Recurring Decimals…..

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Posts Tagged ‘Australia

Dont scratch yourself….

with 9 comments

….err in the arm-pits. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the gesture is racist (apparently a monkey taunt) !!!!

Check for yourself and judge:

I won’t be defending Harbhajan if indeed he made monkey taunts, but if this is the picture that forms the basis of their accusation, it is a very weak one.

[Not justifying anything, but apparently the crowd was also having quite a go at him with shouts of ‘wanker’ (typically Australian) to ‘knob head’/’cut your hair’, a reference to his Sikh religion. Classy stuff.]

The Aussie press has really gone ballistics after their invicible team lost last night. Most of the reports keep focusing on meaningless stuff like how much the Indians celebrated e.g. how Yuvraj and Harbhajan cheekily started a mock shadow boxing round after Hayden was out (hilarious stuff IMO), rather than the game itself.

W hat a bunch of sore whiners.

Take this absurdity from Malcolm Comm whose list of Harbhajan’s past trangressions include:

Others included poking his tongue out in a one-day match against SriLanka and running most of the way to the boundary during the SydneyTest before doing several awkward rolls after dismissing Ricky Ponting

Now you cant stick your tongue out ?!! What about Brad Hogg then ?

And of course, Peter Lalor is at it again, this time raking up a bunch of pathetic excuses for Ricky Ponting’s slump in form.  I am too tired to fisk him, but Mohan at i3j3Cricket has done a pretty good job.

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

March 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Stay classy, Matthew Hayden (updated)

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Updated: Here is the actual mp3 of the Hayden interview from Bisbane’s triple M (via). Apart from the comment on Harbhajan, Hayden mocks Ishant Sharma, mimicking an Indian accent, while inviting the 19-year old into a boxing ring. As I said, real classy behavior from one of the seniormost Australian players.

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  Matthew Hayden, otherwise known as a god-fearing, church-going bloke, and a celebrated cook who also opens the batting for Australia, obviously does not feel that dissing and bad-mouthing your opponents in public is anything that Christ wouldn’t approve of.

Matthew Hayden has stirred already troubled waters by calling Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious weed“, a comment that will only serve to further deepen the animosity between the two sides which has surfaced during India’s current tour.

In the same breath he says:

Hayden played down the incident, accusing the Indians of complaining because “they are losing every game they are playing,”

Erm……even forgetting that India won two games recently againt Sri Lanka, Hayden obviously has a very short memory of his own team’s performance. Btw, Hayden also says that Harbhajan “has been charged more than anyone that’s ever played in the history of cricket.” which is a blatant lie (also consider that Hayden’s captain, Ricky Ponting, has the same number of charges as Harbhajan).

Finally, Hayden is even gracious enough to offer some advice to young Ishant Sharma (who was fined in the last match for helpig a lost Andrew Symonds find his way to the dressing room):

“He is just young. I have said to him many times, ‘You are 19, take it easy’,” Hayden said. “At the end of the day he is 19, why doesn’t he just worry about his bowling for a while?”

What a novel idea ! Wonder if Hayden will heed his own saying and worry about bludgeoning bowlers out of the park rather than talking up shit.

Eventually, it is unfortunate how all these slanging matches are deflecting attention from some fantastic cricket this summer. I am pretty pissed off (at both sides) to the extent I am considering not going to the stadium to watch the second final at the ‘GABBA. Saves me money and the headache you get from drinking XXXX all day.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 26, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Recurring theme and a milestone

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The recurring theme for the first two days of the test match has been India on the verge of putting Australia away for good, but a combination of luck and Aussie resourcefulness sees the game back on even keel. Most commentators are saying that India are on top, but I still think it is anybody’s game, especially with three days left and the wicket still playing true.

After a disappointing morning with the bat, we had the Aussies reeling at 61/5 and hopes were up for a 100-odd runs rout. But then Gilly and Symonds managed to get into the usual rescue act, and what a partnership they produced! Would have loved to be a non-partisan viewer during that period of the game, but sadly their swishing and slaying held little joy. Of course, they were helped to some extent by poor fielding – couple of really sloppy moves by Ishant in the deep let off Gilchrist twice – and importantly, few slices of luck. Symonds is certainly having a charmed series. He was dropped at 3 by Tendulkar, then got a lucky reprieve when a RP Singh yorker squeezed through his defense and yet spun away to miss the stumps. Hopefully his luck will run out at a crucial time during the Australian second innings. 🙂

But overall, no one could have imagined this situation three days ago. Actually, it was predicted that a pace attack would rip through the opposition batting – only it turned out to be Indian medium-pacers, with their wily swing that coaxed out the vaunted Australian batting. The Indian bowling is arguably a second string line-up, given the absence of Zaheer, Munaf and Sreesanth, yet in the scorching heat of Perth, they have bowled with heart. Kudos to RP Singh, Pathan and Sharma. Keep it up fellows – we need it once more this test.

