Bad starts cause a loss…


India lost a tight game to Australia thanks to two bad starts. India started badly while bowling and recovered in the middle overs! While batting, again, India made a hash of the start. Although the Indian batting recovered from that wobble, the magnitude of the bad start meant that India lost by 18 runs. The fact that India got that close is a credit to the Indian middle-order batsmen!

As M. S. Dhoni said at the post-match interviews, India can take a lot of positives from this game.

When India were bowling, an Australia total of 380 seemed likely at one stage. Australia got off to a sensational start with Ponting and Hayden murdering the bowling attack. In particular, Sreesanth bowled like a millionaire! He bowled so inconsistently that one almost whipped the prayer mat out to seek Ajit Agarkar’s re-appearance in the Indian line up! India pegged Australia down to a less daunting 317. In particular, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh bowled brilliantly. This meant that India’s 4-bowler strategy appeared to have worked… just! I am not sure if this is a strategy that can be persisted with.

Despite the good bowling in the middle overs, in order to win, India would have had to overhaul the highest 2nd innings total at the SCG prior to last night.

Another bad start — this time in the batting — meant that, at 51-4, a score of 200 looked like a huge mountain to climb. Yet, India recovered, thanks to Gautam Gambhir, M. S. Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh to get to a total of 299!

There are positives and these include the middle-overs bowling and the middle-overs batting. There is little doubt that M. S. Dhoni is a calming influence on this team. He rallies his young cadets to keep fighting till the end. In players like Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan, he has a core set of players that will respond positively too.

Gautam Gambhir is batting really well these days. He was in fine form and batted with a calm head on his responsible shoulders. In the absence of firepower at the top and with the dodgy form/knee of Yuvraj Singh, on this ODI tour, Gambhir has been the foundation on which the rest of the team has been built. If he had lasted until the ball-change in the 34th over, the match result may well have been different; a fact that he acknowledged himself in the post-match sound-bytes!

The performance of Robin Uthappa was also a revelation. Prior to this game he hadn’t really had a major opportunity to showcase his undoubted skills. Apart from a weakness that he has early on in his innings — of shuffling too far forward and across — Uthappa looks like a sensational and dependable batsman. He has a calm head on his shoulders and, like Gambhir, appears to love a tight situation! In that sense, he has a Michael Bevan like quality to his batting. Along with the indefatigable M. S. Dhoni, Uthappa looks set to play a long innings in Indian cricket.

The match was played at the SCG, the very cauldron that saw the infamous MonkeyGate explode in the faces of the Australia and India teams! The same venue saw the alleged instigator of that blow-up cause another one last night — this time with Ishant Sharma. After being bowled by a beauty from the young Indian tearaway, Symonds appeared to say something to the Indian bowler who responded by giving Symonds a few directions to the dressing room. It is somewhat unlikely that Ishant Sharma will escape a fine and a reprimand.

Most Match Referees will, these days, slap a fine on send-offs to the dressing-room unless of course, it is carried out by “fine Australian cricketers” — when such actions will be seen as “natural aggression, which should not be removed from the game” or some such platitude. Be that as it may, giving the batsman a send-off is a no-no and young Sharma should be prepared to cop it on the chin!

In another interesting twist in last nights’ game, the match referee, reacting to a claim made on Channel-9 by Ian Healey, seized M. S. Dhoni’s gloves after the veteran Australian gloveman claimed that Dhoni’s gloves were illegal!

The Indian team should ask some searching questions of its opening bowlers and opening batsmen. I would not be surprised if we see either Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag drop down the order in the all-important game on Tuesday against Sri Lanka. Similarly, I would not be surprised if Sree Santh is asked to sit out that game. The team may also want to accommodate Praveen Kumar in the mix.

— Mohan

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30 responses to “Bad starts cause a loss…

  1. Yes, it was exhilarating watching Uthappa’s baseball swings. Can’t really set fields for that kind of step out, walk across, swing across the line school of batting.

    Ah, to be blessed with the quick eye of youth!

