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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Oh and what about ODI cricket? I completely forgot about it!
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.”
**** 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.
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).
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,
The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022
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 isanother 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?
Root has left the rest of the Fab Four in his tracks 😲
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
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.
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.
Joe Rooooooooooooot needs 5906 more Test runs to equal Tendulkar’s record of 15,921, which is a very long way to go
He’s scored 5912 runs in his last 69 Tests
You could add Trescothick’s entire career to Root’s and it would still be short of Tendulkar’s runs
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.
Now is the time for the moment of truth. Who was the closest? Were there any major surprises? Let’s find out.
Before we dive to the winners, here are the results from this year’s IPL.
Jos Buttler (863 Runs) RR
KL Rahul (616) LSG
Quinton de Kock (508) LSG
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)
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.
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.
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?
Jersey Movie Review HindiBy Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 6/2/2022
After 83 and Kaun Pravin Tambe and Bandon Mein Tha Dum coming soon, another cricket movie hit the screen this year – Jersey.
Remake of the 2019 Telugu movie of the same name, Jersey explores the conflict of a promising cricketer who left the sport early and struggles financially but is inspired to make an improbable comeback due to his son’s wish to buy an official Indian cricket jersey.
Netflix Summary:Ten years after quitting cricket, a gifted but dejected ex-batsman pursues a spot on the national team, hoping to fulfill his son’s wish for a jersey. Netflix Link
Protagonist: Shahid Kapoor as Arjun Talwar
Pankaj Kapoor as coach Baali
Mrunal Thakur as wife Vidya Talwar
Prit Kamani as son Ketan (Kittu) Talwar (grown up)
Ronit Kamra as son Ketain Talwar (young)
Anjum Batra as Arjun’s best friend, Amrit
Directed By: Gowtam Tinnamuri
Release Date: April 22, 2022 (Theatre release, now on Netflix)
Length: 2 hour, 48 minutes
Language: Hindi (English subtitles available)
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Jersey Hindi Movie – Summary
Jersey is a fictional story that revolves around the journey of a domestic cricketer named Arjun Talwar, who plays for Punjab.
The movie begins in present-day with Ketan Talwar, Arjun’s son, narrating his father’s story. The movie pivots back to the 1985-86 Duleep Trophy (North Zone Vs South Zone). Shahid Kapoor enters as Arjun Talwar to bat in the stadium with these phenomenal domestic career stats run as his introduction
The Main Conflict
In the next scene, Arjun slams his fist on a window frame after his coach Baali exclaims that Arjun’s name was removed overnight from the Indian team squad due to a “printing mistake.”
Seemingly due of this internal politics and disappointment, he slams out the door and angrily yells, “I quit cricket.” At the age of 26, he leaves the sport, settles with his wife, and joins the Food Corporation of India.
Next, the movie fast-forwards ten years later to Ketan’s childhood and regularly flashbacks to Arjun’s early life. In the flashback, Arjun is portrayed as charismatic, confident, and one of the best batters in the Ranji system. In his current avatar, Arjun struggles financially, circles lawyers in court case for alleged corruption (although he is honest), is frequently argues with his wife, and generally stays away from society. Even when Baali offers him an assistant coaching position, he refuses.
The Turning Point
All of this changes when his son asks him for an Indian cricket team jersey. When no avenues for funds remain, he decides to participate in a charity match between Punjab and New Zealand. Even though he doesn’t get the money, he scores a 100 against all odds, gains attention of selectors, and regains his will to play cricket.
At the age of 36, he trains hard, excels in training camp, and is selected for Punjab’s Ranji team. He scores centuries after centuries, the team gels wells, and Punjab races towards the final. In the final, Karnataka scores 454/6 declared.
Punjab are reeling at 45/4 when Arjun Talwar comes in. However, this time he departs for a golden duck. Clean bowled. Punjab collapse. For four days, Karnataka is in charge. In the final innings, a draw would mean Karnataka would win. So, Punjab has to go for the win.
47 overs, 352 target, 7.47 target, Punjab needs a miracle. Talwar shift up the order to open. After surviving a brief hostile spell, he piles in the runs and scores another daddy hundred. He brings it down to 36 off 12 balls and 14 needed in 6. In the final ball, he hits the balls towards the boundary, runs a couple of runs and dives.
