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Monday, September 12, 2011

A tie : England Vs India – 4th ODI at Lords and 24 times earlier…..

Do you remember that a medium pacer from Bhihar  by name Subroto Tara Banerjee once played for India  !  There was a popular joke that during the early tour of 1974, Indian cricket team could not smoke – as they had lost all matches !!

At Lords yesterday, India made 280 for 5 aided by a flashy innings by Suresh Raina well supported by Dhoni – still the victory on tour remained elusive.  England were 270 / 8 in 48.5 and rain ensured a tie by DL method. 

A tie is not totally new – twice it has happened in Tests and 25 times in One dayers.  India has featured in 5 of them (2 against England; 2 against Zimbabwe and 1 against West Indies).  Remember the 11th match Group B of the WC 2011  - the  match was a real humdinger and went down till the last ball – a tall scoring match at that  676 runs – 18 wickets.  It was rank poor performance by Indian bowlers not able to defend 338.  The ground fielding was poor, slow movers, bad throwing arms, slackened attitude.   With only 12 balls to go, England were 310/7 – tail enders Bresnan and Swann at the crease and 29 required.   It was Piyush Chawla – a dot ball and then second was swept by Swann for a huge six.  The fifth ball Bresnan hoisted him over midwicket for another six.  15 conceded and in the last they required 14 off 6 with 2 wickets in hand.  That match also brought the comic 2.5m rule to the fore. 

Months after, things have only worsened.  The bowling lacks the sting.  With no Zaheer / Ishant, Munaf is the lead bowler who regularly leaks more than 50.  Rudra Pratap Singh on his comeback did take wickets (3) still gave away 59 off 9.  Part timer Ravindra Jadeja gave 60 in his 9; Ashwin 44/10; Raina 13/2.  Praveeen was relatively impressive with  9-0-35-1. 

In the last match Munaf displayed frayed tempers when Jadeja threw himself at deep – Munaf with his attitude to fielding expected everyone else to be sharper than imagination.  Yesterday Ravindra Jadeja displayed his immaturity.  Bresnan pushed toward long off, Munaf casually strolled – Bopara and Bresnan rushed for the second – Jadeja made a wild throw at the keeper wide for an overthrow four.  England got 6 when a decent fielding would have given a solitary run.  

The rain threat was looming large – it did eventually stop the play when 7 balls were to be bowled – England required 11 of them with Anderson and Finn at the crease.  Through Bopara played a great innings of character and in the end Swann made much difference.  In the dying stage he was run out and Bopara was out trying to clear but well taken by Jadeja of Munaf.   If Bopara had blocked that ball England would have won by one run.  When rain first stopped play, Indians were marginally ahead but at the second an over later England were 2 runs ahead of DL requirement.  

At least for the last match, India could leave out Dravid and Munaf and give Varun Aaron and Manoj Tiwary a chance.

Subroto Banerjee, a MRF product was expected to perform well especially well on bouncy Australian wickets and made his debut in ODI 692 played at WACA Perth against West Indies.  In the day night match, India batting first, lost wickets at regular intervals and were bundled out for  126.  Ambrose, Marshall and Cummins took two apiece.   Desmond Haynes was out for a first ball duck to Kapil Dev.  WI were also all out for 126 in 41 overs.   The debutant Baneerjee bowled well for a spell of 10-2-30-3.

Quite unfortunately, Subroto went on to play total of 6 one dayers taking 5 wickets in all.  In the same series, he played a solitary test – in fact bowled in only one innings of that test – took 3/47 which  were Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh.  He toured South Africa the next season but did not play any other Test match.  In domestic, he once took 7 for 18 against Tripura in 1989-90.

There are some who get more chances than what they ever deserve and there are plenty of others who never got their due !!

That is true in Life as also Cricket……………….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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