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India v Australia, 4th Test, Nagpur, 5th day
Chappell: 'Ponting is still the best captain for Australia'
November 10, 2008
India prove far superior to Australia as they regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Nagpur
 
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'Ishant Sharma has shown a huge improvement since he toured Australia not so long ago and he was the big difference between the two sides' © Getty Images
 

India have comfortably won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, winning the series 2-0, with both the wins - in Mohali and Nagpur - quite comfortable in the end. A lot of people would not have been thrilled with the tactics used by India in this game and I thought there were some cynical moments in this Test. I think if players are going to be allowed to slow the over-rates down as a tactic, then administrators really need to step in. But they have had problems with over-rates for over 30 years now and they haven't done anything serious about it so you cannot be surprised if the players use them cynically.

But India were far and away the better side. The important difference between India and Australia was the bowling attack. India's attack had an answer to all the conditions whereas Australia didn't. The Man of the Series was Ishant Sharma and he certainly was the big difference between the two teams. The fact that India were able to get more wickets out of their faster bowlers made it easier for their spinners and they had by far the better spinners. Ishant has shown a huge improvement since he toured Australia not so long ago and he was the big difference. India also got away to a good start on most occasions thanks to Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. They were a dominant opening pair and they made a big difference for India.

It was an outside chance that the Australians, in the last innings of this Test, were ever going to win this Test because India were never really going to bowl enough balls to them to score the runs, for starters. Matthew Hayden, I thought, was quite controlled in his approach to the target on this occasion. Simon Katich, on the other hand, went a little berserk early on and paid the penalty for it. I thought it needed a bit more of a controlled approach if Australia were going to trouble India. Hayden, I thought played very well and there was perhaps a moment when Australia might have frightened India a little bit and that was when Hayden and Michael Hussey were together. Hayden was playing very powerfully at that stage, and Hussey as always was playing smartly, pushing the ball around. They complemented each other beautifully and things were going quite nicely for Australia. But Amit Mishra did a terrific job for India. First he got rid of Ricky Ponting with a smart under-arm throw and then he bowled a beautiful delivery - a subtle variation - to get rid of Hussey and that was really the end of it for Australia. They kept going for their target and this meant India could keep getting wickets and in the end they won by 172 runs.

Dhoni has now the got the side that he wants. He was the acting-captain in Mohali and so he was involved in both the Test victories though they saw two totally different performances from him as a captain. What he showed in Nagpur was that he was going to do it his way. He has not bothered about what the world has to say about his tactics. He has shown he is there to win and that is all that matters to him. It was a big turning point in the game when he closed the Australians down when they had started so well in the first innings and so he can turn around and say, "You all can go jump in the lake, my tactics worked." I don't like the idea of bowling to an 8-1 field. I think its rubbish cricket and I think they have to get in a rule which says that you cannot do better than a 6-3 field either way, but I wouldn't like to hang by the neck waiting for the administrators to make that change.

 
 
Ricky Ponting is still the best bet as captain for Australia. I think he is a good captain but for god's sake, he has got to stop getting himself into trouble with the over rates and putting himself in a position where he cannot bowl the bowlers that he wants
 

The Australians will be disappointed by what happened. But in essence they never had an attack that was going to work enough for them to work in India. You can't blame Ponting totally for the loss. Obviously a captain gets some of the blame but you can't give him the total blame. But his tactics after tea on the fourth day - particularly because it was such a significant moment - will always remain a query. He will certainly be questioned quite severely about it when he goes back home.

But Ponting is still the best bet as captain for Australia. I think he is a good captain but for god's sake, he has got to stop getting himself into trouble with the over-rates and putting himself in a position where he cannot bowl the bowlers that he wants. He has got the advantage that on going back home he has to front up against New Zealand in a week's time. New Zealand are a very ordinary side at the moment and they will be further hampered by the loss of Jacob Oram and Australia will win the two Tests pretty comfortably unless they are badly affected by weather. And that will settle down any of the critics back and home and will also give Ponting some time to settle back into the job. But Australia's big Test will come when they meet South Arica later in the summer and it will be interesting to see what happens then. Certainly Australia's attack is better suited to their conditions than it was to India.

But in the end the Border-Gavaskar Trophy went to the right team: India were superior to Australia.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist


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Posted by rohitnewzealand on (November 12, 2008, 1:50 GMT)

TO different get over it. we know india is not the greatest team in the world. but we also know australia is on the decline. no-one is saying india is the best we are all disapointed that the aussies are such sore losers.

Posted by faces4u on (November 11, 2008, 15:06 GMT)

ian, i noticed you appear to be at pains not to mention the name andrew symonds why, how do you think his absence affected the australian team?.

Posted by praneshvittal on (November 11, 2008, 8:09 GMT)

It won't be too far when Mr. Chappell will criticize reverse-swing and would make a statement that the administrators should ban reverse-swing as its not in the true spirit of the game. To make it more simpler, watever Ozs can't do well, should be banned from the game. After all they are the number 1 team and they can't loose it at any cost. So ICC should make all the efforts to achieve the same and frame rules accordingly.

Posted by Mark_Benson on (November 11, 2008, 7:52 GMT)

I want to second on of the above comments, I completely agree with many that Ian Chappell is among the most astute of cricket thinkers, commentates with a old world charm. He sums the analysis of the series finely. What I din't expect from him was his dissapointment of Dhoni's tactics. I anticipated that a typical aussie that he is, would say, it was a masterstroke of a tactic as it was novel, helpful and well within the rules of the game. Spirit of the Game is a subjective terminology, Sledging certainly is not within of the spirit of the game, but is a part of cricketing tradition.

Posted by teammate on (November 11, 2008, 7:04 GMT)

First of all congratulations to Indian team as they made the world champions of test cricket look awfully different.Lot of talk about the tactics adopted by India was right or wrong , unsportive etc.. As far as I can think, in Test cricket, there must not be any restriction like what Ian advocates. It will kill the game. For a moment imagine test cricket without bouncers! You will get no spectator on the boxing day in Melbourne if such rules are implemented. Rarely should there be a law like minimum over rate etc as they are spectator friendly.

It is the bowling team's prerogative to adopt a certain field setup and the batsman must adopt himself to play. Imagine bowling Virender Sehwag or Kris Srikanth wit 8 fielders on off side.. they will still smack Bret Lee for a six over point region! Bravo Australia..Improve.. You got the taste of your own medicine.

Posted by crazy_zach on (November 11, 2008, 6:26 GMT)

Ian I completely disagree with you on 8-1 field. I think Dhoni was smart enough to employ it. Also, why are you blaming Dhoni for slow over-rate when Ponting is guilty of the same...And your bias can be easily made from the statement "but for god's sake, he has got to stop getting himself into trouble with the over-rates and putting himself in a position where he cannot bowl the bowlers that he wants"....Now how does one know that ponting didn't bowl his overs slowly as tactical ploy on 4th day morning....after all india were over 100 for no loss and scoring over 4 an over...one doesn't have to be sherlock holmes to know the answer..

Posted by weststigersbob on (November 11, 2008, 6:13 GMT)

Firstly, in response to maha1971: Ian Chappell had nothing to do with Underarm. That was Greg and Trevor Chappell.

