How to Torture a Cricket Fan
By writing bad articles. Here’s an ‘article’ from Indiatimes, which supposedly captures all the great moments in the India vs Australia 7 match ODI series. I have highlighted the ‘interesting’ parts in the article. For the record, it’s written by a lady called Garima Bharti, who I am sure knows nothing about the game and has relied heavily on stuff written elsewhere about the series. As a result, she ends up writing what is already known, but in really bad English.
The seven-match One-day series between India and Australia will be remembered for a long time for various reasons. Though Australia dominated this series but this one had its moments, some glorious and some murky. Australia won the series 4-2 with the first match being washed out in Bangalore. It’s time to relive some of the moments of this series.
Thrice in the series, Australia scored over 300 and there was a player who contributed to these totals. Andrew Symonds has been the key performer for Australia on this tour of India and befittingly was adjudged the Man of the Series. In the seven matches, he scored 365 runs at an average of 73. If one ignores his duck in the last ODI, his average would have soared upto 91.25.
Another scoring giant was Matthew Hayden. He has had a great run at both World Cups and continued with his form at the recent India outing. He played five matches and scored 290 runs at an average of 58.
No fine performance was displayed by the Indians as compared to the champions from Down Under. From the Indian side, Sachin Tendulkar was the top-scorer. He scored 278 runs at an average of 39.71. Skipper MS Dhoni scored 176 runs at 35. No other Indian batsmen could live upto their reputation.
With the ball, Mitchell Johnson leads the pack with 13 wickets in the series, including the 5-wicket haul at Vadodara. Closely follows Brad Hogg, whose chinaman bowling style fetched him 11 wickets and left the Indian batsmen bemused.
From the Indian camp, the pacers did well in patches. Indian bowlers failed to stop the run flow. Sreesanth picked up 9 wickets in 4 matches but his strike rate and histrionics did no good to him. Zaheer Khan claimed 7 wickets.
However, Murali Kartik emerged as one of the best bowler for India. He played 4 matches and picked 8 wickets. He did well in his comeback match but failed to continue the momentum in the next two matches. He came back efficiently in the last ODI in Mumbai and picked up 6 wickets to guide India to a consolatory win. Interestingly, last time Kartik faced Aussies in a Test match at Wankhede in 2005 and took 6 wickets to steer India to victory in a nail-biting finish.
Fireworks were duly expected during the series but things went a bit too far on some occasions. There were other duels sans willows and balls. Symonds versus Sreesanth caught everybody’s attention and drew enough flak from various corners so much so that Ian Chappell went onto describe Sreesanth ‘an accident to happen’. While Harbhajan accused Aussies of using vulgar comments, skipper Dhoni complained to the match referee of Ponting making unacceptable remarks.
Symonds’ Indian odyssey got a bitter taste of Indian hospitality when spectators in Vadodara went up with ‘monkey chants’ against him and was reported to be racially abused. The ICC warned BCCI to follow anti-racism code very strictly.
Despite losing the series, India still has something to smile about. The batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar became the only cricketer to play 400 ODIs. In the same series Sachin completed another feat of hitting maximum half-centuries (85) in the 50-over format surpassing former Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul Haq’s record of 83 half-centuries.
Andrew Symonds hit his sixth ODI century (107) at Nagpur and first against India. The top scorer of the series was adjudged as man of the series for his outstanding all-round show.
Murali Kartik became only the fifth Indian bowler to take a 6-wicket haul. Others were Anil Kumble (vs WI), Ajit Agarkar (vs Aus), Sreesanth (vs Eng) while Ashish Nehra has two 6-wicket hauls (vs Eng and SL).
It is sad but the biggest failure of the Future Cup was Rahul Dravid. In this series Dravid was not even a faded shadow of his former self. His highest score in the series is 31. His poor form saw him missing from the playing XI of the last ODI. Ganguly failed to turn the starts into match-winning knocks. Indian vice-captain Yuvraj Singh after scoring a ton, could not really perform in crunch situations and failed to live upto his image of a match-winner.
In the Australian side, Brad Hodge could not cash in the opportunities he got. Fast bowler Nathan Bracken failed to perform picking just four wickets.
India lost not only because Australia outplayed but also because India under-performed. The series ends but the Australian tour will come to an end at the Barbourne Stadium with a Twenty20 match on. Indian fans would like the world champions of the format to repeat their winning performance on Sunday.
Coming from a website owned by the Times group, this isn’t surprising. The Times of India has given us some gloriously written stuff in the past. Don’t know about you, but I am convinced that Ms Garima is fit to join Doordarshan’s cricket commentaty team.