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    November 20, 2008

    Andrew Symonds can start fishing again, Ponting plays preacher

    Australian cricket fans and followers would have heaved a sigh of relief (certainly the coach and captain did!) as Andrew Symonds was named in the squad for the Gabba test against New Zealand.

    Is it an indicator of how uncertain Australia's selectors are that they've announced a squad for only the first test of a two test series?

    In any case, my main concern is about whether the commentator (on television, radio or the internet) will say 'fishes outside off-stump' if and when Symonds does so.

    Will Symo go and beat up the commentator, or will he hire MacGill, Hayden or even Harbhajan to do that job?

    Somehow the Australians seem to be in 'The Nile' denial about the fact that they got the over rate calculations horribly wrong and the resulting decisions went a long way in determining the series outcome. Hayden first said that the problem also lay with batsmen, officials, spectators in third world countries, etc.

    I know there's a huge furore in India about his remarks. I'm not really bothered about it. When Australia's players make stupid excuses, it is an indicator of how much they're actually worried about their game & the team.

    Ponting now acts as the elder statesman of the game by preaching about how it is everyone's responsibility. This, despite Ponting (& by implication, Australia) already having been hauled up a whopping five times in the year (Perth test, Sydney ODI, St. Kitts ODI, Jamaica test ,Nagpur test) for a slow over rate. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, enough, none of those instances are found in the ICC's penalties list for 2008, but I did find them on the media releases list.

    The next worst teams in terms of being penalized for over rates are Sri Lanka & South Africa (3 each). After that England (2) and then a whole set of teams with 1 each - India, Hong Kong, Pakistan, West Indies & Bangladesh.

    So exactly what's Ricky Ponting talking about when he says it isn't a problem restricted to Australia alone? He really needs to set his house in order first before preaching to others!

    Update: I just found out to my dismay that Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain and skilful spinner, will turn 30 in a couple of months! How ridiculous is that? I thought he'd remain the 23-25 year old forever. At any rate, that's how he's been all these years!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:11 AM |
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