Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day January 16, 2008

Finally, cricket returns to centrestage

After the misery of Sydney, Perth provided an enthralling and rewarding day of Test cricket when the focus returned to the contest between bat and ball
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The manner in which Dravid has battled his way back, over by over, innings by innings, should be an inspiration to anyone struggling with form © Getty Images
 

It was in keeping with the script of the day that Rahul Dravid played an uncharacteristic swipe to effect his dismissal and tilt the momentum, in fine balance at that point, in Australia's favour. After the misery of Sydney, Perth provided an enthralling and rewarding day of Test cricket when the focus returned to the contest between bat and ball.

It didn't quite pan out as expected, though. The build-up to the Test had been breathless with everyone from the curator to former players to newcomers talking up Perth's restoration to its former fiery glory. The speed gun kept crossing 150 when Brett Lee had the new ball but, one hour into the second session, the field placements told the story.

Mitchell Johnson had gone back to his run-denying line, a foot or two outside the off stump with a seven-two field; Shaun Tait returned to bowl with point on the fence; Ricky Ponting stood at short mid-on to Andrew Symonds' gentle medium-pacers. By tea, Symonds and Michael Clarke were bowling spin at both ends. Even the breeze was blowing in the wrong direction, from south-east instead of south-west.

But drama wasn't lacking. Virender Sehwag announced his return to Tests with a series of swishes that got India off to an explosive start, Brett Lee then bowled an outstanding spell to bring Australia back, only for two batting masters, playing in contrasting manners, to take over.

Rahul Dravid's struggle in the earlier matches has been one of the most fascinating stories of the series. A man of lesser character would have wilted, but the manner in which Dravid has battled his way back, over by over, innings by innings, should be an inspiration to anyone struggling with form. He had the good fortune of being dropped early today but with the innings' progression emerged the man who scored 619 runs in his previous series here.

The manner of his dismissal will dominate the reports tomorrow and it will perhaps grate him the most but in the circumstances and in the context of the match, he played a splendid innings. As always, he was assured against the short ball, either swaying away or getting on the top of the ball and dropping it down, but the key to succeeding on bouncy pitches often lies in how a batsman responds to the full ball and Dravid's driving through the covers and down the wicket was flawless. It would have been a century to cherish and perhaps the anxiety to get to it quickly induced that stroke.

Of course he was indebted to Sachin Tendulkar, who is now batting as well as he ever has. His innings was constructed as much on skill as on cleverness. His greatness is based on balance and versatility and today he displayed both. The Australians had apparently spotted a weakness in his response to the short ball, and it was clear from the beginning not too many would be offered for him to drive. And so he devised his response.

 
 
Something ought to be done about the slow over-rates. Fines have just not worked. Ian Chappell advocates banning the captain but there might be a even better deterrent. Hit them where it hurts the most by docking them for runs.
 
A few of his early slashes would fool late-comers into thinking Sehwag was still at the crease but followers of Indian cricket would remember it was Tendulkar who showed the way at Bloemfontein in 2001, when Sehwag was a wide-eyed apprentice. Today, if the ball was short and outside off stump, it was evident that Tendulkar would try to hit over the slips for four. A couple of his slashes were edged but the ball was never in danger of being caught. The best of them, though, was manufactured almost after the ball had passed his nose. A short one from Lee followed him as Tendulkar looked to sway out of the way and when it got too close to him, he brought the bat below the ball and gently directed it over the cordon. It was inventive, deft and touched with genius.

Not until he got to 64 did Tendulkar hit a four in front of square on the offside, and it was a glorious cover-drive played off Stuart Clark, front foot stretching forward, the upper body leaning in to give the stroke force, and the front shoulder rotating to give it direction. Sixteen years ago he had played a lone and glorious hand at this ground as his seniors crumbled around him; this Indian batting line-up is far more solid but, once again, Tendulkar was the guiding light on the day that could have gone horribly wrong for India. A rough decision and a brilliant over from Lee denied him his second successive hundred at the WACA but it wasn't until Dravid's dismissal that the wheel started turning in Australia's favour.



