Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Tragedy Of Peter Fulton

We just had a brilliant Test match unfold between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. This is what sporting pitches can do (no disrespect to the Kanpur result). I’ll have many things to say about it, but I just wanted to talk about Peter Fulton, who, for God knows what reason, decided not to review his LBW decision in the 2nd innings even though he knew he had an inside edge.

I don’t know much about Fulton; the commentators seemed to imply he’s in dreadful form. But you just watch his face after he’s been given out, and your heart breaks. He touches his bat; sees the red mark; looks at the pitch and his partner (who’s looking down, almost out of shame), and then he walks off, resigned. He’s so low on confidence, the guy actually wanted to be given out and figured he’d be of more use in the dressing room.

This review system has thrown everyone for a loop, but this must be its saddest encounter yet. It’s almost an old-fashioned nod to fate and fortune: I know I wasn’t out; I know I can reverse it — but I won’t, because ’tis my time to go. (Watch it here, Part III video.)


Virender Sehwag Gets Liftoff

The rocket boosters took their time, but Sehwag’s surged past the stratosphere against Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test before anyone figured what he was doing. Dropped on naught, Sehwag went from 6 off 24 at one point to 57 off 64. Brilliant stuff. The magic of boundaries compares nicely to the wonders of compound interest. (Just a side-note in these tough economic times: save, save, save!)

Sri Lanka Tries To Out-India India

Around the 18th over in the 2nd Test between India and Sri Lanka, both Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag disposed of their helmets for some baggy caps, knowing that whatever fearsome trio of Herath-Mendis-Muralitharan would do, they couldn’t hurt their fragile skulls.

But what a thing to behold! Three spinners in an attack, and not an Indian one! Let’s see if they pay enough tribute to the Bedi-Prasana-Chandrashekhar troika. Maybe one of them could don a nice 1970s mustache?

UPDATE: After only six overs of using two spinners at both ends, Sangakarra abandoned Mendis-Muralitharan and brought back a pace bowler. So much for that.

Ishant Sharma Bites The Dust

His descent is nearly complete. Dropped from the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka. But the selectors replace the man with S. Sreesanth, another once-heralded pace asset who quickly fell from grace with bad form, persistent injuries and an absolutely ridiculous on-field persona that even Jerk Supremo Harbhajan Singh couldn’t stand.

I’m already up to sign a “Bring Sharma Back” petition if someone’s passing it around. (Just watch Sreesanth do well in this Test, just to spite all of us.)

South Africa’s England Moment

During the 2nd ODI, there was an ever so brief moment where England’s two South African natives — Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott — combined at the pitch for a partnership. Sure, Pietersen got out for 4, but it was quite a sight to behold in front of the South African crowd.

Taken in with Mahmood and Rashid and Morgan, England’s colonial transformation is near-complete. Eat it, Norman Tebbit.

Geoff Boycott Can Be Annoying Sometimes (No, Really)

Geoff Boycott’s commenting for the South Africa-England series. He’s full of great gems, and he didn’t disappoint during the 2nd ODI’s broadcast. He noted at some point in the match that while England weren’t favorites to win the series, it wasn’t advisable to count them because “when South Africa are the favorites, they never win.” Snap!

But Boycott also comes off like an inappropriate uncle these days. I think he thinks his advanced age allows him to speak his mind, consequences be damned (the man, after all, has faced cancer). During discussion about Johan Botha’s action — the bowler’s doosra was recently disqualified — Boycott kept going on (and on) about a perceived double standard that allows Murali to bowl, but not Botha.

Why is this annoying? Well, first, it’s not just that these are two separate subjects (does Murali have to be brought up when any bowler is put through the ringer?). It’s also that Boycott’s tone was just so imperious and naughty; he knew what he was saying was inappropriate (because, again, Murali’s action has been cleared before) but he just said it to the point it became clear he just wanted to put down Murali than say anything constructive about Johan Fucking Botha.

Gautam Gambhir, Young Indian Success Story

It’s funny to remark on it now, but Gautam Gambhir has been playing international Test cricket for at least five years now. Until very, very recently, I couldn’t stand the man; he always seemed to throw his wicket away, usually chasing some silly ball way outside his off-stump.

But that’s all changed in the last year or so. Some could credit the IPL, or his partnership with Virender Sehwag, but take a look at his last 10 innings (taken from Cricinfo’s Statsguru). Total Test runs are in the third column. I wondered only a few days ago if the Indian cricket team was good at incubating talent; with Gambhir, they have at least one success.

72 26 98 1 0 Sri Lanka Colombo (PSS) 8 Aug 2008 Test # 1886
21 29 50 0 0 Australia Bangalore 9 Oct 2008 Test # 1887
67 104 171 0 0 Australia Mohali 17 Oct 2008 Test # 1889
206 36 242 0 0 Australia Delhi 29 Oct 2008 Test # 1891
19 66 85 3 0 England Chennai 11 Dec 2008 Test # 1898
179 97 276 2 0 England Mohali 19 Dec 2008 Test # 1901
72 30* 102 1 0 New Zealand Hamilton 18 Mar 2009 Test # 1915
16 137 153 0 0 New Zealand Napier 26 Mar 2009 Test # 1917
23 167 190 0 0 New Zealand Wellington 3 Apr 2009 Test # 1918
1 114 115 1 0 Sri Lanka Ahmedabad 16 Nov 2009 Test # 1933

Tillakaratne Dilshan Knows Alchemy

After that brilliant leg gully catch to dismiss Amit Mishra, a commentator explained: “The ability to create something out of [nothing].” Great stuff, that catch.

NEO Sports Sinks To Lower Lows Every Day

I’m not one to sink to profanity, but this rapid cutting to advertisements has got to fucking stop.

Mahela Jayawardene just played one of the great innings of his career, a marathon effort of more than 10 hours, when Amit Mishra finally bowled him. But rather than respect all rules of basic decency or centuries of cricket tradition and show the stadium applaud the batsman as he walks off his stage, NEO Sports decided to cut away to some stupid, utterly stupid advertisement about some kid in front of a car.

Let’s just put this into perspective: Mahela spent nearly half a day playing for the crowd and his team. He gets out, with more than 200 classy runs to his name, and just as he raises his bat — when any other broadcaster would show shots of a standing audience and let this great moment sink in, when even the opposition stood still in appreciation — this piece of shit excuse for a channel decided we should all see an ad for the 800th fucking time in four days.

Amit Mishra Looks Different

Does anyone else think he’s changed his action? It looks like he’s made it so it’s now a higher-arm action, whereas before the ball seemed to come out of his wrist at a lower level.

Or am I just making things up?