December 28, 2006

Fourth Test, Melbourne

Rudiwatch

Gideon Haigh

Another day, another Koertzen clanger. Symonds (56) hit on the back leg by Panesar, the ball seemingly headed for middle stump, about six inches from the top. Nope. Ho-hum. At least he’s another day closer to retirement.

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Posted by leigh on (December 29, 2006, 13:44 GMT)

Andrew..."You have obviously never played compedetive cricket".Excusing the spelling, if you had as you say played competetive cricket then you would know that when a spinner is bowling and the ball hits on the full an umpire is instructed to assume it was going straight on, and in this case would introduce the element of doubt that it would have missed the batsmans stumps. That said, it does not excuse Rudis woeful umpiring this summer. As for gritting your teeth and fighting on when things are going against you perhaps that was never written on the English batting plan, or was that stolen by spies also?

Posted by Peter on (December 29, 2006, 9:19 GMT)

Well Andrew, can't speak for Bazza - but yes, I have played competetive cricket - though why that's relevant escapes me? So, didn't England have their "tails up" when Hayden & Symonds came together at 5-84? They should have... Despite Hayden being there when maybe he shouldn't have been, the fact is that they had Australia on the ropes, still 75 runs behind, with a nervous Symonds just in, and only the inconsistent (of late) Gilly to come. And they weren't up to it! What did the Aussies do when they had England in a similar position next day? They did what any half decent side should do - they finished them off. As someone who has obviously played competitive cricket Andrew, tell us your views on the shocking decisions that befell Australia in 2005, and how it was that they still managed to keep the series alive into the last session of the last Test - and then after losing the Ashes, gave credit to the English team without bemoaning their misfortune at the hands of the umpires. You lot were over the top winners last time, try to at least lose graciously this time around...

Posted by Don on (December 29, 2006, 6:45 GMT)

Hmmm let me see, England defeated by an Innings and 99 runs. If Symonds is dismissed for 56, Australia require 1 run. To all those whingers, get over it, as for decisions ALWAYS going Australia's way...open your eyes and watch the game Saumil, more one eyed than cyclopse. Bad umpiring decisions (both ways) don't lose a test series 4 - 0

Posted by Andrew on (December 29, 2006, 5:54 GMT)

Peter and Bazza,

You have obviously never played compedetive cricket. When things are not going your way, you grit your teeth and fight on. England did just that and had Australia 5 for not many in quick time. With Haden in the pavillion to, Symonds and Gillie would have been exposed to an England attack with their tails up. Sure, Symonds batted well after a scratchy start, but how do you miss a back-pad LBW, when Warnie gets an abundance of front foot LBW's !!! Whilst we'll never know if that could have been the turnaround for England, at leat it would be 11 men against 11 men. My solution is simple: Umpiring is all about speed, peception, reflexes and stamina. All modern day umpires are well over 50 years old, when their senses (sight in particular)are in decline. Use umpires that are under 40 and are still in their prime as far as sight, hearing and stamina are concerned...

Posted by Softdog on (December 29, 2006, 4:08 GMT)

My idea for umpiring will not help the non decsions but it will aid the dodgy one when given... When a batsman is given out he needs to be given out by at least two umpires. Now think about it, this will have very little impact on the game... And what this will do is remove from the system "bad decsions:" Ie If an umpire gives a batman out LBW and the ball pitches outside leg then The 3rd umpire would turn it down... On most occasions the 3rd umpire will merely confirm the decision of the umpire in the middle...And very rarely will they overturn that decsion of the the umpire on the ground

Posted by Nick on (December 29, 2006, 0:21 GMT)

its a relief finally to see that there are some people out there in cricket land that understand the umpire as just another element functioning within the cricket match. performing to the best of its ability in reacting to the situation hurtling toward it. making best use of reflex, technique and form to execute a play. the umpire is an athlete too. this doesnt excuse it from critiscism just as a batsman will be critiscised for poor shot selection. rudis form deserves scrutiny but not the burden of responsibility for the result of a test match. chances come and go are taken or not.

Posted by Peter on (December 28, 2006, 23:01 GMT)

Come on Norm - they lost by an innings & a hundred runs! Australia still would have won if all decisions went England's way. Bazza is spot on - how the two sides have handled missed chances - whether it be a dropped catch, missed stumping, or a bad umpiring decision - is what matters...OK, Hayden should have been given early, but England couldn't create any more chances until he'd scored 150... Symonds should have been given out on 50, but was allowed to add another 100 before another chance was created. Ponting was dropped by Giles in Adelaide and went on to add more than a hundred more. And so on... In the first innings in Melbourne Strauss was dropped on 40, but then picked up on 50. Gilly missed a simple stumping chance when Pietersen was on 8, but then he was caught on 21. Cook should have been given out on 8 in the second innings, but Australia got on with it and had him out on 20. That's the difference between the two sides - Australia creates enough chances to overcome the missed ones, England doesn't...

Posted by Jusin on (December 28, 2006, 16:17 GMT)

Of course they benefited from the decisions, that's beyond question. The simple difference is Australia takes advantage of their luck, like any champion does. They ride their luck and 'control the controllables'. The Poms (and everyone else) just cry about decisions against them and don't take advantage of their own luck.

To everyone who just can't shut up about umpiring decisions I have this comment (to match the intelligence of the whining): Wah, wah, waaaaaah.

Posted by Frank Prenesti on (December 28, 2006, 15:49 GMT)

Time for Koertzen to go, I'm afraid. He's had a shocker this series and players on both sides have suffered as a result. I've never seen so many plumb LBW decisions given not out. Simple enough set of questions: Did it strike in line, was he playing a shot, was it going over the top and was it going to hit? I am sure umpires suffer dips in "form" like players, but the answer isn't to give him another test match. You would do that to a player struggling with bat or ball, so why shouldn't Rudi be given the same selectorial scrutiny? It is meant to be an "elite" panel after all. Oh, and before anybody asks, I am an expat Aussie following from sunny London who doesn't believe these things always even themselves out.

Posted by Graham on (December 28, 2006, 14:25 GMT)

I have to agree with bazza. Poor umpiring decisions generally do even out over the course of a series or even a single match. Gosh, what did people do before replays? If Cook and Strauss had gone on to make centuries in Englands second innings I wonder if we would have so many comments about the umpiring? Lot's of people talk about all the technology we have available, and how we should have instant replay, etc. Why don't we remove the umpires from the field of play and we can use snicko, hot spot, hawkeye and replay to make all the umpiring decisions. Even better, we can all vote electronically from home on whether the batsman is out or not. Please, let's just enjoy the Cricket.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gideon Haigh
Born in London of a Yorkshire father, raised in Australia by a Tasmanian mother, Gideon Haigh lives in Melbourne with a cat, Trumper. He has written 19 books and edited a further seven. He is also a life member and perennial vice-president of the South Yarra CC.

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