Punjab win. Movie ends.
Spoiler Alert (you may skip this part if you have not yet seen the movie)
Or does it?
At the end of the movie, Arjun’s life is being felicitated. It turns out that he had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and the last dive effectively ended his life.
Here is the twist. Arjun already knew about the diagnosis and subsequently quit cricket ten years ago. However, he did not let his friends or family know about his condition.
Throughout the film, it is assumed that he ran away since he could not face his troubles. In reality, he was just safeguarding is family from the pain. Even though he was warned to not play again, he did so for the sake of his son.
Finally in that ceremony, it is revealed that Arjun was, in fact, selected for India’s ODI team after his domestic performances in 1996 and would have played had he lived. That jersey is given to his son and the movie completes full circle.
Jersey Movie Inspirational Quotes
“Should I play or not? Arjun asks his son.
Play papa, play. Play with your whole heart. Whenever you play cricket, you look like a hero to me“his son responds.
With Rafael Nadal’s 14th victory at the Roland Garros, Joe Denly’s century in the Vitality Blast, and Dinesh Karthik & Wriddhiman Saha’s resurgence in IPL 2022, it looks like 36+ sportsmen are the flavor of the season. Arjun’s story is applicable to their careers as well. Even with injuries, ups and down, they just keep on going.
Shahid Kapoor is back with another great performance. Early in his career, he had an image of playing this nice, young polite character. In the last couple of movies (Udta Punjab, Haider, and Kabir Singh), he has played more aggressive roles and tried to change that image. In Jersey though, Shahid has combined the best of both worlds. On the outside, he is portrayed as brash and angry, but his demeanor is one of honesty, kindness, and love.
My favorite part of the movie was the chemistry between Shahid Kapoor and Pankaj Kapoor (real life father), who acted as his coach in this movie. Their relationship is depicted as one of friendship and Talwar’s only family. Pankaj’s acting is outstanding and keeps the story moving with his equally comic and emotional acting.
Special mention to Talwar’s friend group, the younger Kittu, and journalist for playing their roles to perfection.
Jersey Movie Review Hindi: Watch It or Skip It?
Definitely watch this one.
The main storyline that depicts the father-son relationship is done very well. Although the script itself is a bit far-fetched, the acting keeps Jersey going. The cricket scenes are not as realistic as 83, but they are good enough to not detract from the film (think Iqbal-esque screenplay).
Watch it for Shahid Kapoor, Pankaj Kapoor, and the inspirational we can take from a cricketer’s journey in our lives—keep on trying.
Other Cricketers Who Were Forced to Retire Early
James Taylor was diagnosed with ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy). He was forced to quit cricket at the age of 26 due to this incurable diagnosis and immediately had a surgery.
He represented England in 7 Tests and 27 ODIs (1-100, 7-50s). His List A career numbers are stellar (136 matches, 9306 runs, 53.11 average, 15-100s, 30-50s). In FC cricket, he racked up 9306 runs, 20-100s, 47-50s at an average of 46.06 as well.
Although not due to heart condition, Raman Lamba passed away on 22nd February,1998 on a cricket ground while playing in a domestic Bangladesh Dhaka Premier League after being hit in the head while fielding.
He played for Delhi and had a stellar first-class record (8776 runs, 31 centuries, 27 fifties, 53.84 average). He scored a couple of triple centuries including a 320 in a Duleep Trophy (1986-87) between North Zone and West Zone.
Lamba represented India in 4 Tests & 6 ODIs, including a Man of the Series performance in an ODI against Australia in 1987.
3 Indian Cricketers Who Deserve More Chances in T20I
Despite rests for Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and injuries to Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, and Suryakumar Yadav, three players could not find a spot in the 18-man squad. It is hard for anyone to break into the Indian team these days, but team India is making a huge mistake by not giving them a chance at all.
Eight years ago, Prithvi Shaw burst onto the scene by scoring 546 (330) in a school competition. Comparisons to Sachin Tendulkar were inevitable (and even Sehwag & Lara for that matter). He then won the U-19 WC as captain and has produced runs at the domestic circuit and IPL level.
Things looked bright, but he has only played 5 Tests (1 century, 2 50s), 6 ODIs, and a sole T20I (debut golden duck by the way).
