We are a nation which loves its cricket. No matter how our players fare in a match, we always stand up to cheer for them again and again and yet again, till we can’t do it physically any longer. This is the kind of love we have for the game. Now in such a scenario, if the Indian cricket team is not given its fair run in any manner thinkable, then there are a 100 Billion people ready to sort things out one way or the other, if they had things their way. The international cricketing community should be glad that that is not the case. Trust me, I am not joking. I happen to be one of them.
Steve Bucknor, one of the greatest umpires of the game, showed us how untrue his praises have become off late by making such a blunder of a decision on the first day of the second test between India and Australia. That prevented India from really putting the Aussies under the hammer. Even if you go with the theory of the “Deafening noise in the stadium”, what about the deflection of the ball off Symonds’s bat which could be clearly seen by people sitting in the stands? Even the fact that Symonds was ready to walk before the third umpire was consulted should be considered. It was sad to see that Symonds stood his ground despite knowing he was out. Is this how world champions act, like cowards? I belive someone like Tendulkar would have walked off if he were in such a scenario.
One can even overlook all that mentioned above, but what really makes me question the standards of International Cricket Umpiring these days is the fact that Symonds was given not out on a stumping even by the TV Umpire! I mean honestly, don’t umpires undergo an eye test before a cricket match?
Surprisingly, the only thing the Aussie cricketers had to say to this was “…that is how the game is built…” or “…that gives the feeling to the game…” or “…that gives cricket the charm…”.
The Aussies seem to be preaching the “Human Element” angle of the game. What human element are we looking at, in the case of the TV Umpire’s decision? 10% to 20%? Last time when India toured Australia, Jason Gillespe said that Indians were lucky in the tests despite getting hit for runs all over the park. Such comments came when Australia were actually finding it a little difficult to keep India in check. Is this the way world champions are supposed to act when they find tougher competition? I wonder what the Aussies would have done if they were in India’s shoes right now. I guess that flying comments like “…Fake Victories…” or “…Luck doesn’t last Long…” would be a regular thing thereafter. But then again, it is just a guess.
As far as Umpire Bucknor is concerned, this wasn’t the first time that he has given wrong decisions, clearly biased against India. This has been a regular feature of the past and despite regular complaints, the ICC continues to appoint him as an on-ground umpire. This truly defines the word Outrageous in the English dictionary.
Whatever be the case. World champions or bad umpiring, India is the one team that can make Australia taste the sour taste of defeat on the Aussie turf. And the way I see things, the only thing that is preventing that from happening is some brilliant luck for the home team. And luck doesn’t last long.