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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Good Aussie ! .. bad one !! ~ Strategy analyst Tim Paine finds out reasons for Series loss to India


Timothy David Paine  sucks !! .. .. but there are other gentle Aussies too !!!

An abrupt end to IPL did not only stop the interesting tournament but also added more woes. A total of 36 Australians   – 14 players, 11 coaches, four commentators, two umpires and five support staff, plus one New Zealand commentator who is an Australian resident – all faced the problem as Aussie PM suspended air travel and threatened that they could face huge fine as also incarceration if they enter !!   Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting felt being outside the bubble was more threatening.  .. .. meantime Tim Paine is exhibiting rare analyzing skills that makes all IPL Team owners run behind to make him their ‘talent coach’ [Result analyser and Justifier]  for finding out reasons justifying their loss !!

Australians are well known for their sledging ~  they have tormented visiting teams with abuses, threats and slanders yet few times they too have been out-smarted.  The exchanges between Tim Paine and Rishab Pant were seen as comic banters, eventually ending with Pant fulfilling the request by baby-sitting ! 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.

Down under, when India toured – the  die was cast !  .. .. most media had created news-stories condemning and deploring India – after it all some pundits had predicted a 0-4 whitewash, especially after that nadir 36 !   Australia won the first Test easily after bowling India out for 36 in the second innings in India, but the tourists responded by levelling the series in India. Having eked out a draw in Sydney, India sensationally chased down 329 on the final day in Brisbane to claim a remarkable three-wicket win to win the series. India’s series win – their second consecutive Down Under – was made all the more incredible by the fact Virat Kohli missed the final three Tests of the series and they were missing up to half-a-dozen first XI players, and had trouble in putting 11 fit men on field.

Aussies would call it ‘playing hard’ – to them winning is the only thing ! – they would sledge, push, try to unsettle, talk, shout, resort to everything .. Steve Smith’s act can be termed cheating .. nothing new from a person whose brain fades, resorts to sandpapers and scuffles crease !!  Australians were clearly  getting desperate in their quest for victory in the Sydney Test and the proof of that came in the unsportsmanlike behaviour of former captain Steve Smith and the continued banter of Captain Tim Paine. An incident came to light on Monday when Steve Smith was caught on the stump camera scuffing up the batsman's guard on purpose during the drinks break in the first session.

In between, Paine told  Ashwin he can't wait to see him in the fourth Test at the Gabba, which is supposed to be quicker. Ashwin told  him he can't wait to see Paine in India, which might end up being his last series. Can Paine be sure he will even make it to India? ..  Paine retorted, he has more friends in India !! in the end – his performance failed. Tim Paine called his performance behind the stumps on the final day at the SCG as one of his worst with the gloves, as three dropped chances played a significant part in India managing to salvage a draw by losing just three wickets in 97 overs. Paine spilled Rishabh Pant on 3 and 56, both outside edges off Nathan Lyon, and then deep in the final session grassed another chance offered by Hanuma Vihari when he dived across in front of slip. While there were only 8.1 overs left at that point, had the catch been taken it would have given Australia one final chance to target the lower order which would have included an injured Ravindra Jadeja, who looked ready to bat despite a dislocated thumb.

Paine was heard calling Ashwin a “d***head” and a “goose”, saying “at least my teammates like me” and “(Matthew Wade) has got more Indian friends than you do”.  Ponting suggested Paine was already feeling sour grapes as India lasted four sessions for the loss of just five wickets.

Recently,  coach Justin Langer, emphatically put an end to the debate surrounding the biggest talking point coming out of the Australian summer, where Paine’s men lost 2-1 to India’s “third XI”. Joining Fox Cricket’s The Road to the Ashes Podcast, Langer, as he often did during his playing days in a star-studded side including Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne, was silently sitting back listening to Paine’s position being debated. But it was when Steve Smith and Pat Cummins had their names branded about as alternatives that Langer interjected. The debate surrounding whether Paine should, first, continue to captain Australia and, secondly, who is his successor intensified in recent months following their shock series loss to India at home.

Paine also came under fire for his sledging during the third Test, while his glovework wasn’t as strong as usual after putting down a number of tough chances throughout the series.Former England Ashes winning captain Vaughan said Paine’s record remained strong, but his recent inability to lead Australia to victories on the final day would be playing on his mind and an aspect which would be targeted.

