Adelaide Test match evenly poised at the end of Day-2


Andrew Symonds, quite possibly the protector of Australian player body-parts, appeared to either be asleep at the wheel or far away from the action. Either that or he must have thought that Stuart Clark’s chest wasn’t as valuable as Brett Lee’s bottom! Lucky, for otherwise, we may have had a repeat of the Sydney explosion that rocked the cricketing world!

If Mike Proctor’s judgement withstands legal scrutiny, then human beings are bananas! (to borrow a most famous quote by Ian Hislop, then Editor of Private Eye)

Read on…

First two days of the Adelaide Test match

At the end of day-2 of the final Test match of this pulsating Australia v India Test series, the game is evenly and interestingly poised.

In Perth, Anil Kumble withdrew the Brad Hogg allegation/complaint a day prior to the game and claimed moral high-ground where there appeared to be none for either team! He started well there and continued to do well by winning the toss and batting! India started the Perth game better than Australia even before a ball had been bowled!

So too in Adelaide. India started the game with a bold statement of intent! Harbhajan Singh, the off spinner, had been included at the expense of Wasim Jaffer, the opening batsman. India declared that they were going to press for a victory.

Day-1

Irfan Pathan opened with Virender Sehwag. India began well, but lost two wickets in each of the opening two sessions of the Test match to be pegged back. Partnerships were hard to come by.

At Lunch India was 89-2 off 26.0 overs with Virender Sehwag on 56 and Sachin Tendulkar yet to score! Again, a session which would have been India’s had been ruined minutes prior to the close of session — for the umpteenth time in this series — by Rahul Dravid, who poked at a Mitchell Johnson angling delivery to be caught at slips by Ricky Ponting.

That gave an even Session By Session (SBS) Score of Australia, 0.5 :: India, 0.5

The second session saw Virender Sehwag depart reasonably early to a waft outside off stump. But he had done the hard work and justified his inclusion as opener. He started briskly and then played sensibly. Just when he was looking set though, he departed into an unusual shell and that, perhaps, was his downfall.

Sourav Ganguly can perhaps count himself unlucky as it appeared that the Brad Hogg ball that got him out LBW should not have been given. But then Asad Rauf has been consistent in giving these line-ball decisions in favour of the bowlers! Moreover, that ugly sweep was misplaced for that straight ball and perhaps Ganguly deserved to go!

India went to Tea on 187-4 off 53 overs. The scoring had been brisk but then India lost two more wickets! Sachin Tendulkar was batting beautifully on 50 off 77 balls. However, with one less batsman in the make up, things were starting to look a bit ominous for India. Partnerships were hard to come by too. Just when the batsmen were appearing to get on top, Australia pegged India back with a timely wicket. Brett Lee, in particular, was bowling sensationally on a track that offered little help.

My SBS Score reads Australia, 1.0 :: India, 1.0

And finally, India did get a century partnership in the post-Tea session. Sachin Tendulkar and V. V. S. Laxman had put on a 100 runs in 159 balls. Soon after, Tendulkar reached his own century off just 133 balls (9 fours and 3 sixes)! Laxman celebrated his half-century soon after. And just when things were starting to look good for India, Brett Lee produced a brute of a delivery that rose to Laxman’s face. The resulting “fend off” lobbed to Adam Gilchrist.

India ended the day on 309-5 off 86.0 overs. Tendulkar was on 124 and M. S. Dhoni was on 6!

The Australian bowlers bowled really well to restrict the Indians. At times, India appeared to be heading away. But the bowlers pegged them back. There were two easy dropped chances in the field — one by Adam Gilchrist and one by Matthew Hayden. Had these been taken, things may have been different. Indeed, the Australians have been dropping quite a few right through this series, with Gilchrist being a major contributor in this statistic!

Although that last session perhaps belonged more to India than to Australia, the fact that India had one batsman less in its lineup meant that my SBS Score at the end of the day read Australia, 1.5 :: India, 1.5

Day-2

On Day-2, India commenced with positive intent. The first ball of the day was cracked by Tendulkar for a four! The first 3 overs yielded 24 runs! Clearly, the Indians had come out with a plan of scoring fast. In his bid to do just that, Dhoni skied a Mitchell Johnson outside-off bouncer in the deep to be caught.

One thought that, at 336-6, this would be curtains time for India. India only had Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, R. P. Singh and Ishant Sharma in the hut! The fact is that these four added nearly 200 runs!

Immediately after Dhoni got out, we witnessed the second best spell of bowling in this series. The best spell of bowling in this series, in my books, is the one that Ishant Sharma bowled to Ricky Ponting in Perth. Here, Brett Lee bowled a terrific, hostile and accurate spell to Sachin Tendulkar. The bowler, Lee, won in the end, with Tendulkar top-edging a hook to Brad Hogg in the deep. India were in trouble at 359-7.

