Overreaction Monday ft. Dhoni in England, Alam’s future and Hazlewood’s DRS bombshell

Overreaction Monday ft. Dhoni in England, Alam’s future and Hazlewood’s DRS bombshell

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Overreaction Monday - August 17 edition



MS Dhoni might have dropped a ton of work on the head of journalists by casually announcing his retirement whilst sitting on a couch, but that doesn’t mean we’ll shy away from responsibility. Sorry MS, Mondays are meant for overreaction and not even your retirement can force us to alter the article.

MS Dhoni at The Hundred?

In the wake of MS Dhoni’s retirement, Shane Warne is wondering if the veteran would be interested in representing London Spirit, the team he coaches in The Hundred.

SC Take: MS Dhoni currently earns 15 crores per season in the IPL. Warne could multiply this figure by a ‘hundred’, insert whacky bonuses - say 10 crore per every run scored and 50 crore per appearance - and offer MSD a contract and you know what he’ll get in reply? A no-response. I mean, come on Warney, does MSD ‘really’ look like a guy who will play a tournament like The Hundred in exchange for……...money? This is a dude who managed to successfully keep his whereabouts unknown for one year in a country like India, this is a dude who did not speak to the media even after losing his central contract and this is a dude who announced his retirement through a badly spaced Instagram post. Take the clues, Warney - he’s had enough and he’s itching to be done with IPL 2020 so he’d never be required to pick up a cricket bat ever again.   

The solution to bad umpiring? Hurrah! You reduce the number of DRS reviews to one!

‘Good guy’ Josh Hazlewood feels umpiring standards will skyrocket if teams are given just one DRS review per innings and reckons DRS should only be used to eliminate howlers

SC Take: Did an umpire put a gun to Hazlewood’s head whilst he was making this statement? By taking power away from the hands of players, you’re empowering the umpires to preposterous levels and if these past 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that the standard of umpiring has gone down the drain. By reducing the number of reviews from 3 (or 2) to 1, you’re not really addressing the inherent problem, which is umpiring. There has been no evidence of late to suggest that the quality of umpiring will skyrocket if the umpires are put under more pressure; hell, there has been no change despite them being relieved of checking front-foot no-balls. You could argue DRS should just be used for howlers if they were a rarity, but gobsmacking umpiring decisions have become the norm. Thus, if anything, reducing the number of reviews will result in a drastic increase of wrong decisions. Also, hmmm, if ‘reducing howlers’ is all he cares about, I wonder why Hazlewood explicitly abused the TV Umpire for a DRS decision a few years ago.  

Anderson to open the bowling at GABBA in the 2021/22 Ashes?

James Anderson, last week, quashed rumours about retirement and vowed to continue playing till Ashes 2021/22.

SC Take: Jimmy Anderson is a man of his word and if he says he’s eyeing Ashes 2021, chances are that he will, one hundred percent, make it to the tournament. That said, though, one gets the feeling that he needs to be a tad realistic and needs to start taking the team dynamics into consideration. From an individualistic point of view, yes, Anderson would probably be able to make it to the Ashes next year despite him being 39 by that time. However, do England really ‘need’ his services? Do England really need a 39-year-old veteran who cannot crank up the pace  - and has proved to be unsuccessful in the past Down Under - to be ‘trying his best’ to create an impact during the Ashes?

The way I see, Anderson, by constantly making these claims about eyeing Ashes 2021, is putting the team into a position where they will ‘have’ to pick him - at least in the squad - because of his stature. Anderson’s reputation will make it impossible for him to be judged on merit because the moment you start questioning him - even if the criticism is right- people will get outraged and bring up his historical Test numbers. Perhaps, for the better of the team, Anderson would be better off voluntarily calling time on his career, for his reputation is giving him privilege that he’s unaware of and can never do away with. 

Fawad Alam does not belong to international cricket

After being away from the international side for 10 years and 259 days, four balls was all it took for Fawad Alam to turn into a running meme. And, as a result, he’s been given a ‘not good enough for international cricket’ certificate by social media experts after one innings.

SC Take: Before getting into the point, could you imagine waiting for 10 years and 259 days and playing 12,742 balls in first-class cricket before finally getting an international recall, only to get out for a four-ball duck? C-R-U-E-L. I, for some reason, had a dreaded feeling Alam was going to get out cheaply the moment he walked to bat and well, I was right - unfortunately. I am, however, low-key appalled looking at the kind of reactions that have been coming in, on the back of Alam’s duck.  The entirety of Facebook and Twitter have already deemed him ‘not good enough’ after one failure - yep, one failure - and, all of a sudden, armchair experts have a problem with his stance which, according to them, makes him a walking wicket.

I wonder where all these people were when Alam was tearing down attacks in domestic cricket for an entire decade with the same stance; I wonder if they know that he averages 41 and has a 168 to his name in Test cricket. Scrutinizing, ostracizing and making judgements about a player after one knock - which came in hell-ish batting conditions - is ridiculous and it, in a way, depicts everything wrong with social media, in today’s world. Let’s give him time before we pass judgements, shall we? The guy has earnt his place and dare I say even if he scores a couple of more ducks in the next Test, he’d still have a better claim to be in the side than both Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq.

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