|Thursday, January 6, 2000, |
Jadeja, Azhar named skippers
Aussies to dominate: Waugh
|Two truths have emerged |
THE Test series is over. We have lost all the three Tests. Miserably. Our performance has been appalling. Yet, two truths have emerged. First, the Indian batting is not as good as the cricket administrators would have us believe. Second, Anil Kumble (who had recently equalled the record of Jim Laker by taking all 10 wickets in an inning) is not a bowler.
Home pitches extracted heavy price
Pollock SAs cricketer of century
Jadeja, Azhar named skippers
MUMBAI, Jan 5 (UNI) Ajay Jadeja has been given one more chance to prove his fitness, while Mohammed Azharuddin has also come back into the national reckoning after being chosen as the respective captains of the Wills XI and the Board Presidents XI for the Wills Trophy to be held in South Zone from January 11.
The tournament has assumed significance since the selectors will be closely watching the first three matches and if there is good performance from some players, they might be selected to go to Australia for the second half of the triangular series.
The selectors will meet on January 19 in Baroda half way through the triangular series to decide whether to send someone or to recall any player. Some players who, the selectors feel, have not performed upto the expectations might also be recalled.
Wills XI: Ajay Jadeja (Haryana-capt), Gagan Khoda (Rajasthan), Ashu Dani (Delhi), Virendra Shewag (Delhi), P. Mullick (Orissa) Madan Gopal (Tamil Nadu) Gynanendra Pandey (Uttar Pradesh) Sitanshu Kotak (Saurashtra), Pritam Gandhe (Vidarbha), Manoj Mudgal (Uttar Pradesh), Amit Bhandari (Delhi), Robin Singh Jr (Delhi), Jatin Zamal (Assam), Rajesh Sanghvi (Delhi).
Board Presidents XI: Mohammed Azharuddin (Hyderabad-capt), S.S. Das (Bengal), Jyoti Yadav (Uttar Pradesh), Anshu Jain (Uttar Pradesh) R. Raj (Tamil Nadu), S. Sriram (Tamil Nadu), S. Sharath (Tamil Nadu), Rajiv Raj (Bihar), Murali Karthik (Kerala), Vijay Dahiya (Delhi), T. Kumaran (Tamil Nadu) Ashish Nehra (Delhi), Aashish Kapoor, Nilesh Modi (Gujarat) and Sanjay Bangar (Railways).
Newspapers ignore Laxman
SYDNEY, Jan 5 (PTI) Australian newspapers today posted front page headlines to hail Waughs warriors but amazingly did not have a word of praise for Indian opener V.V.S. Laxman, who struck a classy 167 at the SCG yesterday though the visitors went down by an innings and 141 runs.
The Telegraph in fact paid a back-hand compliment to Laxman when it said the Indian opener scored his runs only as there were vacant spaces because of attacking field placements.
It said: Laxman muscled the ball through vast open spaces through an attacking field.
There were no headlines or pictures of Laxman though the double century of Justin Langer, who thrived on shocking umpiring decisions by Ian Robinson of Zimbabwe and Australias Darrel Hair, and Australias beaming cricketers after the 3-0 series win made front-page news.
The only picture on Laxman, again in The Telegraph, showed the batsman ducking into a Glenn McGrath delivery and being hit on the helmet visor. The caption read: Chin Music.
Laxmans tremendous assault on rookie paceman Brett Lee on the third afternoon also found no mention in the newspapers.
Sydney Morning Herald gloated over Lee mentioning his performance in the Test as super show. But there was no word that Laxman smashed the pace bowler for 52 runs in just five overs.
Though most newspapers mentioned that as many as 482 runs were scored yesterday but not a line was written on Laxman scoring 121 runs in the final session. It was the highest in a single session by an Indian surpassing Mohammed Azharuddins 103 against England.
The Australian said the man of the series award to Sachin Tendulkar was shocking, adding it must have disappointed even Steve Waugh.
Even though it imagined on Waughs behalf, the newspaper did not take the trouble of either confirming with Waugh or admitting it could be presumption on the writers part.