  2. Oh those evil Aussies. What does Ian Healy know about gloves anyway????

  3. @JB:

    As is your wont (it seems), you’ve caught the wrong end of the stick!

    I was quite flummoxed by the match ref’s approach. He is supposed to check on all of these things. But of course, he’d rather wait for the comms and other random experts — with or without axes to grind — to do his job!

    The Match Ref thing, in my view, is a junket for the “boys”. It has been constantly eroded by the Cammie Smiths, the Mike Dennesses, et al.

  4. What do you Expect, Symonds & Healy
    are from Queens – Land.

    It MUST be getting Pretty Obvious to all that Symonds Seems to Like starting & getting into confrontations & then amazingly becomes the hard done by victim. Sharma should have just blown Symonds a Kiss. Then again that could attract a Sexual Harrasement Hearing.

    I’ll say it again, Healy is an Embarassment to the whole Commentry Team.

  5. rules need to be consistent for all players. if Gilchrist could cheat with squash ball in the glove, why is it an offence for Dhoni to use the wide gloves? Either both should be punished or both should be let go

  6. Sriranga,

    Why is Gilchrist a cheat for using a squash ball? Please direct me to where the rules state he cannot do this?

    Mokankaus,

    Do you think that there should not be a match ref?

  7. @JB

    Yes! Give the umpires 3 cards: green, yellow and red. That should fix all the on-field nonsense. Moreover, the ties-and-suits that create nothing but trouble can stay where they ought to be — at home, in front of a TV instead of at the ground in front of a TV! 🙂

  8. @ Mohankaus, you have some interesting ideas.

  9. One missed Ganguly very much yesterday with Sehwag and Sachin getting out so quick.Also was not Uthappa lbwed much earlier in his innings and survived due to the grace of the umpire?
    One point to note in this series is third umpire’s involvement is becoming a bit ridiculous for run outs.There were instances where even without the replays it was clear the batsman was quite safe yet the field umpires felt a need to consult the third umpire.Australia’s fielding was not the usual.

  10. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    The officiating – by match referees as well as umpires – in international matches, is getting to be quite laughable now.
    Lets leave the matter of wrong decisions aside for now – the debate on use of more technology et al will go on, and hopefully be resolved.
    But what about the matter of on-field behaviour?
    1.We had the Symmonds – Harbhajan spat; the final ruling by the N Zealand judge was a/ Symmonds provoked / started it b/ it could not be conclusively proved that Harbhajan used the M word c/ However, Harbhajan did use offensive (but not racist) language d/ Result: Harbhajan penalised; Symmonds goes scot free. e/ Reality: the behaviour of both players was condemnable; action should have been taken against both; and BOTH should have been warned of severe penalties if there was any further bad behaviour
    2. Ponting mouths off against Harbhajan. Nither umpires nor the referee takes any notice. Harbhajan to his credit (!) merely stops, stares and walks off.
    3. Symmonds, after being dismissed, moths off against Ishant. Ishant retaliates. Ponting (!) talks to the umpire about Ishant. Umpires talk to Dhoni. Match referee fines Ishant. Symmonds gets away scot free.
    Can someone please explain very clearly to me how any of this is acceptable to a true cricket fan – Indian, Aussie or any other nationality? And, why is it that umpires and match referees are not called in by the ICC, told very clearly that it is THEY that need to curb any bad behaviour when it starts – not just report it after it escalates, and then go on into hearings and penalties et al?
    Some of the reporting on all this, in both the Indian and Australian press, is also absolutely senseless and over the top.This is getting to the stage when I, an ardent fan of all good cricket for 50 years, am getting pissed off with the game.

  11. chris hutchinson

    Cad,

    Get your facts right and the chips off noth your shoulders!

    Symonds was not fined because he didnt do anything wrong – other than provoke the situation.

    My friend! When a cricketer goes out to play he should expect to be provoked so that he can respond – in kind if necessary, but within the rules.

    Your so learned assessment of the NZ judges findings didnt seem to cover the fact that Symonds merely advise him not to touch Brett Lee; in a manner Mr NZ judge described as regrettable.