History of fitness issues has not helped advance Shaw’s case, and he has often been depicted as ‘careless’ or ‘carefree’ in his batting approach. However, this is exactly the need of the hour for Indian cricket in T20Is.
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, and even Ishan Kishan play a similar brand of cricket as openers, but Shaw is a breath of fresh air. This season he has produced knocks of
And when he has not gone big, he has knocked singles and made sure the partnership with David Warner flourishes. Prithvi Shaw might not rack up the running charts and stay till the end, but what he provides is worth much more – an impetus to the team from Ball One of the match.
The real question is, will he even get an audition for the T20 WC squad?
Rahul Tripathi was always considered one of those key Indian uncapped players who ‘punches above his weight’ and ‘provides a bit of spark and energy in the field,’ but has always been seen a level below international quality (like a Swapnil Asnodkar, Manvinder Bisla, Nitish Rana, and now Rajat Patidar).
But has Rahul Tripathi been unfairly pigeonholed? He batted with flair this year at SRH (413 Runs, 3 50s, 158.24 SR) and was the catalyst behind KKR’s run to the final last year (397 runs, 2 50s, 140.28 SR). His highest score in each of the last 6 IPLs read
93, 80*, 50, 81, 74*, 76
This means that when he is in the mood, he goes big. But more than the stats, it is Tripathi’s infectious attitude while batting. He starts hitting from ball 1, can float anywhere in the batting lineup, and adapts to any situation. Fast bowlers, spinners, doesn’t matter. 120/2 or 0/1 – he comes in with the same aggression and mindset as a modern day #3 batter should.
Mitchell Marsh, Moeen Ali, Dawid Malan, Mohammad Hafeez, and Devon Conway are the template to bat at #3 these days. Gone are the days of Steve Smith and Virat Kohli steadying the pace.
Tripathi has done all in his power to showcase his ability, but will he ever get a chance?
Sanju Samson has been the most ill-treated of them all. Samson has barely received any chances at the international level since his debut in 2015:
1 T20 Vs Zimbabwe (2015), 1 Vs SL (Jan 2020), 2 Vs NZ (Jan-Feb 2020), 3 Vs Aus (Dec 2020), 3 Vs SL (Jul 2021), 3 Vs SL (Feb 2022).
There is barely any continuity. In his last series in February,he did not bat in the first T20I and scored his personal best – a crucial 39 (25) with 2 fours & 3 sixes at #4. Yet, he has been dropped while the likes of Ishan Kishan & Venkatesh Iyer have been retained despite poor IPL form. What message are the selectors and coach sending?
In Qualifier 1 of IPL 2022, Samson gave an apt reply with the bat.
First ball he faced – SIX! What followed was carnage. His next scoring shots were 4,4,4,6,6. He scored 30 (13) before he even took a single. Now, that is T20 mentality!
That 47 (26) was a more impactful innings than Jos Buttler’s 89 (56).
Sanju Samson and the IPL Inconsistency Myth
He has been on the IPL scene since 2013 but has always carried the perception of ‘inconsistency’, ‘not enough domestic runs’, or ‘throws his wicket away.’
Let us dig a bit deeper. This may have been true from 2013-2016 (where his average hovered between 20.4-26.45 & SR between 112.35-125.15). In each of those years, he would make one or two sparkling fifties and then fall off.
However, from 2017-2022, he has scored 3 hundreds, 12 fifties, striking it between 136.72-150.36 and averaging between 30.07-40.33. Runs in these five years?
386, 441, 342, 375, 484, 421*
His numbers might not be KL Rahul-esque (659, 593, 670, 626, 616) whose SR hovers around 135. Rahul plays an opener/anchor role, while Samson is the middle order intent batter who can keep the game moving and hit spinners out of the attack.
In essence, Sanju Samson has become more consistent, more lethal, and a true match winner.
Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tripathi, and Sanju Samson, literally the only three Indian batters with a modern day T20 batting mindset, were omitted from the South Africa squad list. Although India has about 24 T20Is to try out new players before the 2022 T20 World Cup later this year, their exclusion reveals India’s reluctance to play ultra-aggressive cricket.
Among Indian players, only Dinesh Karthik (187. 28), Rajat Patidar (156.25), Shivam Dube (156.21), Rishabh Pant (151.78) have comparable Strike Rates. Samson, Tripathi, and Shaw have taken the leap of faith with risk & reward. The real question is, will Indian selectors?
