How damaging could Australia’s defeat be?

by: Kyle Green

Australia’s defeat earlier this week against India will have come as something of a shock to more than a few cricket fans. Since the loss, Australian fans have reacted to it in different ways, some predicting a subsequent fall from grace for the Aussies as they prepare for even bigger challenges, and some believing it to be a minor blip. 
Brett Lee for one truly seems to believe that Australia’s defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise as the Aussies prepare for the Ashes 2010 series against bitter rivals England. Lee reckons such a defeat “makes guys switch on a lot more” and could in fact be “the best thing” the Australians could have wished for at this stage in their preparation.
However, to many England fans, this will seem like attempting to put a silver lining on a very large cloud hanging over the Australian camp at the moment. Yes, the defeat will ensure that complacency doesn’t enter the minds of the Aussies and that expectations from the Australian media don’t reach ridiculously sky-high levels. That said, there’s something to be said for momentum, even in a sport played at a relatively low tempo such as cricket.
The problem for Australia is that they now realise, as Steve Waugh has stressed this week, that they need to bounce back from this setback sooner rather than later. Waugh revealed, quite sensibly, that “if we come away from India having lost 2-0, it will affect our form going into The Ashes“. The longer the period of time that elapses without this win coming, the more pressure will be heaped on the shoulders of the players and the more difficult it will become to bounce back.

Ashes 2010 Fixtures Australia vs England

November

5-7 v Western Australia, Perth
Play starts at 0230 GMT

11-13 v South Australia, Adelaide
Play starts at 2330 GMT (10-12 December)

17-20 v Australia A, Hobart
Play starts at 2330 GMT (16-19 December)

25-29 1st Test, Brisbane
Play starts at 0000 GMT

 

December

3-7 2nd Test, Adelaide
Play starts at 2330 GMT (2-6 December)

10-12 v Victoria, Melbourne
Play starts at 0000 GMT

16-20 3rd Test, Perth
Play starts at 0230 GMT

26-30 4th Test, Melbourne
Play starts at 0000 GMT

 

January

3-7 5th Test, Sydney
Play starts at 0000 GMT

10 v Prime Minister’s XI, Canberra
Play starts at 2245 GMT (9 January)

12 1st Twenty20 international, Adelaide (d/n)
Play starts at 0835 GMT

14 2nd Twenty20 international, Melbourne (d/n)
Play starts at 0835 GMT

16 1st ODI, Melbourne (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

21 2nd ODI, Hobart (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

23 3rd ODI, Sydney (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

26 4th ODI, Adelaide (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

30 5th ODI, Brisbane (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

 

February

2 6th ODI, Sydney (d/n)
Play starts at 0320 GMT

6 7th ODI, Perth
Play starts at 0320 GMT

 

Latest Cricket law 1 October 2010

Latest Changes to the rules of Cricket

 

 

MCC has introduced eight amendments or clarifications to the Laws of Cricket which come into effect today. The changes are aimed at providing more fairness to both sides and reducing the amount of playing time lost.

 

Bad light

 

Umpires will no longer offer the light Umpires will now be the sole arbiters of whether play should continue in poor light. The batting side will no longer have any say in the decision, which was often made for tactical reasons.

 

The toss

At least one umpire will also now be required to attend the toss and the winning captain must notify his counterpart of his decision to bat or field immediately.

 

Previously, captains could wait until ten minutes before the start of the game, but in some cases this was being exploited to the losing side’s disadvantage – and therefore contravened the Spirit of Cricket.

 

Increased fairness

Other Law changes aimed at achieving more fairness between the teams include:

  • giving batsmen who damage the pitch just one warning before penalty runs are issued, rather than two
  • preventing bowlers from delivering the ball with their front foot having crossed an imaginary line between the middle stumps (e.g. declaring they were bowling over the wicket but releasing the ball as if they were bowling round the wicket)
  • forbidding bowlers bowling the ball into the ground to a team mate, which damages the ball and may waste time.

     

Practice beyond the boundaries

 

The new laws keep pace with the rate of change in cricket Fielders will no longer be able to practice with a twelfth man or coach outside the boundary during a game, as this affords them an opportunity to prepare that is not granted to the batsmen in the middle.

 

Fielding athleticism

 

Twenty20 cricket has contributed to increasingly athletic fielding standards, and MCC strives to ensure the Laws deal with the challenges posed by the modern game.

 

Now, a fielder’s first contact with the ball must be within the boundary or, if his is airborne, when his last contact with the ground was within the field of play. He may subsequently step outside the rope, but a four or six will be scored if he makes further contact with the ball whilst grounded outside the boundary.

 

Rare dismissals

 

Mike Hussey was almost dismissed by the broken part of his bat against England at Lord’s The two final Law changes deal with very rare forms of dismissal. Law 28.1 has been amended so, if a batsman’s bat breaks in the act of playing a shot and the broken part of the bat hits the stumps, he will now be out.

 

A new sub-section has been added to Law 29.1 to protect a batsman who is well in his ground – for example a sprinting batsman who has run past his stumps – but whose feet and bat happen to be in the air as the bails are removed. He will now be deemed to be in.

Duckworth Lewis and Twenty20

In the World Twenty20 Sri Lanka won their game against Zimbabwe – a result that was a fair reflection of the match. England scored a massive 191 which would be a tough one to lose, until the Duckworth Lewis system entered the equation. West Indies got off to a flying start and with the match reduced due to the rain, it was a relative stroll in the park for the Windies. It is a massive disadvantage batting first and will cause many upsets and frustrations in future Twenty20 games.

I am not sure of the solution, however the ICL has already implemented an adapted version of the Duckworth Lewis method to try counter the unfairness of the method which was designed for the 50 over format. Certainly a few more results like today will ensure a new method is found sooner rather than later.

Jono Leaf-Wright – Do you know him?

A fellow reader of cricketza.com emailed a question regarding Jono Leaf-Wright, does anyone know him? Please contact me on editor@cricketza.com if you do
There is guy by the name of Jono Leaf-Wright who I occasionally see in the
SA cricket team ‘s change room and he was somehow involved with  Ray Jennings team in the IPL.

Can you tell me if he has anything to do with the Protea’s coaching staff?