    Symonds did not mouth off at Sharma! You dont know what he said do you?

    The BCCI have been disgraceful since they had Bucknor removed.

    Your country and it’s vast population will never achieve No.1 whilst you think it’s someone elses fault for what is occurring.

    All the money in the world will not save India from the politics that constantly undermine the efforts of it’s players.

    Australia will age more before they come back to the field.

    But then again, Australia was supposedly gone when the Waughs left! Two world cups later, no losses in those world cups, and three world cups in a row.

    Wake up Champ!

    Or as Symonds said to Sharma and I quote: “Well bowled Champ”

  12. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    Chris Hutchinson
    Get your facts right!
    1. The judge actually said in his judgement, and I quote :”That interchange had nothing to do with Mr Symonds but he determined to get involved and as a result was abusive towards Mr Singh. Mr Singh was, not surprisingly, abusive back”. Pl note, Mr Symonds was abusive, says the judge. The reality is that he was not fined because the umpires did not report him, so there was no enquiry against him.
    2. You say: “My friend! When a cricketer goes out to play he should expect to be provoked so that he can respond – in kind if necessary, but within the rules.” I disagree on two counts. First, I cannot see why anyone should expect to be provoked! Anywhere, even on the cricket field. This is EXACTLY what is disgusting about today’s cricket – not restricted to the Aussie team, though they are arguably the worst. Second, I don’t think anyone need respond – EXCEPT the umpires and the referee with warnings, penalties and then bans on the concerned player PLUS the captain. If the rules need amendment, time the ICC took that on.
    3.Symmonds DID mouth off at Sharma. I don’t know what he said – but why did the match referee not enquire into that?
    4. The rest of your paragraphs deserve no comment – except to say that I have been to your country twice, and thankfully many of the Aussies I met there are more civilised than one who feels free to let loose like you have done. When you can react to comments like mine with some grace, do so. Otherwise please have the courtesy to stay quiet.

  13. Cad

    More over-the-top emotive dribble from a frustrated Indian supporter, when will it ever end?

    Spot on Chris, Indian cricket with all its billions is its own worst enemy at present. God help the rest of world if they get themselves sorted out. Can’t see that happening for a while though.

  14. The only guy to be completely befuddled in all these discussions about Indian cricket must be Badrinath!! He must be wondering what else he has to do to beat the likes of Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary etc to the India team besides having a much better domestic record. He is also the captain of South Zone (and Tamil Nadu) currently and has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the domestic circuit over the past 3 years. If this year goes by without making it, I see him as a classic case for ICL…and that surely will be Indian cricket’s loss!!

  15. chris hutchinson

    Cad,

    Your response is ludicrous! I wont play semantics with you and your word for word rubbish.

    Symonds wasnt reported because he did nothing wrong. Go back to your own account.

    I am a civilised person who is pointing out to you that “provocation” is a very important part of the game of cricket.

    For god’s sake man! When Ishant Sharma bowls a bouncer he trying to intimidate the batsman. Just like Brett Lee, Glen McGrath etc.

    Words are often said.

    Obviously in your eyes Australia is No.1 because we’re bullies. Yes?

    Wake up champ! The real bullies are evident to everyone in world cricket; regardless of the color of their skin.

    You cant preach to be holier than thow! (pardon the spelling) when your country has set out to intimidate all and sundry from the ICC, to the umpires and cricket Australia.

    Your own team have said that they will match Australia’s agression on numerous occasions – and good on them.

    Indian cannot assume control of world cricket without taking responsibility for itself.

    So far, the BCCI’s and your uncivilised and petulant approach is looking sillier by the day.

    Maybe you should go home! Because ou arent learning anything here.

    Oh! Except how to be a bully!

    Regards – and wake up!

  16. Is not dhoni a cheat, his gloves where against the cricket laws and it was with the extra webbing that he caught Gilchrist out.

    Now that is downright cheating and Gilchrist should have been recalled and Dhoni suspended for knowingly bringing the game into disrepute.

