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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lung Opener at Australia - Peter George - Who ?

After playing WI at home – Indians embark on a tough tour – Down under conditions would be far different and more challenging and winning in Australia is always a challenge and a pleasure when achieved.  This trip comes after the disastrous tour in England where India lost all the matches.
After the match at Holkar, more is expected of the cavalier Virender Sehwag – a 200+ is an extraordinary milestone in a One dayer and its importance will be understood when you look at it statistically.   It comes after 4 decades – the first One dayer was played in 1971 – after 12 years India had its first century coming in style when Kapil Dev made that epic knock at Nevil Ground,  Turnbridgewells [a town in West Kent]  against Zimbabwe in WC 1983 – though many centuries came thereafter, 200 was impregnable for long -  Saeed Anwar’s 194 made at Chepauk in 1997 remained the highest equalled by Coventry – then after almost 3000 matches [in 2962nd match to be precise] Sachin Tendulkar sparkled with the first ever 200 at Gwalior on 24th Feb 2010 against the visiting South Africa.  Now Sehwag has scaled that feat also…..  what lies in store down under remains to be seen.
Now when you travel, acclamatising to the conditions is one of the first challenges and India have their  first on-field action today playing  a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI in a two-day game.  In earlier days, whenever teams toured India, they would play a team of the Board President, then against the five Zones as also against the Ranji Champions sometimes – in 2001 Sachin turning up for Mumbai whacked Shane Warne all over the park…. The match today should allow some practice action for Indians rather than any serious challenge – one of the players is Tom Cooper who played for Nederlands in the WC.  Another player Peter George [who is playing today for the Chairman's XI]  made his debut at Bangalore and his first wicket was that of Sachin Tendulkar.  Peter is not a loner but joined the list of Hansie Cronje,  Ujesh Ranchod **, Ruwan Kalpage, Mark Ealham, Neil Johnson, Jacob Oram, Monty Panear, Peter Siddle, Cameron White – all had the little master as their first victim in Tests.
Peter Geroge photo courtesy :

Statistically, India has been touring Aussie land from 1947 – in 9 tours, have played 36 Test matches and have won only 5 – with two of them coming at Melbourne and Sydney way back in 1977-78 when Bishan Bedi played a Packer-weakened Australian team led by Bobby Simpson.  
That way the first Test on boxing day has lot to look forward to… traditionally Indians fare poorly in the opening game of tours.  So these few days prior to the start of the Test can provide lot for the Indians to sweat and make them battle ready for the bigger game against the tough Australians.  
With regards
S. Sampathkumar.
PS  : ** The Zimbabwean Ujesh Ranchod played in one Test and 3 ODIs from 1992 to 1993. His only International test wicket  remains  Sachin Tendulkar taken at Delhi in 1993.

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