Posted by: nestaquin | November 4, 2008

Border Gavaskar Trophy Third Test: Indian XI Report Card

kumble-retires

Continuing his series of player reports on the home team during the Border Gavaskar Trophy, The Tooting Trumpet, holds no punches in his pithy assessment of Team India’s performance in the meek draw on an obedient pitch in Delhi.

Virender Sehwag – Failed to provide the expected Delhi Diwali fireworks with the bat, but stepped up to bowl with real venom and craft to snare five wickets (and it could have been more). Enjoyed every minute of his bowling and why not.

Gautam Gambhir – Confirmed his standing as one of the game’s leading openers with a beautifully constructed double hundred terminated only by a tired shot. Blotted an immaculate performance with some foolishness with Shane Watson which will cost him a Test match.

Rahul Dravid – Two scores of 11 on a wicket on which 1429 runs were scored for the loss of 22 wickets. It’s been a great career, but surely it’s over.

Sachin Tendulkar – As he has done all series, he played well without ever dominating. Needed to bat steadily in the second innings and did so.

Sourav Ganguly – A quiet match as a prelude to the farewell at Nagpur.

VVS Laxman – Found fluency at last and cashed in as usual against the Australian attack. Kumble’s gesture in allowing him to crawl to a personal landmark didn’t matter in the end.

MS Dhoni – Continues to improve as a keeper, but will he be able to fulfil that role as well as the captaincy? As ever, India went up a notch when he was temporarily in command.

Anil Kumble – The Captain’s glittering career is now over. His beautiful outfoxing of Brad Haddin summed up his first 17 years in Test cricket; his last delivery, unceremoniously clumped for four by Matthew Hayden, summed up his last.

Amit Mishra – Bowled some lovely stuff without luck, but will reflect on a missed opportunity. Leg-spinners have to take wickets on tracks like this, as the pacemen and finger spinners are largely neutered. He will have learned from the experience and will now get an extended run in the side (at least at home).

Zaheer Khan – Showed craft and heart, but might not get a wicket on this pitch if he’s still bowling next week.

Ishant Sharma – Underlined the fact that he is a threat on all surfaces and is the leading young paceman in world cricket. But he reminded us of his youth with a farcical innings as night watchman and a crucial drop at mid-off early on the fourth day, allowing Michael Clarke to take Australia to safety.

Later: The Australian team report.

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Responses

  1. very fare assessment and right on the money on ishant.

    to be honest that drop may have been the turning point in this game.

    had micheal been out at that stage, early on in the 4th morning things may have been very different.

    hopefully ishant works on his catching. india can ill afford to drop sitters like that if they are to be a great test team.

  2. Contrary to perceptions (including mine at that time), Laxman did not crawl to his 200.

    He scored runs at a fair clip (strike rate of 66.44 which was the best in the match for all batsmen who scored above 50).

    VVS first 50 came off 70 balls;2nd 50 took 101 balls; 3rd 50 came off 70 balls again, and for his final 50 runs, he needed 60 balls.

    200 off 301..not slow at all.

    But at that time, a lot of us wanted the declaration and Kumble waited for the 600 (or for the 200, probably hoping that both would come around the same time). Laxman gave a lot of strike to Kumble and Zaheer, which they did not waste.

    The rest of the analysis by TTT is spot on. Though I am not sure I agree with the phrases ‘meek draw’ (neither teams were meek though they were not aggressive also ), and ‘obedient pitch'(the pitch was a bit on the slower side and the bowlers suffered a lot..).

    Full credit to Australia for matching the Indian batting performance.

  3. Kumar – such is VVS’s grace and timing that it is easy to forget how quickly he is scoring and your point is a good one on that matter. But VVS needed 6 overs to score the runs to take him from 194 to 200. It’s true that he didn’t have the strike for all those deliveries, but it’s the senior batsman’s job to organise the strike. That Kumble declared the moment the double-hundred was achieved, so there were three or four overs wasted if anything – not that it mattered.

