2006053004941900.htm
Publication: Mumbai Mirror ; Date: Mar 13, 2008; Section: Sport; Page: 26 court martial Bring back the scouts MAKARAND WAINGANKAR The emergence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team’s care-two-hoots attitude and its performance against the Aussies has given a different dimension to Indian cricket. This aggressive band of Indian youngsters – most of them from districts – have shown that no longer can an Indian cricketer be called mentally not tough. Today the India team has a typical district culture that believes in fighting it out. Nothing comes easy in villages and districts. But how was Dhoni from Ranchi spotted? Neither Greg Chappell nor Dean Jones know the way to Ranchi. Like many others, they too don’t know the process that has helped these district boys make an impact on Indian cricket. It was the TRDO (Talent Resource Development Officer) PC Podar, who had captained Bengal in the 60s, who watched Dhoni in Jamshedpur playing for Jharkhand in 2003 and sent his observations to the National Cricket Academy. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING IN 2001, as the Consultant of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, I had introduced the system of Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW). The success of this concept made the then President of the BCCI Jagmohan Dalmiya form a Talent Resource Development Wing for unearthing the talent in India. The job description of the TRDOs was to assess the talent in a prescribed form and feed the data into specially developed software for it to get analysed. The talent-assessment system of the TRDW convinced the selectors that there was enough talent to choose from. With the help of the TRDOs, the talent was picked for the NCA, Bangalore and at its five zonal academies. Today the majority of players who are in the Indian team are the product of the TRDW. SHASTRI MISLED THE FUTURE, however, is bleak with the NCA deciding to concentrate only on Under-19 and not hold zonal camps for the other age-groups. The biggest problem in the country is bursts of enthusiasm for illthought tinkering in proven processes with no actual effort to understand either the working or the purpose of the process. Those who have not had any inkling of the ground realities are the ones who are deciding the future of Indian cricket at the NCA. Why did the BCCI spend lakhs of rupees on TRDOs-turned-Match Referees assessing the junior talent this season if the boys were not to be trained in the NCA during the summer? As per the earlier system, apart from the top 40 boys in each group getting trained at the NCA, the other 150 boys were at the five zonal academies. Most of the players in the Indian team have been with the NCA for three to four years before they were picked for India. The NCA Chairman Ravi Shastri seems to have taken the decision based on misleading reports from members of the NCA Committee. He should check the validity of the facts that have been presented to him before he forges ahead with this decision. POLITICAL ACTIVISM THERE IS a growing tendency among some political activists in Mumbai to mislead the people with the help of the media by accusing the clubs of misusing open spaces. For past couple of months, both Khar Gymkhana and MIG Cricket Club were targeted by the activists. Incited by the activists and supported by the biased media reports, the hooligans took law into their own hands, and spoiled the MIG ground which had come in for praise from teams of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On Tuesday, the joint inspection of BMC and MHADA revealed that the MIG Cricket Club has not violated any FSI norms. In fact, MIG Club has paid lease rent of over Rs. 50 lakhs for the next 30 years to MHADA and pay Rs.16 Lakh to BMC every year, apart from paying Rs. 54,000 rent to the state government. Contribution of MIG Cricket Club and Khar Gymkhana to promotion of sports is phenomenal. Not only have they been sponsoring various sports tournaments in Mumbai but are letting the swimming pools to surrounding schools for a nominal rent. WHY LEAVE OUT BOMBAY GYM? WHY THE activists and the BMC not have the courage to raise objections about the Bombay Gymkhana whose security guards stop general public from stepping on the ground? No-one is allowed to even park the car on the pavement outside which the club claims is their property having paid for the parking space. Ridiculous! Will the BMC have the same set of rules for every club or are there separate rules for the elite clubs and the clubs belonging to the ruling party functionaries? There are blatant violations in lease agreements of some of the clubs owned by the ruling party functionaries that the BMC needs to investigate. Will the Mayor act ? http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=TU1JUi8yMDA4LzAzLzEzI0FyMDI2MDA=&Mode=HTML&Locale=english-skin-custom
Recall reading Dravid and asking for more time in between matches a couple of years ago
Rahul Dravid has called for greater space between games in India's domestic season in order to enable players to give their best, and increase the possibility of more outright results. Dravid, who is currently in Bangladesh for the two-Test series, said the frequency of matches and consequently, the lack of breathing space, was a reason for the numerous draws the Ranji Trophy witnessed. "Since the domestic season is very cramped, the teams don't want to tire their bowlers by trying to go for an outright win," Dravid was quoted as saying by Outlook. "The amount of cricket we play at the domestic level needs to be looked into. It might mean cancelling one or two tournaments, so that there's a proper gap between the Ranji Trophy games. "Maybe the spacing of the Ranji Trophy games could be a bit better to give the players a bit more rest between the games." Karnataka would have missed Dravid in the nail-biting final against Mumbai, as they lost by six runs while chasing 338. Dravid had to join the Indian team in Bangladesh for the Test series. He said though the Ranji Trophy was missing national players, they too needed a break, given the hectic schedule. "Some are playing all the year for India, it's not easy. You need a break," he said. Dravid backed the concept of neutral curators to encourage more outright results in the competition and said it was also beneficial for the long-term development of first-class cricketers. "Some people may play safe because they don't want to lose outright," he said. But local associations must understand that if they want to develop good cricketers, they need their state players to play on good wickets. They might lose some matches, but in the long run they'll benefit. "I like the concept of neutral curators and the board is giving them a direction. And, to be fair, the quality of the wickets is improving." The thrilling final was received brilliantly in Mysore where crowds flocked in big numbers for each of the four days. On the final day, given the tense encounter, those who couldn't get tickets were seen sitting on terraces and trees outside the venue. The lack of time, Dravid said, could have been a reason for poor attendances in the previous games. "It's not that people are not interested," he said. "They still follow the scores religiously; it's just that they don't have the time, which is understandable. "It'll be a good idea to have AIR [All India Radio] do live radio coverage of the games. They'd be surprised to see how many follow the games, especially their own state teams." http://www.espncricinfo.com/indiandomestic2009/content/story/444331.html