Laxman to stay back for one-day series
MUMBAI, Jan 5 (PTI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today directed VVS Laxman to stay back and do duty for India in the triangular one-day cricket series in Australia commencing on January 9.
Board Secretary Jayawant Lele, told reporters here after the selection committee meeting that an informal decision on this matter was already taken yesterday by the Chairman Chandu Borde in consultation with his selectorial colleagues following the blistering knock of 167 by the Hyderabad star against the Australians in the third Test which India lost, even before getting any communications from the team management.
Mr Lele also confirmed that no other player would be sent back in Laxmans place.
The selectors had met here on December 30 to announce the team for the one-dayers and made six changes while calling back injured S. Ramesh, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Vijay Bharadwaj, T. Kumaran and wicketkeeper MSK Prasad and named four players Nikhil Chopra, Sunil Joshi, Jacob Martin and Sameer Dighe to join the team in Australia.
HP girls make clean sweep
SHIMLA, Jan 5 Himachal girls made a clean sweep in figure skating by winning the first three positions on the second day of the 2nd National Winter Games, here today.
Anjali Sood, who won the womens figure skating championship in the first nationals at Gulmarg, had no difficulty in retaining the title. She was followed by team-mates Ambica Sood and Ritu Nagpal.
However, Himachal (Blue) were humbled by Jammu and Kashmir (Red) 6-1 in the first ice-hockey match.
Out of the 29 competitors who participated in 500m speed skating heats eight qualified for the final. They are Pawan Verma, Mayank Shandil, Akhil Banga, Pankaj Prabhakar, Salil Sood, Neeraj Dutta and Gurjot Singh (all Himachal) and Rahul Tamdin (Jammu and Kashmir).
As many as 250 skaters participated in the winter carnival of the Shimla ice skating held last evening. The results are:
Subjunior girls: Shalini 1, Kashish Mehta 2, and Deepali Kanwar 3, Subjunior boys: Sidharth Shingari Ankit Banga 2, and Sahil Chauhan 3. Junior girls: Subhangani Singh 1, Neha Sood 2 and Ira Sood 3.
Junior boys: Neeraj Dutta 1, Karan Gulati 2 and Durgesh Bhagra. Ladies: Mandira Khana 1, Kavita Goel 2, and Ritu Nagpal 3. Gents: Pankaj Prabhakar, Salil Sood and Pawan Verma.
Tango: seniors Peter and Ambica 1, Dr Deepak and Anita Sood 2, Juniors: Ankit Banga and Subhangani 1, Sidarth Shingari and Shalini 2.
Two truths have emerged
THE Test series is over. We have lost all the three Tests. Miserably. Our performance has been appalling. Yet, two truths have emerged. First, the Indian batting is not as good as the cricket administrators would have us believe. Second, Anil Kumble (who had recently equalled the record of Jim Laker by taking all 10 wickets in an inning) is not a bowler. He is really a batsman. Even the recognised batsmen who opened for us could not match his average. However, we are a highly tolerant nation. We continue to play even if we are disgraced. Nothing seems to hurt us. And we do nothing to set things right. There is no accountability. Despite the dismal show, not a head shall roll. Not a question shall be asked. No one shall resign. Or even apologise. In fact, what for? Nobody is at fault. None can be blamed. The Government of India and the Ministry of Sports have nothing to do with this debacle. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is an autonomous body. The Chairman or the board have no reason to feel guilty. They had not selected the team. Nor had anyone ever claimed that the team was going to win. In fact, the Secretary was reported to have predicted the events as these have actually occurred.
The Chairman of the Selection Committee cannot be blamed. He merely presides over the meeting. And what can the poor selectors do? They have to make the selection only from amongst the available players. From the regions which they represent. They carry out their duty faithfully. To the best of their ability. With all these limitations what could anybody have done? And how can anyone blame the poor selectors? What can they do if the players do not play? They cannot go and bat or bowl. They are not even paid for that. And there is no dearth of excuses. We can always find some alibi. So, there is no need to sit and sulk.
