Short-pitched bowling even gets to Aussies
What a topsy-turvy game cricket is. The nightmare for Ricky Ponting is beginning all over again and former players and the media are getting stuck in, questioning his skills as a skipper, writes Sunil Gavaskar.india Updated: Jul 27, 2009 00:04 IST
What a topsy-turvy game cricket is. At Cardiff in the first Test England just about scraped home with a draw after its time wasting tactics brought a howl of protest from the Australians. At Lord's, where England have a poor record against the old enemy, they went on to win by a handsome margin of 115 runs.
The nightmare for Ricky Ponting is beginning all over again and former players and the media are getting stuck in, questioning his skills as a skipper. Of course, the sport has this amazing aspect called 'short memory' and people forget how Ponting got his team to fight back after losing the series at home against South Africa and won the Test series in South Africa.
The much-heralded Phillip Hughes has struggled against the short ball, not that the other Aussies have dominated it. But, of course, nobody will suggest that they are weak against it, like everybody and his aunt would have, if it had been Indian batsmen who were seen hopping. At least Indians have an excuse that they don't play quick bowling at home in domestic cricket.
What is the excuse for Australians, English and South Africans when they are fending deliveries as if trying to swat flies off their faces? This stereotyping will continue as will the blame for injuries being laid at the door of the Indian Premier League.
At least Andrew Flintoff has gone on record to say that it was fortunate that his knee injury came about in the IPL because it was one, as his doctor then and physician now confirm, that could have occurred any time.
The injury having come in April allowed him to treat it and get fit for the Ashes series but just imagine if it had happened in the middle of a Test and he was out of the series.
Flintoff's sustained spell of quick bowling has come in for universal praise including from those who likened him to a second hand car.
He bowled at more than 90 miles per hour for more than an hour on the final morning and it not only showed his commitment but also his determination to go out on a high.
It was during this spell that he unnerved even the centurion Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin and once again showed that when it comes to facing fast, short bowling there is no country that can say it is truly comfortable. It is just a matter of coping with it as best as you can.