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In one of this blog's irregular forays into foreign territory, allow me to apply a different Pak Spin to the interpretation of Ricky Ponting's decision not to enforce the follow-on in Brisbane.
Cricket Australia, unlike the Pakistan Cricket Board for example, has been monitoring injuries in domestic and international cricket for over a decade. All credit to the people working on this research programme. One of the conclusions of that research--see Cricket Australia's Injury Report 2005--is that enforcing the follow-on in international matches can increase the risk of injuries to bowlers.
The authors of the report suggest that one of the factors leading to a drop in injuries in 2004-5 was: "the decision to be more conservative with decisions such as not enforcing the follow-on in Test matches in 2004-5." More data are required to test this hypothesis further, and it is not entirely clear whether or not Cricket Australia had a deliberate policy of not enforcing the follow-on. But it does suggest one important reason why--particularly with the age and recent injury profile of Australia's bowlers--Ponting chose to bat again.
Ironic, then, that it was the Australian captain who picked up an injury.
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi