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How bad is Agarkar?

by Gaurav Sethi

Today, after a long time I saw Agarkar bowl. I missed most of his foolish first over, as I was on Bored Duty, dropping Aditya (@forwardshortleg) to the metro station. I returned to sharp abuse directed at him, both at home and on twitter.

Even though the Daredevils had the cushion of 231 runs, could Agarkar lose it for them? As it turned out, he continued to be an expensive yet wicket taking bowler.

Why Agrakar, after all these years, has such a capacity to bowl the worst deliveries on the planet is beyond me. Why he still takes wickets is simple, who wouldn’t want to smash every ball he bowls, but you can’t – and in his bait of high grade crap is the trap. If that rhymes, let me tell you, like Agarkar, there is no reason to it.

I must admit here, that I have always been a great believer in the misplaced potential of Ajit Agarkar. When he runs in to bowl, there’s a breeze about him, even on a still day. That is the setup, more so, for the gullible fool, who thinks he will deliver.

And how we get sucked in, I know, I always do. And I welcome it too. Today, it was inevitable that Ajit (oh, first name basis, wah!) would play, I was happy in a confident yet misplaced way.

I had no memory of his last bad spell, because that would amount to all his last bad spells.

But well…here I go again on my own, like a drifter I was born to walk alone – a snappy Whitesnake song, but never quite the Deep Purple classic; the song will come back to you at the oddest of times, because there are strange memories there, and you have indulged, oh my, how you’ve indulged. That is Ajit Agarkar. Not quite pop, not rock either, wtf is he – and so you will revisit, to scramble your head, and then you’ll see him bowl, high grade filth, and then the wickets, and you’ll give him this much – that’s his first game in a loooooong time.

Today, old friend Ajit, was the costliest Daredevil who bowled all 4 @11.75 rpo. And only Harris (for the Kings), who had a meltdown in his last over, went for more @12. But Ajit he just went about his merry ways, one wide here, another short one there, good old trauma centre bowling at its best.

But he took those two wickets, and ran in, like he was on a cycle, or even a bike, with born to be wild playing on mute.

If I was the Daredevils selector, I’d pick Ajit every game. There are some moments of undiluted madness that have a cricketing quirk in them, this fellah, he is all there, and not at all there. What he can or will do is beyond him. If mankind wants to go all nuclear and blow up, it should not happen without Agarkar being given a shot to make the fastest T20 50 by an Indian.

And to answer an earlier question, Agrakar is not bad, he’s rotten to the core. But we can’t be sure, can we? Let’s give him another shot.


Anonymous said...

i am one of Agarkar's fan !!!!! (there seem to be many of us while his bowling suggest there should be none...), dunno why...

Anonymous said...

m a big FAN... whatever anyone might say i like this guy...

Govind Raj said...


I think you and generally whole of India have been extremely unkind to Ajit. EXTREMELY !

As stats would go, he has 288 wickets from 191 matches at 27 something average and a strike rate of a wicket every 33 balls. His economy rate in ODIs is 5.1.

All this can't be all that bad. It will look awesome if we consider our principal strike bowler Zaheer Khan fare marginally better with is economy rate but has a much lesser strike rate, average and will take many more matches than Agarkar to overhaul Ajit.

It is just that Ajit had some disqualifications. He is a Mumbaikar. He also is not Bhajji like showman. He also didn't play up to the gallery even when he scored the fastest ODI 50 by an Indian.

In the same IPL, many more have gone for above 12 in a spell. RP, Irfan, Bollinger and even venerable Zaheer Khan went for 50+ in a lower scoring match.

And Ajit's wicket didn't come of any rubbish balls. He earned them with well directed short ones. At 33, he still clicked 135. He could have had a third wicket if the fielding was better.

In hating Ajit Agarkar so blindly and so persistently, India have lost a probably quality Allrounder. Even if he had received 15% of the backing that Ishant, Rohit, Bhajji and Nehra have received, he would have gone past 400 wickets in ODIs now.