    I think India’s sulking at the moment is a) only when they lose- which is most of the time and b) to take the pressure of Dhoni the cheat

  17. Its just a game guys from both sides. It entertains us and us armchair crtics can mouth off all we like , but take no resposibility for our words.

    My request is that all sides just take the word of the neutral umpires and have faith in their neutrality to make an even decision.

    Now back to the armchair discussion , did Dhoni cheat ? not in the eyes of the referree who just advised him to not use those gloves again no penalty, q.e.d. he is not really guilty of anything.

  18. It’s all very well being pro Indian but that shouldn’t mean being anti anybody else.

    Regarding the Ishant/Symonds Send Off issue I waited until the facts were in.

    I hadn’t seen the game live but did see the replay & had a different view.

    It now seems al; Symonds said was “well bowled champ” & this was sufficient to set Ishant off with his bad mannered and highly visible display.

    Poor old Simmo. He gets bagged for saying that international cricket is not the place to be friendly, so he congratulates the bowler ,somewhat like saint Bhajii but without the physical contact, gets abused for his trouble and accused of provocation !!!!

    Meanwhile the issue of MSD’s gloves is casually swept under the carpet.

  19. Another Indian loss, and another well-timed deflection from the Indian authorities. The team cheats (twice) and has the cheek to put the heat back on the aussies. Indian cricket will continue to be a world joke while their media and supporters get sucked into this.

  20. Regarding the Ishant Sharma Fine

    Below are two quotes. The first from the Express India reporting the Indian teams manager complaint about the Australian team and the second from the Mid day Express.

    They are totaly contradictory either:-
    The manager is misrepresenting his player
    or the player lied to the manager
    or the manager is trying to mislead the public & the ICC
    or the manager doesn’t know what is going on
    or the player lied to the match referee.

    Of course there is one other option. The reporter got it wrong, no doubt they will seek a retraction.

    When I first saw the replay I saw Symonds head snap back as if in reaction to words, he then replied (wrongly I believe) then Sharma gave the big send off. This is what Ponting said and in light of the quotes I know who I choose to believe

    The manager

    “Our plea was Symonds provoked Ishant and that’s why he did what he did,” said Soni. “The match referee has promised he would have a word with the Australian captain on the matter.” Ishant was called up for hearing by Crowe this morning in Sydney after the two umpires lodged a complaint about the Indian’s gesture towards Symonds, who was bowled for 59 in the 45th over of the Australian innings in Sunday’s match at the SCG.

    The Player

    Quote from Mid Day Express reporter Debasish Datta

    “For the last few Tests, I have been learning to bowl the slower delivery from Venkatesh (Prasad). And the moment I deceived Symonds with one, I wanted to thank him. That is why I was pointing towards the dressing room,” Sharma apparently told Crowe.

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  22. Mark from Sydney

    Indians are the worst sledgers in world cricket. But give them time, they’re a young team, they’ll get better at it.

    Good match report Mohan. Don’t agree with your sledging report though. Did someone punch someone? No. Then the level of “provocation” remains dubious. Also I noted that I Sharma was quite liberal in the dropping of the F word in a match against Sri Lanka recently.

    The more I see of this boy (he is only 19) the more I see Glenn McGrath. In both ability and demenour. There will be quite a few batsmen around the world sleeping a little less easily.

    And all power to him. He is the find of the summer. So “well bowled champ”.

  23. In the “glouse” episode of Dhoni, the channel 9 commentary team and in particular Ian Healey was instrumental in escalating the debate. I wonder how many times the cameraman would have showed his gloves and the third umpire can’t use his brain of what is acceptable or not acceptable except to be influenced by the channel 9 commentary team. I wonder whether the same commentary team would have had sense to use this example had Gilchrist used something similar to Dhoni and it would have completely escaped everyone’s attention !!! What a stupid episode of the glouse issue !!!!!!

  24. Could there be a possibility that Sharma misheard Symonds? Sharma doesn’t really speak good English. And Symonds with his Oz accent! They both don’t actually speak the Queen’s English. And Symond’s is not exactly known for his complementary gestures in the field. If ever, this would have been a first one!

