India in England 2011 July 21, 2011

Is Agarkar a better batsman than Tendulkar?

That and other fiendishly difficult questions in this special England-India preview quiz
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Greetings, Confectionery Stallers. As a preview before the salivatingly anticipated first England v India Test at Lord’s, here is a multiple-choice quiz for you. No conferring. No looking up the answers on the internet. No hacking into my telephone, computer or brain to see if you can gain an unfair advantage on other readers.

Question 1: Who is going to win the England v India series? (a) England. When the ICC Reliance player rankings for both teams are totted up, England have an advantage in batting (mostly arising from Sehwag’s absence), and bowling (mostly through Anderson’s superiority over Sreesanth/Praveen). They have not lost a series for two and a half years, and have in Cook a batsman in form so prime you could griddle it and serve it as a steak in a Michelin-starred restaurant. They are confident, settled, in form with bat and ball, and ambitious.

(b) India. Lord’s looks set to be rudely rained on, and – brace yourselves, stats fans ‒ India have not lost anything other than the first Test in a series in England since being unceremoniously splattered like a catapulted tomato on a granite snooker table in 1974. India have not been overwhelmingly impressive in Tests in the last year, but they are tough. They won two tight Tests against Australia, recovered from a first-Test flambéing by South Africa to draw an away series, and won in West Indies without several first-choice players. They won a World Cup under unprecedented pressure of expectation. They won here in 2007. They have lost only one of their last 10 Tests against England, and only three of their last 30 against anyone.

(c) No one. It’s going to be a draw. They are both very good but not flawless teams, and both are hard to beat. Besides, it is going to rain solidly for the next six weeks. It will be snowing by the time of the Oval Test. It’s the end of the world, I tell you. Alastair Cook turning into the world’s most unstoppable batsmen is one of the cast-iron signs of the apocalypse. It’s in the Book of Revelations. If you read it backwards after a couple of bottles of whisky.

(d) Cricket. Six of the world’s current top-11-ranked bowlers against six of the top 13 batsmen (once Sehwag is fixed). Legendary batsmen against the world’s best bowling attack. India’s best-ever team against perhaps England’s strongest in decades. It could be magnificent. As long as the captains don’t just meet on Thursday morning and decide to call it a draw at the toss.

(e) Technology. The continuing search for the perfect version of the DRS is being conducted with the scientific ruthlessness of a blind lion at a supermarket checkout trying to find the barcode on a zebra. The latest scheme is to remove one of the bits that seemed to working the best, and replace it with other bits that no one seems quite about. It’s crazy, but it might just work. Although more likely it won’t work, and the lion will soon enough poke his scanner at another part of the increasingly irritable zebra.

Question 2: Who should England pick: Broad, or Bresnan? (a) Broad. He turned the 2009 Ashes single-handedly in England’s favour, and his selfless injury in the 2010-11 series opened the door for the fire-breathing renaissance of Tremlett. He has a dreamy cover-drive.

(b) Bresnan. He took 11 wickets at 19 in the Ashes. Broad has taken 10 wickets at 55 in five Tests since the start of the Ashes. Bresnan has taken at least four wickets in each of four of his last five Tests. Broad has done so in two of his last 13. Admittedly Bresnan does not have a dreamy cover drive.

(c) Both. It is a tough selectorial call, but it can be avoided by making the two allrounders play jointly, dressed in a pantomime horse outfit. This solution, whilst contrary to the usual Flower-Strauss era game plan of not picking two players in a pantomime horse outfit, remains more likely to be adopted than dropping a batsman and playing five bowlers. (They could alternatively play in a pantomime Ian Botham outfit. Whichever is more readily available in the MCC costume shop.)

Question 3: How much will India miss Virender Sehwag until he returns from injury? (a) A huge amount. India will miss Sehwag like a picnic would miss gravity. He scores more runs, faster, than any other opening batsman in history – averaging 55 off 66 balls when he has gone in first for India. He is a certifiable immortal of the game with previously inconceivable statistics.

