Thursday, August 30, 2012

On The Complications Of Mankading

Cricket is a game between bat and ball. It also allows for batsmen to be dismissed by the fielding side without a ball being delivered. Colloquially known as "mankading", this mode of dismissal has had a complicated history in the game. It forms, in my view, one of the most interesting rules in the game. My favorite cricketing rule remains the LBW law, but the original Law 42(15) is a close second.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Andrew Strauss Retires

Andrew Strauss had a well rounded career as an English cricketer. He played for Middlesex with Lord's as his home ground, and captain England in exactly 50 of his 100 Test Matches. He played both his first and last Tests at his home ground.

Strauss made over 7000 Test runs and 21 Test hundreds in those 100 Tests. In an English team that has not always been easy to like, Strauss stood above the fray. Indian cricket fans will forever be in his debt for bringing the English team to India for a Test tour just after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Fittingly, he made a century in each innings in the Chennai Test.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Third Innings Batting

Test statistics reveal a lot about cricketers. But they are not objective. This is a truism in some circles, but it is a subtle one. The questions that one chooses to ask are not objective - but once the question is asked, given the same data set, any one would get the same answers - the answers, in other words, are objective in some limited sense (i.e. given a specific question, they remain the same irrespective of who finds the answer, provided the answer is determined correctly).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Indian Sunday

Umpire Davis seems to have made a mistake in ruling Brendon McCullum out LBW. There appeared to be an inside edge involved. If you see this replay, you will see why it was not easy for Umpire Davis to identify this edge. You will also see why the TV Umpire, sitting in his box, must surely have identified it just as easily as you and me after watching one replay.

Friday, August 24, 2012

India v New Zealand, Hyderabad

It has been a typically sub-continental two days at Hyderabad. Balls kept low on the first morning, a few carried well to the wicket keeper from a good length especially when, as groundsmen are fond of saying, the bowlers bent their backs and bowled a good length. There was some movement off the wicket and occasionally some in the air. An accurate spinner kept the runs down by bowling doggedly to his field and was rewarded when a couple of well set batsmen tried to force the pace against him. A young left armer had an impressive outing. When it was India's time to bowl, the old leg trap came into play. Ravichandran Ashwin trapped two batsmen in it in quick succession, and a third trying to sweep against the spin.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Test Cricketer Retires

We have been taught to of India's great Test players in certain ways. Sunil Gavaskar was the great, cussed competitor; Kapil Dev the all-rounder whose approach to batting and bowling was as different as chalk and cheese; Sourav Ganguly was the passionate competitor - the man who taught India to fight; Rahul Dravid was the dependable one; Sachin Tendulkar - the master, albeit a selfish one at times; Anil Kumble - India's greatest trier and match winner.

Friday, August 17, 2012

ICC Partially Clarifies Tucker's Decision Against Kallis

I asked the ICC whether Rod Tucker had any evidence available to him in his DRS enhanced footage which confirmed whether or not the ball caught Jacques Kallis's glove yesterday. The evidence seen on the broadcast, both by the viewers and probably also by the commentators was not, in my view conclusive as I wrote yesterday. The ICC's response and my question is as follows:
Q: Could you explain what Rod Tucker saw in his enhanced DRS broadcast that confirmed to him that Kallis touched the ball? Are TV Umpires now relying on noise to give people out?
ICC: There was both sound, hot spot on the glove, and deviation from a close up to confirm for Rod there was contact. Yes, sound is used as evidence as long as it marries up with point of impacting. 
I followed up by asking whether anything Umpire Tucker saw confirmed that the ball hit the glove before the glove left the handle of the bat. The ICC declined to add to their original statement.

The problem with Law 6(8) stands.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DRS at Lord's: Kallis sawn off, AB, SA survive by a whisker

Jacques Kallis's final delivery in the first innings of the Lord's Test is at the 3:00 minute mark in the video below. The review against de Villiers follows immediately after. The first days play was a poor one for DRS, for reasons laid out in this post.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Great Finish That Shouldnt Have Been Seven Years On

Seven years ago today, England beat Australia by 2 runs at Edgbaston, Birmingham, to square the 2005 Ashes series. It was a crucial result for England, given that they had been thumped by 239 runs in the 1st Test at Lord's, despite bowling Australia out under 200 in the first innings of the match. Just how crucial that Birmingham result was, will be driven home if you think about how high England's hopes had been at the start of the 2005 Ashes of beating Australia for the first time in eighteen and a half years.