Posted by: nestaquin | February 2, 2009

Chappell/Hadlee Series Game One Review

tThe Kiwis made hard work of it but in the end they deservedly defeated Australia in the first match of the Chappell/Hadlee series in Perth tonight.

The fact the Black Caps made Australia’s bowlers look good shouldn’t be overlooked for it was poor umpiring, questionable tactics and nervous and pedestrian batting that caused the close finish and not Australian excellence with the ball.

Chasing 182 for victory New Zealand decided that caution was the best approach after danger man Brendan McCullum was wrongly adjudged leg before off a huge inside edge from the second delivery of the innings and considering that skipper Dan Vettori scored the winning run from the last ball, I guess you could say that they timed the chase to perfection thereafter.

The Australian ODI team has more problems than an impotent gigolo and there isn’t enough time in a day to chronicle them all. To summarise, the top order is increasingly irresponsible, the middle scratchy, the ‘keeper a fumbling fraud and the bowling attack lacks depth and variety.

For now I’d rather concentrate on the victors who despite several setbacks clawed their way to a rare victory over their ANZAC brothers and it may not be the last this series as Australia’s slump continues without sign of interruption.

I’ve followed Ross Taylor’s career closely since witnessing him smash Australia to all corners at Bellerive early in his international career and there were definite indications tonight that the Kiwi selector’s patience, belief and nurturing of the young Polynesian is paying a fine dividend. He has become a mature batsman of impetuous talent and one that they can rebuild their side around after the reckless administrative obstinance of recent years.

The Black Caps were in danger of losing the match when he came to the crease and his responsible knock was the primary reason they overhauled Australia’s pitiful total.

Another to impress in the field and with the bat was rookie international Neil Broom. His run out of Ponting was due to outstandingly balanced outfielding, a quick release and a long, flat accurate throw to McCullum which found the Australian captain surprised and scrambling a metre out of his ground. It was a vital dismissal immediately after Kyle Mills and Peter Fulton combined to remove openers Marsh and Warner and Australia never recovered.

Broom also looked the part with the bat, supporting Taylor and increasing the run-rate after the Kiwis slow start and his dismissal was rather unfortunate considering he was given out bowled when the ball never touched stump or bail.

Haddin, accidentally on purpose in my opinion, illegally removed the bail while catching a dart from Clarke and his appeal was as contemptuous as his obvious deceit.

Vettori, as expected, bowled superbly leaking only 22 from his allotted 10 overs while his leadership was faultless especially when he intrepidly navigated his team to victory in the last few overs while wickets nervously fell regularly at the other end.

Overall, the standard of the cricket played was as atrocious as any international I can remember but let us not take anything away from the gritty performance of the Black Caps. All that statement illustrates is just how far the once mighty Australian team has fallen.

Coincidently, the ICC board is in Perth on their quarterly junket and many of the luminaries must have been alarmed at the standard of umpiring on display. Incredulously, the officiating was worse than in Columbo yesterday where MS Dhoni selflessly walked to protest his disgust at the umpiring after a ball he tickled to Sangakarra was about to be adjudged a wide.

The sooner the television review system is in place the better for with incompetents like Steve Bucknor, Bruce Oxenford, Brian Jerling and Mangamuni Silva in charge controversy and derision will be more prominent than the contest between mind, willow and leather.



  1. Nice posts. Your blog is very interesting. Keep it up.

  2. Nesta: Thats a serious accusation against Haddin. I can’t wait to see the highlights. Did the Channel 9 comms pick it up?

  3. I don’t listen to the drivel on Channel 9 but my next door neighbour reckons they glossed over it very quickly even though Mark Nicholas and Ian Chappell wanted to analyse it. They did show a couple of replays from the side and front and it was unarguably not out.

    I listened to the ABC with the telly muted and Terry Alderman and Justin Langer were very critical of Haddin’s intentions and even if it wasn’t premeditated his wild appeal and lack of contrition is evidence of his deceit.

  4. Changes are needed now.

    Can Mike Hussey take up the WK gloves?(like Dravid for the ODIs). Aus can pick another batsman and leave Haddin to cool his heels for a while. And M Hussey should bat higher up the order (above Hussey Jr.). So should Johnson, He should in at 8.

    My team would be Marsh, Warner, Ponting, Hughes, pup, M Hussey (wk), Symonds, Johnson, Kreja, 2 pacers

  5. Us Englishmen are always surprised to see a team defend 181 with the same fervour that they would defend 281! Good point about the high tempo contributing to Marsh’s pull.

    I’m looking forward to the highlights to see the Haddin incident. Was it not so long ago that he was criticised for not appealing? Still, that’s very different from slight of hand.

  6. Dement, they are picking the team to Sth Africa on Tuesday and there are no more matches in between.

    I fear the same bunch of losers will be going on tour so any hopes of change have been dashed I believe.