(b) A small amount. He struggled against the moving ball in South Africa, and has not scored a Test run in England for nine years. Largely through lack of opportunity, admittedly.

(c) Not at all. He makes absolutely no difference to the side. In Sehwag’s 86 Tests, India have won 35 (40%), and lost 19 (22%). In the 21 Tests he has not played in that time ‒ when he has been omitted either through injury or because the selectors ate a poisoned mushroom and convinced themselves that he was not nearly as good at hitting cricket balls with cricket bats as Dinesh Karthik or Wasim Jaffer (neither of whom, it must be said, currently averages 55 off 66 balls each time he has opened in Tests) ‒ India have won eight (38%), and lost four (19%). So India win, draw and lose an almost identical proportion of games whether the Delhi Dazzler is playing or not. The same applies to Tendulkar – India have won 34% and lost 26% of the Mumbai Mathematical Mammoth’s 177 Tests. In the 17 games he has missed since his debut (albeit without the selectors ever tucking into the mushrooms and deciding he was not as good as Dinesh Karthik or Wasim Jaffer), they have won 35% and lost 24%. All of which suggests that the result of a Test match is completely unaffected by the players playing in it, and the Indian selectors might as well pick Bollywood starlets, random names out of the phone book, or Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer. You cannot argue with statistics.

Question 4: How significant is the 2000th Test milestone? (a) It is the greatest moment in the history of cricket, and therefore, by logical extension, the greatest moment in the history of civilisation. When Dave Gregory and Jim Lillywhite marched out to toss the coin at the MCG in 1877, it is fair to assume neither said to the other: “This is going to be the first of at least 2000 Test matches.” Shakespeare only wrote 38 plays, but people still witter on about him all the time, almost 400 years after he popped his drama-obsessed clogs. Test cricket therefore has proved itself at least 52 times better than Shakespeare, and the moment deserves to be celebrated accordingly.

(b) It is nice.

(c) It is irrelevant. The currency of the Test match has been devalued like a Zimbabwean dollar, with too many featureless series, inadequate teams, and the idiotic Australia versus Half-Hearted World XI being inanely and pointlessly upgraded from “a bit of a jolly” status to Test match status. If you keep scheduling lots of Test matches, mathematics suggests that you will pass mathematical milestones for how many Test matches have been played. The greater concern is: will there be a 3000th? And if so, will anyone know what you are talking about when you say: “Hey, folks, it’s the 3000th Test match today”? Or will you have to explain: “It’s like two really, really long games of Twenty20 joined together. Still no? Bit like football but with sticks and no goals?”

Question 5: Does the fact that Sachin Tendulkar has thus far scored fewer Lord’s Test centuries than Ajit Agarkar mean that the latter is a greater batsman than the former could ever dream of being? (a) Yes. You cannot argue with statistics.

(b) No. You can and should argue with statistics. And you should keep arguing with them until they back down and start talking some sense.

(c) Too early to say. We should not rush to judgement on such matters. Let us wait until both players have retired and then judge their batsmanship careers objectively.

You have eight seconds to complete your answers. If you get all five correct, you win your choice of Yuvraj Singh or Kevin Pietersen to keep (subject to availability). Enjoy the game. And if you are a rain cloud reading this and thinking of heading to Lord’s to see what all the fuss is about, please stay away and follow the match on TV.

EXTRAS The news in Britain has been dominated by a murky swamp of subterfuge, falsehoods and half-truths of late, so the occasional incontrovertible fact is a source of both solace and excitement. Sachin Tendulkar has had a long career. That is a fact. He is only the fifth man to play Tests in four separate decades. And only the second to have done so without having played before the First World War. And the first to have done so without being English.