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Irfan was surely international class ' date='he was good in his first 2 seasons before he lost his action.ishant got 5 wickets in his first test.fast bowlers are picked on promise and pace more than experience,in india its extremly hard to build a pace bowling attack as we play 2 spinners at home .so again third seamer has to wait and if he performs badly in odis he is dropped .we do not plan things we just do it in india.which is the problem[/quote'] Not really. He was good but he needed to develop into an international standard bowler, which he could not do. Ishant got fifer in his 2nd test, not first, and after he had conceded more than 100 runs and opposition had a massive score. He was very harmless all through the innings in that test.

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Will be interesting to see if the likes of Tyagi, Yadav, Ishwar Choudhary, Mortaza Vohra, Deepak Chahar, Anand Rajan etc have made any progress since the season ended. Also unless Aaron gets picked for the final 11, he should be encouraged to play as many first class games as he could play. No point in him warming the bench and not bowling at all in the ongoing domestic matches.

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Will be interesting to see if the likes of Tyagi, Yadav, Ishwar Choudhary, Mortaza Vohra, Deepak Chahar, Anand Rajan etc have made any progress since the season ended. Also unless Aaron gets picked for the final 11, he should be encouraged to play as many first class games as he could play. No point in him warming the bench and not bowling at all in the ongoing domestic matches.
I think Aaron wont be picked for WI Test series and so he should play Ranji matches and should look to improve his wicket taking ability and maintain his accuracy at pace. Wicket taking ability is important. Pace gives him an added advantage if he can do that on a consistent basis. The best way of taking wickets is bowling wicket to wicket. It gives a bowler most probabilities of picking wickets. Guys like him and Yadav who has pace got carried away very easily with pace and tries to bowl unnecessary short balls which should only be a surprise weapon. They need to learn these things quickly.

