Posted by: tootingtrumpet | March 19, 2011

Australia vs Pakistan – The Final Over of the Day

It's the ball that kisses the edge more often these days

Ball One – Cricket’s series of repetitions (ball after ball after ball) and the time it takes to play, allows little things to get under your skin and, before you know it, you can get obsessed about, well, the UDRS, uncovered wickets, the front foot rule… For the Trumpet, it’s the unnecessary sliding stop that riles me beyond reason. Umar Gul jumps on to his knee to slide in the second over and has the physio out in the third, but is able to carry on… but why take the risk? There are times when the slide is required, but it should not be the default method of fielding – knees can be capricious and need more respect than today’s cricketers give them.

Ball Two – Pakistan look one of the best outfits in the tournament, but how much better would they be with Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif to open the bowling? No point crying over spilt milk, but cricket’s pool of talent is not so deep that it can shrug off the loss of skills like theirs. Hurry back Mr Amir.

Ball Three – Umar Gul is quite sharp, but well short of the pace of Ricky Ponting’s three speedsters. Even at Gul’s fast-medium, there’s plenty of bounce early on in the pitch, so has Ricky missed a trick in not gambling by having a bowl? Punter belies his nickname these days in his predictability, batting whenever he gets the chance – to be fair, it works more often than not.

Ball Four – Australia build innings as they did a generation ago. Gone are the Gilchristian pyrotechnics at the top of the order and in comes Mark Waughesque strokeplay and timing. As other sides have gone become more and more innovative, Australia have become more and more orthodox. For all the doosras, dilscoops and reverse sweeps in vogue, the team with the best record in ODIs play proper cricket from first ball to last. And the Trumpet admires them for it.

Ball Five – It’s a testament to his loss of form and injured finger that it’s almost a surprise to see Ricky middle one, but, after 21 balls, he connects with a picture-book cover drive. He still looks like he is playing from memory, but that shot was a reminder of the past and (just possibly) a portent of things to come. But it wasn’t.

Ball Six – Not for the first time, Michael Clarke plays an injudicious stroke and departs leaving Michael Hussey, not for the first time, to salvage a score with the late order. The world was a different place 15 and a half years ago, but some things don’t change all that much… or maybe they do.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at and on Twitter at @garynaylor999



  1. Re the toss: results at the Premadasa are overwhelmingly against the side batting under lights, so I have no problem with batting first.

    • David – I agree. Not many captains at the Premadasa have Tait, Lee and Johnson though!

      • And to be fair to Ponting, Gary…he’s always been a bat first captain. (More so after the 2005 Ashes, which you no doubt recall!) He even batted 1st on a Sydney greentop against Asif, Sami & co. in Sydney last year.

  2. Anyone know who decides what is shown in a referal. I say this because in the SA v Bangladesh game. Botha’s LBW to get rid of Siddique. It was referred.

    It was the first referral I can remember seeing in the world cup where the ball release image was stopped at the fall of the front foot and not shown the whole way through to the release of the ball. I know there was a bit of mirth at referrals in earlier games which showed actions that looked suspect, so we know actions are not being looked at. But in this instance Siddique was done in by Botha’s doosra, which Botha had been pulled up on before. I just found it very odd that the full action was not shown.

    • Botha should be banned.

      • I believe those shots are entirely in the hands of the production team (not match officials). Not sure if their head supervisor is South African. :)

        But excellent observation. I only saw some highlights of that game… but even in normal speed, the action on that delivery (a doosra) looked fishy.

    • He’s not allowed to bowl it? I’m sure he’s been banned from that, but no-one is game to pull anyone up now.

      Murali, Tait and Botha all look so dodgy in this tournament, I don’t know where to look sometimes at replays.

  3. Btw, was anybody else put off by Haddin’s shove to Younis Khan? I certainly was. Younis was plainly trying to soothe things over…and he’s a veteran cricketer. That’s no way to treat a man like him.

    Would have been nice to see Ponting walk for that big an edge… but then again, barely a handful of batsmen walk these days… so can’t single him out.

    • He can’t afford to walk at all. Not given the shocking nick he’s in.

  4. “but cricket’s pool of talent is not so deep that it can shrug off the loss of skills like theirs”

    Not that I doubt the talent that Amir and Asif had, but frankly their so so so much talent in cricketing nations like Pakistan they may produce another Wasim/Waqar. The bowler who was picked in place of injured Sohail Tavir for example, is extremely special. Juniad Khan played with Amir in junior levels and is almost as impressive.

    • Mayank – Really? Even the Pakistan conveyor belt of talent can’t churn out fast men regularly. Only Shoaib averages less than 30 since W and W (ex Mohammad Asif).

      • Amir I agree on – he’s a tremendous talent. But Asif isn’t suited to the one-day game and was struggling to get a game anyway, especially not ahead of Gul, Wahab and Shoaib.

