• In describing new wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose's maiden Test century the former England captain and columnist Mike Atherton made the interesting point of how short batsmen have been world beaters.

    Of the 10 highest Test run makers, as many as five are below 5'9 while Allan Border at 5' 9 is a borderline case, perhaps belonging to the short class among batsmen.

    The four comparatively taller men among those with the highest Test aggregate are Steve Waugh (4), Rahul Dravid (6), Jacques Kallis (8) and Graham Gooch (9).

    The gigantic figure of Inzamam-ul-Haq comes up at 11 and the barrel-chested Viv Richards is 12th on the all time list.

    It is fascinating that the world's finest Test batsman ever was Sir Donald Bradman who at 5'7 would have been as welcome in a club of jockeys. Even shorter than the Don are Sachin Tendulkar at 5'5 and Sunil Gavaskar at 5' 4 while Brian Lara would tip the gymnasium height scale at a modest 5'7.

    While history records that some of the finest batsmen have been short

    Read More »from Short men stand tall at the crease
  • In the Test arena, India have absolutely no reason to fear anyone, not even world champions Australia against whom they have won as many as five Tests in the new millennium. There is very little point then in trying to make home pitches suit Team India. A few such attempts towards designer pitches have also bombed.

    In the last three Tests on Indian soil - all drawn - 4,577 runs have been scored while 81 wickets have fallen. From the statistics alone it is clear that the playing surface is something Indian cricket is getting very wrong. The demand for results in this day and age is almost as strident as it is for entertaining cricket in all forms of the game.

    It s possible to produce irresistible cricket as Virender Sehwag did in his innings of 319 on the flattest deck at Chepauk. Even then, the clamour for a result could be seen in the eloquent silence in which most of the rest of the Test match was viewed by what is avowedly the most sporting crowd in the country, which applauds every

    Read More »from Will Motera break the spell of high-scoring draws?
  • From what we see and hear of Ahmedabad, we believe the track will offer a more equal contest between bat and ball than Chennai did. However, of the last four Tests at the Motera stadium, only one has apparently ended in a result. The curator has said that he expects the track to take some turn in the last two days and help the quicker bowlers initially, which is good news for us. The Indian camp will expectedly rely more on spin, especially now that RP Singh and Ishant Sharma both seem to be battling injuries. Of the spinners, Anil Kumble also apparently has a groin strain, which will leave Harbhajan with most of the workload, which I am sure he won't mind given that he has a 10-wicket haul here.

    But it's the batting line-ups that hold more interest, I guess, with Sachin Tendulkar sitting out and Mohammed Kaif taking his place. When I say taking his place, of course, I don't mean literally, because no one can really replace Sachin, but it will be interesting to see how Virender Sehwag

    Read More »from We have some plans in place for Sehwag


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