It has been two weeks since India won the ICC Champions Trophy and the next day’s papers quoted Alastair Cook, the England captain calling the TV umpire's decision to give Ian Bell out stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a poor one.
What Cook was perhaps suggesting is that if Bell had carried on, then England would have won the game instead of losing it by just four runs. What maybe he should have considered was the needless throw from Tim Bresnan that went over the wicketkeeper Buttler’s head and caught the backing fielder by surprise and went for four overthrows that made the eventual difference.
This business of showing energy by throwing hard even when there is no chance of a run out will make more teams lose than win as we will see in the future. Many Indian players do that too, and luckily it has not cost the Indian team so far, but in a tight close contest, that extra run from the overthrow can and will make the difference between winning and losing.
The difference in how players from the subcontinent and those from other countries, especially England, are treated by match referees can also be seen in the fact that so far there has been no report of any action being taken against the England skipper for those remarks about the umpiring which is a clear breach of the ICC code of conduct.
We all know what would have happened if a player from the subcontinent had done the same. That the BCCI enjoys enormous power may or may not be true, but that the 'old power' still wields plenty of influence is clearly seen by the inaction against the England skipper for his remarks against the umpires.
The one-day caravan having moved to exotic West Indies has brought out the sparkle back in Mahela Jayawardene's game. He was showing glimpses of it towards the end of the Champions Trophy, so it is no surprise that this classy batsman took India’s attack apart and got a brilliant century. He had also got a half century against the West Indies in the previous game, so he is the man in form.
Upul Tharanga who went on to score 174 after that double century opening stand with Jayawardene showed why it was a mistake not to have played him in the Champions Trophy. Tharanga has scored heavily in England too, and so he would have been pretty useful to a team that was
struggling for runs with Jayawardene out of form and Dilshan too not getting his usual big scores. Lanka will depend heavily on the top three to
get the runs to challenge other teams in the tri-series.
Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga not only shared a double century partnership but also share the accolade of being the Ceat international cricketers of the week.
Professional Management Group