And how is this series any different from the earlier ones? Why should we have even expected a victory? The performance has been in keeping with the past. The team has only lived by the tradition. The country has no reason to feel disappointed. Victory has never been a habit with us. Sometimes, we may have won just by chance. That was a stroke of good luck. It does not mean a thing. Lady luck cannot be kind all the time.
Then, we must not forget that we were playing in a hostile territory. We had to face a belligerent crowd. Regardless of the fact that the natives were making the loudest noise. And let us not forget that we not were playing merely against the Australian eleven. We had to face a team of fourteen. In all the three Tests. The three umpires had their own memories of the empire. They had their own yardstick for every situation. They only knew the appropriate measure for every occasion. As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water. How can we forget such an obvious truth? Not only the three men in black and white, but also the pitches played foul. These were tailored to suit the local lads. These were fast and bouncy. The pitches did not suit the spinners. It is just a chance that Shane Warne could spin the ball viciously to hit the stumps and remove the bails more than us. Mark Waughs two wickets in one over during the second Test were a pure fluke. Just like Saurav Gangulys occassional success as a change bowler.
Were there no bright spots in this dull and dreary series? There were. Two to be precise. The first the Indian tail wagged. It played better than the top order. Another was the marathon innings played by VVS Laxman in the third and final Test at Sydney. Especially, because it was played under a lot of pressure. When Dravid had got out for a duck and Tendulkar for a paltry four. Not because of any good or unplayable deliveries. But, to rank bad shots.
Innings defeat for England
CAPE TOWN, Jan 5 (Reuters) South Africa today celebrated a series-winning success as they beat England by an innings and 37 runs amid controversy on the fourth day of the fourth Test at Newlands.
England, 163 behind on first innings, slumped to 126 all out in their second innings moments before tea to give South Africa a 2-0 winning lead in the five-Test series.
Sri Lankan umpire B.C. Coorey was at the centre of three controversial decisions involving Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, current and former England captains respectively, and Chris Adams.
England, meanwhile, were reduced from four without loss overnight to 60 for three at lunch, then lost six more wickets in the second session.
Allrounder Andrew Flintoff, who fractured a foot while bowling in South Africas innings, did not come out to bat at the fall of the ninth wicket, leaving South Africa to savour their crushing victory.
England made the worst possible start when Mark Butcher drove expansively at Shaun Pollocks third delivery of the day to be caught behind by Mark Boucher.
Umpire Cooreys first controversial verdict came when he gave Hussain out lbw for 16 to a ball from pace bowler Lance Klusener that came off the England captains bat and did not touch his pad.
Michael Vaughan was back in the pavilion three overs before lunch after he cut lazily at a ball from Klusener to be caught behind for five.
England (first innings) 258
(M.Atherton 71 A.Donald 5-47)
South Africa (first innings) 421
(D.Cullinan 120, J.Kallis 105 C.Silverwood 5-91)
England (second innings) overnight 4-0
Butcher c Boucher b Pollock 4
Atherton c Cullinan b Pollock 35
Hussain lbw b Klusener 16
Vaughan c Boucher b Klusener 5
Stewart b Adams 5
Adams b Adams 31
Caddick c Gibbs b Donald 14
Gough c Donald b Kallis 8
Silverwood not out 5
Tufnell c Cullinan b Adams 0
Flintoff absent injured
Extras (lb-3) 3
Fall of wickets: 1-4 2-40 3-59 4-62 5-66 6-105 7-113 8-125 9-126
Aussies to dominate: Waugh
SYDNEY, Jan 5 (AP) Fresh from an innings and 141-run defeat of India and a clean sweep of home Tests this summer, Australian skipper Steve Waugh has predicted Australia will dominate world cricket for the next decade.
Waughs Australians completed a 3-0 whitewash of India at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, which followed a 3-0 series win over Pakistan late last year for a 6-0 record Down Under plus one-off Test win against Zimbabwe.
Waugh said the Australians had set a goal of winning all six home Tests this summer, so it was no surprise to finish with an emphatic win against India with two days to spare.