Tendulkar played his first Lord’s Test 21 years ago, against an England team containing moustachioed offspinster Eddie Hemmings, who had made his first-class debut in 1966, when Wilfred Rhodes was still alive and well and with a few more years in the tank. Rhodes made his Test debut in WG Grace’s final international match in 1899, and went on to become the only man in the history of civilisation to play Test cricket in five different decades. Could that be Tendulkar’s next challenge once he has notched up his 100th international hundred? To equal, and then surpass, Rhodes’ Most Different Decades Played In Test record? He looks in good enough shape. He probably does not have much else in the diary for the next two decades that cannot be put off until the 2030s. He might as well give it a go.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roger R on August 15, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Andy once again, excellent, brilliant!!! If I learn to write as half as well as you do Sir, I would be in great shape. Keep em flowing :)

  • ashokb on July 30, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    A certain Pelham Grenville would have faced serious competition, you'd say!

  • Ammar on July 28, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Question 1: C Question 2: A Question 3: A Question 4: B Question 5: Sachin is better

    And ya VIRU always Roxxxx

  • Amit Sawant on July 25, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    Nice Article. Nice refreshment!

  • Gobots on July 24, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    Quality stuff Andy.... and to all you guys sticking up for Sachin, calm down - its only a bit of fun. For the record though Lara was a much better bat.....

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    still, was glad to see the new post was up, as i had been suffering withdrawal symptoms during the last ten days, consoling myself with marathon sessions listening to random epsiodes from the bugle archives. so it's back to episode 129 which i think has something to do with dear leader's undies. look forward to the next sugary delicacy from your keyboard.

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    admittedly not one of your best, andy. good, but not quite howitzer-prize winning stuff. enjoyed it nonetheless.

    i am (also admittedly) a big fan... of your c-stall compositions; your w/c (no pun intended) podcasts (when are we getting more?); and da bugle, which i discovered recently. woke up this morning and the first thing i did (after the 23 other first things i did) was to locate the new post.

    * wonderfully interminable metaphors. check. * meaninglessly entertaining stats galore. check. * proof, yet again, that v/sehwag is a/zaltzman's favourite-ever cricketer. check. * harder-than-carbon-fire quiz which would have university challenge contestants whimpering "mummy". check * the best c-stall blog ever. ch... er, not quite.

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    yes andy, back off. we asians do not appreciate having the cherubic bottoms of our demigods lightly pinched. even in jest. by a jester. in empirically tasteless new clothes. even if they do sport hairdos reminiscent of the mop my mother used for the first fifteen years of my life.

  • James (in Malaysia) on July 22, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    thumbs up to your column, Anza... exquisite combo of facts, stats, cric history, word play and humour... in a class of your own

  • ravi on July 22, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Awesome.... Andy, could you also write about most entertaining commentators in England-India series.

  • Roger R on August 15, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Andy once again, excellent, brilliant!!! If I learn to write as half as well as you do Sir, I would be in great shape. Keep em flowing :)

  • ashokb on July 30, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    A certain Pelham Grenville would have faced serious competition, you'd say!

  • Ammar on July 28, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Question 1: C Question 2: A Question 3: A Question 4: B Question 5: Sachin is better

    And ya VIRU always Roxxxx

  • Amit Sawant on July 25, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    Nice Article. Nice refreshment!

  • Gobots on July 24, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    Quality stuff Andy.... and to all you guys sticking up for Sachin, calm down - its only a bit of fun. For the record though Lara was a much better bat.....

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    still, was glad to see the new post was up, as i had been suffering withdrawal symptoms during the last ten days, consoling myself with marathon sessions listening to random epsiodes from the bugle archives. so it's back to episode 129 which i think has something to do with dear leader's undies. look forward to the next sugary delicacy from your keyboard.

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    admittedly not one of your best, andy. good, but not quite howitzer-prize winning stuff. enjoyed it nonetheless.

    i am (also admittedly) a big fan... of your c-stall compositions; your w/c (no pun intended) podcasts (when are we getting more?); and da bugle, which i discovered recently. woke up this morning and the first thing i did (after the 23 other first things i did) was to locate the new post.