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Sulakshan Kulkarni named Mumbai coach Former Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman Sulakshan Kulkarni has been appointed coach of the Mumbai team. More... Sulakshan Kulkarni named Mumbai coach ESPNcricinfo staff August 30, 2011 Former Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman Sulakshan Kulkarni has been appointed coach of the Mumbai team. The decision was taken at a meeting of the cricket improvement committee (CIC) of the Mumbai Cricket Association, chaired by Chandrakant Pandit, on Monday. Kulkarni, 44, was chosen ahead of Sanjay Bangar, Zubin Barucha, Zulfikar Parkar and Sandeep Dahad. "We discussed all names and their finer points but we finally settled for Sulakshan," Pandit said. "We also asked [balwinder Singh] Sandhu (a CIC member) whether he could take up the job but he didn't want to. It had been too long and we didn't want to waste time. We wanted to appoint the coach as early as possible." However, the term of the coach is yet to be fixed. Kulkarni, who is presently coach of the Vidarbha team, played for Mumbai, Railways, Assam and Vidarbha in the Ranji Trophy. He was part of the domestic circuit for 15 years and took 122 catches, made 21 stumpings and scored 3332 runs at an average of 38.29 in 65 matches. He also worked with the Mumbai junior teams before moving to Vidarbha. "What was impressive about Sulakshan was that he is focussed on two important aspects of Mumbai cricket," Pandit said. "Having a strong bench strength and winning the Ranji Trophy is what he had planned for. "Apart from that, he has passion for Mumbai cricket and the khadoos attitude which every Mumbaikar should have," Pandit said. "He has good strategies to perform and the focus was on having a strong bench strength." "It will be a real challenge for me," Kulkarni told the Indian Express. "I have worked here before too, and I'm looking forward to take charge soon. Coaching Mumbai always involves a lot of pride, and there is a great tradition that you have to take stock of." Kulkarni succeeded former India batsman Pravin Amre, who quit earlier this year after Mumbai lost the 2010-11 Ranji Trophy quarter-finals to eventual winners Rajasthan. During Amre's five-year stint as coach, Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy three times. The CIC also named former Mumbai captain Milind Rege as the chief selector, with Abdul Ismail, Abey Kuruvilla and Pradeep Kasliwal as part of the selection panel. The Under-19 team will be coached by Satish Samant, with Ravi Thakkar as chief selector.

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Ranji aspirants on fitness pitch http://news.yahoo.com/ranji-aspirants-fitness-pitch-000000593.html More than 20 Ranji probables are being put on the fitness grill for the upcoming domestic season at Keenan Stadium. Exercises to build endurance, muscle strength, speed and power, as well as yoga for holistic well being are a regular feature for cricketers in the first phase of the conditioning camp hosted by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA). Barring skipper Saurabh Tiwary, batting mainstays Ishank Jaggi and Kumar Deobrat and emerging speedster Varun Aaron, the rest are sweating it out under the watchful eyes of physical trainer Rajesh Singh. City-based southpaw Tiwary and bowler Aaron are touring Australia with the Indian Under-19 outfit at the Emerging Players Tournament. Jaggi is undergoing a rehab programme. Bokaro's Deobrat is preparing on his own to land a slot in the Indian team for colts. "These four players will join the camp at a later stage," said coach and former Bihar batsman Tarit Ghosh. Participants of the fitness camp ' from August 5 to 19 ' include Akash Verma, Subrato Ghosh, Manish Vardhan, Rameez Nemat, Siddharth Raj Sinha, Sachin Prasad, Keshav Kumar, Aamir Hashmi, S.P. Gautam, Sandeep Gupta, Y. Krishnatry, Kuldeep Sharma, Rahul Shukla, Ashish Kumar, Rahul Mishra, P. Bhima Rao, Samar Qadri, Sujeet Roy, Shahbaaz Nadeem, Asif Fahad and Ashish Yadav. Speaking to The Telegraph, Ghosh said: "The fitness level of the players is picking up on a steady note, but a lot needs to be done." He added they were monitoring cricketers regularly, which yielded results. "Their fitness levels will definitely see a marked rise in the remaining phases of the conditioning camp. Fitness is the key aspect to remain afloat in competitive cricket," he said. While the morning session is reserved for on-field activities ' endurance and speed drills ' evenings are spent at the gym for muscle and abdomen training. The probables also undergo yoga lessons. "The camp not only improves our fitness and mental focus but also helps us make friends," one aspirant said. Poor fitness wrote off Jharkhand's chances in Ranji Plate Group matches last season. ________________________________________________________________________________ Rahul Shukla is there. He needs to make a mark in this Ranji Season.