I didnt think we should lose a Test, he said yesterday. For me as captain, the highlight was watching the players mature and become battle-hardened, tough Test match cricketers capable of taking Australia over in the next 10 years and remaining the top cricket nation.
We have got the basis of a great team. Once the older guys depart, whenever that is, its going to be a team that can take over and continue the mantle of being the No 1 cricket side in the world.
Australia wrapped up the series by ousting India for 150, then scoring 552 for five declared, with Justin Langer notching a record 223 and Ricky Ponting adding 141 not out, for a lead of 402.
Glenn McGrath snared five wickets for 55, returning 10-103 for the match, as India was bowled out for 261 in the chase. Opener VVS Laxman, who scored 167, provided the only serious resistance to the Australian bowling attack.
Australia, rated the worlds No 1 Test team, also won the limited-overs World Cup in England last June by crushing Pakistan in the final at Lords.
A tri-nations limited-overs series involving Australia, Pakistan and India starts January 9 with Australia taking on Pakistan in Brisbane.
Pakistan goes into the series opener at the Gabba in disarray and without express bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was set to return today to Pakistan to sit out an International Cricket Council ban for an alleged illegal bowling action.
Home pitches extracted heavy price
CHANDIGARH, Jan 5 There is no use crying over spilt milk. India have truly been beaten fair and square (never mind the occasional umpiring mistakes) by a team which was superior in all departments of the game. And in any case the Steve Waugh led squad can lay claim to be the best-ever Australian squad given the fact that they have been winning series after series with monotonous regularity.
Indian fans had hoped that the current Indian team led by Sachin Tendulkar and coached by Kapil Dev would be able to reverse the trend of Indias performance abroad. But the habit of playing on designer pitches at home over the years extracted a very heavy price as the Indians gave in without even a semblance of a fight in all the three Test matches in Australia. True, Sachin Tendulkar did redeemed himself with some excellent cricket but his solitary effort was simply not enough to pull the team out of the morass. After all, cricket is a team game played by 11 players.
Who should be blamed for Indias miserable show? While fingers may well be pointed to the likes of Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly, who could not come to terms with their batting on surfaces totally different to what they have encountered anywhere else, or even to Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble who also performed way below par, one of the principal actors to the whole drama is the pitches committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. If anybody is to be blamed for Indias miserable show in Australia it is this committee
The board had set up this committee to oversee the preparation of pitches for both domestic and international matches. The prime task of the committee was to offer sporting pitches giving something both to the batsman and the bowler. This committee was headed by Kapil Dev before he was appointed coach of the Indian team. This committee, however, could not undo the damage which had crept in over the years of playing on flat wickets. In fact, not in one centre did the committee advise how to make a sporting wicket.
The committee never tried to improve the conditions of the pitches and whenever a sporting pitch (as in the case of the strip at the PCA stadium at SAS Nagar) was offered for an international match, the ground staff was asked to shave off every trace of grass. While admitting that any team plays to home advantage efforts should have been made to introduce sporting pitches at least for domestic matches. If that had been done, then as a cricketer was pushed to play international cricket he would have acquired some expertise of playing on bouncy and fast wickets.
Unable to play on bouncy wickets was Indias biggest disadvantage while playing in Australia or for that matter anywhere else. Used to the ball barely coming knee high the Indian batsmen failed to come to come to grips with the rising delivery. They were all at sea in the face of the sustained pace attack of the Australians. And in case where the batsman was willing to play on the front foot (Sachin Tendulkar or even V.V.S. Laxman in the final Test) the result was altogether different.
AUCKLAND, Jan 5 (AFP) Qualifier Vanessa Webb of Canada pulled off a stunning upset win over Austrias fourth-seeded Barbara Schwartz on a rain-hit second day of the New Zealand Tennis Classic here yesterday.
Webb, 23, who beat Schwartz 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 said she benefited from having played through three qualifying rounds which included a victory over 1997 champion Marion Maruska.
In contrast Schwartz, the 42nd ranked player in the world, was playing her first competitive match since October and struggled with the strong swirling winds.
It was the 141st-ranked Webbs second win over Schwartz, her previous win being a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the qualifying round of the Canadian Open just before the US Open last year.
