Daily Archives: 29 January 2008

Test series wrap up

Here is my summary of the 4-match series…..

Australia

Pluses

  1. Brett Lee – He is bowling the best I have ever seen. In my view he is the best bowler in the world at present – Probably the single biggest difference between the two sides
  2. Matthew Hayden – His batting, specially against India is just awesome – his absence was telling in Perth
  3. Stuart Clark – Started off in McGrath-esque style but tailed off towards the end of the series

Minuses

  1. Lack of a genuine spinning option – This could really hurt in places like SL, Ind and against the English & Souh Africans 
  2. Shaun Tait’s inability to perform in favourable conditions
  3. Batting against sustained swing bowling
  4. For a team that prides itself on aggression and always on the lookout for a win, both the over rate and the scoring rate while batting were not upto to their usual high standards
  5. Catching was well below par

India

Pluses

  1. The re-emergence of Virender Sehwag and possibly, Irfan Pathan
  2. Ishant Sharma – A rare breed of Indian paceman that is not reliant on swing but pace, bounce and the ability to bowl long spells
  3. An ability to sustain (relatively) high energy levels in the field for 3 test matches in a row

Minuses

  1. The abject failure of Wasim Jaffer and Yuvraj Singh against top quality fast bowling
  2. Rahul Dravid’s continued mortality
  3. Harbhajan Singh was (again) woefully short of expectations. He was consistently outbowled by Virender Sehwag and Andrew Symonds in the last two matches.
  4. The bastmen’s (specially the seniors) well recognized inability to retain focus when fighting for a draw. This was evident on the last day at both Sydney and Perth.
  5. The standards of ground fielding seem to have (I know this seemed impossible 🙂 ) dropped further

From an Indian perspective, their poor performance on the last day in Sydney, when they could not bat out two sessions, came back (quit justifiably) to haunt them. I would have loved to see Australia’s batting response in Adelaide had the series been level and they had to go for a win.

 The Black Irishman

Advertisements

Harbhajan Singh cleared of racism charge

The charge of racist abuse against Harbhajan Singh has been lifted. The Indian off spinner has been, instead, charged with abuse, which is only a level-2 charge. This invites a fine rather than a level-3 charge.

Harbhajan Singh was duly fined 50 per cent of his match fees for the Sydney Test by New Zealand judge John Hansen, the ICC-appointed commissioner who was hearing the appeal against Mike Procter’s earlier verdict.

It appears that Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting had written a joint letter to John Hansen asking that the charges against Harbhajan Singh be reduced to a lesser level charge.

This was a workable solution struck between Craigh O’Connor, Cricket Australia Chairman, BCCI officialdoms’ I. S. Bhindra and the two teams! Australia had wanted that Harbhajan Singh not be totally let off. India would not accept a racism charge against its player. Sachin Tendulkar continued to maintain that his co-batsman at the time had not said anything racist to Andrew Symonds. Cricket Australia wanted the tour to continue. BCCI wanted the tour to continue. The players wanted to play cricket. The ICC wanted an end to the controversy.

Now everyone is happy. The credits can roll…

— Mohan

Sehwag – Future Test Captain?

The re-emergence of Virendar Sehwag is a great sign for India. His performance at Perth and and an amazing century in the second innings at Adelaide and the manner in which he got it are strong indications that he is here stay the course. His astute advice on the field, especially his masterstroke advice to Kumble to continuing bowling Ishant Sharma at Perth, and his ability to pick wickets at crucial juncture make him a valuable player once again. With Dhoni’s up and down form in the test arena, at least as far as his batting goes, could this mean that Sehwag may be the better candidate to don the captain’s role after Kumble’s stint? I would certainly consider him as a strong candidate.

– Srikanth