It’s Time T20 and Test Cricket Had a Separation

It’s Time T20 and Test Cricket Had a Separation

Cricket Food For Thought #3: Time for T20 & Test Cricket to Separate?

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, @BCD 6/10/2022

New Zealand’s first Test against England started on 2nd June, 2022, a Test match in which Trent Boult played right after playing the IPL final on 29th May, 2022 representing the Rajasthan Royals. In fact, New Zealand’s tour of England began much earlier on the 20th May. Two tour matches had already been played before Boult reached the shores of England.

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David Miller & Hardik Pandya starred in Gujarat Titans’ road to IPL glory. Ten days later, they were playing for opposing teams when the 5-match India vs South Africa bilateral series began.

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This series is going to end on 19th of June. Then, India play in Ireland on the 26th and 28th of June, before they play their Test match against England beginning on the…1st of July.

The situation has reached such a point that a special flight is being arranged for coach Rahul Dravid, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant.

Warning For Test Cricket

The World Test Championship, although not perfect, has put some context for Test match cricket. However, with T20 leagues overtaking the yearly calendar and T20 World Cups occurring every two years now, ICC Chairperson Greg Barclay has warned

“…Some of the smaller Full Members will have to accept from a resourcing point of view that they can’t play the amount of Test cricket that they wanted to. So we may see a lessening of that, maybe they play four or five Tests a year whereas England, Australia and India I think will be playing Test cricket as they are now.”

– Greg Barclay, icc chairperson

Radical Proposal

I have spoken at length about overkill of cricket and T20 leagues, mental health issues many a times before, but radical times demand radical actions.

Also Read:

Today I propose a separation of T20 and Test cricket as sports. Jonny Bairstow might disagree but workload management and overburdening the cricket schedule is about to hit the edge.

Just like football and futsal are treated as different sports, T20 and Test cricket should be classified as separate sports as well. So what should this separation entail?

  • A player cannot play both T20 and Test formats at any level.
  • Separate coaches, teams, players, tournaments, and scouts for both sports. So Rahul Dravid should not go fly and coach the Test team.
  • Separate governing bodies and budgets
  • Women’s and Men’s Test matches managed under the same administrative body. Similarly women’s & men’s leagues managed under the same body (Men’s/Women’s Hundred, IPL, Big Bash, CPL, etc.)
  • Instead of distributing budgets, resources, etc. to these two formats, have a separate funding base

Distance the Heart & Mind

We all would love Virat Kohli playing for RCB and India in all formats all the time, but that is no longer possible. I claim, it is no longer necessary either.

When the IPL begun, each franchise had a marquee player (Dravid – RCB, Ganguly – KKR, Laxman – Deccan, Tendulkar – Mumbai, Yuvraj – Punjab, MS Dhoni – CSK). This was to develop a fan base and for continuity.

Fast forward to 2022. No Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma had off years, MSD was good but we only saw glimpses. IPL 2022 was rather about T20 specialists, The Mohsin Khans, Dinesh Karthiks, and Tim Davids.

T20 as a sport has become self-sufficient. Virat Kohli is needed at Ranji, not Royal Challengers.

Instead of franchising County Cricket or looking to forcefully promote Ranji Trophy, high profile players in domestic tournaments will raise the levels of first class/Test cricket, drive finances, and evolve as a sport faster.

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Oh and what about ODI cricket? I completely forgot about it!

Maybe few years down the line, you will as well.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/08/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Dinesh Karthik: The Dose of Optimism You Need In Life

Dinesh Karthik: The Dose of Optimism You Need In Life

Cricket Food for Thought #3: Dinesh Karthik And the Dose of Optimism You Need In Life

What connects cricketer Dinesh Karthik, US President Barack Obama, fictional coach Ted Lasso, and Shawshank Redemption?

The drive to do something special. The Audacity of Hope. The Belief in Believe. And the fact that “Hope is a Good Thing, and No Good Thing Ever Dies.”

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Today we had lots of cricket.

So food for your thought. What lesson can you take home?

When you are at the top of the game and get recognized for your efforts, it can be easy to stay motivated. But it is what you do in the afterhours, the hard yards that you put in when no one is looking that makes you who you truly are.

