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India v Australia, 4th Test, Nagpur, 3rd day
Ian Chappell: Lawmakers must think about one-sided fields
November 8, 2008
It really isn't a lot of fun watching the bowlers bowling well wide of the stumps to packed off-side fields
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Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
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India employed tactics that probably don't make for good viewing, but at the end of the day they are leading by 86 runs © Getty Images

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, started off with some rather defensive tactics today, to the point of being a bit negative with the bowlers bowling well wide of the stumps with eight men on one side. That just stifled the Australian scoring. It got them into the mode of not playing shots and that really hung on with the Australians for the rest of the day.

India dominated the day's play and it was really up to the Australians to get moving. India employed tactics that probably don't make for good viewing but I guess Dhoni will say: At the end of the day, we're leading by 86 runs and I don't care what you think of my tactics.

Once again, India were sloppy in the field, with catches going down. There was an opportunity to get Simon Katich before he scored his hundred. Rahul Dravid, whose confidence is down a bit because of his batting, grassed Katich's catch. That is one area where India really do have to improve a lot. They are a good team; they have got a good bowling attack already and if they can back that up with good fielding it will make the attack just that much better.

Katich eventually reached a well-deserved hundred. He played so well yesterday but he was unable to throw the shackles off today. He was suddenly surprised when Zaheer Khan made one swing back into him quite sharply and he was out lbw. That dismissal really started the downfall of the Australians.

Some excellent fielding, however, from M Vijay got rid of the very dangerous Michael Hussey just before he reached a 100. It was a terrific piece of athleticism from Vijay and very good thinking to throw the ball back short of Dhoni. This gave Dhoni the opportunity to knock the ball onto the stumps. That was a big dismissal for India.

Michael Clarke was out to a beauty by Ishant Sharma. He then came back with the second new ball and bowled tremendously well especially the over in which he got rid of Jason Krejza. After Krejza's wicket he had Mitchell Johnson dropped. But it was a tremendous over from him and it really had the crowd buzzing.

The Indian quick bowlers really shouldered a heavy load on the day and they are very much responsible for India being in a position of dominance with that lead of 86.

The Australian lower-order players hung around for a while. Cameron White in particular played quite well for his 46 with four boundaries. There was obviously a message to get a move on at the end of the day after which he holed out in the outfield. Brad Haddin was caught trying to kick one away with Amit Mishra bowling into the footmarks from around the wicket. Eventually Johnson also holed out on the boundary. It had been a long, hard, grinding day for India but they will say that it was worth it because they have that lead of 86 runs.

Once India put the Australians into that non-strokeplaying mode, they were unable to get out of that mode and get back into a position where they could dominate.

It is not the sort of cricket I like to see. Administrators have got to think about suggesting that perhaps no more than two-thirds of the fielders can be on one side of the wicket. It really isn't a lot of fun watching the bowlers bowling well wide of the stumps and batsmen putting their bats on their shoulders.

The over-rates were appalling again. The Indians really showed the true colour of cricketers. They are just not bothered by fines. They were quite prepared to slow the over-rate in the morning and even use it as a tactic. That is ridiculous. You shouldn't be allowed to use it as a tactic. Until the administrators suspend the captain for a couple of Tests, they are not going to get anywhere with over rates. They haven't got anywhere with fines because fines don't work. They need to start suspending the captain.

But India well and truly on top. The game now needs to be made by Australia. There is no need for India to dangle the carrot to Australia because whatever target India sets, Australia have to have a crack at it.

The odds now favour India to take back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is a a columnist

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Posted by Krishna on (November 9, 2008, 22:05 GMT)

Yesterdays happenings (Aus slow over rate) have again proven that the Required Over Rate and penalties thereof are punitive enough a measure to prevent timewasting and negative tactics. It puts the third days play and Ian's comments ( a bit lop sided many here felt) in perspective. A captain's right for a defensive field setting shd stay, for if there is a 8-1 field, the flip side of the defensive offside field, is the huge opportunity to be creative and take the attack to the opposition on the vacant legside (like what Laxman and Sehwag do - they can clear the legside (with fielders) from outside offstump).

Posted by Hayawardh on (November 9, 2008, 20:49 GMT)

It is simple to sort everything out. We can add a new rule to cricket which states that "Australia should win every match they play"

Posted by Vaibhav on (November 9, 2008, 20:31 GMT)

When Australia started a very unethical malicious name calling tactic for other players... it gets coined "Mental Disintegration". It has left so many ripple effects in the game even now none of which are good for the game.