To the crux of the article. I honestly don't think Ponting is Australia's best choice as captain. I think he is the 'least worst'. Clarke is still a little green, Hussey, Lee and Hayden aren't natural captains and no one else has been around long enough to be considered. So Ponting it is. His main problems with over-rates are his insistance on setting fields with his bowler at the start of every over it seems. Usually this takes the form of Ponting and said bowler looking rather confused and worried about exactly what they are trying to achieve. No wonder people think Australia is losing it's mojo. Could you imagine Warne, or McGrath - Hell even Merv Hughes or Craig McDermott showing batsmen that they weren't sure what they were doing? It would never happen. It seems that Plan A is gone after one shot, and Plans B thru Z come out very quickly. No faith, bad captaincy.

Posted by BEDEKAR on (November 11, 2008, 5:48 GMT)

Australia,as usual, had prepared well.For example, although Harbhajan probably bowled at his best, Australia played him well. He got fewer wickets than his bowling deserved.They knew how to deal with gentleman captain Kumble They were however, not prepared for India's surprises.Gambhir& Mishra, nor the sustained hostilty of Ishant& Zaheer.They thought India's seniors were over the hill.And above all, had not reckoned with street smart captaincy of Dhoni.They had no answers to these surprises! They could not think on their feet! That certainly was DUMB cricket, not expected from Australia !

Posted by different on (November 11, 2008, 5:26 GMT)

1.0 India won the series more because of luck and also unlucky Aussies

2.0 By using dirty tactics India has killed the game and sporting spirit

3.0 NObody has said anything about umpiring dscisions since they were

mostly in Indias favour. If it was otherwise BCCI would have raised

hue and cry.

4.0 Beating Australia does not mean that India is no. 1 India has

to go long way to achieve that. They have to gain ICC ranking

at least for 2 years. They have also to win at least 10 matches

consecutively. I am doubtful if India can ever do that.

5.0 India has to win outside India. They could not beat even SL.

6.0 Indian players are liars crybabies and blackmailers.

Posted by ravee25 on (November 11, 2008, 5:12 GMT)

8:1 ? Nothing new in what Mr.I C has said. Bias? :) I am sure I C didnt miss out on the fact that it is the same 8:1 which did almost fetch a wicket (Dravid dropped Katich before his century) - isnt that a smart tactic? Why doesnt he talk good about the way the Speedsters demonstrated how to bowl to such a field? Punter the best? - oh no way - I would rate Mark T, Steve W and Allan B above him. They created fighters which Punter used in the early part of his career. I guess any tom dick or harry could have lead that bunch of folks (warnie, pidgeon, langer, martyn, gilly, gillespie et al) A Leader is one who inspires people - alas - he hasnt inspired any of his folks.

Posted by rsram on (November 11, 2008, 5:11 GMT)

I beg to differ from Ian's view about the 8-1 field setting. I am searching for a reason in this world to know why this tactic has been critized. Dhoni did not employ negative tactics of having his bolwers bowl at the leg stump through out the innings. He just made his bowlers bowl at outside the offstump and set his field that would suit the bowling, and that too it was for just one session as one of my friends rightly mentioned in his comment. Whats wrong in this? What is the fuss all about then? I think all the bowling coaches in the world will tell their wards to concentrate on/outside the offstump. When Glenn McGrath bowled at outside the offstump for 9/10 deliveries, he was hailed as a greatest bowler on earth. He did bowl once with 9 slips in a cricket match(i guess against zim). Dhoni's tactic definitely is not rubbish as mentioned by Ian. He's calling for a fielding rule to be in place for test. I would rather call this rubbish...

Posted by Adhil.mothie on (November 11, 2008, 4:47 GMT)

I have tremendous respect for Ian Chappell,he is a fine expert of the game,but i dont think australia's woes will disappear when they play the blackcaps next week simply because the stronger South Africans will be next,and they will give Australia problems so it isnt over Chappelli,than the Ashes next year.Yes! The blackcaps are weakish,simply because its a young team,you dont need to disrespect them like the way Nasser Hussein & his bimbos did in England,like England were far superior to us on that tour.

Posted by Ilin on (November 11, 2008, 4:38 GMT)

In my view,the main reasons of aussie loss are-1.no swing from pacers.2.lack of spin.3.terrible wicketkeeping.whereas india topped all of these.you see,how many maiden over was given by krejza?only one.its pathetic man.bowler like warne,too,struggles against india,but in 75overs he used to bowl over 10maidens.india lost wickets on krejza,but he was india's run feast too.now haddin comes to party.he doesnt know,that whats in world,is goin on.he dropped crucial catches,gave countless byes and extra runs,did a cheat act by throwing glove and most imp.he doesnt make any contribution in scoring.so how could aussies.....?

Posted by rohanbala on (November 11, 2008, 4:17 GMT)

To ask for the head of the Australian captain just for the 2-0 loss against India, is plain silly stuff. India played better and deservedly won the series and that does not mean that the tag of World No.1 team should immediately be attached to the Indian team. Ponting is a good captain, no doubt and his past records prove that. The Australian selectors should not jump the gun and name a new captain. As for the future, Clarke is bound to fill in for Ponting, but he has to be more consistent.

Posted by cricket_wins on (November 11, 2008, 4:15 GMT)

Let us not react to Ian Chappell's comments. He is not a great commentator, and he represents the Australian view. He is highly biased, and he has to find something faulty with Indians, otherwise our victory will be a perfect one, which Australian media cannot fathom.

Posted by puck42 on (November 11, 2008, 4:04 GMT)

Oh poor Aussies got done in by an 8-1 field. Change the rules.

But wait, did anyone expect the likes of Sehwag or even Laxman with his pickup flick to the legside be held back by an 8-1 field? Dhoni used the field as a way to put pressure on the Australians. He was not aiming for a draw. The shackles worked.

The biggest problem in Test cricket is not that one needs more rules on field placements. (for what? to help the batsmen?). The biggest problem is that this is the only game in which 22 people spend 5 whole days playing it and you still have a draw as the most likely outcome. Any rule changes should favor bowlers not batsmen to keep this game from going the way of the dinosaurs. That, and result-oriented, bowler-favoring pitches.

Posted by KopparapuV on (November 11, 2008, 4:04 GMT)

My point is 8-1 field may be incorrect in a different match, but based on the situation of Nagpur test it is perfect for India. Australia needs to run for win… not India. I am sure Dhoni and India tactics is that in making Australia run for a win, there is a good chance of losing wickets and grab opportunity for India. Ian is talking more like an Australian, rather than a nut real commentator.

Posted by Prix on (November 11, 2008, 4:00 GMT)

I agree with Ian when he says that Ponting is still the best captain for Australia...as for the excessive speculation that surrounds his decision of bowling part timers after the Tea, I feel his leadership abilities are never worth debating- his records speak volumes. He's sensible enough and must be having some logic to justify his decision and let us be patient enough till he and CA clear it out. It's disgusting that many have labelled him "selfish". Armchair analysts, self styled critics and moralists speak one language the world over- I realized that. Earlier, I thought this doesn't happen in Down Under. And as they say- no man should be condemned unheard-I don't think losing to India in India is that big an offence that Ponting also loses his right to this principle of natural justice.

