Ed Cowan, welcome …

Unfortunately I didn’t make it through to the most controversial part of the game yesterday.  I made it through the rain delays, the determined slow scoring, the hard running and exciting post-lunch partnership.  But by 4am, with Ponting on 60 and Cowan on 52, I was spent.  It had been a long Christmas day (a very good one) and I needed some shut eye.  I was happy that Ponting was moving his feet and was working the ball nicely and Cowan  looked solid.

When I fell asleep I thought I was going to write something about Marsh potentially being the next Marcus North.  An all or nothing journeyman, starting his test career a little later with a good, but not great, first-class record, whose start to his test career was quite spectacular, but ultimately wasn’t what the team needed (early call I know, but it was what I was thinking at 4 in the morning).

Instead, I woke up to a text from a mate at the game  – “D.R.S! You only don’t want it if you’re a cheating *&^%.”

Whaaaat??

A quick check of the scores showed 6/277, which I thought would have been pretty acceptable at the start of the day.  I was disappointed to see that Punter and Cowan had succumbed soon after I fell asleep but no hint of controversy in the scorecard.

One thing I had noticed when I was watching was that there had been some pretty ridiculous appeals, the kind of which had been reducing in number over the past few years – probably due to DRS .

The kind of appeal that in the past Australia had been criticised for by many, particularly Indian cricket fans/writers.

I mentioned during the Hobart test that I had some concerns with the Hawkeye tracking technology, as it appeared to not track the ball completely accurately – so I can’t get too sanctimonious about the refusal by the BCCI to agree to it use it now – although I do think that they have made the wrong decision.

Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey probably think it was at the very least.

I feel for Hussey, it’s a bad decision that could cause the end of his test career, or possibly not.  I hope it isn’t, but if it is, it will not be the first time that a poor decision has led to a batsman being in trouble, and not the first time that the “rub of the green” has gone against someone who needs a little luck the most (I would argue that Ponting has received his fair share of bad luck over the past couple of years).  It’s also not just this innings that has caused the pressure on the Huss.

Ed Cowan will undoubtedly be bitterly disappointed that his gutsy, determined and at times gorgeous first innings in test cricket wasn’t rewarded with a ton.  Again he is not the first bloke to have been struck down by a bad decision.  I remember having a teenage hissy fit when Ponting was given out LBW in his debut test for 96 in Perth to a ball that was going to go abotu 3 foot over the stumps.

What I was really impressed with was Ed’s attitude when asked about it by the press.  “You’ve seen the replays, you’ve seen my reaction, you can draw your own conclusions.”  I’m not sure if this will cause him to be hauled up for “dissing” an umpires decision or something like that, but it was blunt and honest and without cliché or unnecessary platitudes – I liked it.

I also liked that he went on to say that there were swings and roundabouts an it would even itself out – good attitude that bloke!  It looks like  his book which comes out next week will be worth a look too – the preview is interesting.

On the other side of the coin, by all accounts, DRS could have saved another Aussie player who has been looking shaky – Haddin.  Perhaps a review might have led to his LBW being overturned and have left Australia with 7 (or 8 or 9) in the shed.

Incorrect decisions happen.

They can change careers, matches and series (’05 Ashes?).  They are part of the game.

But the umpires are also mostly correct and do a good job.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the Aussies bowl – but the most disappointing thing for me over the lack of DRS has been the increase in appeals when it is clearly not out.

Oh, and how about my boy Siddle? 🙂

And a shout out to Paul Rifle for making it to the international umpires panel.

Still plenty in this match, I would like to see the Australians get to 350+, before Sehwag and the others (try to) cut loose.

Rusty

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