    * wonderfully interminable metaphors. check. * meaninglessly entertaining stats galore. check. * proof, yet again, that v/sehwag is a/zaltzman's favourite-ever cricketer. check. * harder-than-carbon-fire quiz which would have university challenge contestants whimpering "mummy". check * the best c-stall blog ever. ch... er, not quite.

  • kinkminos on July 22, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    yes andy, back off. we asians do not appreciate having the cherubic bottoms of our demigods lightly pinched. even in jest. by a jester. in empirically tasteless new clothes. even if they do sport hairdos reminiscent of the mop my mother used for the first fifteen years of my life.

  • James (in Malaysia) on July 22, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    thumbs up to your column, Anza... exquisite combo of facts, stats, cric history, word play and humour... in a class of your own

  • ravi on July 22, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Awesome.... Andy, could you also write about most entertaining commentators in England-India series.

  • Ankan on July 22, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    i was expecting more wrath from tendulkar fanatics at the audacious mention of the GOD and some Mr Agarkar in teh same sentence.

    Hilarious article Andy. This should go to Hall of Fame of page 2. :D

  • venbas on July 22, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Almost jumped out of the window by my desk after reading the title...Thanks to Mark Twain for popularizing the meaning of statistics with the immmortal "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"

  • pskar on July 22, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Sachin may be a great batsman but certainly not great cricketer. He shunned captaincy citing non cooperation from colleagues, negative affect on batting performance etc. Any great cricketer should not do that.Take the case of Ponting,Steve Waugh or Border or Imran Khan or Sanga. They scored almost equally and proved themselves as great captains.A Sobers or a Kallis on any given day are far better than Sachin who despite taunted as greatest never accepted the responsibility of opening in tests stating that he is a middle order batsman but insisted on opening in odi's as he can score runs only by opening and using field restrictions. He is more or less driven by his personal reasons than team cause and THAT is not GREAT. As the article rightly pointed out CRICKET is not about individuals. It is a TEAM that won world cup for India in 1983 as well as 2011. Not Kapil or Sachin Or Dhoni.

  • Nitin on July 22, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Amazingly humorous. But what has happened to the sense of humor of some people over here.

  • Anonymous on July 22, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    This is a good one for the statistical warriors of Indian fans. Go ahead and prove it wrong boyo!! You buffs think statistics alone will get India this series. You have news coming. 2-0 win and No.1 test team : England, after end of this series. Go ahead and rage buddys.

  • arul on July 22, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Stop the nonsense... VIRU ALWAYS ROCKS....

  • Anand Bhat on July 22, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Hilarious ! Especially the one comparing Ajit Agarkar and Sachin Tendulkar

    And if you are a rain cloud reading this and thinking of heading to Lord’s to see what all the fuss is about, please stay away and follow the match on TV.

  • Bhanu on July 22, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Brilliant article Andy!

  • Nidhi Sharma on July 22, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Agarkar who?

  • Ajay Nair on July 22, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    Hey Andy

    Its 8 AM - MUmbai time.. early to the office on a rainy day.. have read the rest of your post.. read this,... loved it... Loved the magic mushroom and the Kartik and Waffer bit.. Hilarious.... Give us a shout the next time you are this part of the world....................a

  • Ajit Agarkar99 on July 22, 2011, 2:12 GMT

    Bahaha, just hilarious Andy!

    Buth Ajit and Sachin are Mumbai-ites; Ajit has a few more wickets to his name though, and certainly more Test hundreds at Lords

  • Bakshi on July 22, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    Awesome!! really really well written!! and @Art - Please find yourself a nice hole :D

  • TSpurs on July 21, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Art - seriously man, grow a sense of humour and relax! Perhaps you missed the 'Andy Zaltzman: stats, SATIRE, whimsy' at the top of the page? Andy is a comedian, he takes the mickey out of everyone - if you can't cope with that then don't read the blog mate...