I felt pretty good, Ive played three matches while she (Schwartz) was playing her first, a delighted Webb said.
Arjuna, Aravinda for Pak tour
COLOMBO, Jan 5 (PTI) Former captain Arjuna Runatunga and his deputy Aravinda de Silva have been included in the 22-member Sri Lankan cricket squad for the two-month tour of Pakistan starting next month.
The two veterans, who fell out of favour with the new selectors after their poor performance in the 1999 World Cup in England, have been included in the team led by opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, a Sri Lankan Cricket Board release said here yesterday.
The selectors, however, put a raider on De Silvas inclusion in the squad he has to play in the domestic cricket.
De Silva was earlier selected to play one-day as well as Test series when the Australians toured the island nation last year but Ranatunga, who lost the captaincy to Jayasuriya, was picked up only for Tests in which he fared poorly.
He was subsequently dropped for the Zimbabwe tour in November and December last year.
Though selected to go to Zimbabawe, De Silva opted out in the last minute citing personal problems and his decision came in for heavy criticism from board officials.
Ranatunga, who went to Zimbabawe as a television commentator, was selected again on the basis of his improved performance in domestic cricket.
Team: Sanath Jayasuriya (capt), Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Mahela Jayawardene, T.M. Dilshan, Indika de Saram, Chamara de Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Uppeka Fernando, Kumara Sangakkara, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Prasanna Jayawardene, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ranga Herath, Upul Chandana, Nimesh Perera, Chaminda Vaas, Promodaya Wickremasinghe, Ravindra Pushpakumara, Nuwan Zyosa and Indika Gallange.
Pele footballer of the century
ROTENBURG (Germany), Jan 5 (DPA) Brazilian legend Pele has been named world footballer of the century in a poll conducted by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
Pele, who won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 world cup titles with Brazil, received 1,705 points in the poll conducted among football coaches and historians. The results came out last night.
Johan Cruyff of Holland was a distant second with 1,303 points, Germanys Franz Beckenbauer third with 1,228, Alfredo di Stefano of Argentina fourth with 1,215 and Argentinas Diego Maradona fifth with 1,214 points.
The late Lev Jashin of the Soviet Union was named goalkeeper of the century ahead of Englands Gordon Banks and Dino Zoff of Italy. The womens poll was won by US star Mia Hamm ahead of compatriot Michelle Akers and Germanys Heidi Mohr.
Maradona in ICU with heart problems
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 5 (AFP) Former Argentine World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona was in intensive care suffering from heart problems in the Cantegrill private clinic in Punta del Este, Uruguay, it was reported by Argentine television yesterday.
A hospital staffer said Maradona had been admitted suffering from hypertension and arrythmia.
He is stable but a little excited, he said. The 39-year-old, who all but singlehandedly won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina over Germany and then led them to the 1990 final where the Germans avenged that defeat, was accompanied to the hospital by his wife Claudia Villafane and manager Guillermo Coppola with whom he had been on holiday.
Vancouver United record win
Garhshankar, Jan 5Vancouver United Soccer Club, Canada, feat Star Club, Paldi, 4-0 in the Principal Harbhajan Singh memorial football tournament here today. Manjinder and Shammi scored two goals each for their team.
In another match, Guru Nanak College Phagwara beat Football Academy, Mahilpur, 2-0. For the Phagwara team Karnail Singh scored the first goal whereas the second goal was scored by Rana.
Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, defeated DAV College, Jalandhar, by a solitary goal. The goal was scored by Preeti. DAV College tried their best to score the equaliser but the strong rival defence foiled all their attempts.
DAV College Hoshiarpur, routed GNN College, Narur, 5-0. Lucky, Happy, Parveen Pandit, Happy and Happy was the scorer for DAV College.
In another match Ludhiana Police defeated JCT Academy 2-0.
Paes-Black duo beaten
CHENNAI, Jan 5 (PTI) Top seeded pair of Leander Paes and Byron Black was shocked 3-6 4-6 by the European duo Jullian Boutter and Christophe Rochas in a quarterfinal tie of the ATP Tour Gold Flake Open Tennis Championship here this evening.
