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    October 31, 2008

    Stop getting provoked, India

    If it hasn't been obvious for a while now, it must be now. Australia will continue to get away with abusing and provoking opponents. It is really upto the opposition, and India in particular since these two sides are always having a go at each other, to stop reacting and getting provoked.

    Perhaps it needs reiterating that despite Andrew Symonds admitting, during the hearings, that he had abused and provoked Harbhajan at Sydney, Judge Hansen's judgement didn't result in any sort of action against him.

    Yesterday, when India were on 155/2, Gambhir was attempting to take a couple of runs. When he was about to complete the first run, he found Watson with a raised arm right in front of his face, on his way to the non-striker's crease. He evaded Watson, but then on the return, disgracefully & wrongly chose to stick an elbow out 'accidentally'. Was Watson trying to block Gambhir's path with the raised arm? We won't know. Was Gambhir getting one back for all the abusive words that he'd been copping all day? We won't know.

    Gambhir also had a run-in with Katich yesterday, when he found his path blocked by Katich, in the unfamiliar role of a bowler. Verbals ensued, and Billy Bowden stepped in.

    I didn't notice the umpires step in on the earlier occasion. When you read Michael Clarke's divergent takes on both incidents, it seems to me that Australia wanted Gambhir in the dock for the elbowing, but when it came to Katich blocking Gambhir's way (perhaps deliberately), it was all fair go.
    I did see that on replay and I'm pretty sure the match referee, or whoever, will have a look at that. Like the incident with Kato, it's important we all get on with the game. As vice-captain, I grabbed Watto and just said 'continue to bowl well'. I said 'Say what you have to say and let's get on with it. Let it go, Kato, just get on and bowl, it's fine, let it go'.
    The other thing that gets my attention is the list of 'targets' for Australia. Two conditions need to be satisfied for Australia to pick on them.Harbhajan, Zaheer and Gambhir (so far) do satisfy both conditions.

    Why the match referee chose to only take that incident to fine Watson 10% of his match fee is strange, considering that Watson was consistently hurling abuses at Gambhir, including after dismissing him. After Watson got Gambhir out, his reaction was certainly not "Fcuk, got him at last!". Did Broad ignore the provocation and focus on Gambhir's reaction?

    I think Gambhir is actually in a lot of trouble. Last November, he had been fined 65% of his match fee after an India v Pakistan ODI at Kanpur for running into Shahid Afridi, and was very fortunate that the charge had been downgraded to a level 1 offence. Any repeat of a level 1 offence within 12 months automatically gets upgraded to a level 2 offence, which is what he has been charged with. The penalty is a 50-100% match fee fine and/or 1 test or 2 ODI ban, but decisions can be appealed.

    What Gambhir, the rest of the Indian team, and especially the hot-headed folks, need to realize is that India have Australia by the cojones now. That is why Australia are provoking India's players. The best way to react is to stop being provoked & politely inquire about whether their WAGs will also be sitting on Allen Stanford's lap, smile, ignore the verbals and get on with the game by batting, bowling & fielding well. When you've got a double hundred or taken loads of wickets and Australia are losing, the verbals don't really matter any more!

    Now for the stats. Only 25 players have scored double centuries against Australia. VVS Laxman has now scored the most runs against Australia in the 'Aussie dominance' decade.

    Update: Gautam Gambhir has been banned for a test. The BCCI can lodge an appeal by tomorrow morning. Within 48 hours after the appeal is filed, the ICC has to appoint someone to handle the appeal. That person needs to complete hearing the appeal and arrive at a decision within 7 days. The Nagpur test starts on Nov 6. If the BCCI does appeal, Gambhir will certainly play that test. But I don't think the BCCI will, because Gambhir had pleaded guilty.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 12:07 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    There is a SIGNIFICANT difference between words, and physical contact. Significant!

    But you're right, the sooner sides stop sooking, and remember the old adage from childhood, "sticks and stones will break my bones...but names will never hurt me" and harden up, the sooner they will realise Australia aren't that good at being on the receiving end.

    By Blogger Stu (02-Nov-2008, 3:41:00 AM)  

    Yes, Stu. I'm not making a case for giving both the same punishment. Gambhir was obviously wrong in what he did, especially considering past history. But if there was a constant barrage of abuse which led him to blow his top, a pitiful 10% fee is not the right penalty.

    By Blogger Jagadish (03-Nov-2008, 2:34:00 AM)  

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