Posted by vswami on (November 11, 2008, 3:58 GMT)

Its all very confusing, what do journalists want? * Over rates are slow,so Ponting tries to rectify it and he is crucified in the press.Every one says he should have worried about the victory and not bothered about over rates and fines. * Dhoni employs a 8-1 field to stop a rampaging batting side(I understand the criticism if its a 8-1 field on the leg side, but fail to understand what the issue is with an offside field),he is criticised because he is playing to win.As if he is supposed to place the fielders where the batsmen expect and bowl where they want! Inference I can draw are * If India plays to win, they are destroying the spirit of the game * If Australia plays to win, they are only demonstrating a winning culture This is like how the back of West Indian fast bowlers was broken by the crazy 1 bouncer per over rule through a sustained media campaign by some ex-cricketers/journalists. It seems like the game needs to be protected from these inconsistent/muddle headed journos.

Posted by SLAMMER on (November 11, 2008, 3:47 GMT)

Ian Chappell and the other Australian media do have the right to their opinions on field settings, those opinions are just that and does not make them final, binding and law unto themselves. However much one would want to hide behind poor form, toothless attacks,inexperienced new comers, this series has proved tha Ricky Ponting is just another ordinary captain with sub par tactical skills, that he has been successful in all forms of cricket for so long is because he lead a team of world class players e.g. McGrath, Warne, Symonds, without whom as seen on this tour to India, Ponting was bereft of ideas to deal with the likes of Gambhir and Sehwag at the top of the order and the Indian bowling attack when Australia batted. It speaks volumes of Ponting's skills that even after playing regularly against the Indians, he is not yet comfortable facing either Ishant or Harbhajan both of these bowlers have dismissed him more than 5 times, Ponting is if not Ishant's bunny, Harbhajan's bunny!!

Posted by D.V.C. on (November 11, 2008, 3:47 GMT)

I've been interested to read the comments on 8-1 fields being equated to underarm bowling. The rules changed to outlaw underarm bowling. Still, I would not like to see the field settings further restricted by the laws of the game. In preference I'd like to see the wide law made harsher (but not much). Of course, I think you should still be allowed to bowl underarm (that was how they bowled when the game begun!) but just stop the ball bouncing more than once before it goes past the bat.

Posted by pexon on (November 11, 2008, 3:22 GMT)

I agree with Krik8crazy, Ponting made decisions in 2005 that resulted in Australia losing the ashes. I had begun to think he had grown in the meantime but his decision (in the spirit of the game) cost Australia the last match and possibly the series. If he had continued with bowlers to get the Indians out we may have been batting that evening and over rate would not have been the issue it is. If his decision is based on "in the spirit of the game" then for all the other sessions (and matches) where he allowed the over rate to get behind does this mean he was not playing in the spirit of the game? He also says people who know him know he wouldn't make such a decision for his own benefit, does this mean some former Aussie captains and some current CA board members don't know him?

Posted by Sam4fun on (November 11, 2008, 2:56 GMT)

Whats next Mr Chappell? Ask the regulators to step in to stop spin bowling and call it rubbish bowling (any thing slower than fast) now that Warne has retired and Australia clearly lacks in that area?

Posted by fairdinkum on (November 11, 2008, 2:32 GMT)

Some of the correspondents below see comment on 8-1 fields and go 'don't criticise us'. Excuse me! Some people just can't accept a compliment when it's staring them in the face. Ian Chappell complimented Dhoni. Read it again. 8-1 fields and slow over rates are boring for spectators and will destroy test cricket. Now reconcile the compliment to Dhoni and the criticism of 8-1 fields. It is not that hard work out.

Posted by LIBRAN on (November 11, 2008, 1:55 GMT)

Hats off to team India for performing the way they did...I love the game and enjoy it and i try to stay out of arguments like these but Ian's comments in this article have kinda compelled me to pen down my views here. Well done & thanks to everyone who has already mentioned some instances where aussies have done everything they could to win the game for ex 7-2 fields, bowling down leg, over doing short pitched stuff etc... Well the better team won, and Ian is the last person that actually has the right to say smthing like this as he himslef has used some unconventional or should is say -ve tactics. :). Ponting is a good batsmen when on song but he is not a good captain,, he had backup of likes of Mcgrath, Warne and langer n all, he wud never be this successful without em. He cant perform under pressure as a cap,(check the records).Wat Ian has done here, has again showed that when Aus wins its strategic brilliance and when they are beaten at their own game its rubbish/negative cricket.

Posted by woknwoll on (November 11, 2008, 1:44 GMT)

well, well, i can remember these guys (indians) sqauwking several times that they had arrived as the next best thing, but that was when these current players were at their best, (and you didnt get the mantle) i dont know if you blokes have noticed, but the indian team will be losing significant names, and unexperienced players will come in, two debutants who performed reasonably well at home, so what, untested, this rubbish about ganguly being "great" what was his average? 40, far from great, looks like he's ready to burst into tears when the pressure is on, australia's inexperienced players will gel, we will have our strongest team next time we meet, look out. p.s drop the antagonism, i see through it.

Posted by henchart on (November 11, 2008, 1:31 GMT)

Why all this hue and cry about 8-1 field?Aussies are bad losers and un-graceful victors.Remember their Champions Trophy celebrations at Brabourne in 2006?Their so-called mind games and mental dis-integration by sledging is not going to work any more.Other Teams are willing to pay them back with interest and are doing so.Aussies are now wallowing in self-pity.Good luck to them

Posted by vin93 on (November 11, 2008, 1:04 GMT)

I can understand that if India are to be blamed for slow over rate as a strategy, may be thats totally acceptable and defenitely ICC has to come out with some thing. (21.3 overs in the AM session is poor as a strategy, despite the slow over rate by the Aussies). When for years captains have been adapting 7-2, whats wrong with 8-1. Test cricket is a test of character and skills and accept it Mr C and Mr TG, Dhoni outclassed Ponting in this series. Dont you rememeber thats its not too long that Australia adapted a typical oneday field by 2nd or 3rd over on 1st day of Test for Sehwag when they toured India last time, and England adapts the negative tactics probably every time they are in a Test match. I dont see the need to change the rules and as Mr NyallJ, batsman have T20 and 50/50 rules on their side. And even if they were to be changed, captains should have some quota of overs in their armery for these tactics.

Posted by gravapine on (November 11, 2008, 1:02 GMT)

Australia is still the best side in the cricket. There is no doubt about it. You cannot take away that title from a team who win percentage is over 70%. They have won consistently against all the other sides at home and away and in all forms of game. But they are definately showing signs of slipping from charts. First of all they don't have a class spinner which doesn't offer any variety in their bowling. Second their pace bowling is not potent in all conditions and they don't have a strong opening pair(batting). On the other hand India is showing all the signs to dominate the workd cricket. They have a good opening pair, potent spin attack and a good pace attack(but i will not be too excited about it) and last but not least a good captain. But in order to topple Australia you need to believe that you can win every game that you play. You need to take every catch and you need to smell blood at every oppurtunity and you need to have excellent fitness level. I doubt if India can do it!!