  5. Interesting shield final down in Tassie. Katich with a very aggressive declaration very nearly paid off this afternoon, if not for a few chances going down. Tas should roll on to the runs tomorrow to take the title. You down there watching Nesta?,10&livematch=true

    • I saw that Japal – superbly aggressive cricket from Katich. I hope it pays off for him – but I suspect Nesta will have the last laugh.

      • It made sense that Katich declared before stamps considering that a draw equals a loss. If only 1 or 2 of the 3 chances before the end of play were held onto.

        Alas Nesta’s boys won. Well played them. But for a team without Bollinger, Cameron, Starc, Hazlewood or Clark as pace options, not a bad effort.

        • Congrats Nesta. A fine era down there.

  6. Something else that is interesting – I’ve a fixture printout from the start of the world cup which has
    QF C – A1vB4 @ Mirpur
    QF D – A2vB3 @ Ahmedabad
    QF E – A3vB2 @ Mirpur
    QF F – A4vB1 @ Colombo

    Maybe it was a mistake and shouldn’t have been published at the time. I guess it makes sense to move the Sri Lanka and india games back to their own countries, but I reckon India would find is easier to beat Australia at Mirpur than Ahmedabad.
    England now have their work cut out in Colombo.

    A1vB4 is still at Mirpur, but A2vB3 is now in Colombo, A3vB2 is in Ahmedabad and A4vB1 is now in Mirpur.

    At the end of it all Australia somehow manage to avoid Mirpur and Colombo. Maybe all is not lost after all.

    • Apparently home advantage goes with the ranking – who would have thought?

      • It’s a clever way of ensuring that India gets a home quarter-final. I certainly wouldn’t have thought of such a justification.

        • I dont think so. ICC is driven by money and although gate collections dont matter, a full house will look good on TV. I dont think at all this has got anything to do with maximising India’s chances.
          As JimDavis pointed, India have a better chance @Mirpur.

          Remember that ICC runs the event – not BCCI. BCCI was not able to overrule the decision on Kolkata and Eden Gardens. ICC employed the stick succesfully on BCCI – and Ricky/Broad/Swann etc go unpunished many times enough compared to Indian/Sub Continent players. This tune of evil BCCI – Innocent ECB/ACB/ICC is a bit too over-played. ICC has enough influential people in influential positions and does favour England/Aus where possible. Most notably in player punishment issues.

          BCCI is evil. Yes. But not so much different from ECB/ACB/ICC. Let’s not fall prey to bitterness.

          • I must have missed the bit where I passionately defended Cricket Australia and the ECB.

            The TV rights deal for the 2011 World Cup AND the 2015 World Cup (and all the other ICC tournaments) was signed years before the ICC announced this ridiculous “home finals based on seeding” business last month.

            The appalling thing with the home finals rule is not that the host nations get a home final – that is fair enough, though they should have thought of that before February of this year. The problem, which hasn’t arisen, was what would have happened if, say, Sri Lanka finished 2nd in group A and India finished 3rd in group B. Instead of the higher-placed Sri Lanka getting the home quarter-final, it would have been played in Ahmedabad.

            That is what I mean about it deliberately favouring India. I’m sure the Premadasa would sell out for a SL v Ind game.

            • Very interesting, the whole “home final based on seeding” thing. I must have missed that when it came out. Made me smile that based on the original ground allocations, someone thought India would finish 3rd and Sri Lanka 4th in the group stages!

              • I share David’s opinion that it was a clever way to ensure India get a home game.

                However, I don’t believe a home game is a significant enough advantage when it comes to WCs…including in the knock-outs. We all know our WC history. The 1975, 1979 and 1983 WCs were held entirely in England. The home team couldn’t win. The same story in every single WC since. NZ thought a home S/F might be a goodd thing in 1992… wrong again. And India’s experience in the 1996 S/F was particularly infamous.

                But yes… I’m happy that SL get to play a home Q/F as they have earned it. As have India by finishing 2nd.

  7. Anyway, Ricky cant get a better opportunity than India in the Quarter Finals. He has always been succesful against the Indian bowling attack, which actually deserves to be called a minnow itself, and Australia is Superman Zaheer’s kryptonite, atleast in World Cups :)

    Watson-Haddin can survive and lay a decent/explosive basement against India’s pie chuckers, including the much hyped Ashwin, who – surprise, surprise – bowled a good restrictive line as opposed to taking wickets by buckets as his supporters led us to believe.
    Ponting comes back to form
    End of the tournament for India.

    • I share many of your regrets / worries / criticisms about India.

      But I don’t believe the result is as foregone a conclusion. You could prove right… it’s possible. But the pitch and the toss will play a significant role in what transpires. Let us not forget how poorly Australia have coped with spinning conditions… in Colombo, and earlier in Bangalore (vs India).