    Ponting has been rested for the next three ODIs and we will find out tomorrow who will replace him. Marsh has pulled a hamstring too, so two new batsmen should get a chance, however, I won’t be surprised but I will be disappointed if White is selected at 6.

    As for the ‘keeper Ronchi will do a good job if given a chance.

    Toots, in an inverse Down Under sort of way the less the bats make the harder the team plays in the field. Jacob Oram will be back for Game 3 if he pulls up OK in domestic cricket this week so Melbourne on Friday is an important match as the Kiwis will be much stronger after that.

  7. I have just seen the Broom dismissal and it looks very poor indeed. If it were MS Dhoni vs Pakistan, it might have caused an international incident.

  8. Although you are harsh at times on the Aussies, you are somewhat fair as well. Haddin needs to be reprimanded for acting like that. These sort of things happen when you are just desperate for a win and you are ready to take it any which way it comes.
    But you are justifiably critical towards the umpiring these days. How long can they hide behind the excuse of human errors? Having played gully cricket in India, one gets used to standing in as an umpire when your team bats (can’t find a guy to come to the ground just to be an umpire). Yes the game is faster at the international level, but your eyes get used to it. McCullum was adjudged wrongly and the ball was going down the leg the inside edge notwithstanding. Yes the crowd was loud but if you did not catch the edge, he was hit on his front leg! Gamini Silva has no excuse – Dhoni watched his incompetence from the non striker’s end and hence showed that act of protest you mentioned by ‘walking’.

  9. Naren, thanks for taking the time to contribute. If Australia was playing well I’d be the first to crow their praises long and loud from the rooftops.

    Toots, if Dhoni happened to do what Haddin did I’ve no doubt that he would have called the batsman back and if he was unaware of his error, apologised after the match. India are blessed to have such a class act as skipper.

  10. I think the obvious errors need to go. The Hotshot can clearly take out the dreadful ones like McCullum and Yuvraj received in the last few days. It will also take care of all the nicks, contentious bat pads etc. The 3rd umpire should be more proactive and call the batsman back. Even the stumping / bowled decision from last nite’s match ought to be referred. The Ponting way of trusting the players on the field has been exposed as the complete farce it is multiple times now. Not just bagging on the Aussies, its just trusting the player is an incredibly stupid idea.

    Where I am not so sure is the LBW decisions where the ball has pitched outside the leg stump or close ones where it has pitched in line but is missing leg. Sachin has been a victim of both in the past week. Not sure the technology is as clear cut yet. I usually think that sometimes the ones that hawk-eye reveals as just missing the bails or missing leg ought to be given. LBW is a subjective decision in that regard. But if it has pitched outside leg, that is a clear cut not out. Batsmen should be protected on that regard.

  11. Sunny, the only problem I have with the review is that there will be many more LBWs and hence shorter matches.

    I watched the trial between Sri Lanka and India last year with interest and it brought a completely new tactical element to the game. If my mind recalls correctly, Kumble didn’t use it well while Jayawardene was more clever in his choices of referral and it was a factor in his team’s success.

    I agree Hotspot is very good but I’m no fan of Hawkeye because it is assumptive. If LBWs are referred than I’d prefer the third ump watches a slow mo replay and a hotspot and gives his decision, however subjective, from those.

    I know it was the first trial but one annoyance of the review system was the time it took for some decisions to be made. Still, I think blokes like Bucknor need all the help they can get!

    As for trusting the players, it is a quaint idea from another era. Cricket teams are made up of all sorts of characters and while some if not many are honest it only takes one bad apple to spoil the whole.

    And on another note, although I thought Steve Bucknor was treated harshly a year ago I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him stroll out to the middle yesterday.

  12. Heh, If Hussey would be like Dravid he would likely fumbled almost every leg side ball and every ball that bounces twice.

    Dravid was a terrible keeper

  13. Great blog! It is good to see an honest review from an Aussie of an Australian performance that all Aussie Cricket fans should be embarrassed of, for more reasons than one.
    I agree changes need to be made to the game that we love to ensure no one feels robbed or cheated by an umpiring decision. To use a terrible cliche, cricket will be the winner when umpiring mistakes are taken out of the game.
    Let’s hope the rest of this current Chappell Hadlee series can be played in better spirit. With Ponting gone, that may well happen.

  14. Yes it was very very dubious, at least nowadays it gets highlighted. Ray Jordon was very lucky to escape 40 years ago with something more flagrant against Prasanna in India. Ball bounced of his leg and he claimed bowled!!!!

  15. Nice to have you join the discussion Underground.

    It’s a sad indictment on society and media in general when just simply being unbiased is seen as virtuous.

