The golden rule in cricket is – always chose to bowl first under overcast conditions and that’s what the Aussies skipper Ricky Pointing did against the Kiwis at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur on Friday.Considering this the toss was the ‘turning point’ in the game. Ponting won the toss and eventually won the match after his pacemen – Mitchell Johnson (4-33) and Shaun Tait (3-35) scalped seven wickets between them.Needing only 207 to win, the openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin put on 133 runs for the first wicket to spell the doom for the New Zealanders.Man-of-the-MatchWithout doubt it has to be Mitchell Johnson. He ended with impressive figures of 9.1-3-33-4 to rip apart the New Zealand batting line-up.
Indian opener Gautam Gambhir may well be ruled out of crucial India tours due to shoulder and groin injuries. Gambhir, who has been appointed the captain for the West Windies tour, may, in fact, miss the plane after having been advised rest for up to six weeks. Vice-captain Suresh Raina might lead the Indian team in that case. But in such a scenario, Gambhir’s decision to play for Kolkata Knight Riders and risk his Team India role, has stoked the club versus country debate. The injury of Gambhir, advised rest for up to six weeks, will rule him out of the upcoming West Indies tour and possibly the crucial Test and ODI series against England soon after. Andrew Leipus, KKR physiotherapist, had, in fact, written a letter to N. Srinivasan, secretary of the BCCI, spelling out Gambhir’s injury. Leipus, who was Team India physiotherapist in the past, in fact, said Gambhir injured his shoulder during the World Cup final and has since aggravated it playing in the IPL. Making matters worse is the fact that Gambhir was given the additional charge of leading Team India since M.S. Dhoni, along with other seniors Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, have been rested. Virender Sehwag, who also played the IPL only, went in for a shoulder surgery after Delhi Daredevils were knocked out. Many seniors opted to play the IPL, very much a domestic tournament run by the BCCI and decided to give international duty in West Indies a miss. While the IPL may be an international event with high standard pressure cricket, the tournament is international only in spirit and domestic in essence. The BCCI will have to set clear guidelines – playing for Team India has to take precedence over all else. The IPL may be a devil in this context, but it’s one created by the BCCI itself. The profits the IPL brings in do force the BCCI to play devil’s advocate rather than prosecutor. Headlines Today spoke to South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs who said that for a player, country should come before the club. However, he felt that the current controversy could be because of some miscommunication between Gambhir and KKR physio. Gambhir, meanwhile, claims he didn’t know the details of the scans he underwent and the reports of the same. Gautam said Leipus didn’t want to discuss the reports before the match against Mumbai Indians. On Wednesday, when KKR lost to Mumbai Indians in a crucial match of the fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gautam said, “I haven’t got the report. I still need to speak to the physio. I will speak to him.”advertisement