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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

tail wags ~ ESPN Cricinfo writes ' Sharmas take India to within 7 wickets of win' !!!!!

In Test no. 2179,  at Sinhalese Sports Club ground, Colombo, on day 4, at draw of stumps, Indians are in a comfortable position.  Cricinfo title reads -  “ Sharmas take India to within seven wickets of win”. Anybody would be inclined to think that Sharma(s) would have performed admirably – nay, one has to be media’s blue-eyed boy !

Rohit Sharma's batting position is a heated topic – Pujara is opening, Ajinkya Rahane sent at no.3 – all to protect the immensely talented Rohit Sharma.   He has been persisted with through the Test series in Sri Lanka, and has ended the series scoring more runs - 202 - than any other Indian batsman barring his captain Virat Kohli, writes ESPN Cricinfo. Here are some facts - Rohit's 50 is good for the team; but this is the first 50 in 2nd innings.   In ten innings Rohit had scored 170 runs at an average of 18.88 and a highest of 39 against Australia at the SCG.
In this test, Amit Mishra has scored 98 Runs - the fourth highest by any batsman from No. 8 or lower at the SSC. The last time any batsman, batting at No. 8 or lower, scored more runs than Mishra in this Test was in 2009, when Daniel Vettori got 163 runs including a second-innings hundred.

Rohit’s innings starting from England(1); Australia (4); Bangladesh (1); Sri Lanka (3) reads :  28, 6; 43,6; 32,0; 53,39; 6; 9,4; 79,34; 26;50….. that speaks volumes !!

Now getting back to the acclaimed 50 – Stuart Binny made 49; Naman Ojha on debut made 35; Amit Mishra 39; Ravichandran Ashwin 59 – none of them, Cricinfo felt worthy of such a mention !

Indians are now seven wickets from their first series win in Sri Lanka since 1993. The other Sharma, Ishant, having faced a barrage of bouncers from Dhammika Prasad and aggression from Dinesh Chandimal when he batted, came out pumped up and knocked out any thoughts of the target of 386 being chased down with two wickets in his first spell, including that of Chandimal, who had made slight physical contact with Ishant in India's innings. The Sri Lanka-India Test series witnessed its first major boil-over on its penultimate day following a spat between Ishant Sharma and Dhammika Prasad towards the end of India's second innings at the SSC. The umpires spoke to both captains following the incident, but the bad blood didn't end there; it spilled over into Ishant's celebrations at the fall of Sri Lanka's third wicket, the bowler smacking his own head repeatedly.  The drama began when Ishant, the last man in, ducked under a Prasad bouncer in the 76th over of India's innings, and grinned back at the bowler. Prasad and Ishant exchanged glares, and faced off. Dinesh Chandimal walked over from slip, his shoulder brushing past Ishant's. Non-striker R Ashwin then joined the discussion before the umpires stepped in.

All future bilateral series between India and South Africa, including South Africa's forthcoming tour of India, will be called the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series, the two boards have announced. The Test series, the BCCI and Cricket South Africa said, will be played for the Freedom Trophy. India will host South Africa for three T20Is, five ODIs and four Test matches between October and December this year.

Away in UK, 25 first-class umpires, increasingly concerned for their own safety in an era of ever-powerful batsmen, modern bats and the kind of explosive hitting on view at Twenty20 finals day, are examining forms of protection including to the head, the heart and the back of the neck, that could be introduced in one day and championship matches next season.  At their end of season meeting next month, the umpires will discuss research carried out at Cardiff Metropolitan University, where a form of non-foam material - markedly different from the kind of chest protection Colin Cowdrey used when facing Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson 40 years ago - to cover the heart is being tested in secret. Visors and a form of head protection less cumbersome than batting helmets are also being developed. A number of umpires have offered to trial equipment before next season. They have voiced their concerns to Chris Kelly, the ECB' s umpires manager, and last March met George Fox, a specialist in sports protection. "Umpires are in a precarious position. Being struck on the shins and thighs is not going to end their careers but the sternum, the heart, the kidneys and the back of the head are vulnerable places. But we do not want a superman syndrome and overheat them or produce head gear that will make them look ridiculous," Fox said.

~ and do you think it will be an Indian win tomorrow at Colombo ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

31st Aug 2015.

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