  4. And so the unsung hero retires. I am still trying to swallow a tennis ball sized lump in my throat.

    A young bespectacled medium pacer was noballed 4 times in a over for chucking in a inter-school tournament. K Anil as he was known then resorted to bowling spin. My friend who used to play for the Karnataka under 19 team recalls Anil asking his team-mates how to bowl spin. In his final press conference as player, he quipped “I am still trying to find out how I can bowl legspin”

    I never knew the man personally but I knew his cousin, Mohan Kumble. Mohan was a shy soft spoken physics teacher then. Our team was playing another school and we had a fabulous spinner in our ranks. The opposition included Vijay Dravid (his elder brother Rahul was knocking on doors of team India). Vijay took our spinner apart and we ended up losing the match. Mohan, his face like a thundercloud, was watching from the sidelines and after the match gave our young spinner hell. “You have to beat them in flight before you beat them off the pitch” he thundered, among other things. The transformation from young shy teacher to raging passionate man was disconcerting to say the least. I cannot help but think Anil Kumble was the same way. Like an iceberg 9/10 ths of his menace was hidden beneath the surface.

  5. Dement – Thanks for that personal story. Like all great cricketers, Kumble found something that worked and then honed it to the extent that he took 620 Test wickets. He served the Great Game well.

  6. Fair wrap, TT. Nicely done.

  7. Toot – very true. He graduated from Engg. school top 5% of his class. Seemed like he carried some of that expertise in to his bowling. Many of his 600 odd victims must wish he had stayed in Engg :). I still remember poor Richard Blackey, England keeper on their disasterous tour of India (’93 was it?) with an aggregate of 7 from 4 innings. Did he play again?

    It was his heart that made him truly great. No tribute to the old warrior is complete without “the broken jaw” incident.

    My eyebrows merged into my hairline when the apparation of Kumble “rose from the ashes of his past” and entered the field. His head giftwrapped in bandages (it was reset several times during the passage of play). He bowled 14 relentless overs with his customary venom and took out Lara (He had Hooper out off a no ball). Usually when India played WI, I hoped for an Indian win and cameos from Hooper and Lara. This was the only time I did not.

  8. Whats up, guys? The Test has started and India already off to a decent start. The track looks like a batting paradise.

    Hope its not a high scoring draw again.

  9. Sehwag and Pietersen are birds of a feather. A frightening amount of natural talent. But sometimes you just have to feed their egos, convince them of their invincibility if you will, and they’ll cough up their wicket for you.

  10. Good observation, Pete.Sehwag has just gifted his wicket to an undeserving delivery.

    Aus has taken 3 wickets on a flat track.So, session goes to them.

    India needs to buckle down now and post at least 400 in the first innings.

  11. I’d be very surprised (and very happy) if India didn’t get more than 400 Kumar. It will be fascinating to see how this new wicket plays.

  12. This new wicket will definitely take turn and become a minefield by day 4 Tea.

    From India’s PoV, Sachin should stay and get a big one.He’s due one any way.If he does that, we can count on Laxman, Saurav and Dhoni to give him good company.

    Australia would be looking to break this partnership – Saurav is playing his last test and his wicket can be bought by White/Krejza.

    So, I still feel 400 is a decent 1st Innings score here.But then, that’s what I felt about Delhi, but both teams or rather the pitch proved me wrong.

  13. Now that the ball has softened up, Sachin and Laxman are finding it difficult to score briskly.

    Australia is doing well to keep up the pressure by denying runs.The question is, can they do this after Tea as well?

  14. Nesta,

    Is there no one at home?

  15. Doesn’t seem to be. Then again, this series seems to be done and dusted, so that might explain it.

  16. im not really bothered about those 2 wickets – very encouraging that Krejza has gottena five-for. If Harbhajan flights the ball like he did in Mohali, he’ll be a handful. Mishra could speed up a bit too.

