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    December 27, 2006

    Someone hasn't a clue

    Picture this. Australia are 117/5 when Monty Panesar comes in to bowl on day two at the MCG, trying to get out of a hole (self-dug and thanks to some good bowling). He bowls a lovely first over. But he was bowling to a field, amazingly enough, which was totally unsuitable for the situation. There was a fielder at long-off and a fielder at long-on. I'd have thought that with folks like Hayden and Symonds, who love to take on spinners, especially by hitting down the ground, Flintoff would have not had those fielders in the deep, inviting Hayden and Symonds to take a few risks.

    But they didn't even have to, when they could just tap the ball down the ground and get four singles an over! This was perhaps the exact moment when England lost its grip. A test match that could have been a fascinating, low-scoring one is now doomed to be a one-sided one with the low-scores, in all likelihood, emanating from only one side!

    I've commented a couple of times recently about how captaining a side with two spinners isn't exactly easy. I am now convinced that Flintoff can't even captain a side with one spinner in it!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:13 AM |
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    3 sledge(s):

    "I am now convinced that Flintoff can't even captain a side with one spinner in it!"

    make that..."I am now convinced that Flintoff can't even captain a side with a spinner in it!"

    the one v/s two comparison is fine. but, this is probably the first time, he has had a 'spinner' at his disposal as i dont consider giles to be one. its another matter that you may not even consider him a bowler.

    that said, i have never been convinced about flint's captaincy.

    By Blogger Ganesh (27-Dec-2006, 12:40:00 PM)  

    I find it baffling that Panesar was given a spell (for want of a better word) of _THREE_ overs. When you give him a field with a long on and a long off, it is bloody obvious he is going to be milked for four an over!

    I'm all for a campaign which will get Panesar to take up Indian citizenship. England don't know how to handle him. England don't deserve him. England's coach/captain will ruin his career.

    Come back Monty, all is forgiven! Two surds spinning for India in tandem will be a heck of a sight!

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Dec-2006, 7:30:00 PM)  

    I suppose given England's leaked plans said nothing about field placements at specific periods of play, Flintoff can be excused. It is also interesting how England's plans got leaked. Normally Buchanan plants these kind of leaks (chronological list). Maybe he was the guy who stole the plans and sent them to the ABC!

    Jonathan Agnew in his report for the BBC:

    KEY MOMENT

    I have been quite supportive of Andrew Flintoff’s captaincy in this series, but he went on the defensive far too quickly this afternoon. When a couple of wickets would have brought England back into the game, he brought on Monty Panesar with men posted all over the boundary.

    I can only assume he expected Symonds and Matthew Hayden obligingly to lob a catch down their throats. Instead, it released the pressure - particularly on Symonds, who started very scratchily – and helped build the foundation of their 279-run stand.

    Scott Heinrich in his report for the BBC:

    The introduction of Monty Panesar early in the afternoon, with Australia on the ropes, should have been an attacking move.

    But with fielders placed at long-on and long-off it became a negative one. Neither batsman was invited to play shots or take risks.

    Panesar's spell lasted three, uneventful overs. When he returned later in the session, with both batsmen bedded in, England captain Andrew Flintoff brought the field in and watched ball after ball disappear to the fence and sometimes over.

    Early in the evening, with Australia's lead still well inside 100 runs, Flintoff had three men on the fence square of the wicket. The pressure was off and easy singles were there for the taking.

    The game simply and slowly drifted away from England, and Flintoff looked bereft of ideas.

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Dec-2006, 11:50:00 PM)  


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