Posted by Dineshgmu4u on (November 11, 2008, 0:53 GMT)

I think we have to accept the fact that Australia can't apply an 8-1 field because of some wristy players like Laxman, Sehwag & Sachin. Also, The australian bowlers are not capable of bowling to the field.

So, If Australia can't do something then its "Rubbish" and if only can do something then they are taking the game to a next level. Now who will tell Mr Chappell, Which is rubbish? Only he can realize.

Posted by Paddy_Subramaniam on (November 10, 2008, 23:30 GMT)

Pointing will have to get adjusted to having a less potent bowling attack. The attack will perform better on Australian wickets but I cannot see the bowlers dominating opposition sides as they use to in the past. This was quite evident in their last home series against India where the Indian batsmen handled the bowlers quite well. Brett Lee will always be the danger man but you cannot expect him to do it all alone. As the captain, Pointing will have to learn to use his bowlers much better than what he has shown in the recent series. Also the selectors have failed to pick the right team. Why did they pick Cameron White ahead of Krejza ? Even if one made the assumption that Krejza will not be a match winner, there is no one other than Brett Lee who is capable of taking 5 wickets or more in an innings. Wickets would have to be shared by the bowlers if Australia had to win a Test match in India.

Posted by Priyantha_Gunaratna on (November 10, 2008, 23:17 GMT)

Aussies came under-prepared for the series. Before Warne retired they should have focussed on the next generation spin bowler. Without at least one top quality spinner no team is going to win in the sub-continent. There were some problems with the balance of the Aus team. Watson is not good enough to bat at No. 6. White played mainly because of his batting. So although they had all but Hayden to choose from in bowling, they were lacking in wicket taking bowlers. India is now up there among the best test playing sides. But one should not forget how virtually the same side struggled in Sri Lanka and went down 2-1. I totally agree that had Ponting used 8-1 field placing that would have been hailed as a good tactical measure. However, if we are to retain popularity of test cricket rules should be introduced to prevent such negative tactics. Both teams were gulity of slow over rates and ICC on high priority basis should work out a scheme to prevent this continuing in future test matches.

Posted by byron17 on (November 10, 2008, 22:47 GMT)

the situation with the overrates was of pontings own making, so in that essence he is to blame, yet what he did was not in the least selfish or mean-spirited. what he did was in the spirit of the game. had he bowled his front liners, he would have been breaking the laws of the game even further, to try and save the match. such actions in any other sport would be construed as a professional foul and he would have been ostracised. what he did instead was allow the indians what they inherently deserved, 90 overs of bowling (of whatever quality) in a day! what he did was in the spirit of the game. to all those former 'greats' who are saying he was selfish and should have copped the suspension, think about what you are implying. you are urging him to play outside the rules and the spirit of the game, and in doing so you have compromised your own integrity. good job!

Posted by Arsh on (November 10, 2008, 22:42 GMT)

Mr Chappell seems to be losing his objectivity and neutrality as a journalist. India employed 8-1 in first session and 41 runs came off in. In the second session Indians bowled with fairly conventional fields (6-3, I think) and yet Aussies managed to score only 49 runs. Care to explain this, Mr Chappell? Sorry but this is a case of sour grapes and I must admit that i hardly enjoy reading your partial comments anymore.

Posted by Crassus on (November 10, 2008, 22:34 GMT)

Am I the only person who doesn't think Ponting was incorrect to use his slower bowlers to up the over rate? The rules stipulate that you should maintain an over rate sufficient to get through 90 overs per day. I don't think anyone should be encouraging the Australian to cynically break this rule to win back an important trophy because they 'only' have to play New Zealand next, and hence suspensions don't matter. Good on Ponting for playing within the spirit of the game. It's a shame that Dhoni couldn't do the same in the first session of the final day.

Posted by Bayside_bangers on (November 10, 2008, 22:25 GMT)

I am not sure why no one is talking Guru Greg's inputs to the australian side especially when there was so much of talk prior to the series on how he was going to transform the fledgling side into a winning unit.

Posted by Cute1 on (November 10, 2008, 22:13 GMT)

I agree with Mr. Chappell. I also thought the Aussie bowling attack was not as strong or even as balanced as the Indians' but I was hoping that the strength of the batting would somehow keep hopes alive. The 8-1 field setting , I thought was a brilliant idea.If the Aussies were able to break through that then they would truly be truly great( in my eyes at least). I always thought that test cricket was not only a test of skill, but, also wits. I am sure that there must be a way 2 beat that field after all it's not as though there is a Usain Bolt on the Indian team who can run from the infield to the deep 2 catch a ball even with the off side so packed.

Peeps at Cricinfo, keep up the good work!

Posted by Cute1 on (November 10, 2008, 22:11 GMT)

I agree with Mr. Chappell. I also thought the Aussie bowling attack was not as strong or even as balanced as the Indians' but I was hoping that the strength of the batting would somehow keep hopes alive. The 8-1 field setting , I thought was a brilliant idea.If the Aussies were able to break through that then they would truly be truly great( in my eyes at least). I always thought that test cricket was not only a test of skill, but, also wits. I am sure that there must be a way 2 beat that field after all it's not as though there is a Usain Bolt on the Indian team who can run from the infield to the deep 2 catch a ball even with the off side so packed.

Peeps at Cricinfo, keep up the good work!

Posted by frozeninusa on (November 10, 2008, 22:08 GMT)

Mr Chappell admits now that slow over-rate has been a problem for long time. But I have never heard him say than an Australian captain should be suspended for that. After all the feedback he has received on this topic along with the matter of defensive tactics, he still refuses to open his eyes. All he has to say is that he can't understand why Ponting keeps repeating the mistake. Why don't you say Mr Cheppell that Ponting repeatedly violates the law related to over-rates and should be suspended for that?

Posted by chipmunk0709 on (November 10, 2008, 22:01 GMT)

I think the most dissapointing part of this tour is the fact that Ricky was never given the appropritate team which would have given him the best oppotunity to win the series. How a great performing player like Ashley Noffke was left out of the team is mind bogling especially considering Cameron White was played in the team for his batting and as a front line spinner. Having Noffke in would have given Ricky more starch in his lower order, but also a smart economical bowler who can tie up one end and take wickets. Also not having Beau Casson there or playing Krezja earlier was a huge mistake. Don't tell me that Krezja wouldn't have bowled better than White. Overall, India played with a more balanced team, one which could score runs and take 20 wickets in 5 days. Sounds like the Australian team of old.

Posted by strokedthroughthecovers on (November 10, 2008, 21:51 GMT)

I absolutely agree with Ian Chappell - India bowling wide of the stumps to a 8-1 field WAS very negative cricket. There is no moral pride in those tactics, and it's also frustrating for viewers watching the game on TV. The rules need to be changed (eg. by introducing stricter rulings for wide bowling like in one day matches) because in Test cricket it is far too easy for a bowling side to shut down a fourth innings run chase - that's one of the reasons why there have been so few successful large fourth innings run chases. Nevertheless, well done India - they were the better side in home conditions and deserved to win.

