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12th man at the 11th hour December 15, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in sport.

Former Indian test cap Sanjay Bangar on what goes on inside the mind (and outside the body 🙂 ) of the 12th man/the extra :

If the dressing rooms are small, the reserve player has to make room for the players, and in some rare instances, has to keep their kit bag in some adjoining room. He also has to ensure that he identifies each player’s kit bag so that he can cater to the requirement of the player like a sweater, glove, cap, shoe, etc.

He has to understand and interpret sign convention; a batsman can ask for a change of grip, change of glove, a batting tape, cap, helmet and he makes the signals accordingly. One has to pick it up and respond quickly; players and coaches often let the reserves know sternly if there is any delay, if the players are not well looked after.

During breaks, if a player wants to dry his clothing or equipment, the reserve has to keep the stuff in the sunlight or use the dryer, if a washing machine is available. If the side is batting, the batsman might ask the reserve to bring him some lunch.

Looks like the Cricinfo guys are having former cricketers author blogs where they are writing not the usual predictions or advice for the forth coming games or the even more usual criticisms, but personal experiences – a sort of an inside look at what a player actually goes through. Certainly welcome this idea of making cricketers look more human.



1. Sudhir Pai - December 18, 2007

I love the editorials of cricinfo. It’s incredible to have some of these chaps write, the kinds who did have their moments on the field but are forgotten in the mists of time. I loved the recent article on one day finishers, which featured the likes of asif mujtaba and neil fairbrother besides their more famous counterparts, michael bevan and graham thorpe.

which leaves me wondering, who’d be the 12th man of an Dream XI for an indian team?
i’ve already had countless arguments with cricket and i thrive on these so i’ll take the liberties of using this space. here’s my dream 12 (including 12th man)
Sunil Gavaskar
Vijay Merchant
Gundappa Vishwanath
Sachin Tendulkar
Rahul Dravid
Vinoo Mankad
Kapil Dev
Mahendar Singh Dhoni
Anil Kumble
Javagal Srinath
Bishen Singh Bedi
12th man Eknath Solkar

whats your dream 12? [:)]

2. Sharath Rao - December 18, 2007

Ideally this exercise should have been done independently in the first pass and disagreements worked out in the second pass, but I will let that option pass since its not feasibly anymore anyway.

Its a pity but there might be very little disagreement about Sunny, Sachin, Dravid, Kapil, Kumble, Bedi, Srinath, Even Dhoni maybe. So who is left ?

For other bastmen slot, there would be toss up between v. hazare, azhar, poly umrigar, v. merchant, GV.

merchant played too few tests but his first class record is phenomenal. and i don’t know these players or researched them too well either, so i mite end up being towards azhar. but azhar outside india wasnt that great. besides who can open with sunny – should be vijay merchant ??

but wrt to ur list, i would put in umrigar instead of mankad. GV versus azhar – wud pick GV – more of matchwinner (??) + spotless integrity. though personally like azhar since i have seen his best.

so WTH, its just umrigar instead of mankad.

as 2nd all-rounder + 12th man – really good batsman, bowl okay in good conditions, lazy fielder, bad runner but the only man in the team – ganguly ?? . Or should it be better batsman, equally lax(man) in the field, equally poor runner but talks with his bat VVS laxman. Or is he too inconsistent ? i dont know.

3. Sharath Rao - December 18, 2007

Experts’ XI – http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/007200707011550.htm

so i was not exactly right about “Its a pity but there might be very little disagreement about…. “. apparently dravid is not good enough !!

4. Sudhir Pai - December 19, 2007

aha! atleast we are agreeable on most of the 11. I mean 8 out of 11 means we are on agreeable terms…[:)] mostly!

Ok here are my arguments in favour of Merchant & Mankad and against azar…

From what I’ve read about merchant, he simply added such a premium to his wicket that he could simply frustrate the likes of McGrath anyday…is that flattery? well, after Bradman, i believe this man ranked highest in first class batting averages with 71, and the fact which simply got me inclined to pick Merchant is that he’s never scored a six?? he never played a loose shot in the air. He’s probably the kinds who’s best qualified to see off the new ball…besides how many good openers have we produced??

Poly was an option I’d considered…but could’nt keep vinoo out because he was the one of those unfortunate match winners who was stuck in the wrong era and the wrong team…

An all rounder who’s scored two double centuries and an excellent spinner, credentials that were very difficult to be overlooked…

picked up solkar for his fielding…

quite a luxury then isn’t it? have the world’s best close in fielder substitute somebody who’s off the field?

what say?

5. Sudhir Pai - December 19, 2007

as for the experts at hindu, mankad as opener? really? Methinks Shehwag done better as an opener than Mankad, Dravid (my vice-captain to sunny) is definitely a better batsmen to have than azar and Kumble’s won more matches than anybody else, but I guess the elite panel knows better…[:)]

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