AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • Ashwin Had AB de Villiers For Breakfast This Morning

    The world's best batsman had no clue how to counter the India off-spinner.

    The foundation of AB de Villiers’ brilliant stroke-play is the precision of his movements,limbs, eyes and willow moving harmoniously to set up the perfect platform to launch ball after ball into orbit. Today, however, he was all at sea against Ravichandran Ashwin.

    AB was struggling to read the off-spinner, coming down one ball, playing back on another. Ashwin was getting acute turn and getting the ball to drop out of AB’s reach.

    In the 24th over, Ashwin got an offie to rip past batsman and keeper for four byes. This probably played on AB's mind.

    He tried to sweep Ashwin and missed. Then, he charged down the pitch and barely managed to pad the ball out of the reach of the close-in fielders.

    The next ball, AB played back and completely misread the carom ball, probably expecting the delivery to turn a bit. The ball straightened to trap him in front of middle stump for what may be the easiest LBW ever given.

    Watch what happened:



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  • Top moments from the final

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

  • Brendon McCullum has a message for Indian cricket fans

    New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is up for the biggest game of his life when he takes on Michael Clarke's Australia in the final of the ICC World Cup at the MCG on Sunday.

    He's banking on the support of fans in India.

    Here's what he says.

  • The Most Amazing Thing About Elliott’s Six

    It may have been a tribute to AB de Villiers.

    I’ve replayed the video clip of Grant Elliott’s match-winning six over and over, and I can’t get over how incredible that shot was. (Here's the clip.)

    Dale Steyn served him a length ball, albeit a fast one, cutting away. I couldn’t see the field setting for the delivery. But the line (and Elliott's shot) suggested there may have been three men back on the off-side, leaving just one guy manning the on-side.

    It was stupendous for Elliott to fetch it from outside the off-stump, swing it across the line and send it so far back wide of long-on. To do it all under immense pressure, and against the world’s best pace bowler, makes it even more unbelievable.

    But that’s not the only reason why the shot was great. In the clip, look how Elliott sets himself up: he shuffles his back-foot deep into the crease, clears his left leg and opens up the whole arc between midwicket and long-on.

    Which is exactly how AB de Villiers sets himself up during the slog overs. And you'll see AB playing this shot

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  • It’s The Bloody Rain Rule Again

    Here's the aspect of the Duckworth & Lewis Method that cost South Africa today's semifinal.

    The missed run-outs, the dropped catch, New Zealand’s miscues that landed in vacant regions... all these little things added up and led to South Africa’s spectacular exit from the World Cup today. Messrs Duckworth and Lewis played their part, too.

    South Africa had positioned themselves brilliantly for a final assault against New Zealand today. They had scored 15, 5 and 12 runs off the first three overs of the batting Powerplay when rain halted play.

    When play resumed, the innings was shortened to 43 overs with no further Powerplay overs. And there lay exposed the inherent unfairness of the D/L laws regarding Powerplay.

    I quote from a list of FAQs on the rain-rule:

    17. Does the D/L method take account of the various rules on fielding restrictions, eg PowerPlay overs?

    If any allowance were made for the different scoring abilities for overs with fielding restrictions, then the identities of the different types of overs would have to be input into the target calculation, and this would be

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  • Dear Bangladesh Cricket Fans...


    Dear Bangladesh fans,

    I heard you guys are very, very upset about Rohit Sharma being given not out during yesterday's quarterfinal.



    You're even having a go at Shikhar Dhawan when there's no evidence yet for his catch being illegal.



    Some of you are rationalising the situation with misguided understanding of cricket's laws.



    You're sometimes blaming the umpire...




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  • Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream

    A pumped-up Steyn’s animated celebration lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    The momentThe moment

    One often wants to get a sense of what great players are feeling ahead of a big game like the one today between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

    Are they pumped up, ready to give their best? Or are they nervous, full of doubt, setting themselves up for failure? Their thoughts manifest themselves in different ways and rub off on other players.

    During the 1999 Birmingham semi-final, Australia’s morale was sagging. Then came Shane Warne’s impassioned shouts of ‘Come on!’ Like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, they famously revived Australia.

    Conversely, look at what Jacques Kallis’ dismissal did to South Africa in the 2011 quarterfinal. The tournament favourites were cruising when Kallis was brilliantly caught in the deep. The wicket spooked the team and led to another one of their famed respiratory attacks.

    Power level: 1,000,000.Power level: 1,000,000.Which is why it was refreshing to see Dale Steyn’s pressing urgency to set South Africa’s record right. He was ready. He was pumped up. If he were in the army, you’d give him his rifle

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  • What Happens When You Apply DRS To Real Life

    Watch this funny film about one of cricket's peculiarities.

    N. Srinivasan and Sachin Tendulkar may not agree, but the Decision Review System could have some massive benefits when applied to situations outside cricket. You could instantly find out who is stinking up the room. You could know immediately if you're been robbed. And it could help you score with the opposite sex.

    So -- if you had two challenges per day, how would you spend them?


  • Why A Good Misbah Performance Is Bad For Pakistan

    And why Misbah is not to blame.

    (Note—all stats are from October 30, 2012 to March 1, 2015, the period in which the current ODI rules have been in force.)

    ALSO READ: The Hardest Batsmen To Dismiss At The World Cup


    Yesterday, we had a look at hardest batsmen to dismiss at the World Cup. Kane Williamson and Hashim Amla led that list that also included an anomaly: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

    The anomaly is not that Misbah can bat for long durations. It is that, unlike other cases, Misbah's batting long typically don't help the team win.

    This needs to be viewed in two contexts. One: Pakistan’s overall stats in this period are poor. That’s a function of consistently underpar team performance. Since October 30, 2012, they have played 56 ODIs, won just 24 and lost 30.

    Two – Misbah, who figures in 52 of those games, has constantly battled the pressure of wickets falling at the other end. This puts him on the defensive and leads to the consumption of a large number of deliveries. In that sense, he’s merely the product

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  • This Is The Toughest Batsman To Dismiss At The World Cup

    A look at ODI batsmen who occupy the crease the longest.

    Indulge me for a bit, for this article looks at a rarely-discussed aspect of cricket statistics: average balls faced, and how crease occupation contributes to team’s success—or, in one case, failure.

    At the World Cup in particular, crease occupation and saving wickets for the end overs is proving a winning strategy. Hence, it is vital for key batsmen for any team to get a start and see off the shine.

    But first, here’s the criteria for this study.


    • All stats are from March 1, 2015 to October 30, 2012, the day the new ODI rules for fielding restrictions, two new balls and batting Powerplay kicked in.
    • This list rates batsman by how long they last at the crease, which is a function of number of balls faced. Average Balls Faced (AB) = (Total Balls Faced) / (Innings Played).
    • Average Runs Scored (AR) = (AB) X (Strike Rate). So, if a batsman averages 50 balls per innings at a strike rate of 80, his AR is 40. This completely negates the value provided by not outs.
    • We look at batsmen
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(154 Stories)