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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Tim Paine sledges ! ~ Peter Siddle retires

Australians are well known for their sledging ~ but the exchanges between Tim Paine and Rishab Pant were seen as comic banters, eventually ending with Pant fulfilling the request by baby-sitting !

There have been some hilarious comments and some sharp ones, credited to Tim Paine, who seem to be enjoying the captaincy and the success of wins.  Ross Taylor survived a difficult LBW claim and Paine went sleding :  "I've seen him hit on the pad by (Englishman Stuart) Broad in New Zealand, hit him middle stump. He knows the bloke in the (video review) truck."  - that was Paine’s way of letting Ross Taylor know he was a lucky, lucky Black Cap for surviving a massive lbw shout at the MGC.  Three overs before stumps on day two of the Boxing Day test Taylor was given lbw. Trapped on the crease by James Pattison, it looked out and the Australian fielders went up in convinced celebration. Caught by a fuller length ball that nipped in, Taylor was hit above the knee roll.  He went on a review and when he called upon the decision review system, it looked more in hope. Video replays showed nothing on hot spot. Nothing on RTS.  But ball tracking had it bouncing over the stumps, so Taylor remained.
Latham sweeps ~ Paine looks

Keeping up to spinner Nathan Lyon after Taylor's lifeline, Paine was still shaking his head. He felt Taylor had cashed a cricketing lotto ticket. "That's twice I've seen him get out plumb and not given,"  and that is perhaps he knows the man on the truck - Paine said as Taylor prepared to face Lyon. The result however, was to the liking of Paine.  James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon combined to bowl Australia to a handsome 247-run victory with a day to spare, and with it retention of the Trans-Tasman trophy, but makeshift opener Tom Blundell showed tremendous spirit with a second Test hundred to take it deep into the final session. Pattinson's three-wicket pre-lunch burst appeared to be hurtling New Zealand to a swift defeat, but Blundell stood up magnificently to the challenge. However, Lyon's 4 for 81 ensured Australia would not have to return on Monday to wrap things up. After being set a hypothetical 488 for victory - following Australia's declaration 10 overs into the day - New Zealand plummeted to 3 for 35 as Pattinson claimed three wickets in nine balls which included losing Kane Williamson for a duck. Blundell, who had never opened in first-class cricket before this match, could have been lbw in the first over but went on to play an outstanding innings and score the first century by a New Zealander at the MCG.

Off the field, in a significant move - Peter Siddle announced his retirement from international cricket during the Boxing Day Test. He is one of just 17 Australians to take 200 Test wickets, finishing with 221 scalps from 67 Tests. A lion-hearted performer, he was a captain's dream after starting his career as a firebrand in 2008 before reinventing himself as a steady, skilful swing and seam bowler later in his career where he played a key role in the retention of the Ashes in England in 2019. Here are five highlights of his Test career.

His first ball in Test cricket in Mohali 2008 rattled Gautam Gambhir's helmet, but his first Test wicket was the prized scalp of Sachin Tendulkar. Having toiled all day on a slow pitch, he beat Tendulkar for pace with the second new ball, drawing him into a drive and producing a thick edge that flew low to slip where Matthew Hayden took an excellent catch. He bowled more overs than any of his team-mates in his debut Test in an attack that included Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson.

"He's given him! He's given him! Peter Siddle has got a hat-trick on his birthday!" That was the iconic commentary from Mark Taylor when Siddle took a hat-trick against England in the first Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series at the Gabba. Late on day one, he found the outside edge of Alastair Cook, who would go on to have the best series of his career. He then blasted through the defence of Matt Prior first ball, before pinning Stuart Broad on the toe with a yorker to celebrate a famous hat-trick. The moment was dulled a touch by Broad's subsequent review but it meant Siddle could celebrate twice. He told Channel Seven on the day of his retirement that he relives that hat-trick every year on his birthday and has watched the clip many times.

Paine’s tryst with LBWs were to continue beyond Ross Taylor.  Australia captain Tim Paine blasted cricket's Decision Review System Friday, saying it left him “disappointed and angry” after he was dismissed controversially in the second Test against New Zealand. Paine played one of his best innings and was on track to score a maiden Test century when he was removed lbw by Neil Wagner for 79 after New Zealand reviewed the umpire's original not out decision. He was asked about the DRS by broadcaster ABC afterwards and replied: “Don't start.” “I thought from the length that it pitched, and the bloke bowling around the wicket, it's pretty difficult to hit you in line, and hit the stumps,” he said of the delivery.  Tim Paine's first innings lbw verdict was shown to be correct by a narrow margin on HawkEye as well as the VirtualEye ball-tracking used by the umpires to make the decision. While VirtualEye's ball-tracking is used by the host broadcaster Fox Cricket, the rival Seven network has HawkEye ball-tracking in place for analytical use. Both technologies showed Paine was stuck in line to ensure it would not be "umpire's call" and therefore not out, after Neil Wagner's initial appeal was turned down. Paine was visibly frustrated, but it appears that the decision was a case of fine margins rather than outright errors on the part of the technology or its operators. Ian Taylor, the chief executive of VirtualEye, had extended an invitation to Paine to watch the decision in detail, but Paine hadn't yet accepted the offer.

For the records, Siddle played 67 tests took 221 wickets with his best of 54/6 coming against England at Gabba on Nov 25, 2010.  He debuted at Mohali in Oct 2008 and played his last test this Sept at the Oval.  A few years ago, Siddle was in news for different reasons – for turning a total vagan and living on a diet of bananas ! ~ I live on a plant-based diet now,” Siddle had said. “My partner has been a vegetarian and vegan all her life. I have had a few niggles through my career and I have done a bit of research on different ways of approaching my game and that is the lifestyle I have worked out now. It is working. I am feeling fit and strong. It can vary anything between 15-20 bananas a day. Obviously it is a fruit-based diet and a lot of vegetables. It keeps my healthy, it keeps me strong and that is what is working at the moment.” ~ Siddle quipped.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Dec 2019.

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