  16. It’s a shame I only got to see the final half an hour or so of this game, as I enjoy low scoring one-day matches.

    As for Haddin, I’m pretty sure he knew his gloves were in front of the wicket. If he didn’t, then he’s got the spatial awareness of a bull in a china shop.

  17. Well Len, his ‘keeping sometimes suggests just that but even if we give him the benefit of the doubt he should be man enough to apologise unreservedly and not carp on about his character being tarnished by Vettori’s complaint.

  18. “The Australian ODI team has more problems than an impotent gigolo and there isn’t enough time in a day to chronicle them all.”

    Surely an impotent gigolo only has one problem, albeit a major and pressing one?


  19. Well Sam, the side has about as much penetration as my imagined escort and they’ll all be out of work real soon unless they find their missing mojo! There’s another joke brewing about wood but since my Mum reads this blog I think I’ll leave it be. Thanks for dropping by mate.

  20. Yellow- Agreed Dravid was a bad keeper. But what it did was make the India ODI team at that time more balaced. I am not in the know of Hussey’s wk credentials either, hence the question.

    I am not a big fan of wholesale changes. How many times have we seen that happen and in hindsight felt the old dead wood guys were much better?

    All I am doing is wearing the selector hat and making incremental tweaks, which, in my opinion is the way to go forward.

  21. Take a look, if you have not read this already. Excellent tour diary posting

  22. They seem a happy team Dement. Winning does that. Sri Lanka might be in for a pasting tomorrow!

  23. Nesta, I’m not that keen on Hawkeye either, but I’d be interested to hear which of its assumptions you think are problematic. The law asks the umpires to make several assumptions these days.

    Dement, given that Haddin’s batting form seems better than Hussey’s at the moment, how would that help the balance of the team?

  24. Hawkeye is pretty good at tracking the ball but after it hits the batsman it cannot with any certainty predict how high the ball bounces or if it will continue on its projected path.

    We’ve all seem the ball swing late and drop harshly after beating the bat and Hawkeye just doesn’t predict these anomalies.

    The chief at Channel Nine in Australia, Graeme Koos, said as much to the ICC at the in meeting Perth last week and warned officials about using it in the review system.

    Obviously, an umpire also has to make an assumption on height or whether the ball will continue swinging but they are better equipped than a software package because of their years of experience and feel for the conditions.

    Simply, a trained and experienced human being, especially when given a second look via replay, is a far better judge of predicting the flight of the ball than the Hawkeye software.

    I haven’t seen a report yet but I’ve heard on the grapevine that Hawkeye wil not be used in the review system but Hotspot definitely will.

    And if I may be presumptive, I think Dement is calling for Haddin’s head because he has foolishly thrown his wicket away on several occasions this summer when the match situation required a more circumspect approach.

  25. Hotspot is simply a camera on different wavelengths – it would be stupid not to use it.

    Hawkeye is different for the reasons you give, although it would be fairly simple and interesting to look at its performance on balls which weren’t intercepted.

    What I’m thinking is that the laws have already been changed to make the umpires assume the path won’t change even if it hasn’t bounced yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if the laws were changed further to fit in with Hawkeye.

  26. @nestaquin – agreed…i think hotspot is dead on the most objective aid there is and should be used. snicko and hawk eye are less accurate and take more time to be produced.

    i think LBW decisions could be improved tremendously if the on-field umpires didn’t have to worry so much about the front foot no ball. that ought be offloaded to the 3rd umpire for sure. or maybe a cyclops like system that they use for us open tennis.

    also i am not sure a challenge system is the way to go (where captain or batsman call for a look is the way to go). i think the umpires ought to be more proactive and get it right. the umpire should always refer if he is not sure. in that manner, they will always be in control. the challenge system introduces too many delays in my opinion and erodes the umpires status.

  27. Not you too Nesta…

    Hawkeye’s ability to predict the future trajectory of the ball is basically as good as its ability to track the ball. If you trust the tracking of it, then you trust the projection.

    Law 36.2b: “it is to be assumed that the path of the ball before interception would have continued after interception, irrespective of whether the ball might have pitched subsequently or not.”

  28. Sunny – I like hotspot and I agree that no balls should be “called” by the third umpire.

    Dave – I have some sympathy with Nesta’s view re Hawkeye. I like the way Haweye shows the ball hitting leg stump more often than one might expect as I always felt that pundits were too quick to say that the ball was going down legside, even citing the keeper moving in evidence, when surely the keeper has to move to the legside to take a ball hitting middle. But I’m amazed at how many balls that look like they are obviously over the top of the stumps are tracked as hitting them. When I bowled, I don’t ever recall thinking “how did that miss leg?” but every match I’d be thinking, “How did that go over?”