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http://news.yahoo.com/ranji-aspirants-fitness-pitch-000000593.html More than 20 Ranji probables are being put on the fitness grill for the upcoming domestic season at Keenan Stadium. Exercises to build endurance, muscle strength, speed and power, as well as yoga for holistic well being are a regular feature for cricketers in the first phase of the conditioning camp hosted by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA). Barring skipper Saurabh Tiwary, batting mainstays Ishank Jaggi and Kumar Deobrat and emerging speedster Varun Aaron, the rest are sweating it out under the watchful eyes of physical trainer Rajesh Singh. City-based southpaw Tiwary and bowler Aaron are touring Australia with the Indian Under-19 outfit at the Emerging Players Tournament. Jaggi is undergoing a rehab programme. Bokaro's Deobrat is preparing on his own to land a slot in the Indian team for colts. "These four players will join the camp at a later stage," said coach and former Bihar batsman Tarit Ghosh. Participants of the fitness camp ' from August 5 to 19 ' include Akash Verma, Subrato Ghosh, Manish Vardhan, Rameez Nemat, Siddharth Raj Sinha, Sachin Prasad, Keshav Kumar, Aamir Hashmi, S.P. Gautam, Sandeep Gupta, Y. Krishnatry, Kuldeep Sharma, Rahul Shukla, Ashish Kumar, Rahul Mishra, P. Bhima Rao, Samar Qadri, Sujeet Roy, Shahbaaz Nadeem, Asif Fahad and Ashish Yadav. Speaking to The Telegraph, Ghosh said: "The fitness level of the players is picking up on a steady note, but a lot needs to be done." He added they were monitoring cricketers regularly, which yielded results. "Their fitness levels will definitely see a marked rise in the remaining phases of the conditioning camp. Fitness is the key aspect to remain afloat in competitive cricket," he said. While the morning session is reserved for on-field activities ' endurance and speed drills ' evenings are spent at the gym for muscle and abdomen training. The probables also undergo yoga lessons. "The camp not only improves our fitness and mental focus but also helps us make friends," one aspirant said. Poor fitness wrote off Jharkhand's chances in Ranji Plate Group matches last season. ________________________________________________________________________________ Rahul Shukla is there. He needs to make a mark in this Ranji Season.

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Kaif quits as Uttar Pradesh captain

Mohammad Kaif has stepped down as captain of Uttar Pradesh [uP] after six years in the role. He would like to remain a part of the side, he said, as a batsman. "I am happy with my stint as captain of the UP side. In the last six years, we reached four finals and once won the [Ranji] title," Kaif told Times of India in Bangalore, where he is with Royal Challengers Bangalore for the Champions League T20. "But now I want to play just as a batsman. I informed him [uP Cricket Association secretary Rajiv Shukla] about this after the Challenger Trophy. There is no dearth of talent in the state. Whoever is chosen [as the next captain], I will support him." Kaif was named captain for the 2005-06 domestic season, leading UP to their maiden Ranji title that year, as well as the final of the domestic one-day tournament, which they lost to Railways. UP has made two Ranji finals under Kaif since, losing to Delhi in 2007-08 and Mumbai in 2008-09. No replacement has been named as yet. UP play their first Ranji fixture of the 2011-12 season against Punjab from November 3.

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He was a very good captain who transformed an average UP Ranji Team into a side that won the Trophy for the 1st time in its history under him. In six seasons under him the team reached 3 Finals and 1 semi finals along with the Final of the Domestic One Day tournament - considering the fact that UP had reached only 2 Finals in its entire history before Kaif was Captain, this was a remarkable achievement :hatsoff:

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what's the point of having these domestic games without having sense. Overall time for Ranji matches should increase and more time should be given between matches. Anyways, things wouldn't change until we face few more disastrous tours like England.

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Never knew why was Kaif constantly ignored?
actually he wasn't the most talented player around yet he made full use of whatever opportunities he got in ODIs. In Test matches, apart from the 4 tests he played in 2000-01, most of the time he got an opportunity only if someone from Dravid/Goddy/Ganguly/Laxamn etc were injured or not playing for any reason and even if he did play well he had to make way for them once they were back in the team. The only time a spot opened up in the batting order was after Ganguly retired and in that Domestic season Kaif had performed well but Yuvraj was performing very well in ODIs and therefore got more opportunities. After that Kaif's form dipped considerably and he never got an opportunity again.

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^I kinda know why he didn't play too much tests' date=' but will u plz enlighten me on why he didn't play in ODI's?[/quote'] At the time Kaif played most of his ODIs, India didn't have so many options for each position as we have now and therefore Kaif (who is not very talented but was a very hard worker) got to play 125 matches. At that time the other options were the likes of Badani, Dinesh Mongia etc and Kaif was certainly better than them and ergo he got quite a few chances when today a player like him might have been discarded after a few matches. Then around 2005/06 players like Raina, Utthappa, Dinesh Kartikh, Irfan Pathan etc emerged and therefore Kaif was sidelined and then after that the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Yusuf Pathan etc came so whatever little chance Kaif may have had around 2008/09 also disappeared.