However, Harbhajan Singh had other ideas! He played with abandon mixed with caution, aggression, comic intent and inventiveness. The resolute Anil Kumble kept the singles and twos — and the occassional knees-bent cover-drive — and the scoreboard kept ticking. India went to lunch at 405-7.

Yet another even session in my books and the SBS read Australia, 2.0 :: India, 2.0

The lunch-tea session was the first clean session for any team in this match so far, in my view. India lost just two wickets — but these were wickets #7 and #8 — and had added 120 runs in the process. At Tea India was on 525-9 off 151.0 overs with Anil Kumble on 86 and the young Ishant Sharma on 14. One saw Australian shoulders droop. The fielding was somewhat lethargic and there were plenty of dropped catches. Anil Kumble was looking set for an improbable second Test century and Ishant Sharma, who had already had two lives by then, was looking to provide his captain with support!

At the end of that session, the SBS read Australia, 2.0 :: India, 3.0

After tea though, the romance of a second century for Kumble was squashed. He was out and Australia had 21 overs to negotiate.

The importance of Matthew Hayden was not lost in this game. He was a steadying influence at the top for Australia. He played with calm and composure and balance at the top and showed why he was so missed in Perth! His confidence and calm seemed to rub off on Phil Jaques who batted sensibly and without the fidgety edginess that we saw in Perth! Australia ended the day 62-0.

At the end of day-2, the SBS read Australia, 3.0 :: India, 3.0

Touching gesture!

There was an incident when Harbhajan Singh was batting that threatened to explode but disappeared without a whimper. Harbhajan Singh squirted-cut-glided-squished a Stuart Clark ball to third man for a four. He ran to the bowlers’ end. Both bowler and batsman were looking at the ball and proceeded to collide mid-pitch. Harbhajan Singh stopped and Clark drew a sharp breath. But the situation was quickly diffused as Harbhajan Singh tapped Stuart Clark on his chest and muttered what appeared to be “Sorry mate”.

Andrew Symonds, possibly the protector of Australian player body-parts, appeared to either be asleep at the wheel or far away from the action. Either that or he must have thought that Stuart Clark’s chest wasn’t as valuable as Brett Lee’s bottom! Lucky, for otherwise, we may have had a repeat of the Sydney explosion that rocked the cricketing world!

And so, this incident disappeared from the radar without much of a trace!

Mike Proctor took the Australian team’s word

We are perhaps on the brink of another round of word-wars in the cricketing world. In a leaked report, it has been revealed that Mike Proctor indeed took the word of the Australians over that of the Indians in slapping a Level-3 violation on Harbhajan Singh.

His report says: “I have heard evidence from Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke and Matthew Hayden that he did say these words. Harbhajan Singh denies saying these words. Both umpires did not hear nor did Ricky Ponting or Sachin Tendulkar. I am satisfied and sure beyond reasonable doubt that Harbhajan Singh did say these words. I am satisfied that the words were said and that the complaint to the umpires, which forms this charge, would not have been put forward falsely, I dismiss any suggestion of motive or malice.

If Mike Proctor’s judgement withstands legal scrutiny, then human beings are bananas! Let us just strip this right open. The Indian legal team can then drive a posse of trucks through these pronouncement!

  • First, we have the victim as a witness.
  • Second, no one, apart from the accusers heard anything!
  • The chief complainant — Ricky Ponting — did not hear anything.
  • The accused denies saying anything — and so he would!
  • There are no independent witnesses.
  • All witnesses have vested interests!
  • How can Proctor prove that the complaint would not have been put forward falsely!
  • How can Proctor prove that there are no suggestions of motive or malice?

This Kangaroo-court ruling must be chucked out. There will be calls for Mike Proctor to be retired and put to pasture. I will readily support such calls for the man seems to have lost his marbles.

In my view, this system of delivering justice by inept and untrained Match Referees will, itself, come under sharp review. This whole process ought to be banned and more power must be given to the on-field umpires through a football- and field-hockey-style green-yellow-red card system. This would put an end to “jobs for the boys” as well as ineptitude.

— Mohan

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8 responses to “Adelaide Test match evenly poised at the end of Day-2

  1. Mohan,
    I totally support your call for more power for on field umpires

    It is enshrined in the laws of cricket as
    ” the umpires are SOLE judges of fair play!!!”