This is a fact ! Shite / Crap or anything you call... 288 International wickets with 73% top order batsmen means only one thing !

All these batsmen were Shite / Crap / anything you like !

Fake Indian Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anand Batra said...

I agree with Govind.

Agarkar is still the fastest bowler in the country. He's never had the blessing of the board (eg: Ravindra Jadega/Yusuf Pathan) or that of the seniors (eg: Harbhajan Singh).

Heck, he was the guy who won you the Adelaide test match, but in a batsmen-crazy country like India that fact has been forgotten. Yes, Dravid and Laxman saved us in the first innings, but you needed someone to bowl the Aussies out cheaply and Ajit did that.

He's also the best ODI bowler we have produced till date.

As I mentioned on Twitter, he'll probably rue bowling one loose bowl every over for the rest of his life. He could have been one of the greats, if not for this. Same as how Srinath will always rue bowling two feet short. If only.

Nishant said...

Agree with Govind here
Have always felt that Agarkar has been much more riled against than he deserves. In the last 10 years, his stats including even the economy rate are better than most other Indian fast bowlers, and that strike rate is better than most (in the world).
Agreed he may not have performed to his fullest potential but still don't understand the abuse directed at him.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Govind, suspect AA's test numbers did him in - in ODIs too.

And yeah, Zaks possibly got more rope than any seamer in the last decade.

It was the allrounder tag that screwed AA over.

Mahek said...

191 matches and people think he hasn't received as much support as some of the others? Okay, he's a lot better than Sreesanth.

Govind Raj said...


191 matches is because he has 288 wickets to show. It is just that when he goes for 47 runs from 4 overs on a 'six hitting pitch' and bowling at this level after more than a year; he gets riled by people who know their balls. A spell of 4-0-52-0 from a certain Zaheer Khan goes unmentioned.

Every time Ajit goes for runs, there is an explosion of abuse against him. He gets dropped quicker than anyone else. Even in IPL, players like Jogi, Harmeet Singh have received more support than Ajit.

In the last season, he bowled a cracker of a penultimate over conceding just 6 runs in the 19th over. But Mashrafe Mortaza conceded 24 runs in the last over to lose the match for KKR.

When he went for 17 runs in the previous match, it was so boldly highlighted in the press. The same press conveniently forgot to mention when Ajit bowled well. THIS is the problem. I am no Ajit fan. But I believe he has been extremely wrongly treated by media and selectors.

He did bowl beautifully in 2006 - 07 and was India's best bowler when Guru Greg was the Coach and RD was Captain. His good form extended till the West Indies tour where he was easily the best bowler from both sides in the ODI series. But he was ignored for the Tests soon after.

The 2007 tour of England saw Indian slip cordon of Sachin, Ganguly and others drop 7 catches of Ajit in 4 matches. He naturally went for runs.

Even in the T-20 WC in 2007, he never received the fielding support. Guys like Gambhir took some stunning catches of bowlers like RP and dropped sitters of Ajit.

In the end, he will go down as the unluckiest bowler ever. EVER !

Unknown said...

i fully agree wid wat govind raj has said...india is country where people like agarkar are treated in d same way...its shame on we indians....look at rp singh,sreesanth.why to target agarkar only???
i dont believe dis..surely aa is a poor guy in terms of luck both on d field n off d field!!

Anonymous said...

Back in the day, there used to be a boy in my class, let's call him Bunty. He was mischievous and was always upto something. The class monitor had to report all these brats to the teacher. Every morning, the teacher would come into class, get the list and go around the classroom slapping all on the list. Now there were days when Bunty didn't do anything wrong. And yet, the teacher would slap him... for no good reason.

Moral is that once you get a bad name, it's hard to fix it. AA is just like Bunty. He now has a reputation (?) of being the "bad bowler". No matter what he does, he will get decried and condemned. His career as a bowler is over as far as Test and ODI cricket is concerned.

naresh said...
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Anonymous said...

you are a mother fucker.