“When you’re doing a role like this. In T20s, when you are there to hit sixes…you need to have guts inside yourself, you need to be brave enough to do that role…failures will happen…If I get to play, I play. If I don’t, I don’t.”
“I am not here to score lots and lots of runs…I am here to score a small amount of runs which are very effective for the team.”
India Need to Revive the Memories of 2007
India last won a T20 World Cup way back in 2007. It was the inaugural edition, nobody knew what this beast T20 cricket would come, and the IPL had yet to be announced.
Stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly stepped aside to give youngsters a chance. Robin Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Sreesanth, Joginder Sharma, RP Singh, and even the timeless Dinesh Karthik would make the squad. The Pathan brothers, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, and Virender Sehwag were the ‘seniors’ in the side lead under a certain captain MS Dhoni.
And guess what happened? India won—a young team with nothing to lose who just went out there, took risks, and expressed themselves.
Fast forward 15 years and 6 T20 World Cups later, India has yet to win another trophy. What’s worse? They have not even played close to their potential (Virat Kohli dragged into the finals and semi-finals of the 2014 & 2016 editions).
It might be time for a couple of seniors to step aside and give a free reign to players who can go there and play their natural, free-flowing, expressive cricket.
In IPL 2022, at least 54 players are auditioning at the moment for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad to board the flight to Australia in October.
Exactly six months to go for the World Cup. Halfway through IPL 2022.
With Dinesh Karthik asking questions and knocking the door down, Deepak Chahar’s injury cloud, and Virat Kohli- Rohit Sharma-Ishan Kishan-Venkatesh Iyer having off years, all permutations and combinations are open.
So how is this going to work? Today, YOU ARE THE SELECTOR. I am going to break up each role (opener, finisher, fast bowler, etc.) one by one and the contenders for that spot. At the end of each section, you can VOTE on your choice for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad.
Why Have India Not Won an ICC Trophy in the Last Decade?
Last time, India won a major ICC Trophy was the 2013 Champions Trophy. And 2007 for their only T20 World Cup Trophy.
Since then, India have lost 2012, 2016 (semi-finals), and 2021 T20 World Cups, 2017 Champions Trophy (finals), 2015 & 2019 ODI Cricket World Cups (semi-finals). Hindsight is 2020, but what were some of the reasons?
Constant chopping and changing in the squads & lack of clarity on player roles (“The #4 Question”)
Selecting/Mixing players for T20Is based on ODI form and vice-versa
Balance of the XI: Lack of batting allrounders in the Top 6 (too many wicketkeepers)
Vulnerability against left-arm seamers/swing bowlers in the first few overs (ex: Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Trent Boult/Matt Henry)
Wicket-taking options in the middle overs (switch from Jadeja-Ashwin to Kuldeep-Chahal and back)
Freak injuries (Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar in the 2019 CWC)
Now that we have established where things can go wrong, let us discuss how to form our XI & squad of 15.
Rather than picking the best 15 players in India, we pick out the best players for each role depending on which position they play for their IPL and domestic teams. The idea is that we should not make an opener a makeshift #5 again.
T20s are now moving to a place where a fluid batting line up is preferred. Instead of being assigned a fixed batting spot (#3,4,5, etc.), each batter has a relative batting spot (top order, accumulator, finisher) and an ‘optimal entry’ based on the overs & match situation (Ex: Send Russell after the 10th over, DK after the 16th over, etc.)
Similarly, Powerplay swing bowlers & specialist death bowlers have separate assigned roles. (Ex: David Willey’s role is bowl a couple of economical overs up front, take a wicket/set tone, and not finish his spell).
Ideal T20 XI
So, an ideal T20 XI needs the following ingredients:
The Top Order (2 aggressive & 1 accumulator who can soak pressure, but also has change of gears)
The Engine Room (3 Finishers – 1 Power hitter, 1 360-Player, 1 Calm-Head/Insurance Policy)
2-3 All-Rounders in the Top 7
Wicket-taker in the Powerplay (Swing bowler)
145 kph+ Pace Bowler
Mystery Spin optional
Who Was in India’s Latest T20I Squad?
