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  1. Being a Hindu of that kind myself, Bengalis are my favourite kind of Hindu. If every Hindu, and in fact people of every religion were like that, the world would be a much better place.
  2. Ireland finished off the chase without fuss, winning by five wickets and plenty of balls to spare. Rashid Khan got Macleoded ;-)
  3. Very controlled knock, reminiscent of Macleod's 150+ against AFG at the World Cup Qualifiers. Although here it was more a cool finish, while Macleod and SCO more or less obliterated AFG's bowling.
  4. This is confusing to say the least ... as far as I know, there are are no ICC ratings for wicketkeeping?!!??! And Pant is a wicketkeeper!
  5. Hope he finally takes Manoj Tiwary into the team. Then he can be captain, and Abhimanyu Easwaran can do what he does best - being a rock at the top of the order.
  6. I think Ben Foakes is probably the best wicket-keeper in international cricket at the moment - no wonder, seeing that he is from the Essex school that also brought forth James Foster (Ben Foakes switched counties because Foster was #1 keeper in all of England). It is just rare to see actual wicketkeepers nowadays, as opposed to batsmen who found keeping gloves lying around at the bottom of their kitbag. Thankfully, his batting clicked in his first few matches, which should get him a longer run ...
  7. abc

    Wow...Afg team has improved miles...

    Wow!! That would make him one of the few in the world though ... I am impressed.
  8. abc

    Wow...Afg team has improved miles...

    It an *extraordinary* piece of work in the field which broke the Imam-ul-Haq/Harris Sohail partnership and allowed for a close match in the first place. Otherwise, Pakistan would've breezed past - much like Scotland in the World Cup Qualifier (Calum McLeod hammered Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran to score 158*, though unlike Imam-ul-Haq, I don't think he read any of the variations -- McLeod's modus operandi seems to be to go right back and read it off the pitch, and sweep anything fuller).
  9. Keeping is underrated. A team like Hong Kong, whose medium pacers aren't express (to put it gently) can really benefit from a class keeper. Other teams prefer to go for a batsman who occasionally keeps, because batting stats are easier to compare, while judging keeping requires you to watch the match and use your brain, which overpaid selectors couldn't be arsed to do. I have no doubt that the likes of Matthew Cross, McKechnie et al. would find it difficult to break in to a top side, although one could argue for their selection (if they were eligible) on their keeping alone. Case in point: Matthew Cross. Assume he were to play for England (it's probably not hard to find an English ancestor somewhere down the line), he would be kept out by someone like Jos Buttler or Johnny Bairstow. Although Cross' keeping is miles better, his batting is probably a level or two lower (although he did a decent job in front of the wicket when Scotland beat England earlier this year), and he would not get to play - simples! In Scotland or Hong Kong, there is no such "batsman with keeping gloves somewhere at the bottom of his kit bag" knocking on the door, so they can invest in their best keeper. Also, small Associate nations have a very small talent pool, which makes it easier for national level selectors to keep closer tabs on players, especially such finer (difficult to quantify, i.e. read off at a glance from the scorebook) details like keeping skills - like was he standing up to the stumps to a high 120s medium pacer, stopping the batsman from using his feet, and still stop extras (which Pant seems unable to do even when standing back and the ball bursts through his hands to hit his helmet positioned behind him) - and go on to effect dismissals like freakish caught-behinds ...
  10. On a different note, McKechnie seems like a really good keeper!! That reverse cup catch off a bouncer while standing up to the medium pacer Nawaz to dismiss Rayudu was really top class! Not sure there are many in India (apart from Saha) who could do that. In England may be Foster, Foakes and the (now retired) James Bates. Any takers from Aus, SA?
  11. abc

    The nagin strikes

    Also, baseball is (superficially) very similar to cricket. So the market is already somewhat saturated (in ecological terms, the niche is taken), and cricket would have to *replace* baseball, which is too much to ask. Also, compared to baseball, cricket is wickedly *mental*. Who would want to catch a ball that is slightly heavier than a baseball with bare hands, or face deliveries/pitches where the bowler/pitcher can aim not only for the strike zone, but also your body? Where you have to chose between risk of (sometimes serious) bodily harm and the objectives of your team? Let's face it, cricket is a bona fide martial art masquerading as a genteel recreational activity. Mixed signals are always hard to decode -- so certainly not a good marketing strategy.
  12. To be fair, this was on the cards since his first scoring shot. But by chancing his arms and doing a Tino Best (+19 runs, and at No. 7), he might have shut the door on superior keepers. I hope for keeping's sake that his "heroics" with the bat do not overshadow the comical keeping, like when the helmet placed directly behind him had to play longstop (and gave away 5 penalty runs). Oh well, at least we still have Matthew Cross ...
  13. Often, when Pant dives, he is going the wrong way first. As a result, the maximum distance he gains is not much more than if he had been standing still and had stretched out his arm instead. A nice contrast would be James Foster (Essex). If you see his catches, you will see him stand still till the last moment in a half squat (he does not(!) start in a full crouch - neither does Saha) and then move. Of course knowing when to step and when to dive comes only with experience ... On the same note, it is important to keep body shape when diving - again, Foster is a prime example of this. The more uncoordinated flailing there is with legs and hands, the less distance one covers, and the lower the chance of actually holding on to the ball when you do reach it.
  14. He had too much footwork, in some sense. He often overcommitted to one movement too early, and was caught with his pants down (sorry ...) when there was a deflection. Coming from a different sport, I would suggest he needs to wait longer and then move explosively. That does not necessarily mean diving (like Karthik) or letting everything go that is not within an arm's reach (like Dhoni at his worst), just holding off on the shuffle steps as long as possible and then doing them quickly. I read near the end of August that Saha expects his full recovery to take four months.
  15. There were drops here and there, notably Buttler off Bumrah (who went on to get a century - luckily, match was won regardless, but you can imagine the importance in a closer match). Also, the extras he conceded were about half the margin of defeat ...

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