Bangladesh scoring 6 ducks in West Indies the same year they stunned the World Test Champions. The Salt assault, Malan’s Mauling, Brutal Buttler, and Livingstone’s stoning of the Netherlands to take England to a world record 498. Katherine Brunt and William Porterfield retiring.

And yet today does not feel about cricket.

With every passing day, the legend of Dinesh Karthik continues to grow. We have talked about his inspirational journey before, but 2022 has been something special. Not even in the Top 50 Probables in T20s, he has suddenly jumped into contention for the T20 World Cup, scoring his first T20I fifty. Player of the match performances against South Africa, 16 years apart.

It is not just the performances that makes us celebrate these moments.

Sport is a journey. And on days like these, just being happy for DK in his life path is inspiration enough.

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Sometimes that extra dose of optimism is what you need to keep going.

So keep on going and Never Give Up.

Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/18/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Cricket Thought of the Day #2: Is Sachin Tendulkar’s 15921 Test Runs Record in Danger?

Cricket Thought of the Day #2: Is Sachin Tendulkar’s 15921 Test Runs Record in Danger?

31 Years, 157 days.

The number of days it took both Sir Alastair Cook & Joe Root to break the 10,000 run barrier, incidentally the only two English two cricketers to do so. In comparison, it took the great Sachin Tendulkar 31 years & 326 days to breach that mark.

What a moment. 10,000 runs with the same shot as his 100 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain, as he always does, chose the best possible words to sum it up,

“10,000 Test Runs for Joe Root. He joins the pantheon of all-time great batters and he does it, as ever, with a smile on his face.”

– Nasser hussain

The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022

Root’s Run

What’s better? Since his debut, it has only taken Root 9 years & 171 days to achieve this landmark. In comparison, Jayawardene-Tendulkar-Gavaskar took about 14-15 years after their debuts and Younis-Chanderpaul about 17-18 years (And yes yes, you’re right. Root took 218 innings, Cook took 229, and England play more Tests than anybody else, but that is another story).

Joe Root is definitely in the prime of his career. There was a time when Root was going to be uprooted from the Fab 4. With Root inability to convert fifties into hundreds, Babar Azam’s glorious entry, Kane Williamson’s prime, & the god-level cricket Steven Smith & Virat Kohli were producing between 2016-2018, surely Root’s status was being questioned.

Post the pandemic, Smith, Kohli, and Williamson’s needles have barely moved, both in terms of runs and hundreds.

Joe Root, on the other hand, has been on a different level. 21 Tests, 41 innings, 9 hundreds, 4 fifties, 56.23 average since January 2021. And these 9 hundreds include 5 daddy hundreds—228, 218, 186, 180*, and 153. The fact that he did this as England’s Test captain, when they only won 1 out of 17 Tests, in conditions such as Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, and Australia makes his run even more unbelievable.

So naturally the question arises. In the prime of his career, relieved of captaincy pressure, with possibly another 5-10 years ahead of him, can Joe Root break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 15,921 Test runs?

Sir Alastair Cook

Let’s come back to Alastair Cook for a moment.

Cook scored his first hundred at at the age of 21. In the next 7 years, he racked up 25 total. In his prime, his record read:

  • 2009: 3 Tons
  • 2010: 5
  • 2011: 4
  • 2012: 4
  • 2013: 2

Tons in overseas Ashes win & subcontinental hundreds, Cook was at the top of the world. Even though he slowed down after 2013, by the time he climbed the 10K runs mountain, he had already amassed 28 Test centuries. And he was still young.

It looked like he was meant to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds.

But then he didn’t.

He fell short. In fact, very, very short. Not by one, or two, or even 10 hundreds. By 18 hundreds.

Alastair Cook would only score 5 more centuries and retire from international cricket at the age of 33.

Sachin Tendulkar

In comparison, when Tendulkar was about 31 years & 157 days old, he had 33 centuries already.

However, his form was about to take a dip. Between December 2004 & May 2007, Tendulkar only scored one Test century, a 109 vs Sri Lanka in 2005.

Questions were asked. Retirement calls surrounded the media. He couldn’t seem to go past the nervous nineties in ODI cricket. Tennis elbow injuries, Greg Chappell controversy, 2007 ODI WC horror—you name it, it looked like the end for legend Sachin Tendulkar.