      And let’s not forget that WC knockouts have often produced some dramatic and unforeseen performances from teams and individuals. I’m thinking of Inzamam and Pakistan in 1992, Chris Harris and NZ in 1996 (though Aus eventually won), Aravinda and SL in 1996, Waugh and Australia itself in 1987 (vs Pak in the S/F).

      So who’s to say that a black swan performance won’t occur from some of the many exceptional ODI cricketers on either side?

      I say it’s still 50/50.

      PS: Specifically on Ashwin… I’m one of his strong supporters. The man has a good head, good control… and plenty of heart. I’ve seen him bowl to Gilchrist and Tendulkar in IPL… he dismissed 1 and restricted the other. And on every occasion, he kept the opposition under control. And he doesn’t need to take 4/40… even a 2/45 is a very good performance, and it could force the opposition to go after Harbhajan too to keep up the run-rate… which then makes Harbhajan’s job of taking wkts relatively easier. No matter what the eventual outcome on Thursday… Ashwin makes India’s bowling unit a tougher opposition to get on top of.

      • 50/50 is about right I feel.

      • Anybody remember Ohja and Harbie in both test matches recently tying the Aus batsmen in knots in the second innings?

        If India bowl a lot of spin – including Yuvraj who is high in confidence and looks like he is bowling really cannily – I can’t see the Aussies doing anything other than stuffing up.

      • No, I have no regrets/worries about the Indian team. MS Dhoni is overhyped by his fans and sponsors in India as the greatest Indian captain, Captain Cool and all that rubbish. I would love to see him eat humble pie against Ricky!
        And I am sick and tired of people saying “This team is the best chance for Sachin to get a world cup”, as though a team containing decidedly better batsmen like Rahul, Saurav and a better spinner like Harbhajan wasnt capable of that. Its just that the Aussies of 2003 and 2007 were too good for even those stalwarts. This team, for instance, will be blown away to pieces by Waugh’s Aussies or Ponting’s Aussies circa 2003/07. Not that Ponting’s aussies cannot inflict defeat on this Indian team even now in their depleted state.

        Sachin is great, deserves a world cup – all fine but I think Ricky Ponting deserves a world cup with a depleted team to prove that he is not just a fair-weather captain. And most certainly, a captain like Dhoni doesnt deserve it – he has been propped up by so much luck, and it would be a travesty if he wins it now in the depleted field.
        I expect Ponting to come back to form against India’s minnow attack, and Sachin to fall to the super Aussie attack quickly. That is, no 100th century for him in the Quarters :-). Sorry, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

        • a better wicket taker like Kumble was what I meant.

          The fact is the superiority of this team is being touted based on the superioirty of the fringe personnel – Pathan, Dhoni – over the 2003 team. Yet, it is easy to see that
          Sachin(2003) > Sachin(2011). Sachin(2011) is yet to score a match-winning knock, let alone a century in this edition. I dont think he is going to do that in the Quarters either. Compare that with his thrilling decimation of Pakistan in 2003.
          Sehwag(2011) ~= Sehwag(2003)
          Rahul, Saurav, Yuvraj(2003) > Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj(2011)
          Mongia ~ Kaif(batsman) and Dravid(Keeper)
          Srinath/Zaheer(2003)/Nehra(2003) > Zaheer(2011), Nehra(2011),
          Kumble, Harbhajan(2003) > Harbhajan(2011), Ashwin/Piyush
          Agarkar ~=Sreesanth in net performance

          Whichever way you see, the 2003 team was better. And for that reason alone, I wish this team gets knocked out in the Quarters, and the legends remain legends, and these pretenders dont get a free pass for another 20 years. The other day Balwinder Sandhu releaseed a book piggybacking on 1983. I wouldnt want to see Munaf Patel doing that in 2039(assuming I am alive). Let this team perish in the Quarter Finals against Ricky’s aussies.
          (I dont like Ricky’s behaviour on and off field, and the general “our culture is superior; why isnt everyone elsee like us” attitude of Aussie players – but that shouldnt cloud the cricketing reasons)

  8. Mongia ~ Kaif(batsman) and Dravid(Keeper)

    This should read
    Dhoni >> Kaif(batsman) and Dravid(Keeper)

  9. Crap – 22 overs left and I have to go down to the airport to pick up the inlaws in an hour. I still make India favourites even at 3 down. If it comes to it, Harbhajan and Zaheer will make it happen by sheer will power (because it is Australia).
    Play of the day for me so far has to be Dhoni’s captaincy when White came out to bat. White faced 7 different bowlers in his 22 ball stay. Talk about messing with a players head. Could be the difference in this 50/50 contest.

  10. Finally, Punter figured Sachins secret and played an innings as good as any Sachin masterclass.And naturally, he has also now realized how Sachin would have felt all those times, to score an outstanding ton, and still end up on the losing side. Cricket is great !

    fireworks in full blast out side !

    • Luckily it’s only a mini loss to it shouldn’t hurt as much as a full sized loss.

  11. Well done Punter you gutsy bastard. Too good India.

    South Africa………………

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