Wrong award choice - part 3
It is the time for yet another post on a wrong choice of awards by administrators. In 2005, Jacques Kallis was overlooked
for the man of the match award for his brilliantly relevant batting display in game five of the one-day series in India. In 2006, Kevin Pietersen's inability to play his role
as his side's best one-day batsman was not rewarded either with a man of the series award.
Yesterday, as West Indies chased 339 against India at Nagpur
, Marlon Samuels played the kind of innings Jacques Kallis would have been proud of. He came in with the score reading 102/1 in the 17th over, after Gayle and Chanderpaul had waded into some extremely ridiculous bowling on a superb batting track. West Indies had to get 7 an over over nearly 34 overs, certainly a tough ask. Samuels made it even tougher for his side. He did have his moments, especially with a couple of blows against Harbhajan, but West Indies were really handicapped by the fact that Samuels monopolized the strike during his partnership with Chanderpaul. When Samuels came in (102 in 16.2 overs), Chanderpaul had scored 40 in 38 balls. When Samuels left (175 in 33 overs), Chanderpaul had scored a further 27 runs in 44 balls while Samuels made 40 in 60 balls. They scored at 4.4 runs an over in those 16-odd overs. Obviously credit must be given to the bowlers (Agarkar and Harbhajan especially) when they bowled some tight overs early on in the partnership.
India maybe made a mistake by dismissing Samuels, because it allowed Lara to come in and express himself and gave West Indies a real chance of a win, which would have been a record
in most other circumstances, except for the fact that they'd still have fallen short of the record by nearly 100 runs
Ok, now lets set the snide remarks aside. But why was Chanderpaul given the man of the match award? Yes, a score of nearly 150 with his side chasing a huge total was a brilliant effort. But this was, all said and done, a great wicket for batting. In contrast, the bowlers might as well not even have turned up. Well, except for Zaheer Khan. He bowled brilliantly, except for a couple of overs early on. He finished with 2/48 in 10 overs, streets ahead of every other bowler in terms of economy rate. When West Indies needed 8.5 an over, he bowled 3 overs for 13 runs (and dismissed Samuels). The moment he finished his spell, the impact of his parsimony was felt as Chanderpaul and Lara cut loose against Sreesanth, Tendulkar and Harbhajan. When Zaheer came back for his final spell, West Indies needed 11.5 an over in 7 overs. He conceded 15 in 2 overs, and dismissed Bravo.
Why should a batsman be named man of the match when both sides scored over 325 runs? Why wasn't a bowler recognized?
Meanwhile, in other news, there's an absorbing finish in store at Port Elizabeth as Pakistan chase 191 for victory against South Africa
. I'm tempted to put money on South Africa though.Update
: I really need answers in the form of comments here. What was Sourav Ganguly on when he told BBC Sport that England would fare well at the 2007 World Cup
? Was he clearly inebriated by his brilliant 98 in his first one-day international for India since a triangular series final in Zimbabwe
, after which Chappell's leaked email took the spotlight
and Dravid was named skipper
Labels: awards, ganguly, kallis, lara, pietersen, samuels, zaheer khan