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CEAT CRICKETER OF THE WEEK (MARCH 3 - MARCH 9 2017)

by Sunil Gavaskar

A truly wonderful Test match with daily ups and downs and testing the technique and temperament of the players has been put in the shade by the controversy about the Australian skipper Steve Smith’s gesture towards the dressing room asking for their help in deciding whether to ask for the decision against him to be reviewed or not. It was clearly against the rules and the spirit of the game and though he later admitted that it was brain fade it actually should have been a no brainer for him to review the decision. He is by far the best batsman in this Australian team and his is the wicket that the Indians are looking for especially after that wonderful century he got in the first Test in Pune.Therefore even if he was bang in front of the stumps he should have gone for a review straightaway. The reason why it’s snowballed into controversy is because a newcomer to Test cricket Handscomb suggested to Smith that he should check with the dressing room. In doing so Handscomb pretty much admitted that there is some sort of a signal system that the Australians have whether to go for a decision review or not. They will deny it of course but why else would a newcomer even suggest to his more experienced skipper to do so. 

 

Be that as it may, the series is now on the boil and it would be prudent for the ICC to have the chief match refereeRanjan Madugalle come in for the remaining two Test matches just as he did in 2008 after the flare up in the SydneyTest match. The Indians clearly will not have much faith in Chris Broad after the Bangalore incident was swept under the carpet and no action taken against the offender.

 

 

The injury to Nathan Lyon’s spinning finger certainly hampered him in the second innings of the Test match but he had given a display of beautiful  off-spin in the first innings when he got 8 wickets. He seemed to have learnt from the first Test in Pune and you could see the change in his line and the speeds that he bowled at in the Bangalore test. As with every Australian bowler he has a lovely easy action and even on hard Australian pitches he can get the ball to grip and turn because of the position of the seam when the ball lands.

 

Ashwin  looked under a bit of pressure to repeat Lyon’s feat and seemed to rush his bowling in the first innings but he was his old self in the second and reaped a rich haul of wickets to spin India to a win. This is probably the first time where 4 different bowlers have picked up six or more wickets in an innings of a Test match.

 

Nathan Lyon for his splendid off spin bowling that got him 8 Indian wickets is the CEAT International Cricketer of theWeek.