Jan 23, 2006

Playing session-by-session (and a P.S. on Indo-Pak tests)

In the 2001 Ashes, Australian coach John Buchanan showed how and why he is a famous coach, by virtue of his 'Art of War' reference and displaying everyone that Aus is the dominating force by ticking against the columns indicating each session.. Time and again, one hears about 'taking one step at a time', 'playing ball-by-ball', etc. The idea is, small things taken care over an extended period of time automatically puts you in the driver's seat.

The Ind-Aus 2001 series is touted by most as 'one of the best series ever' bcos the fortunes of each team swung so wildly that it was impossible to guess what is coming, and when the inevitable came, the frontier remained unconquered and lots of us were just catching up our breath thinking what went by. Here is a look at the last year's Ind-Pak series, analyzed session-by-session..

A few points to help you out with this rather long table, which has covered all the 3 tests:

* Blue is for India and green for Pak..
* 'Result' is the outcome of that particular session, whereas the 'score' is at the end of that session.
*'Winner' is judged by taking into account the runs scored, wickets lost, match situation, etc.
*'Overall' is the tally of session-winners at the end of each day..
*M.O.D. is 'Man of the day' - the player whose performance was the best/most significant on that day.

A few interesting observations from the table:
> India dominated most of the test series (24 to 21 sessions) but it looked as if Pakistan scored the brownie points probably becos a) Pak won the last match so 'fresh memory'; b) Pak won the one-day series that followed.

> I have circled certain sessions in the 'result' column (in diff. colors), which, IMHO, were the sessions in which the winner was decided. It is interesting to note that winning sessions towards the last two days of the match is much more important. (sounds obvious, huh?)

> India all but won the first test at Mohali but for the first 2 sessions on the 5th day, which helped Pak secure a draw.

> India was all set to draw the last test at Bangalore before the last two sessions resulted in loss of 9 wickets.

In the context of the current match (2nd test at Faisalabad), had Pak got the wickets of Dhoni and Irfan, it would have certainly put them in a winning position.. And, the fortune of the match lies in the hands of these two guys and the rest of the tail to follow (both with bat and ball). If India can bat till tea today, scoring 250 runs, it can put pressure on the Pak lineup, which has 2 batsmen out of the game. Just 8 wickets to be picked up and few runs to win.. Day-dreaming, am I not?

P.S.: After watching these two dull draws, I feel we are back to the old time when both teams were so afraid of losing that they took the 'caution first' approach and produced draws after draws.. Infact, when I think about it, a 'draw' is actually 'no-result'. (this is with reference to my earlier post on Indo-Pak tests). So, two consecutive draws dont mean that the results of the two games were the same, since they actually produced no results.. confused, huh? I mean, I wouldnt call 'draw' a result. Thus, in Indo-Pak tests, one has to go back 23 years ago, when two consecutive matches produced the same result.

Thus, including draws, the number swells to a whopping 28 tests in a row!!! Most of our cricketers would have been wetting their beds or not even born when two consecutive Indo-Pak matches produced the same result.. (yeah.. that is a good 7 out of the 11 who played the Faisalabad test). Pak is so afraid of losing to India.. Let us hope atleast Karachi test produces a 'result'..


Paurna said...

superb analysis raju.did u tabulate all those statistics.must have taken u a lot of time.this is what i like about ur blog.u tendency to write about everything.

Nitin said...

Rahul Dravid is too good man, he is doing an amazing job as a captain, playing with composure, and thinking about the team. Sachin, poor performance.Dhoni is India's Shahid Afridi. And, Raju, I just saw Aadhi, over violence man, unecessary violence makes t he movie bad. I heard Aadhi is super flop, I am very happy, tamil moviegoers should not make a senseless movie a box office hit.

Raju said...

Paurna, thanks.. Yeah, I tabulated them after each day (or after each session, whenever I watched LIVE). It does take time but not much, once the table is set.. :-)
Nitin, yeah... Rahul is doing pretty well.. IMHO, he should continue to open becos he has the technique to do so.. Let us see what he does in the near future..

Sachin was actually not out... poor chap didnt know that and walked..hope and wish he comes up with a good score at Karachi.. Dhoni was superb.. I was somehow confident that he would succeed at the test level.. Here is a link to a post I wrote last april in my cricket blog..

Unnecessary violence was too much in Aadhi.. had that been cut down, the movie would have been OK..

Smyta said...


I m so poor in Cricket stats..so I wont comment on that:-)

But u r tagged by me:-)

Smiles etc.,


Raju said...

Smyta, its OK..

Sorry, I cant answer this tag.. (Bad luck for me in getting tagged..) :-(

ada-paavi!!!! said...

there is an incentive to draw the series, if pakis loose, theyll be stoned at home, if india loose, half the players ll loose their seats, so income, so there is a proper incentive to go for a risk averse strategy - the draw

Raju said...

Vatsan, mmm... looking at the current test at Karachi, it doesnt look as if it would end in draw.. 22 wickets already gone and only 2 days played.. Let us pray that India quickly get rid of this Younis and Yousuf and clean up the rest to set a total of not more than 350.. and chase it on a good batting surface on 3rd and 4th days... too much day-dreaming, huh? Well... the other option is nightmare.. so..

Balaji said...

1 week and no new posts? everything fine over there raju? :)

Me too said...

Balaji, night full-a cricket, day full-a work, Raju-kku blogging ippa enge neram!!

Raju said...

Balaji, thanks a lot for your concern.. I am fine.. Was a bit busy late last week.. Will write a post sometime today.. :-)
Aparna, LOL.. i wish it was like that, but cricket is frustrating so didnt watch except for the first day.. In fact, if and when I watch cricket, during lull phases, I usually do blogging and visit others' blogs..

Deepak asked a similar question during a post earlier this month.. and my answer to it is the same for this one too.. I will spill it out now..

In relevance to my post on numbers, I have one little thing about blogging too.. that is, I would not write another post until I get atleast 10 comments (including mine) to the current post; also I would post max. 1 post per day, even if I get the min. requirement of 10 comments... Sounds weird, huh? That is just my own way of blog-control.. and over 70 posts have gone by after my single-digit comments..

Invariably, I have seen that my cricket posts get the least no. of comments. So, when I am busy (or) when I know that I would be busy, I would churn out a cricket post, so that I would get some time to worry only about work.. And, though I keep getting ideas on new posts, I have decided to 'think deep' about it only after I get my min. requirement of comments.. And, my writing cricket doesnt always mean that I would be busy.. It could also be bcos I have reached bloggers' block, which means I have to think on other subjects (or) there is this genuine wish to write about cricket.

Now that I have spilled the beans, let me see how many of you read this comment and act accordingly in the future.. ;-)

mitr_bayarea said...


hmmm...at last, the silence behind your posts has been revealed; From now on, i am sure you will receive ample comments on cricket blogs also.

When can we expect the next blog?

Balaji said...

hmmm... indha gap-kku pinnadi ivlo periya kadhai irukkaa?! :)

rules ellam nanum potiruken... more impressive is the fact that u're actually following them :)

Raju said...

Mitr, LOL.. idhu idhu idhukkaagathaan naan andha secret-ai sollavey illai.. I didnt reveal that to 'invite' comments into the post.. I want everyone to be natural.. Plz forget that I wrote it and act 'normally' for my posts.. :-)
Balaji, hahaha.. ellathukkum pinnadi naan oru kathai vachiruppenn-nu neenga ninakkalam.. I dont know.. May be I do... :-)

Actually, I put the rule long ago; I had to break it when I got struck with 6 comments on my cricket post 4 months ago, due to uncontrollable enthu to write..

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