But then Sachin Tendulkar had a second wind (almost as long as other people’s entire career). From 2008-2011, he scored 14 Test centuries. That is 14 hundreds after the age of 35.

The rest, as they say, is history.

There is still a long way to go.

As Mark Puttick pointed out, Trescothick scored 5825 runs in his entire 76-Test career. Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh’s most prolific Test run-scorer, has scored 5235 runs after 82 Tests and 15 years.

Root needs 5906 more.

He either needs to continue his golden touch for couple more years or needs to have a Tendulkar-esque final phase.

So, Can Joe Root Overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s Test Run Tally?

Cook retired early not because cricket had left him. He retired because he had given his everything to the game and achieved what every aspiring English player would dream of. He might even have been burnt out.

It was just a personal choice. Maybe he just wanted to give back to the roots at Essex. He is still going strong at County Cricket. Currently standing at 72 first class tons and having a stellar season.

Life is nonlinear.

Unlike statistics on a chart, real-life will have its share of twists and turns. There will be bumps on the road. Us armchair critics just jump to conclusions too quickly. No individual can continue to be at the peak of powers infinitely.

Add COVID-19, bio bubbles, media pressure, mental health, and overkill of cricket, how much can a modern cricketer take?

Only time will decide if Root can overtake Tendulkar. We can just hope to enjoy this legendary presence while it lasts.

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Records are meant to be broken…or are they?

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From the heavens, Don Bradman smiles.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/08/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

IPL 2022 Prediction Results – Who Was the Closest?

IPL 2022 Prediction Results – Who Was the Closest?

IPL 2022 Prediction Results time!

Before this T20 festival begin, we asked our friends on Twitter on Facebook of their IPL 2022 Predictions. The predictions were recorded here. IPL 2022 Predictions – Orange Cap, Purple Cap, Emerging Players, and More!

Now is the time for the moment of truth. Who was the closest? Were there any major surprises? Let’s find out.

The Results

Before we dive to the winners, here are the results from this year’s IPL.

  • #OrangeCap:
    • Jos Buttler (863 Runs) RR
    • KL Rahul (616) LSG
    • Quinton de Kock (508) LSG
  • #PurpleCap:
    • Yuzvendra Chahal (27 wickets) RR
    • Wanindu Hasaranga (26 wickets) RCB
    • Kagiso Rabada (23 wickets) PBKS
  • #Winner: Gujarat Titans
  • #Top4: GT, RR, RCB, LSG
  • #EmergingPlayer: Umran Malik
  • #SurprisePackage: Gujarat Titans team surprising everybody, Dinesh Karthik 4.0, Mohsin Khan, Rajat Patidar, Tilak Verma, Rinku Singh, David Miller 3.0, Umran Malik, Jitesh Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed 2.0, Dewald Brevis, Tim David towards the end, Arshdeep Singh’s death over accuracy, captain Hardik Pandya, Rishi Dhawan providing balance to PBKS, SRH’s streaks of wins & losses, R Sai Kishore seamlessly going from SMAT greatness to IPL, R Ashwin being R Ashwin (retired out, promoted to #3, finishing games off, bowling behind the umpire, etc.)
  • #BrokenDream: Virat Kohli & Kane Williamson underwhelm, RCB so near so far yet again, Evin Lewis’ catch crushes Rinku Singh led KKR revival, Buttler 863 fails to break the 973 record, MI/CSK end at the bottom, KL Rahul on the losing side once again despite runs

Other IPL Awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Jos Buttler
  • Super Striker: Dinesh Karthik (183 SR)
  • Game Changer: Jos Buttler
  • Fastest Delivery: Lockie Ferguson (157.3 kph)
  • Perfect Catch: Evin Lewis (KKR vs LSG)
  • FairPlay Award: GT & RR

How Prediction Points Were Awarded

Depending on how many predictions you attempted, there were a total of 11/12 points up for grab. Here is the points breakdown:

  • Orange/Purple Cap: 2 Points for the Exact Answer, 1 Points for someone else in the Top 3
    • For example, you would get 2 points if you had predicted Buttler/Chahal for the orange/purple cap respectively, 1 point for KL Rahul or QDK/Hasaranga or Rabada, and 0 otherwise
  • Top4: 4 Points Total, +1 for each of the play-off participants
  • Emerging Player/Surprise Package: Since there were several uncapped players who performed above expectations this time around (and since there were 0 predictions for Umran Malik), any reasonable guess will get a point (examples in the #SurprisePackage list above)

IPL 2022 Prediction Results Part 1

For the first part, we look at predictions from the Subtle Curry Sports Facebook group.

