Monday, January 3, 2011

Khawaja (who ?) replaces Ponter at SCG

The game is known for its fickleness – change is most constant and perhaps the curtains are drawing closer to some one hailed at times as the best Aussie could produce.

Punter,   Ricky Thomas Ponting (19-12-1974) is not playing in today at SCG against the traditional opponents the Poms – the specialist right handed batsman, good close in fielder and for long touted as best Captain of Australia is nursing a finger injury.  Michael Clarke is the stand in skipper and do you know who his replacement or atleast the fact that he is not an Australian but an Asian ?? 

Indians play their last Test of the present series at Cape Town  which is on the shore of Table Bay, a natural inlet of Atlantic Ocean.    This was a place originally developed by Dutch East India company (some East India connection to us !!)   and here, Dhoni left his losing habit (with the toss) with the last year and started the new year on a high with the right call and inserted the host in. 

The SA captain Graeme Smith was weary of facing Zaheer and left the first strike to Alviro Peterson  but still got out to him – struck plumb in front.   Though sometime was lost in the morning due to bad light, two rain interrruptions, 74 overs of play was possible with natural light augmented by artificial ones  and SA ended at 232 for 4 with Kallis unbeaten on 81.    The pitch is not quick or bouncy and batsmen could wait to play their shots.  Lots of action remains to be seen, before any comment could be made on the possible outcome of this match.

At Sydney Cricket Ground, England are in an enviable position with 2-1 lead in the series and  Ponting forced out of the game.  Ricky made his debut for Tasmania in 1992 and represented Aussies in ODI in 1995.  Became ODI captain 2002 and in Tests in 2004.  He has been a very successful captain marshalling quality Aussie team.

His replacement for the game is  Usman Khawaja, first Muslim to wear a baggy green.  He reportedly is a qualified pilot, plays for New South wales.   In 27 first-class matches Khawaja averages 51.70 and after 30 first-class innings for New South Wales was the state's sixth-most prolific run-scorer.  He made his debut today alongwith Michael Beer, the spinner.

Usman Tariq Khawaja,  24, is a  left-hander born in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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