  29. I don’t understand why they don’t release some sort of calibration test results of Hawkeye. All they need to do is bowl without a batsman, freeze the tracking at the point where it may have hit a pad, and then compare the calculated flight path with what actually happened. I am pretty sure the manufacturers do just this when testing it so why not give the public an idea of how well it actually works? Interesting too that it’s use in the tennis is accepted as sacrosanct although to be fair it is only used to monitor the ball flight in tennis and not to predict it.

  30. If an umpire gets a second look at lbws in slow motion with a overlay of the stump to stump line I reckon they’d get almost every decision correct.

    Considering that is what happens when the umpire watches a Hawkeye recreation the software is basically redundant anyway.

  31. I think the biggest problem with technology is that it is controlled by the host broadcaster.

    The production team may or may not choose to release all replays for the umpires perusal, they may or may not choose to show the Hotspot ( remember the time the Hotspot software crashed, during India’s tour to Australia), Snicko is subject to tampering – objective decision making is a chimera in cricket.


  32. Simply fixed Homer. The ICC could employ their own people to control what the umpires have access to. Could even demand it when signing the broadcasting deals.

  33. Nestaquin,

    Problem is, each of the test playing nations have their own deals with broadcasters. As does the ICC. I can see major conflict of interest issues at Mount Dubai.

    And the ICC has already proved how useless the position of the Match referee is. Having people to control what the umpire has access to will be more of the same :)

    It is public knowledge that Bucknor was not happy with replays telecast and access the umpires got and Dave Richardson had gloosed over it – this was some 3-4 years ago.

    With the stakes ( and the monies) being higher than they ever were, why do you think the ICC will act any differently?


  34. I’ve never expected sense from the ICC. It was only a hypothetical solution to a hypothetical problem.

    Paranoia and conspiracy theories aside, if an aid can be found that assists the umpire make the correct decision then it should be encouraged.

    There will still be errors for nothing is permanent or perfect but the game must move forward and use whatever reliable tools it has at its disposal.

  35. I just read on cricinfo Roy is out – the reason his outburst in the radio show!!!

    The CA suits seem to have an axe to grind. My thoughts are unprintable at this time. If I, an Indian, can feel like this, I can only imagine how an Aussie would feel

  36. Dement, I wrote about this issue and its likely climax months ago when he went fishing.

    I’m not impressed that a bloke like Haddin can deny reality tarnishing the image of not only cricket but his country and get away with it while Roy is hung out to dry because he beats his own drum.

    Other sportsmen in this country have assaulted women, vandalised property and worse and haven’t been treated as harshly.

    Roy wasn’t in the best form but I think that is symptomatic of his treatment by the men in charge.

  37. What are the odds that the CA will prevent Symonds from participating in the IPL?

  38. I wouldn’t think they have the power, Homer.

    It’s doubtful he’ll ever play for Australia again and I think it may also be against Australian Industrial Relations law.

    Roy would just jump on a plane and go anyway. What are they gonna do, sack him?

  39. Nestaquin,

    Nooooo, but if they dont give the No Objection Certificate, the IPL will not entertain him. Nor will the BCCI.

    It is a mandatory requirement for the home Board to give the NOC to allow players contracted by it to play in the IPL.

    And Symonds has no legal grounds to contest that.

    He will be better off retired than as a contracted Australia player if he wants to play the IPL.


  40. I would have thought the certificate would be valid for all three years of his contract but I do not know for certain.

    Whatever happens if he wants to he’ll be playing in India next month.

    As for legal grounds every and anything is contestable in a court of law in Australia. It’s a fundamental of our democracy.

  41. Nestaquin,

    not if it is a clause in the contract. Also, Gilly is captain and Lehmann is coach of the DC – how much do you think they will want to rock the boat for getting Symonds in?

    And not having Symonds saves the franchise 1.5 million ( or whatever his salary is).

    So who do you think will plead his case?


  42. You do love a fabricated dilemma, Homer. Your name fits like a glove.

    Shouldn’t you be revelling in the bludgeoning beauty of Virender instead of concocting scenarios to cause Andrew even further misery?

    When at the top of the mountain there is only one way you can travel. Enjoy the view while it lasts. Trust me, the descent when it eventually arrives is not much fun!

  43. still some ways to go to the top of the mountain – but I am enjoying the journey

    About Andrew, I think he has been left hung out to dry. With is a pity really because, for all his flaws, his batting has been immense. And the void in the Aussie line up shows.


  44. Symonds may be shockingly out of form. But no-one else has taken the opportunity his absence has provided. I’d have him back in the ODi side tomorrow. Maybe not the test side. All the guff reported about his private life is mere hoo-hah and frippery.

  45. Wasn’t Symonds fined for his outburst?

  46. Contracts themselves can be challenged in the courts, and even if there’s no problem with the NOC requirement in general, I’m sure that if CA objected on “unreasonable” grounds, Symonds could bring his own case. If he’s not picked, then the usual reasons for an objection aren’t relevant.

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