With England about to start their campaign against India, in India, does anyone rate their chances of winning even one test?
I have a feeling this could be the only post on this subject. By the way, yes its strange, me being Scottish and all but I enjoy cricket. And Rugby League, American football (NFL and college), Aussie Rules (now that's fast, furious, skillful and sometimes breathtaking to watch), baseball but I really dislike football (soccer).
Heh. Well, I knew it wasn't about the character played by Connie Stevens on Hawaiian Eye.
With the 2nd. test starting tomorrow morning in Mumbai and England already in trouble, having lost the 1st. test by 9 wickets, I'll switch on the radio as soon as I get up to listen to some of the game, but it starts at about 4 a.m. our time. and I have my Italian class at 11a.m. so, the days play could be finished by the time I get back. Fortunately, there's a highlights (or perhaps not) show on tv in the evening. Wacky looking bats belting balls boundarywards. See what I did there?
I remember seeing a somewhat interesting documentary many years ago about cricket in the Trobriand Islands, and how the game had actually become a substitute for war. Interesting stuff.
The Baron said:
I think I've done so twice; but I'll try a different method this time.
A match involves two teams of eleven players each. Think of them as the Avengers and the Masters of Evil.
A coin is tossed to decide which team will get the choice of whether to bat first. We'll suppose the Avengers win and Captain America chooses to bat.
The opening batsmen for the Avengers are Captain America and Goliath. The team's top batsmen are Thor and the Hulk, who bat third and fourth; at the start of the innings the bowlers are fresh, and the opening batsmen have the job of standing up to their initial attack. As the first over (=sequence of six deliveries) opens Captain America is on strike (=the batsman facing the bowler).
The Absorbing Man opens the bowling for the Masters of Evil. Being a fast bowler he takes a long run-up to bowl the ball. In cricket the ball is bowled with an overarm action; the bowler is not allowed to bend his arm in a throwing action as part of the release of the ball. Usually the ball bounces once on the way to the batsman.
The batsman has to protect the wicket (think of it as an experimental nuclear reactor), but he's not allowed to do so by blocking the delivery of the ball with his legs rather than the bat, so the batsman awaits the ball standing side-on to the bowler to one side of the wicket (which side depends on whether he's right- or left-handed; whichever it is is the leg side, the other side is the off side) with his bat in front of it. If the bowler hits the wicket and knocks the bails (the top bits) of the stumps (the three pillars) the batsman is out. If the ball is only blocked from hitting the wicket by the batsman's legs and didn't touch the bat he's ruled out lbw (leg before wicket).
Fast bowlers like the Absorbing Man use a combination of speed and intimidation to get batsmen out. His opening delivery is a bouncer; that is, it bounces high and threatens to hit Cap's upper body. Cap avoids this by ducking back towards the leg side. Bouncers are legal but the laws of the game limit how often they can be employed. In the stands Dr Strange wonders what would have happened if Cap had tried hit the ball using a hook shot and casts a spell to find out. His spell shows him that it would have been an awkward shot, with the ball passing close to the body, and would have hit Cap's gloves and been caught by the Abomination in slips (=standing back of the wicket on the off side). This counts as a catch off the bat, so he would have been declared out caught behind.
The Absorbing Man bowls the next one to pass the wicket to the off side in the hope that Cap will have to stretch to take the shot and make a mistake. Cap however connects and hits a low shot along the ground towards a gap in the field. (A shot that reaches the boundary along the ground scores four; one that reaches the boundary without touching the ground scores six but such shots are risky; if the ball doesn't carry the batsman might be caught out.) Cap's shot is intercepted by Whirlwind but he and Goliath have time to score one run. This means they both complete a run from their end of the pitch to the opposite end. Either batsman can get out if the fielders manage to knock the bails off with the ball before he reaches the opposite crease (line behind which the batsman stands).
Goliath is now on strike. He hits the ball in the air. The Melter has an opportunity to catch the ball but drops it (because he has been bribed by a gambling syndicate). The batsmen score another run, putting Cap back on strike.