And The Winners Are….wait for it…Drumrolls Please

SHIVASHIS PATRI! 5/11 🥇 predictions correct. Congratulations 👏

Close behind are Arnab Kumar, Srikar Chakka, Lakshya Kaviya, and Aalay Gandhi all with 4/11 points 🥈

Special mention to Aalay Gandhi for his Surprise Package comment: “GT (Yes, the whole team)“- when literally no fan or expert predicted this.

Orange CapPurple CapWinnerTop4Emerging PlayerSurprise Package
Arnab Kumar
4/11
Shreyas Iyer Avesh KhanCSKCSK, RCB✔, LSG✔, PBKS
(2/4)
Tilak Verma✔
+1
Hardik Pandya✔
+1
Neel Patel
3/11
Sanju SamsonBumrahRCBDC, RCB✔, RR✔, MI
(2/4)
Yash DhullKohli✔
+1
Surprising for sure, but in the wrong way.
Shalin Sheth
2/11
Shikhar DhawanBumrahPBKSPBKS, DC, LSG✔, MI
(1/4)
Raj BawaRishi Dhawan✔
Provided the balance for PBKS this season.
+1
Srikar Chakka
4/11
KL Rahul ✔
+1
Rabada✔
+1
Punjab KingsPBKS, RR✔, LSG✔, SRH
(2/4)
HangargekarRomario Shepherd
Sharan Sivakumar
3/11
Rohit Sharma/David WarnerJasprit Bumrah/Harshal PatelLSG/CSKLSG✔, CSK, RCB✔, PBKS
(2/4)
MS Dhoni/ DreRuss/T NatarajanVijay Shankar/Bhuvneshwar Kumar✔
Bhuvneshwar Kumar surprised with a good comeback, especially with his yorkers.
+1
Lakshya Kaviya
4/11
Rahul✔
+1
Wanindu Hasaranaga✔
+1
Delhi CapitalsDC, LSG✔, CSK, SRH
(1/4)
Yash DhullOdean Smith✔
Surprised at the death in finishing games, being hit by Tewatia, and coming back with decent spells.
+1
Aalay Gandhi
4/11
KL Rahul✔
+1
BumrahDelhi CapitalsDC, MI, CSK, RR✔
(1/4)
Tilak Verma✔
+1
GT (the entire team, yes)✔
Can you predict the future?😂
+1
Shivashis Patri
5/11
KL Rahul✔
+1
Kagiso Rabada✔
+1
Rajasthan Royals
*So Close…
DC, CSK, RCB✔, RR✔
(2/4)
Yash DhullHardik Pandya✔
+1

IPL 2022 Prediction Results Part 2

From our twitter page, we have our overall winner – ROHAN GULAVANI 👏🥇 7/12 Predictions Right! Congrats!!! Kudos to Kickit Wicket with 4/12 🥈 as well 👏

Orange CapPurple CapWinnerTop4Emerging PlayerSurprise PackageBroken Dream
Sourabh Sanyal
1/12
KL Rahul
+1
BoomMI/DelhiMI/DC/CSK/PK
(0/4)
Dhull/HangargekarHangargekar MSD
Rohan Gulavani
7/12
Shreyas/KL✔
+1
Y Chahal✔
+2
DCDC, CSK, LSG✔, RCB✔
(2/4)
Yash D/ BishnoiObed McCoy✔ & Conway
The way Obed McCoy held his nerve throughout this tournament was a sight to see.
+1
RCB failing to cross the line again✔
+1
Just Cricket
3/11
KL Rahul✔BumrahLucknowCSK, MI, Lucknow✔, PBKS
(1/4)
Hangargekar/JaiswalBrevis/Parag/Tilak Verma✔
+1
Cric Crazy Veer
3/12
KohliRashidLSGLSG✔, CSK, RR✔, MI
(2/4)
Shahrukh Khan/R Sai Kishore✔
+1
Ajinkya Rahane/MS DhoniKL Rahul underperforming, MSD Retires Forever
Kickit Wicket
4/12
KL Rahul✔Rashid KhanCSKDC, CSK, GT✔, RCB✔
(2/4)
Smeed (after called in as replacement)BishnoiRCB lose in the final✔
Close enough.
+1
Sourabh Negi
3/12
Shreyas/KL Rahul✔RashidKKRCSK, LSG✔, DC, KKR
(2/4)
Rasik Salam/Brevis✔
+1
MSD Retires Forever