    All in all, 450 looks like a decent score on this track, and the Aussies will certainly believe that they can force a results, which might encourage the Indian bowlers.

  17. Oh RK..we two could hang around for a while on the front porch, while Nesta comes back from shopping :-)

    I’d have been happy with a 400+ score, but now India are almost touching 450.If Ishant/Zaheer can take 1 wicket each, there’s Bhaji, Viru and Mishra.

    But most of Krejza’s wickets have been gifts.You reckon Aussie batsmen would be as profligate as the Indians?

  18. Can’t believe Krejza is on a hat trick !

    7 wickets on debut…cool.

  19. Bhaji’s batting has improved quite a bit in the last 1 year.

  20. Great stuff from Krejza, lovely to watch a spinner not be afraid of getting tonked. Plus, he managed to turn the ball too.

    I agree that the Indians just disrespected him unreasonably and gifted their wickets away. However, the one thing which I feel will be decisive in this test is the need for Australia to win. Also the fact that India has 441, which is a tantalising score for Australia. But Oz HAS to score 520-540 to win this test, and if they do it the Gilchrist-Langer way and go 50 runs at a time, they can.

    Advantage India, but very open game still.

  21. They’ve come out with an aggressive mindset, good for both teams.

    I’ll say this, this match won’t be a draw.

  22. Bajji to open the bowling? Hmm, I’ll give Dhoni the benefit of the doubt, but this seems to be a ploy to clearly show everyone what an unconventional captain he is, rather than for any strategic purpose.

    Then again, I have my hat on a plate, ready to be eaten, if Bajii strikes.

  23. India strike thru a fielder.

    Still a very good pitch to bat on and I suspect it will be like this till Day 4 Tea.

    Krejza kept tossing up the ball.And in the end, it paid him rich dividends.I don’t mind Bhaji buying his wickets, but he seems to bowl very flat these days.Probably the success in ODIs and T20 has made him a less effective test bowler.

  24. yea that’s why I added “if he flights the ball like he did in Mohali”.

    I’d have Mishra on pretty soon after tea, the Aussies seem to be aggressive, and he relishes that

  25. its getting interesting – could be the test match of the year. Where have nesta, TTT et al gone? Is there some secret new site I don’t know about?
    Thanks to Kumar and Rajesh for holding the fort at least!

  26. The partnership is now worth 86 runs…katich and hussey are not making the mistakes made by Indian batsmen.India doesn’t look like taking a wicket unless it comes against the run of the play.

    For the first time in this series, Australia is scoring at around 4 runs per over – goes to show the pitch is benign.

    I think India is making a mistake by hoping that Aussie batsmen will become over aggressive and gift away their wickets. The Aussies need not do that as long as they can tap the ball into spaces and get 2-3 runs.

  27. yea, sack Dhoni, let’s make M. Vijay captain

  28. Thanks 保罗 for the hello!

    What does 保罗 mean in English?

    I think TTT is in his MOTM avatar on the Guardian site.Read some nice discussions there the other day…

    One thing I don’t understand is this crib (from many people, but mostly Oz fans) about the toss.Its not as if the pitch is any different between yesterday and now.If at all, it has become slower and easier to play spin.Don’t go by what Kejza did.He just stuck to basics and the Indian batsmen did the rest.

  29. “yea, sack Dhoni, let’s make M. Vijay captain”

    lol @RK !

    How about M.Vijay in place of Rahul Dravid against England?

  30. oh, really, is he MOTM? I did not know that.

  31. My England squad would be:

    Sehwag, Gambhir, Kaif, SRT, VVS, Badri, Rohit, Dhoni, Ishant, Zak, Bajji, Mishra, Munaf, RP.