    What a crappy excuse by Sharma –
    “And the moment I deceived Symonds with one, I wanted to thank him. That is why I was pointing towards the dressing room,” Sharma apparently told Crowe.

    He should have just kept quiet and except the fact that was very un-cricket for that send off even if provoked!

    And Sharma’s F word to the Sri Lankan batsman (Sangakara, I think) was uncalled for! I was shocked he actually uttered that word!

  25. There is no doubt that India batsmen showed enough resistance in the match but it was their early setback that they failed to get over at last. However, Uthappa and Gambhir made it clear that it was very possible for Indian to win the match if the top order had not collapsed. However, what made me impressed is the positive approach of Indian batsmen and it should be continued to pose a real threat in Aussies domination in the cricket world.

  26. And if you thought things were going swimmingly, Hayden has just jumped in, head, foot and arms flailing… by calling Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious weed”… Don’t know what sort of weed that big fella has been smoking lately, but it is clearly having an effect!

    The Indians think he called Harbhajan Singh a “mad boy” in Sydney. The big man from Queensland — let’s not forget, a good friend of Andrew Symonds — said, he called him a “bad boy”.

    Phew, that makes it alright then!

    The “bad boy” tag — rather than the “mad boy” yelp — becomes even more acceptable to Hayden because he thought in his own simple mind that Harbhajan Singh should be flattered. But of course, for “Bad Doy” is “a clothing range.” Eff me! Of course! Duh! What the…..?

    Did these guys go to school at all? Not that they have to, mind you.

  27. to Bala

    Simple answer, Gilchrist would NOT cheat like Dhoni and try and get away with something that is OBVIOUSLY AGAINST the rules

    Bring on the finals, my prediction a 2 – 0 Aussie win and more complaints from the losers

  28. Shaz,

    One of your other arrogant friend suggested a 3 day test test sometime back at Perth. Watch out Buddy.

    One Man Sachin is sufficient to ruin Ozs like did in Sharjah.. watch your words 🙂

  29. chris hutchinson

    Mohan,

    You guys really need to stop trying to find a way to justify India’s position as the most fined cricketing nation in the auspices of the ICC!

    With regard to sledging and on field banter, this is an offensive sledge:

    “Hey Eddo! Why are you so fat?”

    Eddo Brandes, being a fair dinkum, yet Zimbabwean replied:

    “…cos everytime I …. your wife she gives me a biscuit!”

    This too was delivered by Matthew Hayden and was obviously delivered in a competitive relationship where a rapport had been established and the hilarity (given the offensive nature) was obvious to all involved.

    The BCCI and most Indian bloggers seem to have this insatiable need to nail Australia for there verbal deeds on the ground.

    Regardless of whether you or any other blogger thinks it’s unnecessary or not is a mute point.

    An Australian would not try to say such a thing to an Indian these days (let alone call them a “motherfucker”) because it would be used as a reason to humiliate Australia. An the cricketer would no he COULDNT get away with it

    If an Indian said it to an Australian, it would be because “I was provoked”.

    Mohan you are either in this country or have been so you no that the average person is a good person, littered with a bunch of tools who may be very offensive etc.

    But if you think blogger or the BCCI touching up our cricketers in this manner will make Indian cricket great (along with rich) and these blogs forums to talk about such greatness – think again!

    Until such time as you can put Australian churlishness on the cricket field in a box, and absolve yourselves of any such wrong doing, then consistent success let alone greatness is beyond India.

    Regards

  30. chris hutchinson

    Karthick,

    Parochialism has got India nowhere mate!

    You came out here with the best batting side in the world apparently. Then after Perth your coaches said you had the best bowling side in the world.

    Take up boxing mate then you might, just might lay a glove on us.

    Forget about people who thought the Perth test would only last three days. India was too good.

    But considering Indias love of one day cricket – why did your World Cup last just over three days – i.e matches.

    Pay attention mate!

    regards

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