Friday, 4 March 2022

Rod Marsh, the former Australian Wicket keeper Passes Away

Rod Marsh, the former Australia wicketkeeper, died last week in an Adelaide hospital after having a heart attack in Queensland. He was hospitalised last week after going into cardiac arrest. Marsh, an aggressive left-handed batsman and one of Test cricket's best wicketkeepers, played 96 Tests for Australia between 1970 and 1984, amassing 3633 runs, featuring three hundreds. Marsh owned the world record for maximum Test dismissals (355) at the time of his retirement. During an epic combination with fast bowler Dennis Lillee, it included the classic "c Marsh b Lillee" entry in a scorebook, which has been replicated a record 95 occasions in Test cricket. Marsh also played in 92 One-Day Internationals, scoring 1225 runs at 20.08 and dismissing 124 batsmen. Marsh earned his first-class debut for Western Australia in the 1968-69 campaign and ended up playing 257 first-class matches for the Western Australians, amassing 11,067 runs at 31.17 and achieving 869 dismissals.

Marsh's collaboration with famed fast bowler Dennis Lillee, famed for his athletic keeping, is the most prolific bowler-wicketkeeper alliance in Test history, with 'caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' being recorded 95 times - a record to this day.

After retiring and becoming a selector, Marsh stepped on to lead Australia's selection committee from 2014 to 2016. Marsh is a part of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, Sport Australia's Hall of Fame, and the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to cricket in 1981.

His children Paul, Dan, and Jamie, as well as his wife Ros, survive him.

"This is a terrible day for Australian cricket and all those who loved and revered Rod Marsh," Cricket Australia chairman Dr Lachlan Henderson remarked. "Caught Marsh, bowled Lillee' has iconic importance in our game, and Rod will be regarded for the manner he played the game and the joy he brought to audiences as a member of several great Australian sides."

Rod was a monumental force in Australian cricket, serving the country for for 50 years, from his debut in the 1970/71 Ashes series to his period as National Selector, during which time many of the current batch of Australian men's cricketers came into direct touch with him. He was fantastic to work with since he not only knew the game thoroughly and out, but he also had a way of putting you at ease.

He was renowned as a bold and tough batsman, but over the course of a decade, his dashing batting and skill behind the stumps elevated him to one of the sport's all-time greats, not just through Australia, but worldwide. Marsh was also a left-handed hitter who became the first Australian wicketkeeper to achieve a century in a Test match. During his career, which was cut short by World Series Cricket for two years, he scored three Test hundreds.

While Marsh's on-field heroics were legendary, he was also a keen observer of the game and a sought-after coach and talent scout around the globe. Marsh was the inaugural head of an ICC world coaching academy in Dubai, and he commanded Cricket Australia's academy before moving to England to do the same.

He has also worked as a commentator and, in 2014, was appointed as Australia's chairman of selectors, a role he occupied for two years. As a gesture of respect for Marsh, Australia's Test players are set to wear black armbands when the first Test against Pakistan begins later Friday in Rawalpindi.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) president Shane Watson and chair Greg Dyer issued a joint statement saying, "Rod's service, or more precisely, his remarkable link, can be traced back through all generations of players before and after his own, all the way to the current group. They will all be devastated by his death. Rod's impact on cricket is immeasurable."

Sunday, 30 January 2022

India's Loss to South Africa in ODI: A Review


The ODI series versus South Africa was an unforeseen tragedy for team India and coach Rahul Dravid. India lost the series 3-0, and experts including the Indian coach believes the first and third matches were lost due to "bad shots." The recent ODI results of the current South African team hasn’t been enviable. India wasn’t expected to lose the ODI series, in this manner.

Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli kept India's pursuit on course in both games, but neither batter was able to turn their half-centuries into massive knocks. In the absence of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, the middle and lower-middle order struggled to complete the task once Dhawan and Kohli were dismissed. But again India need to look into better options than Hardik Pandya, because of his inability to bowl. India cannot afford to play Hardik as a pure batsman. India has better options of pure batsmen.

In one-day internationals, India always start slow, preserving wickets. "We certainly could perform more in the middle overs," Dravid remarked when asked if they should tweak the template. We understand the blueprint, and a major part of that blueprint is determined by the composition of your team. Some of the players who help us balance the roster and provide all-around possibilities at Nos. 6, 7, and 8 were unavailable for selection. When they return, maybe it will give us a bit more depth, allowing us to play in a somewhat different way.

The Indian spinners were outbowled by their South African peers throughout the tournament. The Indian spinners are failing to be a real threat to those foreign batsmen even on the subcontinent pitches. Indian which boasted of some quality spinners like Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar and Kumble in earlier times, now fail to produce such spinners who are feared by the opposition batsmen.

 The team needed to improve their wicket-taking in the middle overs. In the third ODI, India attempted something different: their seamers hit the deck more regularly than they had in the first two games, and they got marginally greater results. During the middle overs, India will most likely need to strengthen their wicket-taking alternatives. Spinners assume a significant role in this.

Prior to the tournament, stand-in captain KL Rahul stated that Venkatesh Iyer will be the squad's sixth bowling option. Iyer, on the other hand, did not bowl an over in the first ODI, but he did deliver five in the following before being kept out for the third.

There has also been some debate about Iyer's batting position, but Dravid stated that the team administration was "quite explicit with him" about his purpose in the team.

For KKR [in the IPL] and at times for Madhya Pradesh, he batted towards the top of the order, however he has also batted in the middle order for MP. The Indian team was hunting for a No. 6 bowler who could provide a sixth bowling option. Because they had a lot of alternatives at the top of the order right now, especially when Rohit returns, that was the job they assigned to him. But Venkatesh Iyer who was selected to the team purely on the basis of his heroics in the IPL, failed to deliver the goods. India need to have a better option as an all rounder.

Deepak Chahar's batsmanship in the final ODI was one of the few bright spots for India in the series. India were 223 for 7 at one point in their chase of 288, but Chahar, who was playing his first game of the series, smashed 54 off only 34 balls to get them near. In Sri Lanka, he had pulled off an identical chase, but India ended four runs short tonight. Chahar and Shardul Thakur, who played as seam-bowling allrounders and scored 50* and 40* in the first 2 ODIs, were praised by Dravid. It's wonderful to have players like Chahar and Shardul, who have shown they can contribute with the bat in recent games. Players like these, who can impact with the bat at a lower level, make a huge influence.

                                                                               Deepak Chahar

Except for Surya's chance in the 3rd ODI, India's middle order has remained unchanged. Aside from that, they didn't make any changes to the batting order. The team's management wants to provide them with a steady run and a sense of stability. When you give people that, you have to demand performances, and big ones at that, because that's what people expect when they play at this level for their nation.