Posted by 19532005 on (November 10, 2008, 21:46 GMT)

India out played Australia for 90% of the four test series and to even think Australia had some chance to level up the series on the last day of test no four was rather strange.

I just think the slow over rates, the 8-1 field settings did not help the plight of test cricket. If we want 20-20 to kill off the main form of the game, well these are the things that will do it. Over the last decade test cricket has changed, results are far more common,runs in a day usually exceed 300 and the entertainment factor is greater. This will all go down the drain if we dont stop things like slow over rates and the 8-1 field. India are such a good team now they dont need to be negative, they now can compete with any nation home or away and be a very good chance of winning

Posted by dsirl on (November 10, 2008, 21:12 GMT)

maha1971, you're getting your Chappell's confused re underarm bowling: Greg ordered it and Trevor bowled it, but Ian disagreed with it; and said as much, in typically blunt fashion, in a newspaper article soon after.

Posted by wittgenstein on (November 10, 2008, 20:17 GMT)

I think Ian has a very valid point and just because he is an Aussie and has chosen to raise it when the Aussies have lost does not make the point less valid.

Any idiot can bowl wide outside the off stump or leg stump with a packed off or leg side field and slow down the scoring. However, it isn't the distribution of the fielders but the definition of a wide that needs to be changed. If a 9-0 or 8-1 field is deployed then the defition of a wide should become tighter automatically. If the bowler then bowls more than 3 wides an over he should be forbidden to bowl for the rest of the innings.

Bowling at the stumps and to a 9-0 or 8-1 is marvellous skill indeed and should not be discouraged. I think Dennis Lillee once bowled an over or two of leg cutters pitched middle and off to a slip cordon of 9 men. It was fun to watch and great bowling skill.

Posted by rubbishmedia on (November 10, 2008, 19:48 GMT)

Congratulations to Indian players, support staff for this fantastic win!! No matter what people say, Dhoni was absolutely superb in his role. His game reading, composure under pressure, man management, field placement were spot on. He is a supremely confident cricketer and one of the best captains India has ever produced. I wish he can continue the most diffcult of job 'captaining India' successfully for long time. We shouldnt care and be bothered about Mr Chappel or any other critics from Aus, Eng, SA or NZ for that matter. They have a false sense of pride and can't digest anybody challange them in cricket field. 8-1 filed was a perfect strategy and this is not the first time it was employed. Aussies were defensive throughout this series, Where were you at that time Mr Chappel? Fact is aftet Mcgrath, Warne Aussies are depleted side. They are still one of the best but cant dominate anymore. They'll find it difficult against Eng & SA as well. Sooner they realize it better 4 them!

Posted by aristrocrat on (November 10, 2008, 19:38 GMT)

ppl u can say watever that u wish 2.but for God's sake leave Mr.Chappell.how may of you who r questioning his intelligence bout the game of cricket hav played a test match for there country.you kno y we listen to stephen hawking when he questions newton's theory coz he is physicist himself.its good to hav an opinion but u dont hav the same understanding of the game which Mr. Chapell has,so write wat YOU think nd dont pass judgements on one of the legends of the game.

Posted by nataki-daka on (November 10, 2008, 19:37 GMT)

Mr. Chappell....surely you remeber the 9-0 fields Dennis Lillie use to bowl to (if you want 2 get technical about field placing ratios) and as far as negative tactics go what about the under-arm bowling tactic u instigated to stop New Zealand from hitting a 6 of the last ball of a 1-dayer to win...anyway this present Austrailia bowling attack will have teams around the world queuing up to have a go at them and you know what else the top batsmen in the team are getting oldddd....Austrailia have some good licks coming in the future...by the way.....Michael Clarke is over-rated as a batsman..he aint that good as Austrailians would have you think....so your in lots of trouble....good luck in the future anyway

Posted by Hardy_1984 on (November 10, 2008, 19:22 GMT)

Well done Indian team. It was great occassion for indian cricket. Mr. Ian Chappel always backing ponting he was totaly failed in this series & his planing totally wrong. He was missing Mac, warne & gilly. But India lossing two great player Ganguly & Kumble.

Posted by Gautam-SJCAL on (November 10, 2008, 19:07 GMT)

OZs- OZs - You sore loosers. After Ponting lost the Ashes to England in England, he complained about England using too many substitutes and giving unfair advantage to the bowlers by giving them a rest. Now the aussies blame Dhoni's tactics. Aussies as usual do not know how to accept defeat gracefully. They should be worrying about their captain's selfishness who gave up the golden opportunity to win the test match just to avoid a ban. Ponting had 7-2 fields at many different times during the test series a fact which Mr.Chappell conviniently ignores. It did not work because A) Their bowlers did not have the discipline that Indian bowlers had and B) Indian batsman likes of Sehwag and Tendulkar showed better skills to counter that and still found a way to score unlike Hussey and Katitch. Next thing they will say reverse swing is not legal.

Posted by bahrain.promote on (November 10, 2008, 19:06 GMT)

According to Mr. Chappell from his summary :: Aussies can scratch a ball but India cannot use 8-1 field strategy; Aussies can get a player Banned for a test but BCCI cannot even point out the scratching ball issues; If Aussies would have applied 8-1 field placing then its innovation!-New Age Cricket. Why isnt anyone in this room pointing out the real facts on Aussie sensation: Shane Watson; he's been continously sledging/provoking while bowling thru-out this series on all occasion..(Well but that's OKAY!! Aussies have got that license-to-sledge.)..Chappell will not mind that! Australian mind-games & re-incarnating the MonkeyGate saga :courtesy Adam, Ponting & Symond did not affect the Indian players. I think its time take into account the real fact that Indian Cricket Team is not only strong physically and talented skillfully but a are true champs mentally;'As the Old Saying goes :: He who believes can move a mountain!'

Posted by drclive007 on (November 10, 2008, 18:45 GMT)

For once one can say, "Australia's best wasn't good enough". And although Ian Chappell keeps harping about 8-1 fields and that "Dhoni wasn't going to bowl enough overs for Australia to get the runs", it's clear that India were far superior in this series and Australia could be comparable to the New Zealanders who Ian says are an "ordinary side" at the moment. I'm also astonished at how Ian forgets similar tactics employed by the Aussies. I'm sure the Cricinfo faithful remember Ponting using 9-0 fields at many times when his bowlers were on a role. Every single fielder was used as a slip. 7 slips and 2 gullies? It's happened on many occasions when Ponting has tried to dismiss batsmen using such audacious field settings on bouncy and seaming Australian wickets. No change in rules were needed then? And even though it wasn't used for many overs, it sure shouldn't be fair game to use it at any time. Anyways, in the end India proved that Australia are no longer the best side in the world.

Posted by ragh9782 on (November 10, 2008, 18:44 GMT)

in 8-1 field two more things are missing 1. the bowlers need to be pin point accurate and need to out think batsman every time. 2. A good batsman can still score off by getting 1s and 2s

aussis failed because their batting is one dimensional atttack and attack. Dhoni sensed it and did the right thing. placed a field where only good and controlled shots will bring runs. Hussy had no trouble with the field but katich had. The field was set to katich and ploy worked in both innings.

more over it is not as embarassing as jhonson shooting down the leg side of batsman!