    If one of the openers gets crocked, then Vijay is called in to replace him. And it may be time to give Rohit a go. I mean, we hear so much about his class etc, and England at home isn’t exactly a baptism by fire, so let’s see if he’s added temperament to his repertoire. I’d get Badri in at 3, because he looks like a potential #3 or #4, and Rohit at Ganguly’s position (#6). Having VVS at #4 might make the lineup too top-heavy.

  32. VVS at #3 I mean

  33. rather boringly it translates as “paul”, but I prefer the chinese: bao luo

    indeed TTT is MOTM and also known as Gary Naylor on the OBO on guardian.co.uk, I think but this series has been sadly neglected on the guardian (and elsewhere) which I really can’t understand

    I’ve seen more of this series than any for a while thanks to certain online sites and less than heavy workload and have really enjoyed it.

    I agree Dravid needs to step aside, wonderful career but its not coming back I think. Not sure of Laxman at 3, he’s a wonderful luxury down at 5 or so. Have to keep a little of that reliable old middle order.

    I assume the tendulkar-less line-up is for the one-dayers?

  34. ah sorry SRT = tendulkar? new to me.

  35. 保罗 – you have me bang to rights in my three guises!

    Great to see you guys here and interesting discussion. I’m thinking Nesta has a lot on at work (as I have had) and will be back soon. if not, I’ll be here for much of Saturday’s play and look forward to your contributions.

    I’m absolutely loving the position in this Test. India, I regret to say, were complacent in their batting and Krejza took full advantage. 8-200 and something, won’t win many matches, but Katich and co have played positively and given their mates a chance.

    Punter takes huge credit for lifting his men and the almost hidden spirit of Aus cricket is back. If India don’t take two wickets per session tomorrow, they are in deep trouble and Aus looking at a series every bit as famous as India’s in 2001.

    Great game this Test cricket. I look forward to seeing you guys here.

  36. I’m very pleased for Katich. He’s come back well and should have a good 3 or 4 years ahead of him. He sometimes gets criticised for being pedestrian but his strike rate this series shows how incorrect that assumption is. It’s between him and Hussey for Australian player of the series.

    But how will they respond to this off stump line of India’s. They really need to continue yesterday’s decent strike rate.

  37. And hasn’t he done well against India. As I write he has 962 of 1912 test runs against India.

  38. Still plenty of time left in this game. Aus might be thinking in batting for as long as reasonably possible to make India bat on Day Five.

  39. TTT, fair point on Gautam’s foolishness but why did Katich, Mitchel “I was reacting to his comments in the press conference” Johnson and Watson get away despite their poor behaviour?
    I am surprised that someone who seems to be fair like you doesnt comment on this. I mean, come on, you bad mouth VVS because he said something so inoffensive in a Press conference?And that is a valid enough excuse for Chris Broad not to charge him or punish him?
    Now, my expected reaction from you: one of:
    a) Let’s focus on the cricket and not discuss divisive issues
    b) They didnt cross the line. Eh, what line? Who decides the line? Why dont you guys ever answer this? Because you know that if you tried to honestly answer this, you will be forced to agree that there is no line and that Aussies just invent a line to justify their behaviour.
    C)” They didnt use their elbow, didnt get physical etc. “I guess if you are an Aussie it is okay to shout profanities to VVS, a man who has distniguished himself by his behaviour and has in general shown admiration for Aussies in his career. Yet, you wont even slip in a comment on johnson. If even after this, people pretend that ICC is fair and not biased against Asian players, and that Chris Broad is a fair referee, I can only chuckle at your foolishness or cunning ingenuity.

    My view is that Johnson’s ws the worst behaviour of all. And Katich BLOCKED a batsman. If Harbhajan had done it, I am sure TTT would have talked about his “foolishness”, “boorishness” etc.
    But because it is Katich, the umpires, the referree, nestaquin and TTT(the last two I consider relatively fair-minded) would either not comment on it or try to trivialise it with some bad excuses like “his intention was not bad”. Eh, how do you know? You peeped into his mind?

