There are various forms of putting the batsman off, the most common is sledging. England it seems to be fairly competent in that department, however in the Second test against India at Trent Bridge they took the mind games to a new level. Zaheer Khan, who hasn’t even cracked the top 100 for test batting and averages 12 after 65 innings, certainly didn’t need any more odds against him.
Yet the English cricketers decided to raise their mind games to the extent that there is no other way to describe it other than
disgusting against the spirit and tradition of the game . It is quite clear a batsman of his calibre is tested in a game of village cricket and certainly doesn’t need to be put off by jelly beans thrown on the pitch. There is no doubt in my mind that jelly beans were thrown onto the pitch, on the third day. This opinion has been reinforced by Paul Collingwood jokingly telling the papers that “perhaps he prefers the blue ones to the pink ones.”
It will be absolute disgrace to the game if such a tactic remains unpunished. The Inernational Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that England won’t be punished unless one of the batsman complains to the match umpires. The ICC has indicated that the English haven’t broken any rules by this act. This is understandable, in fact quite commendable that the law makers of cricket never envisioned this sort of shenanigans happening. In fact there must be few sane and sober people in the world who could have predicted such an antic to be carried out.
This is some of the worst form of gamesmanship in recent times. There are far worse actions carried out by players in every test played, often with sides deliberately scuffling the pitch. However this was so blatant and deliberate the ICC needs to react to this tomfoolery. If this is let slip now what is there to stop another side from this behaviour?
India are 259/3 going into the start of day 3. Tendulkar and Ganguly are at the wicket with Laxman and Dhoni still to come before the tail starts. England have been chasing leather and need to get some control in the first session today, if they cant pick up a wicket, expect to see India at 350 plus at lunch.
The positive side for England is that India has a monster tail. As said previously, England has great bowlers for a county side and they could clean up the less talented tail with innocuous deliveries that the top order would smirk at. However if England can make an early breakthrough before lunch and try restrict the Indians scoring, India could be out for 370 which is a score England will be more that happy with.
I predict Tendulkar posting a big hundred with support from Ganguly and Laxman. Dhoni will behave like he is part of the tail swinging at everything however today he will not be as lucky as previously and will be out for less than twenty, whilst the rest of the tail is cleaned up for under thirty. Essentially England need to get three wickets cheaply and things will fall apart for the Indians. I don’t see it happening and I see Tendulkar walking into lunch with a hundred to his name.
The only thing I am not sure of is what the weather will be like as there was plenty of rain about England last night so if Trent Bridge has been graced with more rain the English will be smiling. More than likely it will be an overcast day and hopefully Sidebottom who I rte highly can the ball in the right place. He can be a very good bowler if he gets his line and length right but seems to be a “form” bowler and can either delight or disgust the supporters.
England looks set to be chasing a huge score just to be in the game, as said in my previous post they re short of a wicket taking bowler. They have a decent club line up but the international sphere, they are going to struggle without their main bowlers. There is no one with frightening pace nor someone who can bowl the unplayable ball.
However they do have bowlers who can capitalise on negative play by getting it in the area, but India have classy batsmen. Currently they are 72/0 and 400 is not out of the equation if England arent careful. Panesar is the only quality bowler in the pack and should be on as early as possible – I hope he can restore some order in this game otherwise it will be a run away victory for India