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    December 22, 2008

    Morons running and ruining the game

    The fourth day of the Mohali test between India & England got underway at 11 am IST today, after fog caused a delay of two hours.

    India wrapped up England's lower order in quick time and at the time of writing, have a lead of 160 runs. There's no doubt that the aim would be to score at least 150-180 more runs by end of day today, and preferably bowl at least 3-4 overs at England.

    That said, India may (unnecessarily) decide to play it a little safer. Remember that until a week ago, even 387, let alone 414 was considered nearly impossible to chase.

    By the way, did anyone notice that West Indies' chase of 418 against Australia in 2003 had a debutant (Omari Banks) batting when the game was won, and yesterday, South Africa had Jean-Paul Duminy hitting the winning runs? It seems to me that South Africa's lower order batting is at its weakest since they came back to international cricket in 1992. They've always had chaps who could bat down the order. But they got blown away by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings. Since 1992, their #9, #10 & #11 have typically averaged 15-20 runs per wicket, but in the last 2 years its down to 12 & 9!

    What was Ricky Ponting doing as captain? His main spinner was leaking 4.5 runs an over. Yet he didn't even bring on Symonds or Katich to try and do something different? I'm having evil thoughts now about why Ponting did nothing!

    With Kevin Pietersen in such form in the test, there's a very high chance that India will end up batting all day and declaring only tomorrow morning after a couple of overs. Speaking of him, he has 15 test hundreds in just 3.5 years of test cricket. He has 4000 runs in that period, from just 45 tests. He's 28, and could really play for at least another 8 years. If England continue to play more tests than most other teams and he keeps going with his batting, he could end up with at least 12000 runs and 30+ centuries. In fact, I think he may go past Tendulkar and Ponting (if & when he gets there) in the centuries and runs tallies.

    How amazing is that? I think he's a prick, but I have a lot more respect for him than someone like Hayden (I just love the scrutiny Hayden is facing having made 282 runs in his last 13 innings). Pietersen hits some amazing shots, and showed us the reverse hit yesterday. Until his innings yesterday, he only had 221 runs from 8 innings in India. I hope he doesn't get any more!

    Coming back to the Mohali game and why I started this post, isn't it so f#@king stupid that when the light is good enough for play, the umpires decide to take lunch? This, when they've spent the last 2 hours trying to establish when play can start! Spectators and audiences (TV, radio, mobile phones, internet, etc.) get shortchanged due to such stupidity. Yet, the ICC ostrich continues to tell us that cricket is in good shape and its Chief Executives announce, after pointless meetings, that "There was also a general discussion on the issue of Test cricket with Members acknowledging the need to find ways in which this format of the game can be protected and promoted.". There's nonsense happening pretty much on a series-by-series basis, and yet the members keep acknowledging the need to find ways to protect & promote test cricket.

    Speaking of the ICC, has it relaxed the rules on 'public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident or match official' which is normally categorized as a level 1 offense? In the past week, there have been two players who've spoken out in the press conferences about the umpiring decision that ruled them out - Sehwag at Chennai and Pietersen at Mohali have both said that they reckoned the decisions should have gone their way.

    Since there has been no action from the ICC against both players (especially considering Sehwag's statement was a week ago), can we assume that the ICC has decided to allow players a little more leeway in expressing their dissatisfaction with the umpiring? If so, why can't they just announce it officially so everyone can do the same without fear of being pulled up?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:08 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    I don't see what Pietersen and sehwg did wrong. They just voiced their opinion in a decent manner. And RSA do look weak but their bowling with Styen is deadly. Their lower oder is weak but the top order looks secure with smith, kallis, prince and AB.
    Ricky Ponting is a bad captain............................................all the victories have been cause of his great team but now without a team to win how can a always bad captain skipper good now?

    Merry X-mas

    Cheers,
    http://www.christopherdavid007.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger Christopher Poshin David (22-Dec-2008, 5:17:00 PM)  

    Chris: I'm not saying Sehwag and Pietersen are wrong. All I'm asking is why the ICC, which is normally very trigger-happy about such issues, hasn't done a thing about it.

    I'm not yet convinced about South Africa's bowling. Ntini's probably going to be around for a couple of years at most. Morne Morkel hasn't come on as well as most folks hoped he would, which leaves Steyn as the only significant force. There's also a lack of variety in the bowling.

    Ponting's captaincy skills have been evident right from the time he chose to bowl at Edgbaston in 2005, if not earlier!

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Dec-2008, 6:41:00 PM)  


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