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Asia cup 2008 was played after IPL. and Raina was selected on the basis of his performance in IPL.
Raina was a part of the team in the CB series as well, the last ODI tornament played before the IPL in 2008. Was named in the CB series squad after a great Challenger Trophy and a very good season in Ranji trophy where his scores included a douuble hundred and a 100 before the team was announced.

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Raina was a part of the team in the CB series as well' date=' the last ODI tornament played before the IPL in 2008. Was named in the CB series squad after a great Challenger Trophy and a very good season in Ranji trophy where his scores included a douuble hundred and a 100 before the team was announced.[/quote'] But did not play even one game in CB series which means they were still not confident enough even Manoj Tiwary played ahead of him who was a replacement, but performance in IPL instilled the confidence in him and as well as in the team management. He derived the fearless approach in his batting in that IPL. It was not the domestic season nor the CB series which gave him confident to back himself and aggressively, it was basically IPL who actually revived his batting in shorter forms of the game. He had good Ranji, but there were still players who had better records than him and don't mix shorter formats to longer version.

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But did not play even one game in CB series which means they were still not confident enough but performance in IPL instilled the confidence in him and as well as in the team management. He derived the fearless approach in his batting in that IPL.
Thats coz he was very susceptible to short pitch stuff which hasn't changed much. I think at that time he was worse playing the short ball, and imagine him struggling against Johnson, Lee in full tilt :fear:

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Thats coz he was very susceptible to short pitch stuff which hasn't changed much. I think at that time he was worse playing the short ball' date=' and imagine him struggling against Johnson, Lee in full tilt :fear:[/quote'] It was not just short ball, he was struggling against fast bowlers overall. This is why I am saying the confident he got and team management got in him came after he played in IPL and performed well. IPL was one of the best thing happened to his career, otherwise he would have been lost by now.

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But did not play even one game in CB series which means they were still not confident enough even Manoj Tiwary played ahead of him who was a replacement, but performance in IPL instilled the confidence in him and as well as in the team management. He derived the fearless approach in his batting in that IPL. It was not the domestic season nor the CB series which gave him confident to back himself and aggressively, it was basically IPL who actually revived his batting in shorter forms of the game. He had good Ranji, but there were still players who had better records than him and don't mix shorter formats to longer version.
He was a 'part' of the Indian team before IPL even though he did not play a match in that series. So what you said "Raina was selected on the basis of his performance in IPL" is factually incorrect. Another fact is he played in the Kitply Cup before the Asia Cup :winky:

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^ANd he did not do well there :--D So the career lifting tour was the Asia Cup in Padosiland
Playing in the Kitply Cup itself was such a huge honour which gave Raina the much needed boost for his career. Socho bhai, kahan Kitply Cup, aur kahan Asia Cup

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He was a 'part' of the Indian team before IPL even though he did not play a match in that series. So what you said "Raina was selected on the basis of his performance in IPL" is factually incorrect. Another fact is he played in the Kitply Cup before the Asia Cup :winky:
I did not say he was selected on the basis of IPL1. I said the performance in IPL instilled the confidence in him to play an aggressive game which later molded his approach. He gave message to team management as well that he can do well if given chances. If he did not have a great IPL performance, I really suspect he would have not been picked for Kitply or Asia cup after getting 0 game in CB series and instead Manoj Tiwary could have been persisted, but his performance and the way he scored those runs prompted selectors and team management to again show some confidence in him. It was not like he was a new comer as he was identified long time before that as a special talent but he had lost his way in between and it happens many a times that if a guy touted to be next batting star loses his way is easily forgotten especially in India.

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:giggle:
You didn't understand what I said. You said he was picked for CB series on the basis of his domestic performance but he did not play any match in CB series so he did not have any credential to show for the selection after that other than IPL on which basis he was selected for Kitply and Asia Cup. He did make his come back on the basis of domestic cricket in the team but that was not sufficient for him to get a game, but I still think and he too said that in an interview after that, that his real come back was triggered by IPL1 in 2008 rather than anything else.

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