Aussie media tries to detect chinks in Sachin


Melbourne : While there is no doubt about Sachin Tendulkar’s greatness as a batsman, his failure in the second innings, followed by India’s defeat in the first Test here, prompted the local media to point to his second-innings average against Australia as well as his heavy bat.

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“For all his formidable records one statistic Sachin Tendulkar will not be fond of is his efforts in second innings against Australia,” wrote the Age here Sunday.

“Prior to Saturday’s’s knock the ‘Little Master’ was averaging 17.8 in all second digs against the Aussies. And Saturday? Out for 15. Like his side, a bit below average,” it said. Tendulkar had scored a fine 62 in the first innings before chopping the ball on to his stumps from way outside.

The paper also mentioned Tendulkar’s heavy bat, though, not as a reason for his failure in the second innings.

“Tendulkar’s bats weigh about three pounds four ounces (1.5 kilograms),” said Stuart Kranzbuhler, who has been crafting willow for Gray-Nicolls for 20 years.

As a comparison, it wrote: “The average Aussie guys use maybe two pounds nine ounces (1.1 kg). (Kiwi) Jacob Oram’s got the heaviest bat we make — about two pounds 12 ounces (1.2 kg).”

Tendulkar, by the way, has amassed 11,366 runs at 54.90 in 143 Tests and another 15,962 at 44.33 in 407 One-Day Internationals.


Symonds not interested in touring Pakistan

Andrew Symonds says he would almost surely not be touring Pakistan with the Australian team in March for a Test and One-Day International series. His comment came just days after Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi Thursday, plunging the country into unrest and chaos.

“I’m not interested in going into a situation that’s dangerous, where people are getting killed and hurt. There’s no point in that, in my opinion. “I’m giving it some serious thought,” Symonds told The Sunday Mail.

“At the end of the day, it’s a game of cricket. I take my cricket very seriously and I love playing for Australia but I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I can be harmed. There’s no need, not for a game of cricket.”


Colour of currency pink

While being on the subject of willow, it’s not just the intricacies of the wood that has fascinated the bat makers as well as batsmen but the grip of their handles too. Pink is the latest colour that is in vogue in Australia.

“The pink bat grips used by [Matthew] Hayden and [Andrew] Symonds to promote breast cancer awareness have been a huge hit, with Gray-Nicolls’ marketing manager Cameron Black reporting that the company sold 30,000 of them in the 12 months since the Queenslanders each made centuries in the Boxing Day Test against England, with $1 donated from each,” wrote the Age.

“Adam Gilchrist’s pink gloves also proved a boon for the [Glenn] McGrath Foundation, which will receive $144,000 for his eight dismissals at $18,000 a pop in the Test,” it said.

“Pigeon will be texting me telling I’ve cost them 18 grand by missing a stumping,” Gilchrist laughed Saturday night, referring to a moment from the fourth and last day in the first Test that Australia won.


100,000th Test run scored at MCG

V.V.S. Laxman may have managed only 26 and 42 in India’s defeat in the first Test here, but during the course of his second innings he was subconsciously recorded the 100,000th Test run scored at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

“It was an innocuous enough nudge to square leg but momentous in its own way. When V.V.S. Laxman ambled through for the single, India’s score ticked over to 33. Still 466 runs from victory but significant — if indeed these things are of significance — in that it was the 100,000th Test run scored at the MCG,” wrote the Age.

“In this, the 101st Test match at the ground, that makes for an average of a shade under 1000 runs a Test. The MCG is the second ground to record such a feat, following Lord’s, which has hosted 14 more Tests. The stately London ground has borne — or bored if you include a few Geoff Boycott and Mike Atherton innings — witness to 107,324 runs.”