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Monday, February 6, 2012

Melbourne Mess - yet another poor performance by India

A bowling attack spearheaded by Starc, Harris, Christian and Mckay backed up by Doherty – certainly not anything of a force to reckon with !

A rain affected match – it came down heavily after 11 overs when hosts were 35 for 2 – they made 217 – no adjustment of Duckworth & Lewis, India chased 217 hardly was there making 151.  Another sad tale again. 

It was a day when India took some harsh decisions thought not all were logical. First the man who recently made 219 in a Onedayer was dropped ! – Virender Sehwag has been struggling to make runs, he was dropped and Sachin was in.  Indian pace attack was manned by Pravin Kumar and Vinay Kumar – only 2 – backed by Virat Kohli and the spin of Ashwin, Rahul Sharma and Jadeja – not a wise move though Melbourne is known for the long boundaries. 

And there was another blunder at a time when technology reigns roost. There are laptops, and many other gadgets with support staff, coaches, Umpires, Third Umpire, Match Referee and more.  It is a simple ordinary rule that the total no. overs at play get divided by 5 and remaining are the extra for the no. of bowlers.  In a 55 overs contest, a bowler cannot bowl more than 11; in 50 overs a side, a bowler cannot bowl more than 10 and if it is 42 – two bowlers can bowl 9 while others can bowl only 8.  Simple ! In a 32 over scenario, if you employ only 5 bowlers 3 can bowl 6 while only 2 can bowl 7 !!

Nigel Llong who officiated represents ECB who earlier played for Kent.  He has been officiating from 2005.  Bruce Oxenford played first grade cricket with University of Queensland, and first officiated in Queensland v New Zealanders match at the Brisbane Cricket Gound in November 2001. In 2008 he stood in the match between  India and Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval.

At the end of 31 overs Australia were coasting along at 197/5 with David Jussey on 48 off 27 balls and Christian on 13.  Praveen just completed his 7 overs after Vinay’s 7 and Rahul Sharma who had bowled 6 overs conceding 42 and taking a wicket was given the ball.

31.1 – Rahul Sharma to Christian – no run; 31.2 – batsmen run a brace.  Umpires stopped the play, realizing only now that Rahul is the third bowler into his 7th over.  So what would happen to those 2 ? – what would have happened if he had taken 2 wickets with them ??

Dhoni already with less bowling options had to call Jadeja for bowling those remaining 4 balls.  Generous, the boy who was the subject of millions showered in IPL instead chose to bowl 5 not all legal deliveries though and ended up donating more runs.  His first ball (31.3) went for 1; 4th was hoisted for a six; 5th produced a single; 6th a no ball and a single and of the last – free hit – another six over deep mid wicket.

Earlier Warner and Ponting got out early but Matthew Wade was impressive with a half century on debut and David Hussey later tore into the bowling, finishing on 61 from 30 balls.

India had a long batting line-up with Sachin, Gambhir opening followed by Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni – but none clicked and it was another familiar story of loss.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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