Posted by ShankarV on (November 10, 2008, 18:28 GMT)

"He (Dhoni) has shown he is there to win and that is all that matters to him." Talk about a left-handed compliment. Any credibility that you had as an objective commentator is gone. You have, in the end, stated the blindingly obvious "the Border-Gavaskar Trophy went to the right team: India were superior to Australia." Despite this magnanimous concession, your whiny tone throughout the article reflects that you forgot to check your Aussie-fan hat at the door before writing this column. For instance, when you say "It was an outside chance that the Australians....were ever going to win this Test because India were never really going to bowl enough balls to them to score the runs, for starters." - I could not help, but laugh out aloud. What were you thinking? India is not in the business of making it easy for the Australians to win - is that what the mighty Aussies have come down to? Just face it - India beat Australia fair and square - to pretend otherwise is "rubbish" analysis.

Posted by Hiten-Shaharia-Group on (November 10, 2008, 18:25 GMT)

It's interesting leasing authorities call for a change in the rules of the game, i.e. use of the 8:1 or 7:2 field setting, at a time, when their home nation is up against it. What the world will not forget is how the previous series between these two majestic teams down under, was narrowly won by Punter & co, where the "spirit of the game" was completely discarded by the tough minded, battle hardy, win-at-all-costs Oz team. They also seem to have taken on a new role, which is to take difficult decisions on behalf of the umpires and match referees whilst involved in the match themselves, specifically when fielding, as all eleven can present and substatiate the evidence in plural - without the aid of technology. India out-thought and out-played Australia, in most areas of the game, especially in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tests. Surely, teams and captains have some freedom to outwit and outplay their opponents, as long as they are honest about it, and within the framework of the game??

Posted by dr.shrikant.desai on (November 10, 2008, 18:05 GMT)

I possess regards for Chappell brothers but his comments over 8-1 field is ridiculous.It seems that these people can not digest defeat.In fact the game has become more n more batsman friendly.There should be more rules to favour bowlers.Another point:A good captain or bad one.A balanced Team is most likely to win,and the so called world champions are no exception.This is my personal humble views.may not be correct.

Posted by HarishVS on (November 10, 2008, 17:23 GMT)

I think Ian has put it right this time except for his 'rubbish'ing of the 8-1 tactics in the first session of Day 4 by Dhoni. I think this field setting was for only one session of the Test Match which is played out into a total of 15 sessions if it lasts into full. I dont think people will turn away from Tests matches if one or two sessions go this way. I agree with 'Nyallj' comments. This is Test Cricket and cricket is a funny game of glorious uncertainities. We dont need to bring in additional rules for fielding positions in Test Cricket and wipe it away quickly. The T20, 50-50 games are already heavily loaded in favour of batsmen. Let Test Cricket remain the way it is played and let Captains control it at least for the fielding positions. But if the Law makers are asked to script out new rules, then ask them to give two sessions to Captains to decide whatever fields they wish to set......

Posted by maha1971 on (November 10, 2008, 17:07 GMT)

I fail to understand why Ian keep on harping on this 8-1 field. If Australia does this, it is a winning strategy whereas when other countries do this, it is "rubbish". Let us not forget the tactic of "Underarm" bowling masterminded by Ian.

Posted by RanjanMathur on (November 10, 2008, 17:03 GMT)

Rules govern how the game has to play. I guess there is no rule which denies a team to set a 8-1 field. I also have faint memories of some one in the chappel family bowling underarm to win a match when a six was required of the last ball for a draw. I peronally feel it was good thinking on part of Dhoni and also of the chappel brothers then.

Moreover on all fronts I think India was a better team.

Posted by Katri on (November 10, 2008, 16:41 GMT)

Perhaps like the term "whingeing Poms" its time to coin something pejorative for the Aussies. Ponting would have been hailed as an unprecedented genius if he had employed an 8-1 field to contain a rampant Sehwag or a free-flowing Ganguly in the first innings of the Nagpur test. The plain truth is that Ponting was out-strategised by Dhoni. The current Indian team did not rely on monumental individual efforts to win, but rather, like Aussie teams of previous years, applied themselves in a sustained and efficient manner. The war-room meetings of Geroge Bush and his cronies was shorter compared to the ridiculously long beginning-of-the-over conferences between Ponting and his bowlers. Why not clamour for stricter rules on tardy over-rates, Mr. Chappell? Perhaps its is part of Ponting's "new age cricket", hence it is something not up for debate?

Posted by raajpappu on (November 10, 2008, 16:01 GMT)

Grapes are sour they say and it looks like Mr. C has tasted a few of them. Sir why is it that when an indian captain follows some tactic he is criticised? And moreover I would beg to differ on the view that Ricky is the best Aussie captain. No sir ther have been better and there are some good captains now also you have to find em as India did in Dhoni. Ricky was made to look good by the likes of W@arne and Mcgrath and Gilly. Now what he has a new team and the mettle of a captain is coming out. Lets face it Aussies have been beaten at their game and its hurting them no end.

Posted by Nampally on (November 10, 2008, 15:54 GMT)

India prevailed in a tactical battle. Dhoni outfoxed Ponting. Ponting countered Indian batting machine with a defensive field (7-2 or 6-3)set to his pacemen right thru' the series. However Dhoni was opportunistic and used it at the right time but with an emphatic 8-1 setting. It is very difficult for bowlers to bowl to this field but Ishant and Zaheer responded splendidly. India won this test in the first innings mainly because of Dhoni's tactics. Firstly Kudos to a great leadership. Secondly the Australian side missed Symmonds badly. Added to this Lee and Haydon did not perform to their potential. Indians played as a team despite sloppy fielding. Great batting from Sehwag & Gambhir, the best opening pair in the world today. Tendulkar, Laxman,Ganguly, Dhoni,Vijay and Harbhajan made timely valuable scores. All Indian bowlers played up to their potential & contributed. India outplayed Australia in all departments and deserved 2-0 win. India, arguably is the best team in the world today.

Posted by nyallj on (November 10, 2008, 15:45 GMT)

Why is everybody hitting on Australia's bowling attack? When these same fellows winning matches for Aus. there is are no complaints. Why not say that the Indian batsmen came good for them? Mr. Chappel, it is unbelievable that you would want to put restrictions on Test captains and the way they want to set fields and use over-rates. Unless you really want to see 20/20 wipe Test cricket off the face of the earth. This kind of thing is exactly what sets Test cricket apart from ODIs and 20/20s. What about when Warne used to bowl on the leg side all the time? No complaints then. Or when Giles did it against the WI. As for Ponting's captaincy, ask my friends, they will tell you that I have always noted that he's not a good captain. Just check him out under pressure. It's only because he had a talented team that he looks good. Mark my words, check him out in the future, and you will see why anybody would have looked a good captain with the dominating aussie team of the past. WI fan.