  • vinod on July 21, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    tendulkar is better than 11 english players. lol. you cannot go with stats every time. if so. eng should loose this series by 1-0. roftl. andy you need to respect your opponent this is not aussie.........

  • Sam on July 21, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    Anyone here who thinks Andy Zaltzman is trivializing or belittling Tendulkar's achievements is like a hippo trying to make sense of daily comic section of zaltzman times... so STOP TRYING and COMMENTING.

  • Anonymous on July 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    b b a b b

  • Nishant Srivastava on July 21, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    Awesome Andy, You made my day ! Keep going.

  • raj on July 21, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    u r trying 2 gain cheap popularity by using "tendulkar" in the title...... plz.....dont do it.

  • Pooja on July 21, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    funny... "blind lion at a supermarket checkout trying to find the barcode on a zebra" who thinks like that...wow! :)

  • pratul sinha on July 21, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    my choice - abbab (long time no c) wish to meet you someday pratul

  • Tushar Grover on July 21, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Agarkar's a genius.it's unfair to compare someone as second - grade as sachin tendulkar to the legendary agarkar!

  • Shuvro on July 21, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    Nobel prize for literature 2012 for Andy, no less!!!! Awesome!!!! You are better than Wodehouse, and I am sure he won't mind this compliment.

  • Ankush on July 21, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Question 1: C Question 2: C Question 3: A Question 4: A Question 5: A

  • Evert on July 21, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    The continuing search for the perfect version of the DRS is being conducted with the scientific ruthlessness of a blind lion at a supermarket checkout trying to find the barcode on a zebra.

    Sheer Genius, That's what it is

  • Paresh Bhayani on July 21, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Really Hilarious . However I think India will win the series 2-0 , unless rain stops them . However first test is vital . If there is a result in first test , it will bi 2-1 , in favour of India.

  • Sagar on July 21, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar who? I guess he is the most selfish person in the world he only cares about his records. 22 years in this buisness If he ever loved the game he could have retired 10-12 years ago and respected his predecesors n left their records untouched......

  • Aviral on July 21, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Andy, Hats off to your literary skills, you should probably end up becoming a prolific writer on non-fiction. :P And amen to that. This questionnaire is witty yet hilarious enough for me to LMAO... :P Anyways, according to me the answers should be 1 B) The form and the winning streak they are in, can easily bulldoze any team in the world. 2 B) Merely on the fact that he has a bad history with India (reference: T120 world cup 2007, he got his for six sixes) 3 A) Though people can go on to argue about how inconsistent Sehwag is, he has many many times given India an amazing start and confidence to play ahead. 4 B) Hey, having the 2000th test cricket match nice, but well, at the end of a day it's just a number, enjoy it; celebrate it; what more can you do about it? It remains the job of ICC to do something to make this format more popular once again. 5 B) Is this even a Question? Want to talk stats, please explain 99 international test tons. Agarkar got lucky making a 100. Big Deal!

  • Art on July 21, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    Dude Andy. Don't try to trivialize Tendulkar's achievements. You did that before the previous India tour of south africa. You are doing it again here. Back off.

  • Shrikar D on July 21, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Quite thought-provoking to be frank. Not sure I'll be that complimentary if I was either of Dinesh Karthik or Wasim Jaffer !!

  • pratik on July 21, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    how can any one question on the ability of the great tendulkar......

  • Fahd on July 21, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    My answers to your questions, Andy: Q1: d Q2: a Q3: a Q4: a Q5: b A really hilarious article, Andy. LOL.

  • Suresh on July 21, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Andy, you need to discuss " if Agarkar was a better bowler than tendulkar.

  • crktcrzy on July 21, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    A-plus as always- All you need to see is Zaltzman is there and you know you've got something out of ordinary- hats off Andy

  • Samik on July 21, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Absolutely amazaing piece of humour and the Lion n Zebra part takes the cake. Keep 'em coming Andy!