    As an cricket fan, I have my frustrations against BCCI but Sutherland advising BCCI about not backing Indian players is rich from a man whose association hid Mark Waugh and Shane Warne’s despicable bookie episode under the wraps for years and who do nothing about the poor behaviour of which we saw enough instances in this series.

  40. Just brilliant Test match bowling from Ishant to dismiss Clarke, who doesn’t look well to be fair to him.

    Raj – I commented on Gambhir’s foolishness, because he has been the batsman of the series and has broken through as a regular whom I expect to play 100 Tests, but is missing this one. Gambhir’s guilty plea indicates that he understands that it wasn’t clever cricket. Had any Australian player missed this Test, I would have commented one them too.

    I have some sympathy with your view that referees are quick to punish sub-continental players, but batsmen have been running round the bowler for 250 years or so. It is an Australian tactic (and a good one) to get the batsman thinking about the bowler rather than the ball – Sachin’s greatest strength is the concentration he brings to bear on the ball, to the exclusion of everything else. Gambhir might not be as good as Tendulkar, but he has all the shots, the ability to play long innings and judgement at the crease. That’s the raw material for a great career – if he wants it enough.

  41. This lad Vijay can field a bit! That’s the 1% that Steve Waugh used to drag from his Aussie team

  42. Ishant is very impressive indeed – India must do everything to keep him fit.

  43. Is Ishant already the best fast bowler in the world? Green tops, dust bowls, bring it on..India finally has a bowling battery worthy of taking wickets anywhere, anytime. Shame that the batsmen are on their way out.

  44. TTT, I am not talking about Gambhir here. I agreed on Gambhir – it was pretty daft of him.
    But my question is – forget the match referees like Broad and the ICC in general – they are relics of the 70’s 80’s where England and Australia used to roll over everyone else – not in a cricketing sense but kind of dominating in terms of decision making in ICC(it was called something else then, wasnt it?), and kind of taking decisions to benefit England, Australia and in some cases, probably lining their own pockets. But now the boot is on the other foot, they are acting like saviours of cricket and painting the BCCI evil – forget them. Why cant decent people like you and nesta get yourselves to even comment about the despicable behaviour of the Aussies – we have enough incidents in this series – and more over the years. Why cant you get yourself to talk about Johnso’s despicable verbal assauly on the gentlemanly Laxman? Thats the question that baffles me – it is almost as if you cannot say that because that would be giving in to the sub-continentals?

    Also, today when we talk about the bad behaviour of Aussies, they throw the book at us saying “look at ICC punishment count”, but then if the match referees are like Broad – and they have been – and turn a blind eye to the Aussie transgressions, that is bound to happen. Such hypocrisy on the Aussies part goes uncommented by people like you and nesta and that bothers me. Is it like your jingositic beer-mates would lynch you if you did?

    And more than that, such is the domination of the western cricketing nations in the ICC that they can create a history where India has the maximum transgressions despite equally bad behaviour by Aussies( I cant get myself to say that of England inspite of Belly Jeans, oops, Jelly beans – somehow they make fools of themselves unlike Aussies who get away with rank bad behaviour). Still, they complain about BCCI dominance?
    Cant people in the west see their own hypocrisy?

    I mean, look at me, I seem like such a jingoistic person always harping on western injustice – yet, I have consistently damned BCCI here and elsewhere. Dont western(specifically England and Aussie, more the latter) cricket writers, cricket bloggers, cricketers, cricket officials and fans have a conscience? That seems to be the case, in fact.

  45. Of course, I am generalising and there are people like Roebuck who have been balanced. In fact, he is the only writer from the west who has been bold enough to comment on bad behaviour by the Aussies. Or is it because of the moolah available in indian market?