The Indo-Zimbabwean pair, favourites in the doubles tournament failed to live up to the expectations and lost to the French-Belgian combination in just over an hour causing another upset at the championships.
ITF Futures wild card for Fazaluddin
NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (UNI) Davis Cupper Syed Fazaluddin, promising youngsters Rohan Bopanna, Mustafa Ghouse and Saurav Panja have been given wild cards for the main draw of the ITF Futures tennis to be held at Secunderabad from January 10. Manoj Mahadevan has been kept as alternate.
According to an All-India Tennis Association release wild cards for the qualifying and doubles will be announced by the organisers.
Firoz Ali in lead
PUNE, Jan 5 (UNI) Calcuttas Feroz Ali took the lead with a two-round aggregate of four-under 138 after the second round of the Rs 600,000 Wills Western Open here today. The leader was just a stroke ahead of Lucknows Vijay Kumar, the No 1 player on the Wills sport Indian golf tour, and local pro Dinesh Raghuvanshi. In the joint fourth place at one-under 141 were Sanjay Kumar (Lucknow) and Mhows Devendra Patel.
The midway cut was applied at 14-over 156 and 51 pros and three amaterurs proceeded to the third round of the tournament, which offers Rs 97,600 to the winner.
India finish 3rd in Rashid vball
DUBAI, Jan 5 (UNI) India beat Cuba in three straight sets last night to finish third in the fifth Rashid International Volleball Tournament.
The Indians hardly faced any resistance from the Cuban side and got the better of their opponents 27-25, 28-26, 25-17.
Pollock SAs cricketer of century
CAPE TOWN, Jan 5 (AP) Graeme Pollock, whose Test average of 60.97 runs is second only to Australias Donald Bradman, was announced as South Africas cricketer of the century on Sunday.
The 55-year-old left-handed batsman, selected for the honour by a national panel of experts, was greeted with tumultuous applause during a colourful ceremony at tea time on the first day of South Africas fourth Test against England at Newlands.
Patiala cops, Tigers Club win
PATIALA Jan 5 (FOSR) Patiala police defeated Bengali Club, 3-0, and Tigers Club beat Morning Club, 2-0, in the league matches of the Patiala District Football Championships played at the local Polo Grounds here today.
In the first match of the day, Tigers Club maintained pressure right from the start. Their striker Harjinder Singh tapped a pass on top the box to firmly drive the ball home, making it 1-0 for Tigers Club. In the last minute of the match, Inderjit fed Vipin Murali with an ariel pass which Vipin headed into the goal making the scoreboard read 2-0.
In the other match of the day, Patiala police showed why they are the favourites. The cops were solid in defence and their attack had enough sharpness to subdue the Bengali Club defence. Kamaljit Singh fed his forwards with some crisp passes and the cops suged ahead when Gurbaksh pounced on a loose ball to slot it home. Raid after raid by the cops ensured that in the second half, the Bengal Club defenders became tired. Kamaljit netted the ball to make it a comfortable 3-0 win for the Patiala police.
With the league phase over, the knockout phase of the tournament begins tomorrow.
City Club defeat New Heroes
AMBALA Jan 5 (FOC) On the third day of the Jolly Memorial Football Tournament here today, In the first match, the City Club, Yamunanagar defeated the New Heroes Club, Patiala, by 5-0.
The second match, which saw a keen contest between the Loins Football Club, Ambala, and the Master Meher Singh Football Club, Kurali, ended in a goalless draw.
Both teams were again locked equal in the tiebreaker. The sudden death rule was applied, in which the Meher Singh Football Club, Kurali, defeated the Lions Club, Ambala by 5-4.
Trophy for ICC
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 5 (FOC) R.K. Young Cricket Club Saroya (Nawanshahr) organised the 14th state-level cricket tournament which concluded on Tuesday at Saroya.
Mr Nand Lal, MLA Balachaur, inaugurated the tournament in which as many as 23 teams from Punjab and Chandigarh participated.
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