  • shyju on July 21, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    This is such unacceptable ambivalence. Make up your mind, Andy. I can understand Harbhajan being confused about being a batsman or a bowler. Indeed, Agarkar himself never quite came to terms with the fact that he was the greatest allrounder India ever had. But you? It's such a shame that there isn't one definitive answer for any of the questions you've posed.

  • Tom on July 21, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Biswaranjan: Does he mention WG as one of the players who spanned four decades? I would have thought he was a logical pick (without checking first) but the above seems to refer to Wilfred Rhodes.

    If I remember rightly Brian Close played in four decades (1949-1976); the other two presumably are Jack Hobbs and Frank Woolley?

  • Trisha on July 21, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Classic Zaltz! Just proves that creative minds like yours always excel when there are fascinating situations!

  • prasad on July 21, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    When Kapil Dev can be a better all rounder than Gary Sobers, any thing can happen. BCCI is rich, WICB is very poor.

  • pramatha on July 21, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    Biswaranjan Behara, Andy was talking about Wilfrid Rhodes playing in five decades, and not WG.

  • FrankWoolley on July 21, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    If Test Cricket is at least 52 times better than Shakespeare, it is only 2.77 times better than Dame Barbara Cartland's prolific output. Also, if you only concentrate on the year 1983, Test Cricket was only 1.30 times better in a closely contested year (Dame Barbara's 23 novels Vs Cricket's 30 Tests). DBC still beats the Bard when his sonnets are taken into account. So, 1. Test Cricket 2. Dame Cartland 3. William Shakespeare You seem to like stats, so I hope you've enjoyed this.

  • Manesh on July 21, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    main problem of india is the bowling they hve a lot of seamers wich makes it difficult 4 dhoni to chose the best among them.....anyways lets hope he selects the best...who will u choose? among the seamers?

  • silva on July 21, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    if shewag was in the team he could have change the game in indias favour in any given day, but not sachin. he is a great cricketer but he do not play for his team needs. he just play his normal game and dose not do much to change game in indias favour. india will miss shewag like hell in this serious.

  • Biswaranjan Behera on July 21, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    WG Grace played his first test in 1880 and his last test in 1899. So he played only in three different decades. You are referring to his first class record. He played for 44 seasons from 1865 to 1908.

  • md sultan mahmud on July 21, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    I can not aggre with 3(c). viru has been rested or injured or treated before the matches against comparatively weaker team. So effect of his absence was minor. viru is the most effective player in indian team.

  • Aditya Shamlal on July 21, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Outstanding ... loved this line -

    "the continuing search for the perfect version of the DRS is being conducted with the scientific ruthlessness of a blind lion at a supermarket checkout trying to find the barcode on a zebra."

  • Pritesh Bhoumick on July 21, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    No words Andy... Awesome!! Marvelous piece of statistical humor...... !!

  • Somnath DasGupta on July 21, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Hilarious !

    The bar code on a Zebra being the stand out bit ! Thanks Andy - I am an ardent fan of your blogs.

  • david on July 21, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    1. Answer C: The series will be a draw because of the fact that both teams desperately don't want to loose and, cricket being the game it is, it is quite possible for a drift towards drawhood to occur, unenunciated, but via a lot of small and large tactical tweeks and an overall cautious approach. Plus it is going to rain for ever and ever and ever. Hope I am wrong.

    2. B: Bresnan is the choice as he is, as of this morning, the better performer. Plus, like a mop, Bresnan is particuarly useful the damp conditions. Plus, there are too many potential boy band members in the England team.

    3. A: Whatever the statisticals, Sehwag is the greatest sporting entertainer alive today, and my favourite cricketer ever. See him while you can.

    4. B: It is very nice. If you like cricket.

    5. B: Tendulkar shades it. But no point arguing with statistics - they won't be told.

  • Theena on July 21, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Your writing is a source of amusement and sanity in this crazy roller coaster ride we call life, Mr Zaltzman.

