Friday, January 25, 2008

How to bat: be boring

India’s approach to this match has been fantastic: grind down the buggers until they plead for a swift coup de grace.

The best thing about their innings, the mighty Anil Kumble’s unlucky 87 aside, was the fact that they sent their tail-enders to defend. Brilliant!

Almost every other tail-ender in the world has his ears so clogged up with testosterone that they ignore the batman-at-the-other-end’s supplications for sensible shot selection. “Look,” says Recognised Batsman, “I’m on 94; can you just defend this next over for a bit, mate?”

What the tail-ender hears:

“Lash ‘em around the park. You the man! You the man! HONK! HOOONK!”

This is why these players are bowlers instead of batsman. The most you can hope for the world’s lower orders are an entertaining 14. Take Darren Gough, for instance. Will any English fan forget his stand of 90-odd-crazy-runs with Phil DeFreitas? Tail-end batting in its purest form.

But, India’s brilliant, and wholly novel, move in this match was to ask the bowlers to bat, as if they knew what they were doing.

So, they played to percentage game. Knocked a single here, and maybe risked a two there. Even Harbhajan Singh batted as if he wasn’t a psychopathic lumberjack.

Now I’ve reiterated endlessly that boring cricket is my cup of tea. I was disheartened when Rahul Dravid lost his wicket. But the match definitely improved when the tail-enders started prodding and poking away.

I suppose that would make the world’s tail-ends into a roster of Matthew Hoggards. This is not a bad thing. We should all strive to be more like the Hoggler. Perhaps this is what Kumble is trying to tell us?

Yes. Yes that must be it.

Oh Anil, you ol’ genius you.

4 comments:

The Atheist said...

Just to stop you from worrying. I went to Hayes today, on a long day trip to get my laptop fixed. They did, indeed, fix it: for a bargainous £150 including the upgrading of my RAM.

This seems to have had no discernable effect. It’s still a bit slow and crap. So that’s annoying.

Even more annoyingly, I also watched “Open Water” the other day. Don’t watch it. The photography and directing is excellent, but the concept is deeply flawed. I will tell you how it ends. The only two characters in the film have a slow, agonising, awful death. The point of the film is that you get to watch that lovely experience. They are stranded in the middle of the sea and, over the course of days, are eaten by sharks/drowned/depressed/etc. It was like watching an Indian drama.

Why would anyone make a film about that? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? I mean, if you want to make an unpleasant film, go to Africa and find someone with a terminal, deforming skin disease. Film him. We’ll he 110 minutes worth of kicks out of that.

Sorry for the rant. But that film made me very, very angry.

I also bought a fancy new webcam today. So, hopefully, we won’t have to worry about running out of batteries any more.

So, yeah. That’s my life strangers of the blogosphere…

Miriam said...

Isn't "Open Water" based on a true story? That's why I'm never going diving, especially with anyone who can't count. That, and the fact I don't like big water.

Uncle J rod said...

Sharks are cute

The Atheist said...

Miriam, yeah, that's what really annoyed me about that bloody film. As it said "based on a true story" at the start, you expected a 999-rescue, disaster type affair. You know, with survival and hope and that sort of thing.

Oh bloody no.

You get to watch these two people gradually fade away. And, as it really happened, all the dialogue and their speculated fate seemed really distasteful.

Rubbish. That film was rubbish.

But, JRod has a point, the sharks played their role to perfection.