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Brief thoughts on MCG win

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Kudos to the Indian team – especially the young bowlers for pulling off a win yesterday over Australia, espcially for bowling them out for 159. The pitch was helpful to the bowlers, but far from a minefield and to dismiss the strong Aussies line-up cheaply requires special effort (more on the bowlers briefly).

There was a bit of help from umpire Koertzen, who twice failed to spot edges: Gilchrist’s inside edge in the Aus innings and Sachin’s slight outside edge. Although a single ODI victory will never compensate for a possible series tie or victory in Tests, there is somehow a divine retribution in these decisions that went against Australia. However, I have to say that while Gilly’s inside edge was plainfully obvious, Sachin’s was not, no matter what the AGP or the Channel 9 commentary team keeps saying. Firstly, in the super slo-mo replay, there was no apparent change in the revolutions of the ball that should occur after it hits the bat. Secondly, the snicko showed a blip, but only after the ball had passed the bat ! This is not to say that there was no nick, but that there was enough doubt for the decision to go in Sachin’s favor.

Of course, that did not keep the Channel 9 team, especially Ian Healy from spewing nonsense. He kept droning on about the decision, and went as far as to suggest – quite ridculously – that when umpires cannot hear nicks due to stadium noise, they should employ ‘psycology’ to make decisions ie go by the how genunine the fielding team’s appeal is !!! The cheekiness of this suggestion boggles the mind especially considering how Shane Warne has so much as admitted that Australian fielders actually ‘work’ on the umpires for close decisions.

A word about Dhoni’s leading of the team. In recent history of Indian cricket, this ODI possibly winessed one of the most agressive captaincies. Dhoni kept up the attack on the Aussie batting, realising that wickets were the key to choke runs from arguably the best and deepest batting order in the world. He has mentioned that he relies on instincts – but how good did the sixth sense serve him yesterday? He kept Sharma on even after the 19-year old was belted for 18 runs by Hayden, and the youngster repaid the faith by taking out his tormentor. Dhoni perhaps made a couple of errors, but on the whole I like his instinctive stuff.

Finally, an extra round of applause to the Indian pace trio of Sharma-Sreesanth-Pathan. Ishant Sharma has been the big revelation on the tour and I mentioned how he came back from a thrashing to take Hayden’s wicket. He has made a bunny of the world’s best batsman (taking the mantle from Harbhajan). Yesterday , he even kept bowling at 145-150kmph range. A future star for sure.  Sreesanth seems to have cooled down a bit: not even bothering to celebrate as he took the wickets of Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken. Pathan was his usual cool self, and gave very little width to the batsman.

Hopefully, cricket authorities in India will treat these young fast bowlers properly and not risk burning them. I especially hope they do not go the Ashish Nehra and Balaji fade-out way. The least the Indian board can do is give these guys some sporting pitches to play on in India.

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Australia, Cricket, India

One Response

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  1. […] of brilliance in bowling and batting at the rain-soaked GABBA encounters, followed by a good win at the MCG, and then losses to Australia in games that could have been won, a trundling win against Sri Lanka, […]


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