Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Politics Of DRS

Recently, Cricinfo reported that Chief Executives (CEC) of all ICC member boards except BCCI recommended that the choice for using DRS be determined by the host board, instead of being decided by both participating boards in bilateral series. This is an important change because it marginalizes the BCCI more sharply than ever before on this issue. If it is actually true that every single board except BCCI wants DRS to be used, then with such a rule in place, only bilateral Tests and ODI series in India would be played without the use of the system. This is, in my view, a brilliant move on the part of the proponents of DRS - one which I admire even though it is going to further the use of a device which I think is harmful for the game. As the ICC's Colin Gibson explained to me, this move is not based on any new evidence about the quality of technology used in DRS - Edward Rosten's research continues. Gibson explained that "internal opinion" at the ICC was that the Chief Executives made this recommendation in response to the fact that their players would like to see more consistent use of DRS. The line about consistency is a very effective one. It complements a rather condescending one which proponents of ICC (including David Richardson, now the CEO of ICC) have used in the past, that the players are "confused" by having to play under two different systems.

This move on the part of the Chief Executives is also indicative of the essential fact that DRS is at its core a political matter, and not just a technical one. This post is an attempt to describe the politics of DRS.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How Do ODI Batsmen Perform In Specific Batting Positions?

The tables in this post show the Performance of a player in a particular batting position, in comparison to the performance of the top 8 batsmen in the line up. The first four column are self explanatory. The way to read this table is that Sachin Tendulkar, when opening the batting, scored 13 runs more for his dismissal in the average ODI game, when compared with batsmen in the top 8 batting positions on both sides in that game, at a strike rate which is 13% better than that of the top 8 batsmen.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Couch Talk

The two finest cricket interviews I heard in 2012 are of Mike Young and Simon Taufel. They were recorded by Subash Jayaraman of The Cricket Couch sitting in a small town in Pennsylvania. Since his first show, a two part inteview with the former cricinfo journalist Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, Subash has built a body of work that ought to be the envy of every contemporary cricket publication. It is a tribute to his persistence and his persuasive powers that Test cricketers, journalists, bloggers, umpires, coaches, CEOs, humorists, ball-by-ball commentators and authors have appeared on Couch Talk.

Monday, January 07, 2013

ICC, BCCI Do Not Understand Draws

Teams play to win. They play to get the better of their opponents and end up ahead. They play to defeat their opponents. In Cricket, there is a subtlety to this endeavor which is not found in many other sports. This is the notion of a Draw.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Dhoni's Diagnosis Is Wrong

I hesitate to say the Indian Captain is wrong, but in his appraisal of the Eden Gardens ODI, he ignores the main reason India lost - they conceded 140 in the first 23 overs of the match to two modest batsmen (this was not Gilchrist and Hayden) who were not taking chances too many chances. Even Dhoni's view, at length, is as follows, and contains within it contradictions that he ought to be asked about: