India's settled XI and their spirited fourth innings should see them take the momentum into the Second Test. Meanwhile, Australia is in disarray with a new skipper appointed over the incumbent vice captain, which is sure to upset the senior players - right, Rod Marsh? There are question marks over the quicks. And David Warner has turned into our best batsman, and a solid citizen to boot. Shambles.
Yet, despite its fame as a road, Adelaide Oval has also hosted only 7 draws in the same period. (Only 4 if you cheat and take out the first three Tests after 1988.) Adelaide is all about day five, where the road suddenly becomes a minefield and the summer's best day of cricket can slap you in the face. Forget wearing pitches, Adelaide's is a were-pitch: good as gold for four days, but on day five he'll rip your lungs out, Jim. (I'd like to meet his groundsman.)
Adelaide is also about the commentators boring us rigid with talk of the SACA's beauty, but they might now struggle with the ground's redevelopment as a footy stadium. No doubt they will pick up the slack by talking about the scoreboard.
Dean Jones is yet another pundit who fails to draw the key distinction between the intentional flexing of the arm to "bowl" a spinner and the incidental flexing of an arm (courtesy of centrifugal force, etc) to bowl fast.
Although not until after he leads with his own sympathy card. As a youngster Deano was sad when called a chucker. He "had no intent of throwing the ball" he merely "got a bit loose" trying to copy Dennis Lillee. So was DK a chucker?
No doubt the condition was eased with Metamucil and also by the fact Deano subsequently gave up bowling and became a Test batsman. One door closed, another opened. (Equating chucking with walking made me loose.)
Deano helpfully lists four "basic signs" naked eyes ought to look for in a chucker:
1. If you can see the back of the bowler's hand at ball release.
2. If the bowler is right handed, his right leg will have a massive bend at delivery stride.
3. If the bowler is right handed, he will hardly use his left arm or side while delivering the ball.
4. Ask the bowler to stand straight up and place his bowling arm straight at 12-1 o'clock. Look at the distance between the top of his head and his hand. If that distance looks shorter when delivering the ball, then he probably has a suspect action.
Allow me to add:
5. If the bowler is left or right handed and bends his arm at, say, for no particular reason, 42° and just about every cricket fan, player and administrator shouts "No ball!" at the television then he is probably chucking.
The article reads like Deano is deemed a sympathetic ear and has been fed snippets of information. Suddenly, out of the blue, McGrath's 10° bend is the catalyst for the 15° rule?
Mind you, I like his snippet that "Two bowlers failed the test after they could not, or would not, bowl to their replicated match speeds." Makes you wonder what the UWA Rubber Stamp department was up to for all those years.
(Adsy, did Deano or Rameez mention this article last night?)
Yes, I had seen that catch and it does raise a question or two. It is MCC’s opinion that the catch is legal for 2 reasons.
Firstly, although the fielder starts moving before the ball reaches the striker, it is arguable that the movement is not significant. In a (brilliant) act of anticipation, he is readying himself to move to his left which actually starts with him moving his left leg slightly to the right, ie in the opposite direction to that which he eventually runs. This is to give him the “springboard” to set off to his left. If you freeze the clip at the right moment at 16 seconds, there is a frame where the ball has clearly already been played by the batsman but the fielder’s left boot is visible at the top of the screen still in line with the white line that has been painted as a guide for wides for the umpire. If you then check back to his original position, it is only about a foot or two different.
Secondly, the movement by the fielder is purely as a result of the shot selected by the striker. He only decides to move once it is clear that a sweep shot is being attempted. It would probably be wrong for such anticipation to be outlawed. A similar act of anticipation, although for a different reason, is when the silly point turns away when the striker is shaping up for a square cut. Both of these are very different from, for example, square leg moving back 20 paces as the bowler runs in, or moving from in front of square to behind square. This is the main intention of the Law although you are also correct that the movement should not distract the striker (also covered by Law 42.4)
Nobody could deny that it was a wonderful piece of anticipation and skill by the fielder and the Laws should not seek to forbid such acts.
I hope that this clarifies the Laws for you
Fraser Stewart Laws & Universities Manager Marylebone Cricket Club
Both catches are similar, although Van Jaarsveld's comes quicker off the bat. It would have been interesting if the umpires had ruled Steve Smith's catch illegal.
During todays' lunch break in the cricket Ashley Mallett was giving a spot of coaching to an Under 17 hopeful:
"Just reach high and chuck it up there like Muralitharan"
Don't forget to bend your arm.
At the time, given Cricket Australia's and Nine's determination to shy away from anything remotely resembling controversy (and indeed Tawny's determination to preserve his commentary work on the subcontinent), it was possible to misconstrue Ashley Mallett's comment as a mere faux pas. Not any more:
World cricket's delayed action to enforce the law against throwing has given rise to a generation of spinners who can't bowl legally, according to a leading Australian spin coach, John Davison.
"I was in Sri Lanka a couple of months ago and 90 per cent of the bowlers over there bowl spin. I reckon 90 per cent of kids coming through would have what I would call an illegal action."
Davison accompanied Nathan Lyon and a national performance squad to Colombo to work with Muthiah Muralidaran in June.
I take it Davison has had an ironectomy. Who is the biggest spin hero on the subcontinent? Who is the spinner most emulated? The bloke he is working with. Surely at least 90% of the 90% of kids coming through with illegal action have copied Murali?
Under previous conditions you would expect Steve O'Keefe to be about to issue a Professional Apology for telling chuckers to piss off, but given the current clampdown it would appear players may be freer to speak out.
Then again, it has been suggested O'Keefe has not been picked more often for national honours because he has a tendency to speak out so perhaps he always shoots from the lip:
Steve O'Keefe admits he feels little sympathy for suspended Pakistan counterpart Saeed Ajmal, welcoming the International Cricket Council's crackdown on chuckers he believes are "taking the piss".
"I think originally when the laws came in you were allowed zero degrees. They brought in 15 degrees to give blokes that leeway. If you go past it in my mind you've been given a little bit of room and you're going past that 15 degrees you're taking the piss."
"The rules are in place for a reason and all throughout the game guys will try and push the rules to a certain point, but I think once you step over that line you have to pay the price, whatever that is at ICC level. It's not fair, to be honest.
I'm glad that they're not going further with it ...15 degrees is enough. It should be zero, really. You should be trying to bowl with a straight arm."
The NSW left-arm orthodox was a teammate of Murali's in the Indian Premier League three years ago and is keen to resume contact with the Sri Lankan, who has been hired by Australia to train batsmen to face spin as well as mentor spinners.
"I worked with Murali when I was at Kochi for six weeks. He was good in that environment because he was playing and you could chat to him and see how he went about his business."
A month ago, after a Test match in Sri Lanka, Ajmal was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action by two Test umpires, one of whom, Bruce Oxenford, is Australian. Ajmal was brought to have his action examined by biomechanists at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Australia. And now he has been suspended from all cricket, two weeks before Pakistan plays its next Test series – in the UAE, against Australia.
Mind you, I would be keen to have a little wager with perennial AGB fave, Malcolm Knox:
What would be even bigger news is when the law comes down on a bowler from Australia, England or India. Of those so far caught in the ICC's crackdown, all belong to the nations now designated "second-tier". The big test will come when a bowler with a suspect action plays for one of the big three.
Australia has had its dodgy actions too - as my headache in repeating that testifies; Sideshow Roy Symonds is lucky he does not play anymore - but I will eat my bat if an Aussie bowler with an action anything like Ajmal's gets anywhere near the Test team.
To echo Carrot's sentiment: "42° - what the hell?" I thought it was more like 82°. Well, 62°:
"An independent analysis has found the bowling action of Pakistan's offspinner Saeed Ajmal to be illegal and, as such, the player has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect. The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations."
It's one thing to rail against a rort, it's another to have your railing confirmed.
At this rate if they keep knocking off rank actions, I will have to find something else to complain about. (But I'm sure I'm up to the task.)
South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has said he hasn't forgiven Australia captain Michael Clarke for what he considered to be a personal sledge during the Newlands Test earlier this year.
The modern rush to spin everything has attempted to obscure the obvious fact that sportsman and women sometimes just don't like each other. And while sporties hating each other is probably sub-optimal, it certainly adds a frisson of excitement to to a contest.
Meg Lanning, the Australian women's captain, will take a big step into a male bastion this summer when she joins the Channel Nine commentary team.
Lanning's commentary will no doubt run into the same static as Kellie Underwood's stint on Ten footy. Some will bag her outright for being a girl - "what would sheeee know" - but many more will try to couch their criticism (envy) in disingenuous terms. "She doesn't read the game," was a common refrain among fellow commentators at assorted media outlets. Really, though, it was a turf war. She had the gig, mates of mates wanted the gig.
Underwood was not my cup of tea, but, how many commentators are? How many read the game? How many commentators tell you something you don't know? There is a dreadful lack of depth in Australian commentary. Underwood was no better or worse than 90% of the other footy commentators. There are maybe half a dozen who stand out, but several dozen more who are mere noise.
Will Lanning be better than Slatts, Heals, Braysh, Tubbs, Sumptuous and the rest of Nine's wacky funsters, suck-ups and shills. All of them showed promise until they were infected by Nine's signature style: oaf. And what of Favelli? He's a fantastic cricket person and talks a lot of sense about the caper, but stick him in the Nine box... wouldn't it be great if Lanning fired up the crusty old grump.
My one caveat would be Lanning's age. She seems young to be talking to the cricket public about cricket. Sexism is a given, 22 invites ageism. But then querulous oldsters are not Nine's target demographic for the Barby Cup.
What is just as interesting as the ICC's apparent clamp-down on chucking, is the ICC's concomitant opinion of the rubber stamps at UWA:
Primarily, the ICC is unhappy with the biomechanics lab at the University of Western Australia in Perth, where bowlers with suspect actions have usually been sent for testing and correction. The ICC is not convinced that the lab's testing procedures are rigorous enough, at least to the standards they want. They are unhappy that not enough of the bowlers reported and then tested in recent years have been found to possess suspect actions.
Sky Sports commentator Strauss, believing he was off the air in a break in play during the Lord's bicentenary match between MCC and the Rest of the World, reportedly described Pietersen as a c--- to fellow commentator Nick Knight.
Bloody hell, Lou Vincent. That's not how it is supposed to go.
I was taken in context? I am sorry I offended everyone? I have not been misquoted?
You are supposed hire a public relations outfit (he probably did that one), spread the blame, optical illusions, corrupt cops, vindicated when others are also caught, my mother did it, the supplements did it, everyone does it, fall guy, scape goat, victim of rank injustice, weasel words, heavily legalled:
"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing. I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud. I lost faith in myself and the game. I abused the game I love."
The technology for in-game testing is almost upon us, but it will be blocked by the usual suspects. But if the ICC ever has the balls to implement it, then several careers will instantly end, and records will have to be erased if they are serious. That's why it will never be permitted.
But the truth is that one day it will simply be possible for anyone to run a video image through a computer and do it themselves. When that day comes it will be very, very embarrassing indeed for some bowlers and cricket boards.
Jumping to conclusions between the lines, I suspect the ICC knows it.
The ICC chief executives committee meeting in Melbourne as part of the governing body's annual conference, recommended that ICC management review the current process for reporting, assessing and clearing suspect bowling actions, while also suggesting that wider powers may need to be applied to allow the monitoring of suspect actions beyond the end of formal testing.
"The message out of the cricket committee was there's enough bowlers with suspect actions that should be being scrutinised, that probably haven't been," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager of cricket, said. "By scrutinised, it just means they're being tested whenever there are concerns raised. At this stage, it's been pretty quiet for a couple of years. The cricket committee was of the view there are some bowlers operating with suspect actions that should be scrutinised a bit more closely."