Posted by krik8crazy on (November 10, 2008, 15:43 GMT)

With a bad back and suspect form against quality bowling, Ponting is not good enough to be in the team as a player, let alone as the captain. Ponting never had tactical skills like a Mark Taylor or a Michael Vaughan. Whenever he is faced with a tough opposition, he becomes clueless. The 2005 ashes series and the current series are examples of that. Aussie selectors should stop the stupid policy of wasting away players' careers and taking them into the team only when they hit 30. Kick out the oldies and bring in new blood. Hayden and Ponting need to go.

Posted by kabs01 on (November 10, 2008, 15:40 GMT)

I usually dont post my comments whatsoever I have.But Ian's comment on 8-1 fielding tactic being "rubbish" has compelled me to post here.I really dont understand why an 8-1 fielding cant be adopted.In my opinion its just another tactic like bowling on the leg stump or bowling short to name a few.Well, nobody is stopping others to use the same tactic.Stringent rules as suggested by Ian is infact going to reduce the charm of Test cricket.But well played India! Hopefully India will rule over Australia and the rest of the cricketing nations in the next decade under MS.

Posted by kr_nagaraaj on (November 10, 2008, 15:28 GMT)

I hope mr.chappell forgets the field settings placed in australia which is 7-2 when most of the asian countries travel to play tests there. Australians are much confident on their bounce which is available in their home condition, and they exploit it to much extent. why does he comment when india in particular has adopted the same strategy here in this test. I don't see any harm in making a good field setting and asking their bowlers to bowl to the field.

Posted by Chirublue on (November 10, 2008, 15:27 GMT)

Mr. Chappell, I would like to take your memory back to the 1st test of the Trans-Tasman trophy series played at Brisbane in 2001 where Australia resorted to the same sort of 'negative' bowling that you have here termed as 'rubbish cricket' when New Zealand threatened to run away with the game chasing 284.

From BBC's website: "The veteran pace man (Glenn McGrath) bowled defensively well wide of off-stump in the closing stages of the match after some big-hitting threatened to snatch the game from Australia's grasp." - to which McGrath replied: "Fair enough, we bowled a bit negatively but we had to do that to tie them down."

Please pardon me for daring to pick on your cricketing brain, but seriously... what is your take on the aforementioned, Sir?

Posted by kalyanbk on (November 10, 2008, 15:25 GMT)

This Border-Gavaskar Series did not have the same competitive quality of cricket we have seen in the past series. Perhaps its because some top players (and characters) have retired and others are on the way out. It was painful watching Dravid, Kumble, Brett Lee, Hayden and others providing sub-par performances and such depressingly defensive fields. The only time it looked competitive was in the 4th day of the last test only for Ponting to spoil the whole thing. Australia missed McGrath as their bowlers were not really threatening on the same conditions where Dale Steyn was such a handful.

Posted by Snitch on (November 10, 2008, 15:16 GMT)

It's funny how Mr. Chappell talks about the negative fielding tactics but praised Australia's strategy of cutting down the runs in 2005. And I was just waiting for him to admit India was superior to Australia because I clearly remember his quote "Australia is gonna run India ragged when they play each other", immediately after India won the series against England last year. I fail to recollect when was the last time Australia went through a 4 test test-series without winning a test. The next few months of test cricket are very crucial as it would dictate if India can clinch that no.1 spot or not (for which they would have to improve their fielding immensely), if Australia could continue their dominance over South Africa, and if England is a test team strong enough to reclaim the ashes. Congrats to the Indian team on breaking the one-time "giants" down.

Posted by whoster on (November 10, 2008, 15:06 GMT)

So, Ian Chappell is again religiously ploughing a lone furrow as regards the 8-1 fielding debate. Surely the 300 plus disagreements with him on the comment page to his broadcast two days ago may have made him do a u turn. For goodness sake, even Ponting's not bothering to complain!

Test cricket is called that because that's exactly what it is, a TEST. It's a test of talent, technique, patience, courage etc etc. It can also be a test of backing yourself to disrupt a defensive plan that has been expertly implemented.

The old Australia would have met the challenge head on, and at least would have had a go at attacking and disrupting the plan. Dhoni sent out the message, 'we're in pole position, and if you want to catch us up, then you'll have to come and get us.'

There is no law that stops the batsman from manufacturing shots, or shuffling about the crease, or dancing down the wicket to counteract defensive fields. Day 3 was absorbing cricket, unique to the Test arena.

Posted by chansri on (November 10, 2008, 14:50 GMT)

both chappel's have some problem with indian team.greg brought bad luck(with aussies too)&ian have bad thinking & giving absurd comment.instead of praising dhoni's strategy or keep mum, he criticizes it.wouldn't he support &praise the captaincy if ponting had done it.ponting had done many bad things on & off field, still he doesn't have sense to recognise it.he is very senior cricketer & neutral commentator just see it in neutral way.

Posted by DinakarAppaji on (November 10, 2008, 14:49 GMT)

Mr.Chappel, I have great respect to you and your thoughts but there is a little more soul searching needed especially when we are talking about the one sided fields. It was almost a common sight across the world to have 7-2 field whenever Tendulkar is batting well and we never did see any right minded Aussie mentioning this. Possibly the reason could be that sachin was good enough to give it back even in the face of adversity though there have been too many occasions when he failed chasing the wide balls. I would like to think that we shouldn't remember the spirit of the game and rules only when your favourite side looses. You would earn more respect to take a stand irrespective of who the offender is.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (November 10, 2008, 14:41 GMT)

Ian Chappel sounds like a little bitter person in this summary. If anything it was Aussies who did not play aggressive cricket. India on its part played with right tactics given that they were one up. This is a 5-day version of the game not one day. There should be fewer restrictions in this format of the game.

Posted by shofs on (November 10, 2008, 14:35 GMT)

It's time for Mr.Chappel to congratulate the Indians and try to look into the problems in this Ausie side. Test cricket is not only about bowling and batting and fielding. Tactics are integral part of it. And Dhoni is thinking captain. I agree with Mr.aravind1884. Mr. Ponting has failed badly in this series.

Posted by playaggressive on (November 10, 2008, 14:35 GMT)

Ricky is a class act, dont hang him out to dry second guessing him. The Indians played well and deserved the win. Definitely could have done without the questionable tactics; often enough when India can push for a win they are content to sit back and defend.

Posted by Maccs on (November 10, 2008, 14:33 GMT)

Another bad decision from Ponting Australias good-will ambassador . His captaincy will come under increased pressure since Australia has lost so many stars. There will be harder times ahead . Dhoni and India look to be on the up . He is a good captain - he gets the job done . Thats what you want from a captain.

Posted by gopirr on (November 10, 2008, 14:30 GMT)

Complain where there are field restrictions in ODI. Complain when this happens in Test. What are administrators supposed to do?? Why does this always happen when Aussies lose??

Posted by samskg on (November 10, 2008, 14:27 GMT)

Apart from the Indian attack, I think the opening pair and the newcomers like Amit Mishra and Vijay have made all the difference between these two side. Not to forget that Dhoni captaincy ( the 8-1 was too good for Austrailian on 3rd morning) with his never ending luck (touch wood) has also helped a lot.