  46. Let me make a comment on the cricket for a change:
    Much has been said about this Aussie team but in terms of cricket on the field(not behaviour – that has been rank bad as usual), they have been pretty impressive in my eyes – I think they have given their best and performed beyond the potential of this team. Just that they dont have enough talent in this team. And they have been let down by Lee and Clarke – if both of them had performed at 80% of their potential instead of 50% that they have shown so far, the series might be level now.
    Ponting has not had much success with the bat but he has done his best – you cant expect more from him in India and I have a feeling he will round off with a century in the 2nd innings in Nagpur.
    White has given his best and Clark, Siddle have all not been very succesful but utilised every ounce of their potential so far.
    Johnson has been very impressive.

    Well, I guess I dont need to be so patronising – I have a feeling that India will roll over tomorrow and Aussies can chase anything upto 350-375 quite comfortably. If you notice, there has been fight down the order throughout the series except that fatal second innings in Mohali. With Lee at #11, one cant rule out this team chasing even 419 to set a new world record – which would be a relief since the current record stands against them!

  47. Also, this thing about India being the next #1 nation because they have been running Aus close for years during the latter’s domination – that might be a red herring.
    It is wise to remember that when the West Indians were in their pomp, the team that ran them the closest and had outstanding cricketers in their team was – P A K I S T A N, not Australia. They too were a collection of a once-in-a-lifetime stars(mostly bowlers and a doughty Miandad). Eventually, the faded away after the stars went. It was Australia which emerged eventually but who predicted that in 1988. In 1988, people might have said Pak is the next big power.

    It might well be England which emerges as the next big power similarly now. God knows they have been trying to set their system right and copy the Aussies’ system. That, in the end, might make the difference especially since the BCCI is not making any similar efforts – it is happily and greedily reaping the benefits of the glamour for cricket generated by the hard work and talent of outstanding cricketers like Anil, Sachin, Rahul, VVS, Saurav, Javagal(people talk about VVS being under-rated, for my money, under-rated should be synonymous with Srinath), Harbhajan and Virender. It is India which runs the risk of the talent pipe running dry soon because nobody is making an effort to sustain it.

    Or, maybe South Africa but they need a good spinner – where will they get him from? But then again, who expected in 1991 that oz would produce an all-time great leg spinner?

  48. missed most of today’s play, but looks like Aus are in trouble, they really needed a lead I would think.

    The fact that the talk above lowered itself to the level of cricket politics is not a good indication for the day’s play. Do we think its all over?

    Pity its not a 5 test series, now that Aus have a spinner. but with england playing just the 2, should be glad to even get 4 instead of a host of 1-dayers.

  49. There they go – 3 wickets and the Border Gavaskar Trophy suddenly doesnt look that far away for oz. The lead is only around 250. If 2 of Ten, Lax and Gangs can be got in the next 10 overs, there is a chance of folding up Indian inside 225 and chasing less than 350!
    If they chase less than 350, the odds should be 99% in favour of Oz. Even if they have to chase 400, I guess it would be 75% in their favour.
    All the Oz-are-down-pundits are going to have a bad day today, or if not today, tomorrow!

  50. As expected, I dont have answers to pointed questions on the partial attitude of oz-and-Eng cricket pundits and fans.

  51. Well, it is happening. 166/6!
    I expect a whole lot of Aussie bloggers on this comment space today and tomorrow – finally, they will be relieved of the shock this tour has been so far. Now, we can expect “we are the champions” chest-thumping to start again. Truth to be told, the world has been missing this form of entertainment(jingoistic aussies thumping chests) series so far. So, fair enough, I will not be denied this entertainment this time, too.

  52. India are effectively 6/266, they are still in the box seat even with this mini collapse.

  53. So what will it take for Ponting to be suspended?! Imagine the brouhaha if Indians were that behind.

  54. 10 overs behind in the last estimate. There needs to be a run penalty…that will only get it within the right amount. 5 runs for each over behind the required rate should teach them.

  55. We can afford not to have Ponting against NZ. Our chances of victory here are slim, but I’m excited enough to want a quickie on instead of White.