For all that – what could be the reason.  Great mind-analyst gentleman Australia captain Tim Paine has said his side allowed themselves to be distracted by India's "sideshows" during the intense 4-Test series which the visitors won in a dramatic fashion earlier this year.

Paine, speaking to the press in Australia on Thursday, pointed fingers at reports of India unwilling to go to Brisbane for the final Test as one of their efforts to distract the host team. While there was speculation about India's reluctance over quarantine rules in Brisbane, none of the players or the team management said they would not travel to Queensland. Eventually, the final Test went ahead at the Gabba only to see Australia losing their fortress. "Part of the challenge of playing against India is they're very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn't really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that,"Tim Paine said, as quoted by 

After winning the series in Australia, India returned home to a hero's welcome. They lost the first of a 4-Test series against England at home but bounced back to win the series 3-1 and book a place in the final of the World Test Championship. Virat Kohli's men will travel to England in the first week of June and complete the mandatory quarantine period before taking on New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton from June 18.  Meantime, Paine has found out the reason for their defeat – India’s sideshow !  .. .. Good Mate ! – play it your own way and scout whether any IPL team especially Sun Risers would employ you as a ‘fail-strategy analyst’.

In banter too, Pant went one-up.  During the test - when off-spinner Washington Sundar was bowling, Rishabh Pant shouted from behind the stumps when Paine came to strike and said, "Aise web phenko web (Throw a web like this)"  and started  singing the famous Indian Spiderman song, "Spiderman,  Spiderman" in the same tone, as it could be clearly heard from the stump mic.

Before concluding, if by any chance, you have formed any opinion about Aussies, do change it as – there are people like Big Matthew Hayden – who sometime back spake thus !! (partially extracted)

I have been visiting India for over a decade now and have travelled all over the country, especially Tamil Nadu which I consider my “spiritual home”. I have always had the highest respect for the leaders and public officials who are entrusted with the task of running such a diverse and vast country.  Wherever I went, the people greeted me with love and affection, for which I remain in their debt. I can proudly claim that I have seen India up close over the years and that is why my heart bleeds to see it not only in agony at the moment, but also for the bad press that has been hurled at it by those who I am not sure spend any time here to understand India, its people and their myriad challenges.

As a cricketer and lover of the game, I have maintained my association with the sport which has allowed me to come to India to cover the Indian Premier League (IPL). Many of my fellow countrymen have also been playing in the IPL for years. In this context, at a time when the world has been shutting doors on India and lambasting the Government, I thought of sharing my thoughts while in India, to give a perspective not available to those sitting thousands of miles away.

I am not a data person, but some of the figures I gathered from some of the media reports are astonishing. India has already vaccinated over 160 million people (five times the population of Australia) and has been conducting 1.3 million tests a day. The point I am making is not to overlook the sheer vast numbers and the challenges associated with it.

When one conjures up thoughts of India, a singular word comes to mind. Incredible; a word ivilizatio by the Indian Tourism slogan, “Incredible India”. Even now, being caught in the political crossfire of the Scott Morrison Government’s decision to temporarily ban the travel to Australia, nothing has changed my mind about this ancient ivilization.  It’s true, my remuneration is significant and, yes, it pays my family’s bills. More broadly, however, I have a deep connection to Mother India which docks into my life’s mission: To connect people and organisations on purpose and strategy. My purpose in supporting the IPL this season was to provide a welcome relief to the monotony of extended periods of partial or hard lockdown. Every evening from 6.30 pm, cricket lovers, and let me tell you there are a few, went online or turned on the television to watch their favourite franchise battle.

As a genuine lover of the game since I was four years old, my voice, full of excitement, helps narrate our great game by bringing an authentic positive view to the cricket community. Cricket, as so often throughout history, has been and is the silver lining to our COVID cloud. The cricketers, especially in the IPL, have understandably been soft targets of the media and, because of their contractual obligations, cannot defend themselves.

It makes all the more important for people such as me, who have once been in a similar situation but can now from the outside not only share a “player’s perspective” but also speak up for them. India is a rich ivilization which has very few parallels in the world and, in its hour of need, the least we can do is to appreciate its cultural, regional, linguistic, human development and other complexities before passing any judgement on it.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar






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