Speaking of Indian bowling, the main news of the day: Anil Kumble reaching a great milestone: 600 Test wickets ! (and what a wicket it was – breaking up the Symonds-Gilchrist partnership).

I will admit there were times when I was exasperated by his bowling, especially ODIs, and believed he was past it. But I am really happy that Kumble proved us skeptics wrong.

Cricinfo has a wonderful timeline of his career.

Make no mistakes, the guy’s a fighter at heart – perhaps not the in your face street-fighter like Ganguly – but all the same, an indominable warrior (and he manages to hide it well behind the modest smile and unfailing gentlemanly conduct). No other moment captures his resilience and grit better than this picture:

The Cricinfo report of the Test match at Antigua says it all:

Not much later, just after news came in that Kumble was flying back to India the next day for surgery, out walked the man himself. Heavily strapped up, with bands going around his jaw, over his head and across the back of it, a semi-mummified Kumble walked out to the middle.

The ball was tossed to Kumble and a slider slipped past Lara’s outside edge off the very first ball. There was much speculation about the wisdom of such a move. Perhaps it was foolhardy to ask a man with a fractured jaw to bowl?

All talk was put to an end, as is so often the case with Kumble, by one delivery. Tossed up, fizzing through, pitching on off and spinning in just a touch, Lara’s across the line swat was not good enough. The pad was struck, Kumble appealed as well as his plaster would allow and umpire David Shepherd confirmed that Lara (4) was plumb lbw.

Congrats Jumbo. Now onto 700 !

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

January 17, 2008 at 9:08 pm

All said and done…

with one comment

…..in case you missed it, there was cricket played over the last five days as well. And some top-notch cricket at that with an even contest right upto that fatal Micheal Clarke over.

(Okay this is the final post about the recent test match…..and will try to restrict to cricketing aspects 🙂 )

You have to admit that the Indian team demonstrated a lot of fight in this game. Their preparation was less then ideal: Beaten comprehensively at Melbourne less than a week ago, with no other practice games in between, they lost their frontline pace bowler to injury and then the toss on a good batting pitch. Yet they made a spirited start with two young seamers and an early umpiring error (first of the many to plague the game) notwithstanding, had Australia on the mats at 134/6. Then there was the (in)famous Symonds reprieve where the batsman luckily nicked the ball to the keeper just as Bucknor had settled into his late morning nap. The rest as they say is history. India had other opportunities to draw or even win the game but were outplayed (and some will say, out-umpired).

Irrespective of all the umpiring errors – India got a couple in their favor, especially Sachin’s lbw reprieve, but on the whole the errors were loaded against them – and what could have been, there are several cricketing aspects where India lost the game, or lost the chance to draw it. And not surprisingly they are the two old bogeymens haunting our cricket – fielding and running between the wickets.

In the field, Australia dropped a few catches (even the ever dependable Gilchrist dropped two easy ones) but on the whole they saved quite a few runs due to athletic fielding. The Indians, barring the a couple of hard chances by Yuvraj, took their catches, but allowed Australia too many easy singles. And its those single which I believe were quite crucial. On the crucial fourth day of the match, India, with a still healthy lead of about 56 odd runs, bowled well. Both the seamers and the spinners created a few problems and run scoring was not as easy as the free-flowing Aussies would have liked. Even with the close-in field, boundaries were hard to come by. Yet, both during the Hayden-Jaques and later the Hayden-Hussey and Hussey-Symonds partnerships, the run-rate never went below 3 to 3.5 odd. That’s because of some excellent running. Moreover, it was not just the sprinting capacity of the batsmen, it was their technique to a great extent where Hussey, Hayden and Symonds all used soft-hands to prevent the ball from reaching the fielders quickly, allowing that extra moment to get the run. Of course, the Australians are masters at the cliched ‘converting ones to two and twos to threes’ game. This ability ensured that not only the scoreboard kept ticking over, but no one batsman had to face the probing line from the Indian bowlers for more than 2/3 balls at a stretch, giving them ample breathing space. I my opinion, this was a decisive factor. Unfortunately, during the the Indian innings, this kind of singles were taken only during the Harbhajan-Sachin partnership. Not surprisingly, it was the one partnership that really rankled the Aussies.