As a quick reminder, here are the list of players and key performers from the recent T20I series against New Zealand, West Indies, and Sri Lanka.
Since the 2021 T20 World Cup, India have won all of their 9 T20I matches. In these 9 matches, India have had 8 different player of the matches and/or player of the series.
All Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Hooda, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel*, Washington Sundar*
Fast Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar
Spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Ravichandran Ashwin
Also before you check out the candidates for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad, check out BCD’s other social media pages and consider subscribing to our newsletter. It would really help support this website.
Next to each player, overall T20I & T20 stats will be displayed along with performance in the IPL after the covid break (IPL 2020, IPL 2021, and IPL 2022 up to the halfway mark)
Each player will also have a symbol:
🟩 Almost certainly plays the first match in the T20 World Cup
🟨 In the Probable 30, but selection in the 15 depends on the IPL and T20 bilaterals preceding the WC
🟪Wildcard Entry:Not in the current scheme of things but might come into conversation as a backup player.
🟧 Future Indian players who can occupy these roles (Lots of youngsters have come to the party in IPL 2022. I doubt they will make the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad, but you never know)
Who are the Best T20 Openers for India Right Now? (Pick 3)
Who are the Best T20 Openers for India Right Now
India have 9 openers vying for 3 spots for the 2022 Indian T20 World Cup Squad. Namely, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, and Devdutt Padikkal. Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul are front runners for the T20 World Cup opening squad (if Rahul recovers from injuries), but Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Virat Kohli are other wildcard options.
An average of 16.28 and no fifties in 6 innings is not the best of Rohit, but remember, he was the player of the T20I series not too long ago. As long he is captain, he boards the flight to Australia as an opener.
2. KL Rahul 🟩
Current Status: Incumbent, Other Roles: Wicketkeeper
Ever since he was retained by Mumbai Indians for the mammoth price, Kishan has looked a show of himself. He has a couple of 50s and a top score of 81* but at a SR of 116.46, the Rohit-Ishan partnership is just not working for MI at the moment.
Pros ✅: Left-handed; Big match/ICC tournament player; Top form in IPL 2020/2021
Cons ❌: Poor form in IPL 2022; Out of Favor with selectors right now; Rohit-Dhawan-Kohli archaic T20 lineup
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
Not as dominating as before (2nd highest in IPL 2020 & 4th highest in 2021). 214 runs at 30.57 average & best of 70, the consistency is just not there this season. Only one 50 in 7 attempts and a SR of 126.62 will go against his name.
Cons ❌: Has Not Debuted in T20Is yet (inexperience)
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
With an average of 19.66 with best of 52, Agarwal is out of runs (and struggling on the captaincy front with PBKS as well). He was in great form in IPL 2020 but has not reached those heights since that mid-season injury.
Cons ❌: Strike Rate; Consistency; Has Not Debuted in T20Is yet (inexperience)
How Is He Doing in IPL 2022?
This might be the breakthrough season Gill was looking for. A vital cog for Gujarat Titans’ dominance. 200 runs already with best of 96. 33.33 Average and SR of 151.51. The two ducks would worry him though.
473 & 411 runs in the last two seasons, DDP has struggled a bit this time around.Best of 41, only 138 runs in 6 innings, 129.72 SR. Might be last resort, but I do not see Padikkal boarding the flight to Australia at this moment.
Other Future India Prospects: Yashashvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 4/07/2022
Today was such a pleasant day for cricket—The County Championship 2022 began, going back to the two-division structure from the ‘pre-pandemic’ era.
8 concurrent matches (I watched the Essex Vs Kent game), friendly exchanges on social media, centuries for Nick Browne & Sir Alastair Cook (yep still going strong!), Somerset bundled for 180 by Hampshire, and lots of young talent on show!
And when there is a new tournament, there is #BCDPredictions. The County Championship is long! It ends at the end of September. So, here are the predictions of our friends from Twitter and Facebook here so we can compare at the end of the journey, who got most Predictions right!
The categories for the County Championship 2022 Predictions are:
#MostRuns, #MostWickets, #WinnerDiv1, #WinnerDiv2, and #LookingForwardTo.
As a reminder, the two divisions are structured as follows:
*If you have not submitted your predictions, there is still time! You can send the predictions in the form below or tag us in Twitter.
