Fair & Hard

1) One of the letters to the 'The Hindu' states that Bucknor should have been awarded the man of the match as he played better than players from both the teams. Funny & sad. But isn't it already late when it comes to reaping the fruits of technology to ensure fairness in a game? How long does the ICC plan to burden the shoulders of umpires? Occasional errors are acceptable; but match-swinging series of decisions result in frustration & loss of morale for a team.

2) No doubt that the Australian team is better than the second best team by miles. By the end of the fifth day of the second test match, they lost something invaluable which the West Indies team of the late 70s still enjoy - respect. It's understandable when a batsman holds his ground in case of a negligible deflection. Michael Clarke CUT the ball towards slips and he stood there for the umpire's decision. Again, Clarke would have been 100% damn confident when he took that half-volley catch to dismiss Ganguly. To put the spotlight on a player like Michael Clarke, you need some one like Steve Waugh. Instead by defending him, Ponting has sunk low.

3) Walking. I believe that a batsman is not morally compelled to walk towards pavilion if he knows that he's out. Because there are a number of times when an umpire wrongfully adjudges and the batsman anyway has to walk out and I perceive this as a sort of 'moral compensation'. When Symonds decided to stay, his team was in doldrums and it was in good spirit that he hanged on to bail out his team. Obviously, this can't be a gentleman's game anymore and though we were colonized by the English people, the only thing that's English about today's cricket is 'Tea Break' at the end of second session.

4) Racism is a subjective issue. How does calling one a monkey inferior and hurting that abusing him or his family with as many unprintable four-letter words? Symonds being an aboriginal of Australia with his thick lips and wheatish complexion can take the remarks to be accusatory of his race. But was it Harbhajan's intention? Did Harbhajan actually try to insult Symond's race or was he trying to rebut remarks from another Australian player? Was it a planned verbal assualt or a mere spur-of-the-moment retaliation? Of course, in a different world, the word 'monkey' may have emotionally destabilized Symonds and make him perform lesser than his abilities.

5) I very strongly feel that batsmen should be allowed to express their disapproval when they're wrongfully given out. They're human beings and when umpires are allowed to make incorrect decisions, the human being on the other side should be allowed to vent his disappointment. Umpires are not gods and the ICC is still wallowing in a 19th century reverence imparted on these guys. With the increasing applications of technology, we can have one umpire to call no-balls and the rest can be taken care by the third umpire. And the next generation will replace him with a robot.

6) In a world crying for more 20-20, this test match proves how wonderful it is to watch a finely carved test century. If we're to lose this format, the oncoming generations will never know the taste of gourmet only fast-food.

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