Brett Lee was outstanding, bowling in the off-stump channel, the wind blowing across his right shoulder, generating a lovely away curve at good pace © Getty Images
 

Perhaps even the Australians had been misled about the pitch. To add to it, their big weapon, Shaun Tait, failed to fire. Either he was too eager, or too underdone, or perhaps both. He is yet to add variety to his bowling and once the Indians started going they picked him easily for runs. Lee was outstanding, bowling in the off-stump channel, the wind blowing across his right shoulder, generating a lovely away curve at good pace. He could have got Sehwag early, had a catch dropped off Dravid and he alone troubled Tendulkar. Responsibility now sits handsomely on his shoulders.

His dismissal of Laxman in the dying moments of the day gave Australia the edge. At start of the innings, they would have expected to knock India out for under 300. After the experience of the first two sessions, they will take 350. For India, the challenge is to push towards 400.

An excellent day was, however, marred by hopeless over-rates. The Sydney Test was blighted by all sorts of unsavoury incidents but one offence, committed by both teams in the series so far, is the speed at which the bowlers have gone about their job. When India last toured Australia Sourav Ganguly came close to a ban for failing to keep the over-rate up to speed but on this tour the matter hasn't even come on the radar.

A 90-over stipulation was put in place to rein in the West Indians, who, it was argued, were gaining an unfair advantage by bowling their battery of fast bowlers leisurely. The decision to play with four quick bowlers in Perth was Australia's and so was the onus to keep it moving. They were found shockingly lacking. They bowled 12 overs in each of the first two hours, 13 in the third, 14 in the fourth, and the second new ball wasn't due until after ten minutes of the scheduled close of play. That is an unacceptable breach of playing conditions.

Something ought to be done. Fines have just not worked. Ian Chappell advocates banning the captain but there might be a even better deterrent. Hit them where it hurts the most by docking them for runs. See how no-balls have become scarce in Twenty20 after they introduced the free hit.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • snnsx on January 17, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    Why are Australia doing so badly in this test? India have played very well, but not that well.... The answer is simple. And tragic. Australia's team morale has collapsed because of all the criticism from within Australian after Sydney. Fielding is still of the highest standard, but as soon as some nerve and drive are required (bowling & batting), the Aussies have hesitated. If you play for the glory of your country, nothing is more sure to sap your confidence and make you wonder if it is all worth it than the sort of hysterical over-reaction of the past few days from some sections of the media and even some sports "personalities". NONE of the so-called "experts", has-beens and never-weres, and that includes former Test Captains, have ever tasted success at the level of this current team, which has a good claim to be the best of all time. Expect significant Aussie retirements soon, due to a "lack of enjoyment for the game". If it were me, I would tell Australia to "get lost".

  • benn on January 17, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Slow over rate should be dealt session by session. If a bowling team falls short of the over rate, i.e. 30 overs, taking into account any other delays, the bowling team should be warned, and asked to make up for it in the next session. If it is not complied then there should be a penalty.

    Mulcting should be used only if the team repeats the slow rate for more matches in a specified period. Suspending captains is a desperate measure, and should be used only in reckless cases.

    If it could be determined that a batting team is the reason for the slow over rate (for an argument) don't offer light to them, and ask them to bat the complete quota of over for that day

  • Sandman2007 on January 17, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    Sachin gets another one. Technology still does not have a foolproof system to replace onfield umpires. Moreover the human errors are part and parcel of the game. HOWEVER I will not like to be Sachin Tendulkar batting in a foreign country. The umpires in the last few years have time and again robbed the paying public of watchin the genius in full flow. I can count atleast 11 times off hand where he was incorrectly given out. Admire the man for still keeping his composure. Ideal role model.

  • KitKat on January 17, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    There has always been plenty of time in cricket to do all the required field placing, gardening and ball retrieving within the time it takes for the fast bowler to walk back to his starting spot which he should do immediately after he finishes his follow through. They used to get through the overs when there were 8 balls. No one has the will or guts in the administration to take it on.

  • snarge on January 17, 2008, 4:42 GMT

    The hypocrisy of the backlash against Aussie appealing is shown by the ridiculous appeal against Michael Clarke first ball today. A similar appeal was put against Hussey in Melbourne, when he dabbed a ball to third man for runs. It came off nothing but the middle of the bat, and in any case was missing off stump by a foot, yet the Indian players appealed and appealed again. Their appealing in England recently was an absolute disgrace, making them forfeit any right to complain about umpiring. There is no way the Australian appealing is half as bad as that. Get a grip!

