Sunil Gavaskar calls for bigger role for match referee

gavaskarInternational Cricket Council’s (ICC) cricket committee chairman Sunil Gavaskar has called for a bigger role for the match referee following an acrimonious one-day series between Australia and India.

The world champions beat the hosts 4-2 in the seven-match series earlier this month, which saw heated exchanges between players of both teams and racial taunts directed towards Australia’s Andrew Symonds by spectators in Baroda and Mumbai.

“While there is no question that the blame rests with the management of both teams for letting it descend to such levels, the International Cricket Council match referee and the umpires are no less culpable,” Gavaskar wrote in his syndicated column on Sunday.

I never complained – Symonds

symondsAndrew Symonds wants to make it clear that he has not complained about his treatment from spectators during the one-day series in India. Symonds has been a target of sections of the home crowds, especially during the seventh match in Mumbai on Wednesday, but he insists he has not sought to make an issue out of the abuse and has only responded to questions when asked about the incidents.

“Over the past couple of weeks, I have felt as though I have been put in a situation that is not of my making,” Symonds said in the Sydney Morning Herald. “I never made a complaint at any venue, but I did answer media questions asking whether I had heard the chants aimed at me in Vadodara.”

Ending the series with a Twenty20 bang

robinOn the eve of the one-off Twenty20 match at the Brabourne Stadium – which was abuzz with 11th-hour activity – the Indian team was keen to reinforce the fact that this was a different format of the game, one in which they, and not Australia, were world champions.

“Whether they get even or not we’re still the world champions, aren’t we? It’s a very good feeling to go into this game as world champions,” Robin Uthappa said when someone suggested that the Australians would be using this game to get back at the Indians for the semi-final defeat in South Africa. “The confidence is high, everyone’s enjoying the game and the atmosphere in the dressing-room is fantastic.

Australia won the big moments and the small ones

australiaIf you were looking for a few instances that illustrated the difference between Australia and India in this series, billed as the “battle of champions” by some local television channels, try these couple of moments, both from the sixth match of the series in Nagpur.

The first involved free hits. Brad Haddin looked to swing Murali Kartik down the ground, but the top edge ended up in Sreesanth’s hands just outside the circle at mid-off. Haddin, however, managed to scamper two. Later Sourav Ganguly, looking for a free swing over midwicket, top-edged Brett Lee behind the wicketkeeper and Adam Gilchrist collected the ball on the first bounce after making considerable ground. The Indians strolled a single. Palpably the difference here was in the intent.

Indian tailenders steal unlikely victory

robinThe stage was set for India’s most loved cricketing son to bid adieu to his home crowd with the sort of innings that he often played to illuminate this venue for almost two decades. Instead, it was Murali Kartik, forever condemned to Indian cricket’s fringes, who basked in the late-afternoon sunshine with a mesmeric spell of left-arm spin bowling, before taking part in the unlikeliest of rearguard actions to script a famous victory.

Monkey chants controversy in Mumbai too

The topic of Andrew Symonds being subjected to racial abuse was once again at the forefront in the final one-day international of the series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. An Australian photographer captured on camera certain spectators in the North Stand enacting monkey chants, a complaint that had been first made during the fifth one-dayer at Vadodara last week.

The matter was brought to the notice of Chris Broad, the ICC match referee, by the Australian team management, and Broad later confirmed to Cricinfo that action had been taken against the miscreants. “I saw the photograph and have sent an official report to the ICC,” he said.

Australia win pace battle

pontingStatistics don’t always tell the full picture, but when the numbers are so glaring, they’re hard to ignore. Australia’s lead fast bowler in this series, Mitchell Johnson, has 11 wickets at 19.45 and an economy rate of 4.55 per over. His opposite number, Zaheer Khan, has given away 47.57 runs for each of his seven wickets and has gone for 6.40 runs an over.

Brett Lee (5.11), Brad Hogg (4.49), Stuart Clark (3.95) and even James Hopes (4.90) between them go for less than five. Contrast that with India’s bowlers – Zaheer (6.40), Sreesanth (6.77), RP Singh (6.72) and the difference is stark. In the Indian side, the slower bowlers have managed to keep things tighter: Irfan Pathan (5.28), Harbhajan Singh (4.89) and Murali Kartik (5.10).

India vs Australia 6th ODI Match Review

When Muslims all over the world were celebrating Eid, Aussies were celebrating Indian slaughter in Nagpur. India, the Twenty20 World Champion has been ripped apart by the real world champions in this series. As usual, the hollow Indian aggression is proving the house of cards, the self-centered and self-beneficial of Sachin Tendulkar are unable to save Indian demise, and the attitude of Indian crowd is as usual obnoxious.

Mandatory ball change annoys Ponting

pontingRicky Ponting has urged the ICC to reconsider the new rule that forces a ball change after the 34th over in ODIs. Ponting believes the early change gives the batsmen too much assistance and replacing the ball later in the innings would be more sensible.

“It’s a very big advantage for the batting team to get a new, harder ball that early in the innings,” Ponting told AFP. “They should try this rule somewhere else before trying at the international level because some day something like this is going to cost a team a game and that could well be the difference in a series.

India and Australia players in flight scare

The Indian and Australian teams survived a scare after their flight made an emergency landing.

The Jet Airways flight from Nagpur to Mumbai took off at 9.40 am local time but had to make a precautionary return to Nagpur ten minutes into the air after a bird hit the plane. The flight safely landed in Nagpur.

“It’s not a big issue and no one panicked as a plane being hit by a bird is a common phenomenon and the pilot decided to land again for a technical check-up,” an official said.