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Monday, January 2, 2012

History to be created at Sydney Cricket Ground and some history of earlier match

The venue now shifts to Sydney from Melbourne but perhaps the position has not altered much.  Indians are quickly 1 down in the Series after that big defeat at Melbourne.  How many times have we seen the lower order thwart Indian bowling to recover from the early blows  and then push India on the mat.  Now Dhoni is being criticized as a defensive captain, spreading the field far too early allowing the tail to score the initial runs easily !! – Dhoni is in search of the formula to get the lower order out soon..  Cricket pundits change their views once too easily, if the team starts winning and hope that happens at Sydney.

Sydney  located on South east coast of the Tasman sea, is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently.   Sydney has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932,  is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.

The lush Sydney Cricket Ground is to host its 100th Test match and that is another landmark.  Only Lords and Melbourne have hosted 100 test matches and that way it is a significant landmark.   SCG has its history from 1840s, a time when military funds were used to transform the scrubland into a playing arena of high standard.   History has it that the First test at SCG was played in Feb 1882  where Joey Palmer bowled Australia to a five wicket victory in the second Test of the series against England. This was the first of 54 Tests between Australia and England played at the SCG.  SCG has been used for football, Test, ODI, rugby.

It is a happy hunting ground for Australia, as they have 2on 54 Tests, lost 28 and drawn 17.   For India, the record is dismal as they have won only once, way back in  Jan 1978.

In Aus
At Sydney

Commemorating the special occasion of the 100th Test , players from both the sides and the Umpires are to be presented with a special commemorative cap.  The commemorative green velour caps have been struck in the 19th century style with a short peak and complete with gold tassel.  SCG is planning celebrations in a big way and whether Indians can join and enjoy the party would be known in 5 days of the Test.

Way back in 1978 with series 2-1 in Aussie favour, Australia batted disastrously and were dismissed for a paltry 131.  BS Chandrasekhar was the wrecker-in-chief with 15-3-30-4 and Bedi taking 3 for 49.  Karsan Ghavri bowled 7 overs; while Mohinder took one wicket in the same no. of overs conceding only 6 runs. When India batted, it was a remarkable team effort.  Gavaskar 49; Chetan Chauhan 42; Vishwanath 79; Vengsarkar 48; Kirmani 42; Ghavri 64; Prasanna 25 all made runs enabling India to declare at 396/8 !!

For a change Australians were under pressure in a turning track.  Dyson was out cheaply and at draw of stumps on day 3 Gary Cosier and Kim Hughes were at the crease with score 40/1 ; the 4th day was the rest day in the Series which had 8 balls per over.   On playing day 4, Australians lost wickets regularly and at end of day, they were 243/8 still struggling to make India bat again, but had pushed the game to the fifth day of the match.   The hero was Peter Toohey who was unbeaten with 77.

On the 5th day morning (early morning in India) the commentator screaming when Madanlal covering lot of ground got under the skier at long leg catching Toohey off Ghavri for 85 enabling Indian win by an Innings and 2 runs.   Madanlal was a substitute fielder and those days there was the restriction that a substitute shall not stand in close-in positions nor in any special fielding positions !! Strange rule considering that substitutes were allowed to bat or bowl also in some Onedayers.  That day, the commentator remarked that given his abilities, Madanlal should not be allowed to be inside the field at all as he appeared to be a specialist in any position !! Really great appreciation for the die-hard cricketer Madanlal.   Prasanna took 4; while Bedi, Chandra and Ghavri captured 2 apiece.

India has not tasted victory at Sydney though we played 6 times after that – losing 3 and drawing 3.

With regards -. S. Sampathkumar.

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