  • Mullet on January 17, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    Well why then, gung-ho (in response to slow over rate being soley due to 4 pace bowlers) are there not fines galore in world cricket? 4 pace bowlers is hardly a new concept! The reason was due to the heat.

  • jpwbnh on January 17, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    i m surprised with the combination of the indian team who are taking the load of Wasim jaffer who is failing innnigs by innings. Its quite clear that he is not able to play in fast and bouncy pitches of Australia.I think Saurav Ganguly should be given a chance to open the innings with Virendra Sehwag,since he himself wants to go up the order.

  • Kong_Howe on January 17, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    Andymc, are you saying that all the points that you raised (each dismissal consuming 2-3 minutes; time consumed in boundaries scored, etc,) DID NOT APPLY in, say, Richie Benaud's time? While I am not saying that batsmen do not contribute anything to time-wasting, but (in my experience) most of the talking between overs (or between balls) and gardening are done while the bowlers are walking back to their marks or when the captain and bowler are discussing something and adjusting the field. The 90 overs per day was calculated in a way that took into account of all these. When the Aussies were at the receiving end of the Windies' slow overs tactic, out came the whiners and the whingers! By the way, I am a supporter of the Australian team.

  • ChuckingMuraliMakesMeSick on January 17, 2008, 3:07 GMT

    Let's give the third umpire something to do. 1) Add up time lost due to the batting team (eg gloves left in dressing room, talking to batting partner) 2) Add up time lost due to wickets fallen. 3) Work out overs lost (@ 4 mins per over). 4) Work out net overs bowled (actual + overs lost). 5) Penalise fielding team TEN runs per over not bowled in the course of the day (just add the runs to the batting side). If there is a change of innings in the course of the day, it's easy to work out how many overs need to be bowled by how much time is left - 1 over for every 4 mins left to play. Spectators want 90 overs in a day, captains aren't really interested in how many overs are bowled - Let's get them interested!

  • Perthite on January 17, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Although replays have shown that the decision on Tendulkar was harsh, watching it in real time, it looked dead in front. Before all of India complain about the umpiring again, its worth remembering that the umpire has one chance to judge a ball travelling at 150km an hour and whether it is out or not. Few would have complained with the decision watching it in real time. The reports suggest the umpires made some very good decisions throughout the day on close calls (a catch of the arm guard by Gilchrist comes to mind).

  • snnsx on January 17, 2008, 13:08 GMT

    Why are Australia doing so badly in this test? India have played very well, but not that well.... The answer is simple. And tragic. Australia's team morale has collapsed because of all the criticism from within Australian after Sydney. Fielding is still of the highest standard, but as soon as some nerve and drive are required (bowling & batting), the Aussies have hesitated. If you play for the glory of your country, nothing is more sure to sap your confidence and make you wonder if it is all worth it than the sort of hysterical over-reaction of the past few days from some sections of the media and even some sports "personalities". NONE of the so-called "experts", has-beens and never-weres, and that includes former Test Captains, have ever tasted success at the level of this current team, which has a good claim to be the best of all time. Expect significant Aussie retirements soon, due to a "lack of enjoyment for the game". If it were me, I would tell Australia to "get lost".

  • benn on January 17, 2008, 6:37 GMT

    Slow over rate should be dealt session by session. If a bowling team falls short of the over rate, i.e. 30 overs, taking into account any other delays, the bowling team should be warned, and asked to make up for it in the next session. If it is not complied then there should be a penalty.

    Mulcting should be used only if the team repeats the slow rate for more matches in a specified period. Suspending captains is a desperate measure, and should be used only in reckless cases.