    Is it too much to ask you and this blog to demand–in the same vein as against M Procter–REMOVAL of a S Gavaskar from ALL positions at ICC for his RACIST comments against M Procter in particular and world cricket in general

  2. Sam

    You seem to have fallen prey to the same bunch of sensationalists that have demanded Gavaskar’s withdrawal. Like them, it appears you did not actually read what Gavaskar wrote before thumping your chest!

    First things. I am not going to suggest Gavaskar’s ouster. With due apologies, that would be as stupid a request as Symonds’s request for Brett Lee’s backside to be denied a “well bowled” pat. 🙂

    Second, the comments he made in his column were not racist. I’d like your views on which part of his column you thought was racist.

    For your ease, here is what he actually wrote in his Hindustan Times article:

    QUOTE


    By accepting the word of the Australian players and not the Indian players, the match referee has exposed himself to the charge of taking a decision based not on facts, but on emotion.

    Worse still, his decision has incensed millions of Indians, who are quite understandably asking why his decision should not be considered a racist one, considering the charges that were levied on Harbhajan were of a racist remark.

    Millions of Indians want to know if it was a ‘white man’ taking the ‘white man’s’ word against that of the ‘brown man’.

    Quite simply if there was no audio evidence nor did the officials hear anything then the charge did not stand.

    UNQUOTE

    Note that he has NOT called Proctor a racist. However, he has said that he has received emails that suggest that millions of Indians want to know why Proctor should not be labelled a racist.

    It would be good if you do not fall prey to propagandist headlines.

    Indeed, if anything, Gavaskar’s article can be seen as a support of the evenness in decision making. He asks, “But the ICC will do well to keep in mind that there were two umpires out there who had a bad game and not penalise only one or it could be up against a racist charge too. Throughout, as the controversy unfolded, it was only Bucknor that the Aussie media was pillorying and not (Mark) Benson. You form your opinion whether it was racist or not.”

    My conclusion is that Gavaskar’s call has been SPOT ON. He hasn’t said that Proctor is a racist. He has said that, based on the feedback he has received, the reputation of the ICC as an even-handed organisation is at stake.

    Full marks to him…

    I await your response with bated breath Sam!

    Mohan

  3. Mohan,

    I did not fall into anyone’s trap.I am not a monley to thump my chest. My words come from my brain– I make up my own mind based on what I think is right. You and your bloggers are the ones with the victim mentality, one eyed and blindly support Gavaskar’s argument. If only he and his supporters would use their energy to help Pakistan play matches in Mumbai!! Where is the moral in supporting anti-muslim sentiments or not fighting it in his own backyard and then have the audacity to preach the rest of the world what is racism and what is not!!
    The game of cricket is poorer by the way S Bucknor was treated.. Gavaskar has cunningly and conveniently hidden inside the dhothis and sarees of a number of bigots–to get his own words into print and then claim that others put words into his mouth.What a coward? He knew that the mighty DOLLARS generated by BCCI will protect him from any action by ICC. BCCI Supremo and a few years ago Deputy Supremo who was also the state CM when the political party and its leader black banned ( should I say WHITE BANNED to appease you and Sunil!!!!)–all come from Mumbai. They all speak the same language—Do you or he has evidence for every one of millions of emails, letters or conversations?

    he said–she said–they said–is not a good enough argument. he has abused his position in the cricket world. The appropriate way would have been to argue his point at one of ICC official gatherings. But then it is NOT his way of doing things.

    As I have said in the past Procter was WRONG in his judgement. If the microphones didn’t pick up the alleged remark and the umpires did not hear it, the benefit of doubt stands. I do not, one minute understand the credibility given to Tendulkar “not hearing’ it and hence “it wasn’t said:. How far was he, if the alleged remark was in fact said. These are the questions that are asked–day in and day out in cricket tribunals or courts of law. Sachin or Sunil are mere mortals with flaws–just like you and I. I have enough life and cricket experience NOT to believe anyone’s words unless I saw or heard it!!!

  4. A gentleman cricketer retires. Hats off to Gilchrist. May his tribe increase.

  5. Sam

    What a truck load of drivel?

    Accusing this blog and its writers of victim mentality is a bit rich, especially when it comes from you!

    I have been reading posts on i3j3 for many months now. And for your information, i3j3 is the second site I visit every day after CricInfo. I live in Bangalore and visit Chennai and play cricket. I know that several cricketers and cricket officials also read i3j3.

    This blogsite has grown to be one of the more authoritative blogs on cricket in a short space of time. Mainly because of the cogency, sharpness as well as the objectivitiy of the writing of the contributors.

    In this last year, I have also been reading your nonsense.

    Based on what I have read, my opinion is that the i3j3 folks are objective, constructive and fair. My opinion is that you are an NRI twit with a passionate hatred for anything Indian.

