The fielding effort that the Indians put in in the Australian second innings earned Peter Lalor’s special attention — or should we say contempt — in an article in The Australian today. Agreed the fielding was ordinary. We pointed this out in our article yesterday too, in our article at the end of the days’ play. Agreed, the fielding effort wasn’t even perhaps to international standard. Ok. Let’s even agree — just to make Peter Lalor feel good about himself and his lot in life — that any under 14 team in Australian provincial cricket would have fielded better than the Indians did at the ‘G’.
However, the manner in which Peter Lalor went hammer and tongs at the Indians was suggestive of an attitude that can only be reserved for a people that you hate with a passion. I am as one-eyed as they get, but even I reserve an ounce of empathy and objectivity in every 9 ounces of emotional chest-beating fundamentalist-like fervour! Lalor’s article did not just ooze contempt. It wasn’t merely hate-ridden. It was actually factually incorrect. Let us repeat that. His article was factually inaccurate. I am convinced that a pen in this mans’ hand is a weapon of mass vilification.
The reason that we arrived at this conclusion is because of his spew on Yuvraj Singh. Agreed Yuvraj had a lapse (read: one lapse) in the field in the morning’s session of play. Lalor records this moment in his article as:
Yuvraj Singh was, at times yesterday, totally incompetent, letting numerous balls through on the soft, slow, falt-as-a-French-crepe outfield
Was Lalor even watching the match? We are convinced that Lalor was asleep on the wheel. He has done a disservice to Yuvraj Singh as well as Lalors’ own readers. Those who watched the game will, we hope, consign him to the “wierdo” bin or “this man has an axe to grind” bin!
Every champion has an off moment. Tiger Woods has an off moment or an off day. So does Roger Federer. To not acknowledge that is to either not know the topic you are writing about — and it is possible that Lalor does not know his cricket. Or, it is to ignore that Yuvraj Singh is indeed a champion fielder; perhaps even one of the best in world cricket today! It is all the more galling because Yuvraj Singh had one (read: one) lapse in the field yesterday! To paint him as a mug in the field who wants his servants to do his fielding for him suggests Lalor is simultaneously contemptuous, ignorant, arrogant, biased and blind.
We may have accepted his diatribe if Lalor had also pointed out Brad Hogg’s shocking misfield (once) and Andrew Symonds’ laziness (once) when India batted.
We have no doubt that the Australians set different standards in the field. India is nowhere near that class or standard. However, it is this singular lack of objectivity that makes us think that Lalor has marked out Yuvraj Singh (here) just as he did Sree Santh.