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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Hussey’

Lee Bowyer could have been somebody. At the turn of the new millennium, he was the engine of a young and vibrant Leeds United side that had the football world at its feet. Then, after a drunken night at the Majestyk nightclub, Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate – also “daft as a brush” – were accused of a racist attack on Sarfraz Najeib, a Pakistani student. The court case took months and its aftermath resulted in Leeds being relegated and then sliding down the leagues. Bowyer, who was once seen as being on the same level as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, plies his trade for Birmingham City these days, any chance of greatness having long since passed him by.

The English Premier League, like its Indian cricket equivalent, is a harsh environment to grow up in. Pots of money, a fancy car a week if you feel like it, an endless stream of faux-celebrity girlfriends and groupies. Parasitic agents and hangers-on. But for every idiot like Bowyer who hits the skids, there are others like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, exemplary professionals who have lasted nearly as long as Tendulkar at the top. (more…)

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The eventual margin of defeat flattered India. But for Shane Watson’s predictable full tosses outside off stump and Peter Siddle bizarrely opting to go round the wicket, they wouldn’t have got so close, and an undeserved victory would have brushed under the carpet shoddy attention to basics. Credit to Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar for taking India close, but when you make so many mistakes, you don’t deserve to cross the line.
Ishant Sharma showed signs of returning to something like form with a decent spell, but that was offset by pretty awful bowling from Praveen and Harbhajan. At the pace that he bowls, Praveen can’t afford to drop the ball short or stray both sides of the wicket. If he gets carried away thinking that he’s a fast bowler, he’ll get pasted like he did today. When he keeps it tight and full and swings it away, he’s far more of a threat.
Harbhajan could watch how Nathan Hauritz bowled today. On surfaces like this that are full of runs, sticking to the basics is a far better option. Until he went for a few at the end, Hauritz’s first eight overs cost just 21. Most importantly though, India simply must field better to give Australia a game. Some of the outfielding was just wretched, and the trend of batsmen standing back to admire shots instead of running full pelt needs to be addressed immediately. India played out 162 dot balls to Australia’s 139. The role model in that regard was Michael Hussey, whose 54-ball 73 included just nine balls that he didn’t score from.
With Yuvraj Singh due to return, both India’s batting and bowling will improve, and they can take heart from the fact that they got so close despite being so sloppy. On the flip side, Siddle and Brett Lee will surely improve after their Champions League exertions, and Watson’s likely to think twice before floating full tosses outside off stump. It should be an interesting series.

The eventual margin of defeat flattered India. But for Shane Watson’s predictable full tosses outside off stump and Peter Siddle bizarrely opting to go round the wicket, they wouldn’t have got so close, and an undeserved victory would have brushed under the carpet shoddy attention to basics. Credit to Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar for taking India close, but when you make so many mistakes, you don’t deserve to cross the line.

Ishant Sharma showed signs of returning to something like form with a decent spell, but that was offset by pretty awful bowling from Praveen and Harbhajan. At the pace that he bowls, Praveen can’t afford to drop the ball short or stray both sides of the wicket. If he gets carried away thinking that he’s a fast bowler, he’ll get pasted like he did today. When he keeps it tight and full and swings it away, he’s far more of a threat.

Harbhajan could watch how Nathan Hauritz bowled today. On surfaces like this that are full of runs, sticking to the basics is a far better option. Until he went for a few at the end, Hauritz’s first eight overs cost just 21. (more…)

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