But when another captain uses perfectly legal methods of stragulating the Aussies.... they whine. If you are so great then you should have scored runs despite the field.

Ian Chappell may be a shrewd brain but he seems more like a elementary school bully who whines when a new kid on the block takes away his candy....Jeez.....

Posted by Suneel on (November 9, 2008, 18:40 GMT)

Now Australia has a sniffing chance of levellening the series... make 350 runs and the WB trophy is yours.... but with the spirit flsgging, they might even get decimated below 250... Way to go Team India! Play for a win.

Posted by Par on (November 9, 2008, 17:54 GMT)

Cricinfo has diasbled comments on Ian's latest article!!! Wow, did he get deep fried here :) Ian yesterday Indians showed true colors of cricketers? What about Ponting, it wasnt just a mistake as you mentioned, he isnt naive. It was a damn sweet ploy which he employed when sehwag was blasting you guys..He slowed down overs, took tons of time setting field ,everything done to slow it down so much that he was sure to be banned for next test. IT WAS A PLOY, NO MISTAKE, GIVE THAT MUCH CREDIT TO YOUR GUY. And Cricinfo, where is the comments section for his latest article? Dont you like free press????

Posted by B on (November 9, 2008, 6:30 GMT)

Hi Ian

You have started sleeping when Mitchell Johnson bowled wide of off stump. You slept through Ricky Ponting, despite not bowling Brett Lee, never completes more than 12 overs an hour. He never gets fined, leave alone getting banned. You forgot when you had more than 7-8 fielders on the offside. May be watching test cricket is too much for your ripe old age.

There may not be many on the ground, but a lot of us watching on TV. Do not insult our intelligence; we are watching the whinging and whining Aussies. They to get rid of Bhajji when he troubles Ponting, get rid of Gambhir when he scores repeatedly and now target Dhoni. Did Symonds get punished even after the judge's comments? Did Ponting ever pulled up slow over rates ?

Ian.... If you cannot be objective, please retire from the press. I look forward Ponting resigning like Kim Hughes. Aussies try to look like bullies but cry like sissies when they lose. Ian is a TRUE BLUE !!

Posted by hattrick_thug on (November 9, 2008, 6:13 GMT)

This is the first time I've ever had to disagree with Ian. The batsmen don't have a problem with the 8/1 field - they only have a problem with the 8, but there's only 1 on the other side. I can even understand that bowling fast and full down the legside is negative, but outside off?! Even so, it's time batsmen learned a new trick or two - this kind of attack requires skill and discipline on the part of the bowlers and seems perfectly legitimate. Not every match is made interesting by mere runs - what about that spell from Donald to Atherton, or Holding to Boycott - those are things that add to cricket, not detract from it.

Posted by Avinash on (November 9, 2008, 6:01 GMT)

very unrealistic and sad comments from Ian, why Ian is winging about indian tactics? wasn't it idea of steve Waugh against India in australia 2004 summer season, to Put seven fielders on off side and McGrath and Co. bowled similar "Field setting friendly" bowling. During that period nobody commented that it was "too Defensive"....but why now..? is just becaz australia cant retain Gavaskar-Border trophy..? or Once unbeatean team is now beatable.

Posted by jacob on (November 9, 2008, 5:49 GMT)

I agree with chappel that this doesn't enthrall the viewers. But I beg to disagree with all other opinions. 1. negative startegies are employed by most of the captains when things are not going their way- the liberty exists only in test matches. but with all technology and the best of coaching staffs available - champion side should be able to counter it and come out on tops. - like they say -switch to plan B 2.Over rates - 24 and 29 overs in the first 2 sessions is not horrible!!the day ended with 85.4 overs in the Australian innings and 1 in Indian 3. suspension of captains- are we becoming too childish here ?

Another question that I want to ask Mr Chappel is - How many matches do you suspend a captain who orders his bowler to bowl underarm the last ball of a match - with only one intention - Win at any COST!!!

Results justifies the methods!

Posted by Siju on (November 9, 2008, 5:38 GMT)

With all respect to Mr. Ian Chappel, I bet the same Mr.Chappel would have hailed Ricky Ponting if it was Australia fielding with 8 players on one side and acheived what India did yesterday. He would have called it innovative captaincy. Mr.Chappel did not have this much voice when Ricky Ponting used slow over rate as a tactic when India was batting along nicely in the previous tests at Delhi & Mohali. May be Ian too, like all Australians can't digest the fact that India made a mockery of Ricky Ponting's "New Age Cricket" talks prior to the series.


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