Posted by Rajesh. on (November 10, 2008, 14:24 GMT)

Ahh.... for once Ian Chappell isn't singing MS Dhoni's praise. May be he is too disappointed about Australia's loss or may be because he is so disappointed with the 3rd day tactics of the man he endorsed as captain............... And how about Clarke as captain in place of an "Old Ponting" Ian ? (Ponting is 34) !!!! Anyway, a good win for India but let's look at things in perspective. Australia are still the best team, one series loss doesn't make them a bad team........... And one series win doesn't make India the best either. But as far as this series is concerned India were better and deserved to win.

Posted by Bytheway on (November 10, 2008, 14:18 GMT)

I FULLY ENDORSE THE POST MADE BY lexxonnet. IT TAKES AN EXCEPTIONAL BOWLER TO BOWL TO AN 8-1 FIELD. JUST ASK KATICH.

Posted by VijaySh on (November 10, 2008, 14:12 GMT)

You are right Mr. Chappell, Dhoni will tell you to go jump in the lake. For good reason. For 8-1 field to be successful, you need bowlers to consistently bowl a line wide enough but not too wide to be called one. You need both batsmen to be right handed or left-handed to sustain it. And of course you have to have the opposition in a position where THEY need to take the initiative. India had all of that going. Aussies were very unimaginative in their approach as they did not try to get across and play on the on-side. They also did not attempt quick singles as the fielders would not have had anybody to back up. If one of them had gotten out in trying to force the issue, sending in a right-hander would have negated the tactics. Try setting an 8-1 field to Laxman or Sehwag. They can both play from one-foot outside off to the on-side. FInally, 166/8 was not boring at all to an Indian fan! It was aggressive tactics and the best way for India to get a favourable result-Brilliant!

Posted by Springsam on (November 10, 2008, 14:04 GMT)

Why would Ian Chappel harp on field setting again. It is not 'one day Internationals' where all kinds of restrictions have been included. Test cricket is a different game and alllows the sides to adopt different strategies to put the opposition under pressure. Field placement is one of them. It may be said even Aistralia has resorted to this kind of bowling in this series. Michell Jonson bowled consistently directing the ball to leave the right hander wide outside the off stum angling it from round the wicket. For the left hander it went wide ouside the leg stump. He cannot stomach an Oz defeat; now clamours for change of rules. It is rather reduclous to complain that the Autralians were denied scoring chances after being comprehensively bowled out twice. Defending Ponting's captaincy is howler Ponting was more worried about his ban and fine for slow over rates than winning the test for drawing the series employing the fast bowlers, penalty or no penalty. He let down Australia

Posted by Clyde on (November 10, 2008, 14:03 GMT)

I thought the eight-one field an excellent variation. It can be played by either team. I don't mind if neither team scores a run, as long as they keep it up for five days. This way, it becomes even more important that they have to keep plugging away, and do the 90 overs in a day, and get tired and bored, and we spectators have a rest. It is the nature of Test cricket, may even save Test cricket.

Posted by SanjivSanjiv on (November 10, 2008, 13:58 GMT)

Well done India by winning the test and the series. India showed in this series that they are a good team and have a potential to pull out when the going goes tough. India need to demonstrate this now against England. They need to play consistantly good cricket and keep climbing up in the ladder as Australia have shown over the years. Congrats to Dhoni for a wonderful captaincy. And hats off to Ganguly for the wonderful career and his great contribution to the Indian cricket. Sanjiv Gupta Perth Australia

Posted by aravind1884 on (November 10, 2008, 13:56 GMT)

I've not played any cricket at any level, but this what i felt after reading this piece. Well. I do not agree with Chappell on all what he said. I had this doubt over Ricky Ponting as a captain with less resources. I mean, with Warne, McGrath and Co., he could have captained easily as these cricketers had raw talent in them and they are well seasoned and can win for him. That is the main reason why Gilly could snatch a victory in 2004, but Mr. Ponting failed now. I totally disagree with your comments on 8-1 settings. When Nasir Hussain did a tactic of bowling at legs, everybody praised for his tactic to contain SR. But once Dhoni did similar stuff, people complain. It was needed to stop Hayden and Co., from scoring. This is test cricket and he tested Australians very well by setting that kind of field. He tested opponents patience. Needless to say, tactic worked and today we saw the result. If somebody does not like the tactic, then it cannot be called *rubbish* at least.

Posted by KapilDaJawabNahi on (November 10, 2008, 13:35 GMT)

Yes, India were the better team in 3 out the 4 tests. Winning toss in last 3 matches helped India's cause too, but don't think Australia would have done much better. Ishant Sharma has been bowling really well. The first commentator to spot him was Richie Benaud during Aus tour this year. He said he would like to see Ishant have a bowl at Ponting. He thought Ishant could trouble Ponting with his incoming deliveries. Boy, has his assessment been proven right. It says a lot about Benaud'd eye for a talent and reading of the game. Mishra has been impressive but the most courageous bowler was Kretjza. He went for runs against Sehwag, Tendulkar and Laxman but he never gave up. Much like Harbhajan in 2001 when he kept going against the assault of Hayden and Gilchrist. But he has had a disappointing series. I don't rate Ponting though. He is not a leader and shows too much disrespect towards opposition on many occasions and is aggressive towards umpires.

Posted by Suchchin on (November 10, 2008, 13:25 GMT)

Ponting should be dropped as captain. He has lost the plot. Too many players over 30 (7 of 11). As per Greg Guru's normal advise, get youngsters into team. Ponting is behind times. he did not employ a spinner for 3 tests? He put part time bowlers to save a match for a selfish HIMSELF? Except one innings, he was at sea with bowling (a captain must bat in front). he is a Harbajan bunny and a Ishant Bunny. That causes low morale for rest of team. No overseas captain trusts Punter esp. with all the "catch" if fielder says so joke. Move on Ian, let Aussies have the Pup as captain. Punter should be dropped from team to let the Pup lead. maybe after a couple of years, Punter can be brought back if Pup fails (lol).

Posted by lexxonnet on (November 10, 2008, 13:13 GMT)

I'm sorry Ian, but you contradict yourself when you criticise India for the slow over rate and at the same time question Ponting's tactic of bowling slow bowlers on the 4th day. Ponting was compensating for a slow over rate, which is what India did in the second session of the final day. It was a fair decision by both teams and only showed Ponting acting in the spirit of the game. I don't believe Ponting made a selfish decision to save himself.

The 8-1 field was a very tactical decision in my opinion. If we start changing the rules of test cricket to make it more 'exciting', we're eventually going to destroy one of the most intelligent and tactical sports of our time.

If you want excitement, go watch one-days or Twenty-20s. Please, don't impose silly restrictions on test cricket and turn it into a spectacle.

Posted by Kouls11 on (November 10, 2008, 13:10 GMT)

Mr. Chappell as always has hit the nail on it's head. Australia never had the attack to get 20 wickets on Indian pitches & thats what cost them the series. The Australian selectors would be looking like fools for not playing Kreza till the last test in which he got 12 wickets. Saying that lets not take anything away from team India.It was thoroughly a professional performance with Dravid's performance being the sole exception.

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