Interview of Cricket Fans – 68
Thank you for your participation in this interview, what is your earliest cricketing memory and how did you fell in love with this sport?
Thanks for finally giving me this opportunity. I was wondering about what else I would have to do to get your time. :P. Interesting question. As far as I remember, I have been watching cricket since I was 4 yrs old. I have faint memories of the Indian 1996 jersey games (not sure about the games) but as far as the first game memory is concerned, It was Ind vs Aus in 2000’s Champions Trophy. It was the 1st Quarter-Final and I remember watching Yuvraj Singh scoring those 84 runs. I was so so elated watching India win that I remember getting scolding from my dad on throwing the TV remote back at him as a catch. Haha!!
Love… well… I don’t know. I just fell for everything that it is but I don’t know when that had happened. Before I got to know about my craze, I was already addicted to it.
What does it take to be a cricket analyst? And what inspired you to be one?
I used to think cricket analyst are those crazy aliens who somehow get numbers and they show off. Basically, one’s who are like number savvy. It was only after I joined Twitter that I realized to be a cricket analyst, you have to just watch cricket closely and understand the nuances of the game because I was termed as a cricket analyst even before I started playing with graphs and numbers.
Inspiration… Well many to be frank. First, my company that chose me as a senior analyst despite my lack of experience as a pure analyst through which I got an exposure to tools like excel, tableau etc. Second, guys like Kaustubh (@kaustat) who made me believe that I have it in me to play with numbers, Al (@alagappan) have always been the guy I have looked upon to understand the game, get tactical expertise on cricketing plans.
How important data is in the context of this sport? Why does IPL have a more in-depth analysis of data as compared to International? Which aspect of data do you enjoy analysing the most?
I think IPL and T20 have changed the complete landscape of this sport in terms of we use data in cricket. I remember before T20 cricket per se, we used to just talk at max about averages but only at times about SR, forget about phase-wise analysis. Therefore, It is good that teams are finally understanding the importance of data and the tactical edge it gives to a team.
I think not only IPL but domestic tournaments like BBL have given importance to analysis. The reason I feel is considering the stake is less compared to playing for your nation, teams are open to experimenting. Also, because teams are all pretty much similar in strengths then teams seek those small edges that they get via data.
No such preference. To be frank, the uncertainty data brings with itself is what I love the most.
There is a reason why people enjoy your threads, tell us what kind of threads do you post on Twitter and how long have you been doing this?
To be frank, since childhood I felt I had the knack to put a cricket match in words. Also, since I follow or read a lot of Sharda Urga and therefore, I felt I can put match experience into my threads. My first thread was on Ind vs Aus 2nd ODI (Jan 2020), the one where KL batted at 5. The appreciation was surreal and then I started writing threads on matches until I decided to write ‘The Forgotten Warriors’ Series based on 9 Indian players and their best games and their career stats that gave me so much love and support across the platform.
Who are your favourite cricketers from the younger generation of Indian Cricket and why?
Rishabh Pant. Just feel he has seen everything already, hasn’t he? Yet there is something in him that makes you believe, he can do it in crunch situations. I feel he has in him to be India’s next big thing.
What is your take on Mankad?
It’s just a mode of dismissal. Simple. Just because English don’t like it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Rules are rules. Why giving it so much air.
Your views on ICC Test Championship? Is it a step in the right direction to make test cricket great again?
Yes. At least there is some meaning to what they are doing with the red ball. Anyway, it can be improved but a step rightly taken.
Views on the new BBL rules?
Awesome. Amazing. They have technically nullified T20 issues that teams could really do much about. The 2 power surge over will help teams to use middle overs better. Bash boost will help batting 1st teams to be aggressive. X factors will help them in using their 10th and 11th player better.
Your brief take on how India will perform in the series down under? Your all-time XI
India might well win 2 series (ODI & Test). ODI because I feel India is a tad better built than Aus is. While I do think if anything Aus can beat 0-3 in T20s because India treats T20 as a part of ODI and have messed up their squad. All Aus need to do is bat India out.
In tests, I feel India will do well despite the absence of Kohli because I think sometimes it pulls the team up if they don’t have their star batsmen
Your all-time XI?
MY ALL TIME XI: (all format)
MS Dhoni ©