Sunday, December 10, 2006

Murali, McCallum and Kiwi Sportsmanship...

The bizzare run out incident involving Murali and Brendon McCallum seems to be the talking point among cricketing circles these days. Well what’s the deal?

It was indeed quite silly of Murali, but it is well known that while his brain works overtime while bowling, he somehow manages to leave his brain in the dressing room when he comes out to bat.

Nonetheless Mahela shouldn't be grumbling about Murali's runout causing heartache and may be the loss of the game. He should be more worried about the performance of his top order batsmen including himself. Leaving aside Sangakkara and perhaps Jayasuriya who was unlucky to be run out, the rest of the batting was as dismal as it could possibly get. Given the situation of the match Murali being there perhaps would have added around 20 runs more which wouldn't have been enough to win the game.

Meanwhile it would have been great for cricket if Stephen Fleming could have ignored the runout and let Sri Lanka bat on. He however preferred to work according to the letter of the law. The New Zealanders are self proclaimed pundits of the spirit of the game as they so vocifourously cried out against the famous underarm over bowled against them - a product of the Chappell brothers brains trust, who were by the way working according to the letter of the law.

Alas, everybody embraces the spirit of the game or the rules of the game only when it is convenient to them...

Well one test match is gone, lost through a bad decision at the toss, bad batting and on the button bowling by the Kiwis. You cannot however ignore Sangakkara's innings which was a masterpiece. He has been a pillar of consistency for the SL side and his batting has been streets ahead of the rest in aelian conditions. He has batted well in all parts of the world - South Africa, Australia, England, West Indies, Pakistan. His technique and temperamant set him apart as the best Sri Lankan batsman in the current side. He could possibly be described as the best Sri Lankan batsman since Aravinda De Silva. Unfotunately some of his great innings have been when SL have been on the losing side. His maiden ODI century made against Australia, his gallant 138 not out against India, a fantastic 98 against South Africa at the Centurion are some of his monumental innings which have gone unrewarded.

Also to our boys credit, they bowled and fielded like demons. To have the Kiwi batsmen in tangles in their home conditions is no easy task, and our bowlers powered by the two experienced war horses Murali and Vaas, rose to the occassion. Murali was denied an easy chance of getting five consecutive ten fors by our batsmen. He proved that he is easily the best bowler the world has ever seen, by picking up 7 wickets without a fuss on a grassy Crist Church pitch.

Well Mahela has made a tough call by signalling intentions of vengeance for the Murali runout by beating the Kiwis in the second test. If he is to walk the talk, his batsmen will need bat like international test batsmen. Lets hope our boys play their hearts out in the next game. We all would love to have roasted Kiwi for dinner at the end of the next test...