Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A terrible mix up

Terrible mix-ups are no rarity as far as Indian Cricket goes. We have quite a few senior (and hence slower?) players in our side who are poor at running between the wickets. This often leads to misunderstanding and mix ups resulting in run outs. In most of such incidents, the shot played is not too bad, the fielder's skills are not required to be exceptional; all it takes is a bad call and in a split-second one of the batsmen is on his way back.

I think something like this happened after Sydney Test was lost.

The shot was decent: We had good evidence to appeal against Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson. Even the umpires should understand that.

Fielders did not have the best of skills: Aussie attitude towards their catching calls, and determination to stay put at the wicket until and unless the finger went up was nothing exceptional. Approach of putting pressure on the umpire rather than the batsman was also a simple enough trick, which worked (an understatement?)

Yet, a bad call has cost us the wicket: I'd call it a terrible mix-up indeed.

The issue at hand, was not ban on Harbhajan Singh for a level 3 offense. If there was a deliberation that lasted eight hours as reported by the press, I think already enough protests would have been registered in front of the match referee. Then, if the inconclusive reply of events points that Harbhajan was at mistake, no harm in accepting the ban. We should really have put our energies on having better umpires standing in next Test. Now that we lost the case of Singh, we have woken up only to realize that Bucknor would be deciding on the appeals in Perth. The prospect of this double setback brought out the baby cries (I am reluctant to call our team a baby team, but can't help the expression!).

To accept the half-truth, if any, about Bhajji, and go for the big one, I think, would have been a better choice. Calling off the tour is not justified, neither is not protesting against the umpires. I agree we deserved a draw at SCG, but at the same time, I think it is proving to be a stronger motivation to perform better at Perth. And boy! We need good umpires there. We cannot have such mistakes committed consistently against only one team over four-five days.

And that's why, I call it a tactical mix-up. Hope we can recover from this wicket and build a stronger partnership.

On a side note, imagine this: Such horrible judgmental mistakes take place against the Aussies in England, when they are 1-0 down in a five match Ashes series. How would Ricky Ponting have reacted then?

I agree that winners should keep winning. But not at all costs. Unless they are challenged, and their position overturned, game would be monotonous and boring. Not to mention, the winners would get complacent too! Perhaps, that's why I have always supported the second ranker! [Take English Cricket and Football teams, Liverpool FC, Nadal/Djokovic, or Hamilton. And be assured, I'll revise the list may my teams win :-)]

Update:
Just as I pressed the Publish Post button, I stumbled upon this news. It's official! Steve Bucknor won't stand in Perth Test.

1 comment:

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