    If it could be determined that a batting team is the reason for the slow over rate (for an argument) don't offer light to them, and ask them to bat the complete quota of over for that day

  • Sandman2007 on January 17, 2008, 5:32 GMT

    Sachin gets another one. Technology still does not have a foolproof system to replace onfield umpires. Moreover the human errors are part and parcel of the game. HOWEVER I will not like to be Sachin Tendulkar batting in a foreign country. The umpires in the last few years have time and again robbed the paying public of watchin the genius in full flow. I can count atleast 11 times off hand where he was incorrectly given out. Admire the man for still keeping his composure. Ideal role model.

  • KitKat on January 17, 2008, 4:49 GMT

    There has always been plenty of time in cricket to do all the required field placing, gardening and ball retrieving within the time it takes for the fast bowler to walk back to his starting spot which he should do immediately after he finishes his follow through. They used to get through the overs when there were 8 balls. No one has the will or guts in the administration to take it on.

  • snarge on January 17, 2008, 4:42 GMT

    The hypocrisy of the backlash against Aussie appealing is shown by the ridiculous appeal against Michael Clarke first ball today. A similar appeal was put against Hussey in Melbourne, when he dabbed a ball to third man for runs. It came off nothing but the middle of the bat, and in any case was missing off stump by a foot, yet the Indian players appealed and appealed again. Their appealing in England recently was an absolute disgrace, making them forfeit any right to complain about umpiring. There is no way the Australian appealing is half as bad as that. Get a grip!

  • Mullet on January 17, 2008, 4:16 GMT

    Well why then, gung-ho (in response to slow over rate being soley due to 4 pace bowlers) are there not fines galore in world cricket? 4 pace bowlers is hardly a new concept! The reason was due to the heat.

  • jpwbnh on January 17, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    i m surprised with the combination of the indian team who are taking the load of Wasim jaffer who is failing innnigs by innings. Its quite clear that he is not able to play in fast and bouncy pitches of Australia.I think Saurav Ganguly should be given a chance to open the innings with Virendra Sehwag,since he himself wants to go up the order.

  • Kong_Howe on January 17, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    Andymc, are you saying that all the points that you raised (each dismissal consuming 2-3 minutes; time consumed in boundaries scored, etc,) DID NOT APPLY in, say, Richie Benaud's time? While I am not saying that batsmen do not contribute anything to time-wasting, but (in my experience) most of the talking between overs (or between balls) and gardening are done while the bowlers are walking back to their marks or when the captain and bowler are discussing something and adjusting the field. The 90 overs per day was calculated in a way that took into account of all these. When the Aussies were at the receiving end of the Windies' slow overs tactic, out came the whiners and the whingers! By the way, I am a supporter of the Australian team.

  • ChuckingMuraliMakesMeSick on January 17, 2008, 3:07 GMT

    Let's give the third umpire something to do. 1) Add up time lost due to the batting team (eg gloves left in dressing room, talking to batting partner) 2) Add up time lost due to wickets fallen. 3) Work out overs lost (@ 4 mins per over). 4) Work out net overs bowled (actual + overs lost). 5) Penalise fielding team TEN runs per over not bowled in the course of the day (just add the runs to the batting side). If there is a change of innings in the course of the day, it's easy to work out how many overs need to be bowled by how much time is left - 1 over for every 4 mins left to play. Spectators want 90 overs in a day, captains aren't really interested in how many overs are bowled - Let's get them interested!

  • Perthite on January 17, 2008, 1:56 GMT

    Although replays have shown that the decision on Tendulkar was harsh, watching it in real time, it looked dead in front. Before all of India complain about the umpiring again, its worth remembering that the umpire has one chance to judge a ball travelling at 150km an hour and whether it is out or not. Few would have complained with the decision watching it in real time. The reports suggest the umpires made some very good decisions throughout the day on close calls (a catch of the arm guard by Gilchrist comes to mind).

  • rappedonthepads on January 17, 2008, 1:15 GMT

    Tendulkar was getting ready for a big one. Brilliant over from Lee. Difficult for the umpire when there are 2-3 close shouts in an over. Was fortunate enough to see the shot over the slips off Lee after the ball had passed his nose. That was sheer genius.

    Over rates are apalling and Andy, not much of what you mentioned happened on the 1st day. And again, don't blame young Sharma for the gloves fiasco, am sure bigger brains were involved behind that.