Cap blocks the next two deliveries but neither shot offers an opportunity for a run. On the next delivery the Absorbing Man oversteps the bowling crease and the umpire calls a no ball. Knowing that he can't get caught out off a no ball Cap hits the ball high. It doesn't carry all the way to the boundary. The Titanium Man intercepts the ball near the boundary, preventing a four, and returns it to the pitch area quickly enough to prevent Cap and Goliath scoring more than two runs. The two runs are in addition to an automatic run from the no ball.
A no ball doesn't count towards an over, so the Absorbing Man bowls one more delivery. Cap steps forward to play this and misses. The ball is stopped by Ultron, the wicket keeper (=the player who stands behind the wicket towards which the ball is delivered, like the catcher in baseball). He knocks the bails off the stumps with his gloves holding the ball and appeals for a dismissal. (In cricket a player is only declared out on appeal.) This would be an out if Cap was out of his crease when the bails were removed, but the umpire rules he made it back in time. If this had been ruled out Cap would have been stumped.
The next over is always bowled from the opposite end, by a different bowler. Consequently, it begins with Goliath on strike. This time the bowler is the Titanium Man. He is a spin bowler so he employs a shorter run-up. Spin bowlers manipulate the path of the ball by spinning it. Goliath hits a four off his first delivery, so he and Cap don't run (doing so wouldn't add any runs to the score unless they made it past four, and they'd be unlikely to be able to do that before the ball was returned to one of the ends of the pitch).
On his second delivery the Titanium Man gets the ball to bounce at a very sharp angle. It gets past the bat and hits the stumps, and Goliath is called out (bowled).
This is a test match, so it runs for a total of five days. The Avengers' first innings continues to before lunch on the second day. The Masters of Evil start off well but then suffer a middle-order collapse, with the result that they're down to their last two batsmen (Mr Hyde and the Lizard) at the end of the day's play (called stumps, because the stumps are pulled out).
It rains most of the third day, so the Avengers don't manage to get the last two Masters out until early on the fourth day. They continue racking up runs until morning tea on the fifth day, when they declare with six wickets in hand in the hope of getting the Masters out a second time. As it turns out they're not able to manage this, and the match is a draw.
(1) In 2000 it emerged that the Captain of the South African team, Hansie Cronje, had taken money from gamblers to fix matches and tried to involve other players.
In terms of 2012 sensibilities, that's one of the most disturbing characters I've ever encountered.
Luke Blanchard said:
<dr. nick riviera>OK, that was a little strange.</dr. nick riviera>
Luke, that is excellent. Thank you, Just to even up the guilty parties, what about the Pakistani players found guilty of dodgy dealings?
Some of you might fancy a look at this:-
Thanks. I think I missed the Pakistan players scandal.
I should have explained that the batsman commonly moves significantly to get into position to meet the ball. I don't think that happens in baseball; in cricket the ball takes longer to arrive.
I was misleading about why the batsman stands as he does. He has to be careful about protecting his wicket with his legs, but his legs are likely to be in front of at least part of the wicket; that's why he might get out lbw. (He might also move into the way of the ball.) He stands side on so as to be in a position to swing at the ball, with his torso turned towards the bowler, and leans over so that the tip of the bat is positioned on the ground.
I referred to the Avengers as having to get the last two Masters of Evil out. They would only have had to get one of them out. Each member of a team bats once in an innings, and the team is retired when the last batsman no longer has a partner. Hence a team might declare (its innings over) with six wickets in hand (=the other team would have to get six more players out to retire the team).
It might not be apparent that games really do turn out like the one I described. Presumably the Avengers built up a lead they were comfortable with in their second innings and then declared thinking they'd have time to get the Masters out. Since I implied they were ahead after both teams' first innings their captain (who I take to be Captain America) may have been over-cautious. By the last day of a test the pitch has deterioriated, which works to the advantage of the bowlers. There are also one-day competitions.
If the fielding team knocks the bails off the stumps with the ball while a batsman is running he is run out. Knocking it off with a throw is fine.
I made the Titanium Man the spin bowler because I've seen spin bowlers jump into the air while delivering the ball and I figured he could make use of his size.
On the majority of deliveries, of course, nothing much happens.
Thanks, Luke. I don't know whether cricket is more complicated than baseball, or it's just that I'm used to baseball.