Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Will Ash play at Oval ! ~ Rachin Ravindra debuts ! NZ crashes to 60 all out

When Sunil Gavaskar scored  115 against Australia at FEroz Shah Kotla on 13th Oct 1979, the joke in Kumudam was – ‘while we live in 20th century, Gavaskar has moved on to 21st’ !  … .. sometimes he was accused of playing for records – then critics voiced the same against Sachin Tendulkar .. .. whether one measures it or likes it or not – records are created and are broken too !!

A few weeks ago –   Championship game, against Somerset, Ashwin turned up for Surrey. Rory Burns lost the toss, chucked the ball over and asked him to open the bowling. In the first innings, he whirled through 43 overs but was outbowled by Surrey’s spin twins Dan Moriarty and Amar Virdi. But by the second, he was up and running: taking six for 27 and decimating Somerset for 69.   

If India’s best bowler gets to bowl at Oval – he will be tilting the windmill against Harbhajan Singh.  For records Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 413 in 79 tests; Wasim Akram 414/104; Harbhajan 417/103; Shaun Pollock 421/108; Richard Hadlee 431/86; Ranganna Herath 433/93, legendary Kapil Dev 434/131 … .. to Kumble 619; Jimmy Anderson 630; shane Warne 708 and the pinnacle of Muthiah Muralitharan 800 in 133 tests !

Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna has been added to India's squad for the fourth Test against England, starting Thursday (September 2). The decision was taken following request from the Indian team management, BCCI said in a statement on the eve of the game. .. .. England has different worries.  Jos Buttler is on paternity leave !  .. and that gives  Jonny Bairstow another chance with the gloves – remember he took a blinder standing in slips ! and catches everything that comes his way.   For  the first time in more than a year, Bairstow impressed as a specialist batter without making a defining score in Sri Lanka, then ended the India tour with three ducks in four innings (having flown home for some pre-agreed rest in between). But England haven't had enough good alternatives to definitively move on, and now, another twist has given him the gloves once again.  

The Leeds Test  began with a significant anomaly: Virat Kohli winning the toss. Whether his call to bat was objectively any worse than Root's decision to bowl at Lord's (where India ended the first day on 276 for 3, remember) is academic, but India will quickly have to face up to the repercussions of 78 all out - much as they did after being blown away for 36 in Adelaide last year.  .. ..but it appears that the line-up that scored 78 may not be disturbed – what an irony !! Kohli's apparent struggles, the data suggests his form is as much down to bad luck as a lack of control. When the tide turns, a deluge may follow.

It is wonder that Ashwin who has trouble the batsmen all around the globe is on the fringe of selection !   despite being ranked the ICC's No. 2 Test bowler in the world. Bharat Arun, the bowling coach, said that Ravindra Jadeja was fit despite going for a scan in Leeds, but it might be a case of either/or once again, with Shardul Thakur in contention to stiffen the batting as a fourth seamer. Ishant Sharma's fitness was being monitored at training and he seems most likely to miss out, with Prasidh Krishna officially added to the squad as cover. Umesh Yadav could also come into contention in an effort to manage workloads. The team selection is baffling to say the least !! 

Elsewhere, New Zealand, have benefitted from a talent-identification system that has been built around their six major associations and their coaches who have been working in sync with Paul Wiseman, the overall in-charge and current head coach of the Under-19 side.

In December 2020, this guy dislocated his right shoulder during a Super Smash outing for Wellington Firebirds. A visit to the surgeon later that evening brought him news that he would be out of action for at least nine months. The news was crushing because he  had been earmarked as a player to watch at NZC's High Performance camps in Lincoln. At that moment, he considered spending the winter finishing up a few papers for the Computer Engineering degree that he's pursuing. However, surgery wasn't a straightforward option. The surgeon in Wellington was completely booked out for the month, so  he  had to wait for a slot to open up.  It is is Rachin Ravindra !!

In year 2018 -  Rachin Ravindra only 16 years of age  was the youngest New Zealander to feature in the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh, where he impressed with his left-arm spin, but couldn't quite replicate his success with the bat. He started the 2018 tournament well, picking up three wickets that set the base for New Zealand's eight-wicket win over West Indies.  His father Krishnamurthu, a  software system architect, played a decent level of cricket in his hometown Bengaluru, before he left India to settle down in New Zealand after stints in England, Singapore and Australia. He, however, continued to remain in touch with some of his club team-mates like Javagal Srinath and J Arunkumar. Srinath, who Rachin fondly calls as "Sri uncle" turned out to become a close family friend, who they often visit in Bengaluru whenever Krishnamurthy is down meet his extended family during summer holidays. Srinath also often visits the Krishnamurthy household if in Wellington on match referee duty.

For over seven years now, right from when he was 13, Ravindra has been a regular visitor to India, not just on family holidays, but to hone his game against spin. His father Ravi Krishnamurthy is the founder of the Hutt Hawks Club that brings players over to India every summer to play on different pitches and in different conditions. Some of the more established players too, like James Neesham and Tom Blundell, have been part of these off-season tours to India. It's these experiences, Ravindra says, that have helped him get better.

Today Rachin Ravindra made his debut – was out for a first ball duck, bowled 4 overs for 21 runs taking a wicket but would like to forget the match as New Zealand crumbled to 60 all out in T20I 1243 at Mirpur, Bangladesh.  Kiwis  crashed and burned to 60 all out on a challenging Mirpur surface, failing to utilise their full complement of overs. While they made a good fist of it with the ball, applying the spin choke, they just didn't have the runs on the board to give Bangladesh the jitters. The hosts overhauled the target with seven wickets in hand and five overs to spare. There was sharp turn on offer for spinners from both sides, but the conditions weren't unplayable. The New Zealand batters looked rusty against spin and lost so much ground early that they couldn't make much of a mark against the pacers either.

This was Bangladesh's first-ever victory over New Zealand in T20Is, one that helped carry forward their impressive string of home performances from last month where they beat Australia 4-1 in the T20Is.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st Sept. 2021. 

No comments:

Post a Comment