    You are welcome to your bigotry, but do not throw it around to people who do not deserve it. It will not stick.

    This blogsite is a blog for fans of Indian cricket. Given that context, I think these guys do a terrific job of writing about Indian cricket. Its highs and its lows.

    If you want to read these guys criticise Gavaskar, read the articles these guys wrote when the Coach Selection fiasco was going on. Gavaskar and Shastri were parodied like no one else. I do not have a link to that, but I am sure you can find it.

    The fact that you are blind to that shows that you lack objectivity and are a fundamentalist.

    You are incoherent as well. I suggest a crash course in the English language.

    Good day.

    SREE

  6. Sree–Sreemathi–chandra–chandran–ardhanareeshwarar

    I am pleased to have relayed my message across to your heart.

    Good to see that you live in a country that still–in 2008–has newspapers like HINDUsthan times, The HINDU etc

    No wonder Pakistan can not play a match in Mumbai

    What a blind following

    If Sachin didn’t hear, nothing was said

    If Sunil says or writes something, it is Veda

    If S Bucknor was dismissed it is Karma

    do you remember the Non test match against South Africa–the same tactic is being employed here , by the same people, to get their own way—because MONEY talks

    I gave up religion and God at 17–because of the discriminations in India, at all levels of life. At 60, I get a chuckle, to be described as a fundamentalist and a twit by an imbecile, moron, fanatic, parochial pig.

  7. Sampath

    Most people I know here have been reading your rantings on this blogsite.

    You have form on your side. All of us classify you as a twit and wonder why you haven’t been committed yet to an asylum near you already.

    To call me an “imbecile, moron, fanatic, parochial pig” on the basis of my first post here makes you even more silly than you seem! You need help… fast!

    Your 60 years of experience means nothing. You were perhaps born a twit. Not your fault.

    Pick up those marbles while you still can. You seem to be losing them at the rate of knots!

    You need some education here. The term “fundamentalist” is not restricted to merely religion. So wake up and smell the roses. If you can’t, then learn. The fact that you gave up religion and God when you were in your teens is irrelevant.

    But then, having said that, I feel only God can help you today!

    Fundamentalism describes “a staunch and strong adherence to a narrowly defined set of beliefs even in the face of criticism or unpopularity.”

    You come across as a blatant and incessant India-hater… based on a few narrowly defined set of beliefs — for example, the names of a few newspapers. And you continue to thump the table and repeat this over and over again like a fundamentalist.

    I am not getting into puerile arguments over names and brands of newspapers. The content of these newspapers matters more to me. You are welcome to continue to judge a book by its cover or the character of a man by the colour of his eyes. But if you are interested, there was a lovely article celebrating the beauty of Islam in The Hindu the other day. It focussed on Islamic poetry while making these observations. I doubt you would be interested in a link, or I would have forwarded it to you. You seem to like window-dressing more than substance.

    And no one said “If Sachin didn’t hear, nothing was said”. You are bent. Sachin presented evidence that he did not hear anything. Three white men presented a view that they heard something. All of them — Sachin as well as the 3 wise men — have vested interests. Unless Proctor has proof, he should chuck all of their statements out of the window as anecdotal at best. Irrelevant, at worst.

    You have demonstrated yet again that for a 60 year old, you are a sandwich short of a picnic!

    SREE

  8. Here we go again

    You refer to three Australian criketers–including Symonds–as WHITE MEN–and not as players

    It is the Racism in you and your friends that is making you think and ink like this
    Racism is like cancer and you need urgent attention

    There is a system of appeal –and that has been put in place. India can’t wait for the NZ judge to hear the appeal, listen to the arguments and then give his learned judgement. from day one, I have said that M Procter was wrong. Then it is upto ICC to take action against Procter.

    But in the interim BCCI officials and Gavaskar threaten–blackmail–to get their own way. Now, we have another official talking about delisting some of the Aussies from the IPL list. Is this cricket? That is what I am criticising.

    When Shewag was suspended in SA, BCCI included him in the next test–which became an unofficial test, robbing the then best all-rounder S Pollock of a test century. ICC which is made up of all cricket playing nations has been rendered useless by its own members–just like UN in world politics.

    If India continues to play this off field tactics tu justify on field problems–merely because they can generate money–the word is not cricket.

    If you want to be in cuckoo land and believe in God–so be it. Don’t waste your time asking him or her or it to help me. I grew up in schools in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore and Pondicherry–in RamaKrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Gandhi school, St Joseph College etc –enough to learn moral values and cut out the crap of flying monkey saving the wife of the boss or a God that wears chain made of skulls and dancing on a child.

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