  • ndogcricfan on January 17, 2008, 0:56 GMT

    yes, Andymc, the batsmen do add to the time it takes to play a day's test worth, but if they're hitting fours and sixes, why shouldn't the bowling team be penalised? That's poor bowling. And, in this match, time was extended, and still the Aussies couldn't put it together

  • SanjivSanjiv on January 17, 2008, 0:01 GMT

    Yes, I agree with the Sambit Bal, hit it where it matters the most. Like we drive the car and when we make the mistake we are hit with traffic infringements and pay in as cash and also get demerit points with serious impact and drive safely. Free hit in Twenty20 for a noball is a very good idea and it works excellently. In test matches docking the runs is a very good penalty against the opposition team along with penalising the captain of the fielding team. Cash fines have no value for the elite cricketers. They have got plenty in their wallets. Sanjiv Gupta Perth Australia

  • boomerfc on January 17, 2008, 0:01 GMT

    The bowling team is at least mainly responsible for the games tempo. People say taking wickets uses up time... but watch Australia, when we are on top and taking wickets our over rate usually increases. We slow the game down (like yesterday) when it suits. All teams do it - even at park level - it is a common tactic that needs to be addressed when it effects the game like it did yesterday.

    On another note, in reply to philco. YOU ARE KIDDING. Tendulkar was out on 49 LBW to Symonds and Dravid was out twice LBW (once ridiculously) before he finally skied one. Thats cricket - just like it was in the second test. Symonds went on and made the most of his luck, Dravid didn't. What is annoying is that the commentators (everywhere) have brushed over the decisions that went against Australia yesterday - and highlighted Tendulkar's dismissal.

    One wonders whether Billy Bowden is scared for his job. I cant think of any other reason he did not give Dravid off Johnson.

  • topoz on January 17, 2008, 0:00 GMT

    Re Philco. Surely yours is one of the stupidest ideas ever. Yes Tendulkar got a rough decision (not as bad as what you are making out tho), but how can you be sure he would not have got out the very next ball? You just cannot retrospectively adjust the score based on what you *think* might have happened. Maybe Aussie supporters could argue (just as stupidly) that some reduction to India's run total should be made because Dravid was not given out to that plumb LBW shout and then they might have quickly run throught he tail. Who is to say Laxman would have played such a bad shot if he came in earlier in the innings, he might have got a first ball duck, he might have scored a double ton.

    No one can predict how a decision will change the course of the game so it is ludicrous to suggest some sort of compensation for bad decisions.

  • topoz on January 16, 2008, 23:47 GMT

    For the aussies to fall so many overs short really was a disgrace. After attending the 1st day in Sydney, it's clear that watching on TV tends to hide just how much stuffing around there can be between overs. And in that instance the Indians only fell 2 overs short even though there a bunch of wickets fell. I can't imagine how tedious it would have been to see all the fiddling around yesterday.

  • uiman11 on January 16, 2008, 23:15 GMT

    Andymc, you got to be kidding me. Over-rates regulations were introduced for the fielding side...it always has been. Besides, are you complainning about taking 6 wickets? I would gladly up my over-rate if it meant time was being used because batsmen were walking out. There are Aussie fans who know the game but unfortunately, you're an Aussie fan who is blind as a bat and you would be oblivious and not see how the fielding team was atrocious in managing their over-rates even if it hit you in the face

    Thank you

  • rockx on January 16, 2008, 20:55 GMT

    I feel that getting hell-bent on completing 90 overs a day is asking a bit too much especially in close contests b/n teams. You have to look at the quality as well and not just the amount of cricket. Going overtime in a normal day's play to complete the stipulated overs is almost the norm rather than the exception and players need to be given more breathing space so they can play their best cricket. The ICC should reduce the min no of overs in a day to 85. I dont think viewers would complain if they can get a high quality of cricket as this series has so far produced.

  • Vishi on January 16, 2008, 20:28 GMT

    Everyone is talking about the overrates in test match... And I see this question arise almost everytime in every Test match. Now I really wonder if the stipulated time is enough?

