Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: Cricket

Adelaide Test

Before the Adelaide Test began there was hope and expectation that India may win the Test and draw the series. When India scored 526 there was hope that India could impose follow on. That did not happen. Australia scored 563. R. P. Singh was injured. Harbhajan Singh did not get any wicket. India had a bad start in the second innings. Irfan Pathan was out on zero. Virender Sehwag batted well and scored 151. Rahul Dravid was retired hurt. Sourav Ganguly, V. V. S. Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar did not score much. There was no motivation for Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V. V. S. Laxman to do well as they were not included in the ODI and 2020 team. India declared the innings at 269/7 and it was decided by both captains to call off the match. India should have declared early and tried to win the Test.

The trophy for India –Australia series is Border – Gavaskar Trophy. Gavaskar was present and was not called to present the trophy. Sunil Gavaskar had stood up for India and had criticize Mike Procter and umpires. Many years ago Sandeep Patil was running a cricket tournament named after Sunil Gavaskar. When Sandeep Patil criticized Sunil Gavaskar for some reason Sunil Gavaskar had asked Sandeep Patil not to use his name for the tournament. Sunil Gavaskar should ask BCCI and Cricket Australia to delink his name from the trophy.

Harbhajan Singh’s trial followed the Test. He was cleared of racism and found guilty of abusive language. Australian media is not happy with it. They blamed Cricket Australia for succumbing to pressure from BCCI. Indian media should question why Harbhajan Singh had to be fined when Andrew Symonds started it and why Brad Hogg was let of by Anil Kumble without pressing charge of abusive language.

I hope next time when India visits Australia it wins the Test series. I am happy that India did not lose the series 0-4.

Perth Test

India won the Perth Test. Australia could not create a record of winning 17 Tests consecutively.

Australia missed Matthew Hayden. India made two changes. Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were dropped. Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan were in. Rahul Dravid played at no. 3 in the first innings and scored 93. In the second innings he batted at no. 4 and scored 3. Rahul Dravid is best at no. 3.

Steve Bucknor was not there. He said he was dropped for making two mistakes. His mistakes were too many and his anti-India decisions started in 1992.

Before the 2007-2008 India – Australia Test series began one Australian player predicted that India would lose 0-4. That did not happen and now India is 1-2.

Match-fixers had planned India to lose 0-4. The events during Sydney Test and guilty verdict in case of Harbhajan Singh caused national outrage. Match-fixers could not proceed with their plan.

I do not know why Brad Hogg was let off. Australian players have used bad language since the time of Ian Chappell if not earlier. During the 1974-75 series umpires had warned Dennis Lillee for using bad language against Dennis Amiss. Crawford White, a British sports journalist, had mentioned this in a report. One Indian batsman during the time of Sunil Gavaskar did not have problem with bad language because he did not understand what Australian players said.

Team for ODIs and 2020 is announced. Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V. V. S. Laxman are dropped. Sourav Ganguly’s dropping has caused outrage in Calcutta. Rahul Dravid was hoping to make a comeback to ODI side. V. V. S. Laxman was not in ODI side. It takes new players selected some time to adjust to the pitches of Australia. If the emphasis was on youth Sachin Tendulkar should have been dropped.

Is India vs Australia series fixed?

Before the 2007-2008 India – Australia Test series began one Australian player predicted that India would lose 0-4. I felt the series was fixed.

When Sachin Tendulkar was the captain the team went to Australia and Milind Rege, secretary of a cricket association at that time predicted that India would lose 0-3. He was right.

When 1991-1992 series was in progress one Australian player predicted that India would lose 0-4. He was right.

The accuracy of these predictions raises doubts about match-fixing and some people knowing it beforehand. There have been anti-India decisions by umpires in those series.

Umpire’s decisions against India in Melbourne and Sydney Tests point to match-fixing. Steve Bucknor in particular has given anti-India decisions over the years. Indian players were not happy about him. Sourav Ganguly had written adverse report about him in 2003. Yet BCCI did not protest and Steve Bucknor continued to officiate Tests involving India. Once can be happenstance. Twice can be coincidence. Thrice or more enemy is at work.

In the penultimate over of Sydney Test on the fifth day India lost three wickets in five balls. Seven balls were left to be played and it could have been a draw. This reminds of me of an ODI match. During India vs Zimbabwe match in 1999 World Cup India had to score six runs for victory with two overs remaining and three wickets at hand. Raj Singh Dungarpur told the Indian players to finish the match in one over and India lost three wickets and the match in that over. The similarity is striking.

Those who run betting syndicates fix matches for their profit. It has become difficult to get players involved in match-fixing. Umpires are used for match-fixing.

If there is no betting there will be no match-fixing.

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