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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Malinga’s hat-trick and Varun Aaron to play in ODI series against England

Can you identify this bowler ?  From his debut in 2004 to till date, he has come of age and has traversed a long way – mesmerizing and hurrying the batsmen with his slinging  toe crushers and by his different looks !

Lasith Malinga was the surprise selection for Sri Lanka's tour to Australia in 2004, though he had a fearsome reputation on the domestic circuit.  Though there had been some slingers including the electric Jeff Thompson,  the action of Malinga has proved to be too difficult to pick up by International batsmen.  It was reported that once during the tour of NZ, kiwi batsman asked the Umpire to change the colour of their trousers as he struggled to pick up the low arm action.  He is a genuine strike bowler as SA found him in one of the last overs in WC 2007  when they lost 4 wickets to him.

Almost 11 years after the advent of the ODI, the first hattrick came – Jalaluddin of Pak took it against Australia in 1982; the third was recorded by Chetan Sharma in 1987 WC against New Zealand; Kapil also achieved it once. Lasith Malinga is the first man to take three one-day international hat-tricks as Sri Lanka secured a consolation victory in the final ODI in Colombo.  It could be tail enders -  Malinga began the sequence with a fast yorker that
got through Mitchell Johnson's defence, followed up with a low full toss that rapped John Hastings, and rattled the middle of Doherty to complete the spell.    Australia from 210/5 lost their remaining half for a solitary run. 

Elsewhere at Oval, India had little to celebrate.  Until this result, Dhoni had not lost a series as captain and the mighty Dhoni is shaken.  For all his success, courage and risk-taking ability, India's World Cup-winning captain has, within four months, become part of India's most monumental series surrender in the last decade.  It must rankle badly for the Team and for the Nation, lest there would never be a fightback.

With Sehwag and Ishant also out of the ODI series to follow, lot could be debated on the involvement of the Team in the lucrative IPL where everyone showcased fitness and performance !  whether it is the luck or the performance of the new coach Duncan Fletcher also remains to be discussed.    At Oval  - with figures of 38-3-170-0, will the unlikely hero of the  5th day try to forget this match or remember his knock is a riddle !

The ignominy is complete.  But at lunch, it was altogether a different story.  It was a healthy 216 for 3 with Tendulkar 72* and Amit Mishra 57* - yes Mishra survived everything and was batting so firmly when India went in for lunch.  For the eternally hopeful Indian fan, it did look that Sachin Tendulkar would reach the  greater milestone looming nearer.  More than the thoughts of the historic 100th International hundred, the very thought that it would also bring about a change in fortune of India’s fortune salvaging a draw gave hope and sweet thoughts – alas it turned out to another day dream.  It was over 76 – third ball when Mishra got out – bowled by Swann for a heroic 84 – score board read 261 / 3  at that time.  Wickets fell in a heap,  Tendulkar followed in the next over, Raina was dubiously given out LBW when there clearly was an inside edge, Dhoni went for an ugly chase, RP Singh was CBW – the score suddenly read 269-8 ; 5 wickets in 7 runs.  Soon after Gambhir threw his and Sreesanth followed presenting  England win by an innings and 8 runs ; series win  4-0  - Plenty of smiles for England  and total despair for the Indian fan. 

Keeping bygones to be bygones – there are to be a single T20 on 31/8/11 @ 22:30 IST at Old Trafford; followed by 5 One dayers on Sept. 3(Sat), 6(Tue), 9(Fri), 11(Sun) and 16(Fri).  The team is battered, bruised and injury ridden.   Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma have been ruled out  now -  Mumbai batsman Ajinkya Rahane and Jharkhand fast bowler Varun Aaron will replace them. Much has been written about  Aaron about the 153 kmph he bowled in Vijay Hazare trophy and his ability to clock regularly  over  140kmph.  He is from Jharkhand and loves bowling fast.  In a country starved of genuine quickies whether he will prove to be a hit, remains to be seen.  

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

1 comment:

  1. "Varun can bowl a bit quicker than some of the other Indian bowlers," said Dhoni.That is the silliest and most discouraging comment one can have from a captain when he can bowl much faster than our military medium bowlers. I think a few good words wud help his fellow Jharkhandi do better next time on.