My County Championship 2022 Predictions
Due to my personal affinity for Alastair Cook, I went with Essex for Division I, but will be following several domestic and international stars.
Specifically would love to see openers Rory Burns & Dom Sibley return to top form after an indifferent last year in Test cricket. Sam Curran is returning from injury, stalwarts Jimmy Anderson, Hashim Amla, & Darren Stevens are still around, while South Africans Simon Harmer, George Linde, and Kyle Abbott can wreck mayhem on their day.
For the overseas stars, I am looking forward to out-of-favor Cheteshwar Pujara and Pakistani internationals in Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan. Tom Haines & Josh de Caires are some popular youngsters to watch.
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 04/01/2022
Actor Shreyas Talpade, from Iqbal fame, is back to portray this inspirational story of a man who realized his dream of playing cricket on the national stage at the age of 41.
Can Pravin Tambe’s unlikely journey capture the imagination of the public like other sports movies? Today we review this latest cricket movie released on Disney+Hotstar—Details, Summary, Verdict, and most importantly, Life Lessons We All Can Learn from Pravin Tambe. There is also a section of most popular Pravin Tambe videos, his playing career, and stats at the very end.
Kolkata Knight Riders just posted an emotional video on social media regarding a special screening of Kaun Pravin Tambe?, celebrating Pravin Tambe who is on KKR’s support staff in IPL 2022 (video of KKR’s special screening linked below).
Kaun Pravin Tambe Detail & Information
Title Name: Kaun Pravin Tambe? (Who is Pravin Tambe?)
Hotstar Summary:Relentless effort can make an underdog rise to the top, and cricketer Pravin Tambe’s extraordinary journey proves why age is just a number.
Language: Hindi (English subtitles available, also dubbed versions available in Telegu & Tamil)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Kaun Pravin Tambe Summary and Review
Kaun Pravin Tambe? begins with a clip of a Rahul Dravid, who is portraying Pravin Tambe as the embodiment of passion (full speech below). The movie then tries to answer the question for the audience, who is this Pravin Tambe that Dravid is talking about? Cricket fans have heard about with his exploits with the Rajasthan Royals between 2013 and 2015, but how did he start his career? Why did he have to wait for 20 years?
The film begins in the early 2010s, when Tambe is juggling his life as a construction supervisor, father, husband, and cricketer. After brief introduction of the Shreyas Talpade, the movie rewinds to Tambe’s childhood and develops chronologically. We see that at the age of 12, Tambe finds his life purpose—to play Ranji cricket for Mumbai. The essence of the plot is to fill the gap between ages 12 to 41.
There are several mini-stories within the larger movie. Tambe begins his career as an all-rounder and specifically, a medium-pace allrounder. How does he then turn into this leg-spinner? (Don’t worry, will not spoil that for you here). Another plotline is the various jobs Tambe takes upon for the sake of financial stability, while still trying to give time to cricket. This is my favorite part of the movie.
Finally, the portrayal of the Mumbai grassroots cricket, Shivaji Park maidaans, and gully cricket is cherry on top of the cake. The actual cricket has the perfect screen time—not too much (like 83’s highlights reels), not too little, just right.
What makes this a neat watch is Shreyas Talpade’s bowling action. I loved his bowling action in Iqbal and since Tambe started as a medium pacer, Talpade was a perfect fit. His acting is brilliant as usual, but the minor characters (older brother, childhood friend, wife Vaishali, Abey Kuruvilla, and Arif Zakaria as Jamil) are the heart of the film. Special mention to Ashish Vidyarthi, who does an excellent job portraying Vidyadhar Paradkar sir (influential coach for Zaheer Khan and other great Indian cricketers).
Finally, a note on Parambrata Chatterjee, who is a wonderful actor (you might know him as the police officer in Kahaani & Aranyak). However, his minor negative character as a journalist did not suit him or the script well.
Verdict: To Watch or Not to Watch?
At this moment, there is loads of cricket going on—2022 Women’s World Cup, IPL 2022, Australia Vs Pakistan ODIs, Bangladesh Vs South Africa Tests, Netherlands Vs New Zealand limited overs series, and the 2022 County Championship will begin in a week as well.
On top of this, I am sure you are busy with work, family, or school.