My Own IPL 2022 Predictions

My own predictions ended up with a 4/12.

  • #OrangeCap: Shreyas ❌
  • #PurpleCap: Rashid ❌
  • #Winner: LSG ❌
  • #Top4: LSG✔, RCB✔, PBKS, DC (2/4)
  • #EmergingPlayer: R Sai Kishore/Brevis ✔ +1
  • #SurprisePackage: Rishi Dhawan/Tim David ✔ +1
  • #BrokenDream: Russell/Narine duo struggle & MSD Retires Forever ❌

Well IPL 2022 was fun while it lasted. Now on to international cricket. Test cricket, ODI Super leagues, women’s cricket, and the build up to the T20 World Cup. Stay tuned!

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2022. Originally published on 06/04/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Very short Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Image Courtesy: Photo by Vlad Chețan on Pexels.com

Cricket Thought of the Day #1: Why Don’t England Players Play in Overseas First Class Domestic Competitions?

Cricket Thought of the Day #1: Why Don’t England Players Play in Overseas First Class Domestic Competitions?

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/04/2022

Cheteshwar Pujara. Mohammad Rizwan. Sussex. One of the highlights of the County Cricket summer so far.

Pujara’s run was nothing short of astonishing—5 matches, 8 innings, 4 centuries, including two doubles, 720 runs, 120 average. Rizwan, although not as prolific, hit a couple of half centuries as well. Pujara has now made a comeback to the Indian Test team for the fifth Test and has acclimatized to the English conditions a month ahead of time.

Embed from Getty Images

England Vs New Zealand

Now let’s us jump to the ongoing England vs New Zealand Test match.

NZ looked in all sorts and decimated to 132/10 via ageless Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, and debutant Matty Potts. In response, England punched above their weight and scored 59/0 with Zak Crawley finally finding some form.

Then Crawley threw it away. 59/1 No worries.

Then departed ever-promising never-performing Ollie Pope. England 75/2. Root stepped into the ground after 20 overs. Can you believe that, 20 overs? Two backfoot punches, business as usual. England 92/2.

However, Colin de Grandhomme reignited 2019 WC Final memories to get rid of Joe Root. Then came silky Southee around the wicket and IPL finalist Trent Boult to wreak havoc. Another England collapse. 5 runs & 8 wickets in 25 balls. From 59/0 to 92/2 to 100/7 and eventually 141 all out.

Brendon McCullum or no Brendon McCullum, Stokes or no Stokes, Same old, Good Ole England.

Kevin Pietersen has been ridiculed for his adamant proposal on “Franchising County Cricket.” Reduce the number of counties and things will be all good, right? Well, Matty Potts (Durham) has just come up from second division and seemed to fit right in, while Root/Bairstow (Yorkshire)-Foakes (Surrey) are first division players. Poor batting displays boil down to two reasons–a bowling era (pitches/quality of bowlers) and technical deficiencies of the batters.

Thought of the Day

Now let’s shift our focus back on Pujara-Rizwan. Why are they in England? To improve their batting skills, face different conditions, and prepare themselves when their countries play England, right?

Just like T20 specialists these days go around the world and play in the IPL, PSL, BBL, CPL, etc., why can’t England players hone their techniques in Sheffield Shield or Ranji Trophy in the off season? Ex-England chief executive, Tom Harrison, wrote to Australian board to allow English players after the Ashes loses.

So why don’t England players these days play in overseas domestic first-class tournaments?

Think about it.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/04/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).