    Now to the answers (though I have to say I am not too keen on the winner's prize(s))

    Question 1: C Question 2: C Question 3: A Question 4: A Question 5: A

    Lol @: 'The continuing search for the perfect version of the DRS is being conducted with the scientific ruthlessness of a blind lion at a supermarket checkout trying to find the barcode on a zebra.'

  • gangtom on July 21, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Excellent article as always, Andy!

  • vedagiri on July 21, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    I loved the agarkar part.

  • srikanth on July 21, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    LOL. Every one is thinking about the sachins first 100. But laxman hasn't got a hundred against ENG. So is agarkar better than laxman?

  • Mahesh on July 21, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    OMG!! I almost forgot how funny you were. Keep it coming Andy!!!

  • Subramani on July 21, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Besides all the usual things like Swann Vs Bhaji, Zaheer Vs Strauss etc, one thing that is going to make me keenly follow India England Test series is the fact that I can frequently read Zaltzman work.

  • Ankit Tripathi on July 21, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Most Entertaining article i have read. Yet you cannot argue with statistics (or whether u should)

  • AVINASH GODBOLE on July 21, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Andy,

    You make me crazy with your wits, rich vocabulary and the ability to pull a reader out from a cricket topic by comparing the situation to some non cricket incident and pull him back into the cricket seat. Your flair gives me a mild beer kick in my head. Hey guy, some additional pint would do. Awaiting your response since WC 2011- APRIL- MUMBAI. Give me a hug. I have added you to the list of those people whom I would like to meet some day in person.And that includes Gazal maestro Jagjit Singh and Sir Sean Connery(007).

    Regards,

    Avinash

  • Anand on July 21, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    who is Agarkar?

  • cric on July 21, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    hilarious:...(c) Too early to say. We should not rush to judgement on such matters. Let us wait until both players have retired and then judge their batsmanship careers objectively...."AWESOME"

  • j singh on July 21, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Excellent, may I say, exceptional as usual. As always, addresses matters much weightier than those that mere mortals tie themselves in knots over. Pelham G would approve..

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  • j singh on July 21, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Excellent, may I say, exceptional as usual. As always, addresses matters much weightier than those that mere mortals tie themselves in knots over. Pelham G would approve..

  • cric on July 21, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    hilarious:...(c) Too early to say. We should not rush to judgement on such matters. Let us wait until both players have retired and then judge their batsmanship careers objectively...."AWESOME"

  • Anand on July 21, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    who is Agarkar?

  • AVINASH GODBOLE on July 21, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Andy,

    You make me crazy with your wits, rich vocabulary and the ability to pull a reader out from a cricket topic by comparing the situation to some non cricket incident and pull him back into the cricket seat. Your flair gives me a mild beer kick in my head. Hey guy, some additional pint would do. Awaiting your response since WC 2011- APRIL- MUMBAI. Give me a hug. I have added you to the list of those people whom I would like to meet some day in person.And that includes Gazal maestro Jagjit Singh and Sir Sean Connery(007).

    Regards,

    Avinash

  • Ankit Tripathi on July 21, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Most Entertaining article i have read. Yet you cannot argue with statistics (or whether u should)

  • Subramani on July 21, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Besides all the usual things like Swann Vs Bhaji, Zaheer Vs Strauss etc, one thing that is going to make me keenly follow India England Test series is the fact that I can frequently read Zaltzman work.

  • Mahesh on July 21, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    OMG!! I almost forgot how funny you were. Keep it coming Andy!!!

  • srikanth on July 21, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    LOL. Every one is thinking about the sachins first 100. But laxman hasn't got a hundred against ENG. So is agarkar better than laxman?

  • vedagiri on July 21, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    I loved the agarkar part.

  • gangtom on July 21, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Excellent article as always, Andy!