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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Picking up mates ~ Steve Smith criticised; days when India was dominated by !!!

Statistics can often be misleading !  ~ yet they are always interesting !!

On the day when India plays Australia at Bangalore, BCCI informs that   Dr M.V. Sridhar, General Manager - Cricket Operations, has decided to move on with effect from 30th  September 2017.  New Zealand have done it once before. So have England. Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka have each done it twice. South Africa have done it five times and Australia six. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have never managed it. And, perhaps surprisingly, neither have India. What is "it", though? A winning stretch of at least 10 consecutive one-day internationals.   India has now won their past nine ODIs on the trot. 
In Bengaluru, today, in what will be their 926th  one-day international, they have the chance to accomplish a 10-game winning streak for the first time in their history of playing the format. An extra reason, perhaps, not to fall victim to dead-rubber syndrome.

India have not lost an ODI since they succumbed to West Indies by 11 runs in Antigua in July; Australia have not won a one-day international since January 26, when they beat Pakistan in Adelaide on Australia Day.   

Sure there would be many criticizing Aussie performance and among that crowd would be some veteran players … Perhaps leading the band is one who is a motivational speaker now – was the scourge for England in his debut series – he was  asthmatic, so  was limited to pretty short spells throughout the series.  He though  best form of attack was to run in as fast as he could every ball, bowled many overs but in short spells, spelling trouble for England in that Series….

Do you remember that England tour of 1982 and the first Test India played in June 1982 … Sunil Gavaskar was the Captain; Ghulam Parkar was preferred to Krish Srikkanth and alongside Alan Lamb and Derek Pringle made their debuts. 

The man is former Australia fast bowler Rodney Hogg who has accused skipper Steve Smith of favouritism in team selection, and also ripped apart the selectors for the run of losses in the ongoing ODI series against India.  “They’re picking their mates. Smith shouldn’t be a selector. (Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates,” Hogg was quoted as saying. “We’ve got to get fair dinkum. We’re really off the ball a bit here ... I think the captain’s getting his own way.”

He said a serious review of Australia’s selection panel and their decision making process was needed if the Aussies are to improve. “All the way down, there’s got to be question marks. All the way across Cricket Australia,” he said. Hogg also questioned Cricket Australia’s decision to call upon Steve O’Keefe to partner Nathan Lyon for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh. Hogg felt Jon Holland should have been picked ahead of O’Keefe. “Holland has proven he can bowl people out, left-arm orthodox is a really hard gig. He’s proven it and we aren’t seeing him,” said Hogg.

In case you don’t know or remember -  Rodney Hogg played 38 Tests took 123 wickets and in 71 ODIs took 85 wickets.  Blond, blue-eyed – he was menacingly fast, as he took 41 wickets in the series against 1978-79 as he got the chance when the side was depleted due to Kerry Packer.  He troubled Geoff Boycott more and kept beating regularly in that series.  Shortly thereafter, he was to tour Australia (rebel tour) as  South Africa was outside bounds due to their  policy of apartheid.  At that politically sensitive time, Ali Bacher imported this team from Australia  to "keep the game alive" in South Africa. The Australian squad that turned up in November of 1985 was: Terry Alderman, John Dyson, Peter Faulkner, Michael Haysman, Tom Hogan, Rodney Hogg, Trevor Hohns, Kim Hughes (c), John Maguire, Rod McCurdy, Carl Rackemann, Steve Rixon, Greg Shipperd, Steve Smith, Michael Taylor and Graham Yallop. -  all bar Faulkner, Shipperd, Haysman, Taylor and Hohns (who went on to play seven Tests in 1989) had played for Australia.  The then  Prime minister Bob Hawke called them "traitors".

Rodney Hogg later  sparked a controversy when he said Don Bradman, considered the greatest batsman to have played cricket, would not have been as successful now as he was in his playing days. Hogg said Bradman wouldn't have averaged his famous 99.94 if he was playing today.

Getting back to the olden days, in June 1982 at Headingley, Leeds  - Sunil Gavaskar’s side had Ghulam Parkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandip Patil, Ravi Shastri,  Suru Nayak  (6/11) – besides Viswanath, Yashpal, Kapil, Kirmani & Madanlal.  In  Oct 1996, when India played South Africa at home, Sujith Somasundar walked with Sachin Tendulkar and that team had – Somasundar, Rahul Dravid, J Srinath, Sunil Joshi, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad from Karnataka  (6 in playing X1) . 

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

28th Sept. 2017

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