  56. I agree re the bowling rates, it’s inexcusable and makes for more tedious cricket. It is also an insult to spectators paying their hard earned to watch these games. Also there’s substitutes running on with drinks at every opportunity.

    But it seems that they have 6.5 hours to bowl 90 overs, and with the odd wicket they seem to be able to reduce that below 90, which they manage to achieve. Beats me. Throughout cricket teams seem to be able to bend regulations just enough to suit them.

  57. I can’t understand why Australia aren’t going all out for the win with Lee bouncing Harbhajan. If Punter misses a Test or two, it’s not like there are no batsmen in the wings.

    The wheels are really falling off now with Punter arguing with Billy Bowden, but Punter is right and Aleem Dar is wrong! If Krezja had refused the cap, their would have been all sorts of trouble!

  58. The official regulation is that you have to bowl 90 overs in 6 hours, but you get an allowance of 2 minutes per wicket, 4 min per drinks break, plus other delays not the fault of the fielding side. So a couple of close third-umpire calls etc. and you end up with 90 overs in 6.5 hours. Punishments start when you’re 5 overs behind the rate for the match. Apparently Australia are 10 overs behind at the moment.

    Whatever. Ponting should let himself be suspended and try to win this Test.

  59. Totos, what’s that about Krejza refusing the cap? I’m reduced to Cricinfo coverage at the moment, the radio’s gone to the dead rubber rugby league game.

  60. If England were bowling an off-spinner donating a four ball every over and a medium pace net bowler while trying to force the win to retain the Trophy, you would be able to hear the laughter from Sydney to London.

    I can only think that Clarke is ill, Katich is ill and even Punter himself. And can’t Watson bowl off a couple of paces?

    This doesn’t look like an Aus team at all – much more like Engalnd at its worse in terms of selection, skills, attitude and thinking.

  61. Dave – at the end of the over fifteen minutes or so ago, Dhoni took a single to Mitch Johnson and ambled a single. Aleem Dar offered Krejza his baggy green which Krejza took, but Mitchell Johnson pinged the ball back to the bowler. Krejza couldn’t take the ball (as he had his cap in his hand) and the backing up wasn’t good, so four overthrows ensued.

    Punter felt that Dar had called over, but Dar said not, which begs the question why he was handing Krejza his cap. Of course, Krejza could have refused it, but there would be hell to pay if that were caught on camera and Johnson had just kept hold of the ball.

    The referee should chalk off the overthrows.

  62. Thanks.

  63. Clarke is actually able to bowl, and the Cricinfo commentator says that Ponting takes 90 seconds to set the field for him.

    So very, very bizarre.

  64. Keepers fielding with hats, White peeling the leather off the ball, Punter taking ages to set fields and 10 overs behind in two sessions…Australia’s “new age” cricket is making me dizzy!

  65. Solidifies the fact that Warne should have got the job after Waugh. Ponting would still have had a few years as captain instead of the 8 or so years he’ll probably have.

  66. It wouldn’t have mattered though, Pete. While Warne was in the team Ponting’s uselessness as a captain wasn’t important.

  67. Clarke bowling over the wicket into the rough at a Number 8 with the series live! What’s going on?

    I’m not saying that there’s bookies involved, but if they were, the play would look like this.

  68. Clarke bowling over the wicket into the rough at a Number 8 with the series live! What’s going on?

    I’m not saying that there’s bookies involved, but if they were, the play would look like this.

  69. How true Dave. Warne can paper over so many cracks. I reckon if Warne was made captain he’d probably still be playing. Did he retire because he’d done all he wanted to? Or was it a bit more than that (captaincy snub, coaching methods)? Cant wait for the biog.

    I’d love to see Australian cricket unravel a bit, conflicts in the team to come out into the open. There’s been a suggestion of it but as long as you keep winning it doesn’t matter.

    Wouldn’t be dead for quids. So many reasons to love test cricket!

  70. Why is 99.94 so quiet??!!

    Nesta?


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