Of course, the fact that India was carrying two passengers in the batting line-up: Jaffer and Yuvraj did not help matters. In the fourth innings, we were effectively playing with 7-8 batsmen. When your number 10 and 11 scores freely against Brett Lee while number 1 and 6 can only shuffle at the crease uncertainly, there is something horribly wrong. Jaffer surely needs to be replaced by Sehwag. If not anything, we might get 10-20 odd runs from the wild slashes and thick edges flying over the slip/gully :). As for Yuvraj, he seemed totally disinterested, weather fielding or while batting – it will not be harmful if someone with a better attitude, like Pathan, who could be an useful bowler as well, comes in his place.

But overall, I am quite proud of the manner in which India obviously rocked the Australian domination boat. With a few decisions going the other way, we were even in with a chance of winning till the last day.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

January 7, 2008 at 12:53 am

Medieval Justice

with 5 comments

[update: Also read this piece by the GreatBong – he is obviously angry. Also, my new post on the cricketing aspects of the test match here].

Mike Procter, the match referee for the recently concluded, controversial India-Australia Test at Sydney, determines that Harbhajan used a racial slur against Andre Symonds (called him a ‘monkey’). Yet he provides no evidence other than the fact he is “satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Harbhajan Singh directed that word at Andrew Symonds and also that he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds’ race or ethnic origin.”

Anantha expresses it much better.

PS – Apparently, Symonds was upset that Harbhajan was patting Brett Lee’s bottom.

Symonds said Harbhajan’s bewildering decision to pat Australian fast bowler Brett Lee on the bottom during play on Friday in the second Test had sparked the furore.

When Symonds asked Harbhajan why he had done this, the fiery Indian – then batting – allegedly called the Queenslander a “monkey”.

Symonds feels he had a greater claim on that piece of ass.

PPS – News Corp is racist. Here is the proof:

picture2.png

PPPS (hopefully the final one): I am not condoning Harbhajan using a racist slur, or even trying to debate whether ‘the word’ is racist or not. There was apparently an agreement between the teams beforehand that ‘the word’ was not to be used against Symonds. But only IF Harbhajan indeed used ‘the word’. The way the inquiry was handled makes it far from certain if it was the case.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

January 6, 2008 at 5:47 pm

12 days of Tassie

with 4 comments

Off to Van Diemen’s Land tomorrow. A slice of history – the original penal colonies and heritage architecture – along with pristine beaches, rainforests, mountains, highland lakes, wildlife (hopefully a sneak peak at the fabled Tasmanian Devil) etc are expected to be the highlights of the trip. Some interesting wines, local brews, fresh produces and possibly even a trip to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory should be part of the gastronomic pleasures. Will also spend the New Years Eve in Hobart on the final day of the boat race.

(Here is a link to the GoogleMap I created showing itinerary for the trip)

So a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all stumblers, lurkers and regular readers here. It has been a rather weird year personally with the sudden change in location, jobs etc. and blogging has not been at its brightest and best either. But it was also a year when a few new friends were made – both online and off. So here’s to newer mates and looking forward to more weirdness and fun in the coming year. Cheers !

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PS – The only small regret is that I will possibly miss chunks of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia. But no worries – comments, rants and arm-chair expertise will resume from the second test.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Australia, Travel

Tagged with , ,

An Aussie Goes Bolly

with 7 comments

Bollywood is currently quite the flavor down under: huge posters for Bollywood dance parties dot the University of Queensland campus (even yours truly has been cajoled to attend one this weekend), film crews are welcomed in various cities, and of course, there is the cross-over talent of Brett Lee (also watch this).

Not surprising that enterprising TV producers are planning to cash in, combining the Bollywood interest with the other obsession common to the two countries, cricket. Gus Worland, a cricket buff who last year made a documentary on spending time with the Barmy Army over the Ashes down under, did something similar in India during Australia’s ODI tour earlier this year. The program, An Aussie Goes Bolly, will be aired next month, coinciding with India’s test and one day tours. The TV channels – both sports and others – are abuzz with the promo:

Cliched and overly caricatured (sure to raise the heckles of a few people I imagine) and passably funny. Still, I am looking forward to the actual show.

While one Bollywood, especially have to share this, possibly the greatest disco moves of all times :

(for some reason, the Russians have a fond affection for this song – its the Awaara Hoon of the 80’s for them)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 12, 2007 at 6:49 pm