India have a bad day at the crease

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R Ashwin in another match (but not because of the BCCI's ban on photographers)

R Ashwin is a good batsman, but no-one considers him to be one of the best six batsman in India. In that case, why is it that he seems to be thriving with the bat while the specialists are batting like a big bag of grundle?

There’s no simple answer. We’re talking about a whole bunch of players and a range of different dismissals. They’re also up against a fast bowler, a swing bowler, an off-spinner and a slow left-armer in this Test – England are ticking many boxes (metaphorical ones, not the nad protectors).

But still, Ashwin’s managed to do okay. It’s a shame he isn’t bowling as well as he’s batting really and it does beg the question as to what that batting grit is worth. When judging him as an international cricketer, his batting skill’s almost irrelevant at this point, but does his resilience and fight mean anything for his future, which presumably hinges on the quality of his bowling?

Bowlers who can bat are great, but the bowling has to come first. It is non-negotiable. It is a necessary qualification for inclusion in a team. If there’s admirable competitiveness latent in Ashwin, he doesn’t currently seem to be able to make use of it with the ball, which is where it’s really needed.

It’s kind of like us. If we could employ the same diplomacy with our colleagues and managers as we use with the toaster, we’d be onto a winner. We have never once told the toaster that it has had a really, really, monumentally stupid idea that betrays a total lack of understanding of what we are trying to achieve. We need to translate that kind of interaction into our professional life.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. It depends on which slot he’s filling. As one of the designated bowlers, his primary function is to bowl well. In not doing so, he is taking the place of a presumably better bowler who would contribute more to the team cause.

    It’s like if you are a designated batsman. In that case, your job is to bat well, and bowling becomes a secondary job. If you don’t bat well you are taking the place of a presumably better batsman who would contribute more to the team cause.

    In other words, Youvraj has Ashwin’s place and another bowler is needed.

  2. Toaster diplomacy is a new one on me, KC.

    You’ve explained how you DON’T interact with your toaster. Please enlighten us, oh King, on how you DO interact with that artifact.

    1. We ignore it. This approach would be immeasurably more beneficial to us were it the one we used at work.

    2. Diplomacy is defined as the art and practice of conducting negotiations.

      Ignoring the other party is a valid way to behave, but is not diplomacy.

  3. Snap judgment, I am afraid KC. Sure, he hasn’t had the best of days in the last two weeks, but up till now in his career, he has handled everything reasonably well, be it T20s or tests. Kumble had a reasonably long career having innumerable shit days, so I don’t see why Ashwin shouldn’t have a good career in India.

  4. Also – we need to know the context in which you told someone they had a really, really, monumentally stupid idea that betrayed a total lack of understanding of what you were trying to achieve.

  5. 2-1 looks good, but by my reckoning, England have lost 7 wickets for 20 runs over the last two innings; a disaster in Nagpur is still eminently possible.

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