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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aussie off to rousing start ............. and the Sydney bowler

The final Test started today at Sydney – Steve Smith won the toss, Aussies batted their way to a strong position on day 1.  Sydney is the state Capital of New South Wales and this most populous city is on south east coast on the Tasman sea.  The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Captain Arthur Phillip, of the First Fleet, as a penal colony.-  life has changed totally and now Sydney consistently ranks high in World city for quality of life.  

More than 3 decades ago, a 38 year old, an Engineering surveyor, debuted against a strong touring side  - this man went on to play only 11 tests taking 34 wickets but did considerable damage in two of them.  That David Boon’s Test debut and turned out to be Kim Hughes’ last as Australian captain, an eight-wicket defeat prompting his resignation after Test cricket’s 999th match.  He bowled in only one innings, taking 2-97 off 27 overs as the West Indians, with Richie Richardson cracking 138 and Clive Lloyd 114, reached 424.  He had to face  Garner, Marshall, Holding and Walsh, batting at No. 10, ahead of Rodney Hogg, survived 22 deliveries in the first dig before flashing at and edging a Garner short ball. He had time to turn and watch Dujon, standing about 20m back, glove a spectacular catch. His second innings was brief: knocked over first ball by Marshall.

At Sydney today, India made wholesome 4 changes.  With MSD not playing, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma were  left out, Wriddhiman Saha, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Bhuvneshwar Kumar came in. KL Rahul gets another chance and would open this time.  For Aussies, Mitchell Starc comes in for  Mitchell Johnson, who has a minor hamstring injury.

The bowler mentioned earlier is Bob Holland who after his 38th birthday debuted.   At Sydney, it was to be the farewell test for Big Clive Lloyd – Alan Border was the new Captain, Aussies batted first.  Kepler Wessel’s 173 hoisted them to 471/9, Holland not required to bat and WI pacers  Marshall, Holding and Walsh going for more than 100 runs.  The powerful lineup of  Greenidge, Haynes, Richardson, Gomes, Richards, Lloyd, Dujon was bundled out for 163 – with Bob Holland taking 6/54 and Murray Bennet taking 2.   Border enforced the follow-on and the wicket continued to turn. This time, Bennett got Richards.  Holland made use of the conditions, bowling with control and variation, to take 4-90, giving him 10 wickets in the match. 
The Australians won by an innings and 55 runs.  He toured England the following winter, playing in four of the six Tests. He took 5-68 at Lord's. In Sydney the following summer, he bowled Australia to victory over New Zealand with another 10-wicket haul, in the series won by the Kiwis 2-1.

He played last in January, 1986, against the Indians at the SCG. Gavaskar, Srikkanth and Armanath made centuries and the leg-spinner had  1-113 off 21 overs. The flamboyant Krishnamachari Srikkanth went after him, hitting 20 in a single over – which in those days was too much. 

That match in Jan 1986 ended in a draw.  Sunil Gavaskar and Krish Srikkanth had a partnership of 191 and the next wicket fell at 415 only. Aussies were all out for 396 with runrate of 2.20 per over; followed on and saved the match with score at 119/6 in 77 overs.  Srikkanth who made 116 off 117 balls was the man of the match.    
         
Way back in Jan 1978 in Test no. 814  - Bob Simpson’s team was bundled out for 131 in 49.4 overs with Bedi taking 3 and Chandra 4.  Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan played well and the first wicket fell at 97.  Gundappa Viswanath was the top scorer with 79, Karsan Ghavri made 64  as India declared at 396/8.   Prasanna took 4 wickets as India won by an innings and 2 runs. 

In the early morning around 0600am we listened with glee as Madanlal took a very good running catch off Karsan Ghavri to dismiss Peter Toohey.  Those days, substitutes would not be allowed to stand in specialist positions.  Describing that catch, the Commentator said going by that Madanlal should not be allowed anywhere in the ground. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Jan 2015.


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