  • Phildter on January 16, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Big surprise - over rates are featured when Australia infringes (the overall record shows Australia as one of the best countries in this regard). This is consistent with the very selective reporting in this series; batsman not 'walking', and fielders appealing for non-catches are done by players of all countries, but only featured when an Australian does it (but, see Dhoni Youtube). Bucknor's decisions perhaps even cost India a test - featured. Bucknor's 'not out' to a clear LBW (Sreesanth batting) allow India to draw first test against England (a decision that changed not just a test, but an entire series) - ignored. It is self-apparent that the issues of 'walking', appealing and umpiring errors run through cricket, and are not specific to Australia, but we keep seeing posts from those who hope us to believe otherwise. No doubt, there will be illogical replies to this post that will ignore the issues raised, spray random abuse, and claim sportsmanship, all at once. Brilliant.

  • Alpha_Beeta on January 16, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    I don't mean to argue on the last comment, but then how does 100 overs, with fall of upto 20 wickets work in one-day matches. Do batsmen just remain in the creases every moment?? I'd ask for serious consideration of slow bowling as some sort of fines. And though fines might not be too effective, but it does the job, at least temporarily..

  • santoshp on January 16, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    Andymc, in routine test matches all these things happen in every innings of a test match and still a days play completes 90 overs. And we have most matches completing these many overs per day. Other than unavoidable weather and light delays, there is no excuse for bowling side not to comlete the 90 overs in a day's work and are themselves to blame if they don't. Most delays are due to field placements and fast bowlers taking their own time to complete an over. And again fielding side is responsible for it.

  • RakeshLS on January 16, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    Yes it is only the fault of bowling captian and the bowling side who is responsible for slow over rate in this match(may no be all matches). The OZ's were playing with four fast bowlers and all of them were running in from boundary lines, if the captian wanted to increase the over rate he must have told them to hurry up in between each bowl. Instead bowlers were looking into batsman's eyes after delivering each bowl. Most of people see's it as agressiveness , this over aggressiveness led to the slow over in today's test match.

    Rakesh L S

  • tusharkardile on January 16, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    Onfield umpires should ask bowling captain to make efforts to make up for slow over rates by suggesting them to bowl spinners or else giving penalty runs to the batting team. Also, there should be some timekeeping for the time wasted due to injuries or other stuff, and bowling team should get that allowance. finacnial penulties will certainly not work and banning captains may look extreme step.

  • gung-ho on January 16, 2008, 17:39 GMT

    Yeah, its just you Andymc - it does not take a genius to figure out that the over rates are going to take a beating if you have 4 fast bowlers running 30m for every delivery - 180m per over or a mile every 9 overs - so yeah its just you Andymc...

  • philco on January 16, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    Another excellent article Mr Bal. I know that umpiring decisions even out,etc, etc, etc but the decision that wrongly dismissed Tendulkar in full flow was inexcusable and possibly robbed cricket lovers of a special ton. Perhaps, umpiring decisions should also add/deduct runs from a team?

  • Beldarren on January 16, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    If we are going to complain about batsmen, I agree with Bill Lawry , when over the last few years he has been extremely critical of how much time Hayden wastes when he holds up the bowling.

    Come on Umpires!

    I Think it was Ian Healey who today suggested that Bolwing teams not be allowed the new ball for an additional period if they are not up with the over rate.

    Today was disgraceful , even with extra playting time the Aussies didnt bowl the correct amount of overs.

  • bobwd on January 16, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    That's good, Andy. Keep the excuses coming. Australia can do no wrong. We are God-like in our infallibility.

  • Andymc on January 16, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    Is it just me who always wonders why the bowling team are held solely responsible for slow over-rates? If the bowlers are getting hit for 4s and 6s, time is wasted on recovering the ball. Every time a batsman is out, it takes 2 or 3 minutes to change over. If 8 wickets are lost in a day, that's a good 20-25 minutes lost (which, at 15 overs an hour, is 5 or 6 overs) - especially if the batsman pulls a Sharma! When a batsman walks back as a bowler runs up, again, time wasted. Batsmen talking at the end of overs, walking down the wicket to do some gardening after each shot... again, time wasted by the batsmen, but at the expense (literally!) of the bowling team.