But if you can make time for two hours in this busy world, I hope you can set everything aside and give Kaun Pravin Tambe? a sincere watch. Good, light-hearted movie that will rejuvenate your belief in cricket, specifically grassroot & gully cricket.
My review for Kaun Pravin Tambe? is 4.5/5. Great watch. The only thing that took away from the film for me was the minor conflict with the journalist, which seemed a bit forced.
Before we move on to “Life Lessons we can learn from Pravin Tambe”, check out BCD’s social media pages and consider subscribing to our newsletter. It would really help support this website.
Pravin Tambe symbolizes Broken Cricket Dreams. His journey has broken dreams, but his story is also full of inspiration, passion, hard work, modesty, and determination.
Tambe is one of the great stories of the IPL. Got his big break before playing a Ranji Trophy match. And guess what? After all his toil, results were evident – hat-trick vs KKR, highest wicket taker for Rajasthan Royals in 2014, and the Golden Wicket taker for RR in 2012 Champions League.
And he played till he was 49 across IPL, CPL, Abu Dhabi T10 leagues. I am sure he still plays a few gully cricket games here and there. Dedication to the max. Here are some of the other life lessons from Pravin Tambe we can apply to our lives.
1. Age Is Just a Number
After almost 30 years of toil, Tambe finally got selected for the Rajasthan Royals in 2013. A few months later, he would get his beloved Ranji Trophy cap.
In this day and age of the internet and focus on fitness, anything is possible. Tom Brady, Pravin Tambe, Brad Hogg, and Chris Gayle can still play professional sports at 42. With resources online, you can obtain a new skill, learn new things, change careers, or start a business. At any point in your life, age is no barrier.
2. Balancing Dreams with Practicality of Life
As Tambe entered his twenties, he assumed more responsibilities. He got married, had two kids, and had to pay bills. Usually, people give up dreams during this time for financial security.
Pravin Tambe did not. He worked multiple jobs instead.
Life is all about moderation and balance. And to survive, money is needed. If you can develop multiple streams of income, while still being within reach of your dream goal, that is the ideal zone.
3. Be Open-Minded
Pravin Tambe reluctantly switched from medium pace bowling to leg spin. And boy, did it pay dividends.
There is a fine line between persistence and inflexibility. Quitting should always be your last option, but if things are not working in your favor, be open to change. Being open minded in the micro can have large positive effects on the macro.
4. Passion Makes Perfect
Dravid’s speech illuminates on Pravin Tambe’s work ethic. Although he did not play much the first year, he attended every optional practice session, every gym session, and was always discussing how to improve his game with other players in the squad.
After his first man of the match award in the IPL, “he was weeping.” He cherished every moment of this journey. Although he has now assumed coaching roles, he still plays for his company (Kanga League, Time Shield) and still bowls 15-20 overs a day in three-day-games.
We usually say ‘Practice Makes Perfect.’ That is true, but what is more is that ‘Passion Makes Perfect.’ If you combine your love or passion for a certain activity and put in the practice and the hard yards, then you will be happy with all your effortsand gradually get closer to your dream.
5. All You Need Is One Good Over. Never Give Up. Dreams Really Do Come True
Themain theme of Kaun Pravin Tambe can be summed up by one quote in the movie.
Pravin Tambe was in the 40 Probable’s List for a number of seasons, even as early as 2000.
But he had to wait. And Wait. Almost gave up. And had doubts cast upon from friends and society, but he kept on working relentlessly and kept on dreaming a dream till he got his big break that changed his life.
In Tambe’s own words, “Just never give up on your dreams. Really dreams do come true.”
Try, Try, and Try Again Until You Succeed.You may take rest but never quit. The light at the end of the tunnel may be bleak, but there is light, nevertheless.
Pravin Tambe Videos and Interviews
Here are some of my favorite Pravin Tambe videos. In his interview with Aakash Chopra, Tambe reveals that his IPL cap was not his biggest moment. Getting the Ranji cap for Mumbai from legend Wasim Jaffer was his most memorable moment.
Here below is one of his best innings of his career. So much spin! Beautiful.
Here is Tambe’s hat-trick and 5-wicket hall in a T10 match that featured wickets of Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, and Kieron Pollard (Bowled!), Upul Tharanga – as a 47-year old. Wow!