In the first part of this three-part in-depth interview with Peter Lalor (Picture left. Source: “The Australian”), we talked about his views on racism in cricket in the wake of the Andrew Symonds incidents in India in the recently concluded India-Australia ODI series. In the second part of the interview, we talked about aggression, sledging, Indian cricket and more.
Peter Lalor, a respected writer for “The Australian” newspaper, is a passionate supporter of the Australian cricket team and is fervent enthusiast for the way Australia plays its cricket.
Subsequent to Part-1 of our interview with Peter Lalor, in order to achieve a sense of balance in this debate, we asked more-or-less the same set of questions to Prem Panicker. Part-1 of our interview with Prem Panicker is available here. And Part-2 is available here.
In this concluding, Part-3, of our interview with Peter Lalor, we talk about Australian cricket, Twenty20 and more.
Some of Peter Lalors’ articles are available here:
i3j3: Talking of Australian cricket, how do you feel Australia will cope with the absence of Shane Warne, Glen McGrath and Justin Langer? Will their absence make the Australian team more vulnerable?
PL: Here comes the cliché: how can you not be the lesser for the loss of the first two who were world champions? However, Australian cricket is blessed with great depth and if Jacques doesn’t replace Langer then there is Simon Katich (300 [in the last game] for NSW including 170 in a session) Rogers, Hodge and so on. Australia has plenty of good fast bowlers but apart from the brilliant MacGill, lack a decent wrist spinner.
i3j3: There is daylight after Australia in the championship stakes. Is this good for the game?
PL: No and it’s annoying that people seem to be waiting for Australia to come back to the pack rather than urging the pack to catch Australia.
i3j3: We read your articles on Twenty20 with interest. You dismiss this form of the game as a bit of hit and giggle. Would you be willing to revisit those views in light of its capacity to (a) broaden its spectator base, (b) the benefits it would provide both the 50-over game as well as Test cricket in terms of strategy, control and robustness, (c) its ability to enforce and speed up innovation in all aspects of cricket.
PL: T20 will benefit the longer forms of the game to a degree. It will help with slog hitting and death bowling. It brings money, entertainment, chaos and new fans to the game which is great.
It rewards raw talent but I love the longer form because it asks questions of a cricketer’s ability to display their talent over a more sustained and searching period.
i3j3: You have been quite critical of Sree Santh. What do you think of this young and talented cricketer?
PL: I am a big fan of Sree as a person and hold a lot of expectation for his ability. I spent a lot of time chatting to him in airports and on aeroplanes and he is an intelligent, interesting and humble young man. A good bowler too, but I think he needs to control his temperament a little better and he agrees.
He is making great steps forward and I thought his decision to clap Michael Clarke and Brett Lee late in the series, thus defusing a hostile situation was brilliant.
You probably get more leeway for your behaviour when you have the record to back it up.
I sincerely hope he succeeds because he is an exciting talent and great bloke.
i3j3: Your views on the 2007-2008 summer of international cricket in Australia?
PL: I hope that the Indian “seniors” show us once more why they are among the best batsmen in the world and that some of the younger players start to establish themselves.
I want to see Mitchell Johnson play Tests.
It is always an honour to watch Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Dravid, Ponting and the like play the great game.
i3j3: How do you rate the chances of Sri Lanka and India in the Tests?
PL: I don’t think that either country has the team to consistently play better than Australia.
i3j3: Would you be happy if we had another chat mid-series with you?
PL: Of course.
We at i3j3Cricket are grateful to Peter Lalor for the time he took to answer the many questions we posed. Some of them were direct questions and some of them were curly. We respect Peter Lalor for his sincerity and applaud his patience.
In particular, we thank Peter Lalor for not ducking a single bouncer and playing everything with a straight bat. There was no question that went through to the ‘keeper! [Cliche overdrive off]
We will read Peter Lalor’s articles in The Australian and elsewhere with great interest as the summer of cricket unfolds in Australia.
From All The i3j3Cricket Contributors