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  • Andymc on January 16, 2008, 16:48 GMT

    Is it just me who always wonders why the bowling team are held solely responsible for slow over-rates? If the bowlers are getting hit for 4s and 6s, time is wasted on recovering the ball. Every time a batsman is out, it takes 2 or 3 minutes to change over. If 8 wickets are lost in a day, that's a good 20-25 minutes lost (which, at 15 overs an hour, is 5 or 6 overs) - especially if the batsman pulls a Sharma! When a batsman walks back as a bowler runs up, again, time wasted. Batsmen talking at the end of overs, walking down the wicket to do some gardening after each shot... again, time wasted by the batsmen, but at the expense (literally!) of the bowling team.

  • bobwd on January 16, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    That's good, Andy. Keep the excuses coming. Australia can do no wrong. We are God-like in our infallibility.

  • Beldarren on January 16, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    If we are going to complain about batsmen, I agree with Bill Lawry , when over the last few years he has been extremely critical of how much time Hayden wastes when he holds up the bowling.

    Come on Umpires!

    I Think it was Ian Healey who today suggested that Bolwing teams not be allowed the new ball for an additional period if they are not up with the over rate.

    Today was disgraceful , even with extra playting time the Aussies didnt bowl the correct amount of overs.

  • philco on January 16, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    Another excellent article Mr Bal. I know that umpiring decisions even out,etc, etc, etc but the decision that wrongly dismissed Tendulkar in full flow was inexcusable and possibly robbed cricket lovers of a special ton. Perhaps, umpiring decisions should also add/deduct runs from a team?

  • gung-ho on January 16, 2008, 17:39 GMT

    Yeah, its just you Andymc - it does not take a genius to figure out that the over rates are going to take a beating if you have 4 fast bowlers running 30m for every delivery - 180m per over or a mile every 9 overs - so yeah its just you Andymc...

  • tusharkardile on January 16, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    Onfield umpires should ask bowling captain to make efforts to make up for slow over rates by suggesting them to bowl spinners or else giving penalty runs to the batting team. Also, there should be some timekeeping for the time wasted due to injuries or other stuff, and bowling team should get that allowance. finacnial penulties will certainly not work and banning captains may look extreme step.

  • RakeshLS on January 16, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    Yes it is only the fault of bowling captian and the bowling side who is responsible for slow over rate in this match(may no be all matches). The OZ's were playing with four fast bowlers and all of them were running in from boundary lines, if the captian wanted to increase the over rate he must have told them to hurry up in between each bowl. Instead bowlers were looking into batsman's eyes after delivering each bowl. Most of people see's it as agressiveness , this over aggressiveness led to the slow over in today's test match.

    Rakesh L S

  • santoshp on January 16, 2008, 17:47 GMT

    Andymc, in routine test matches all these things happen in every innings of a test match and still a days play completes 90 overs. And we have most matches completing these many overs per day. Other than unavoidable weather and light delays, there is no excuse for bowling side not to comlete the 90 overs in a day's work and are themselves to blame if they don't. Most delays are due to field placements and fast bowlers taking their own time to complete an over. And again fielding side is responsible for it.

  • Alpha_Beeta on January 16, 2008, 18:01 GMT

    I don't mean to argue on the last comment, but then how does 100 overs, with fall of upto 20 wickets work in one-day matches. Do batsmen just remain in the creases every moment?? I'd ask for serious consideration of slow bowling as some sort of fines. And though fines might not be too effective, but it does the job, at least temporarily..

  • Phildter on January 16, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    Big surprise - over rates are featured when Australia infringes (the overall record shows Australia as one of the best countries in this regard). This is consistent with the very selective reporting in this series; batsman not 'walking', and fielders appealing for non-catches are done by players of all countries, but only featured when an Australian does it (but, see Dhoni Youtube). Bucknor's decisions perhaps even cost India a test - featured. Bucknor's 'not out' to a clear LBW (Sreesanth batting) allow India to draw first test against England (a decision that changed not just a test, but an entire series) - ignored. It is self-apparent that the issues of 'walking', appealing and umpiring errors run through cricket, and are not specific to Australia, but we keep seeing posts from those who hope us to believe otherwise. No doubt, there will be illogical replies to this post that will ignore the issues raised, spray random abuse, and claim sportsmanship, all at once. Brilliant.