As an Indian, I was disappointed and dismayed by the dismissals of
Tendulkar. Having said that, however, I cannot blame Umpire Harper.
In the first innings, Harper decided that SRT was out according to the
information available to *him* (visual, sound). We saw about 4-5
replays from Channel 9 (ESPN in India) and could only reckon that it
*may* have missed the bat from 1 camera angle (midwicket). Tony Grieg's
comments during that period was quite ridiculous and inflammatory. He
went something like; "He's out, looks like he's
out....woooooooowww..let's look at that particular angle again...there
seems to be daylight there!"
During the second innings, Harper again had to judge based on available
information (line, bounce, height, pace). He thought for a while and
gave it out.
It is quite conclusive that Harper followed the letter and spirit of
the laws. They were not blatantly incorrect decisions. At best they
can be debated either way - after watching innumerable replays from
It is very difficult to judge catches like Tendulkar's. We in the
subcontinent have to bear the brunt of criticism against our umpires
when such decisions look incorrect when viewed on TV.
Don't blame the umpires. Most of them are doing their best. If
anything, one should blame the ICC for not bringing in a technological
revolution in cricket. Even here, it is a very grey area. We've seen
that tv cameras do not always give a 100% perfect result for stumpings,
run outs. Leave alone LBW's and edges.
Even if for arguments sake, we assume that SRT got a raw deal, let's be
gracious enough to admit that we were outplayed in most of the 5 days
of the match and Aus deserved this victory.
I hope the Indian team does well in the next two tests, as they often
do :-). They're quite talented. They have to get it right in the
*mental toughness* department. Apart from Gandhi and Laxman, most of
them have decent technique. Even Laxman can surely improve. I pity
Gandhi. Apart from NZ, he has played first class teams on Indian
wickets and has rarely been tested against pace, swing, guile and
bounce. India has won about 2 test series overseas (iirc) after 1971.
We've had 1 stable opener (Gavaskar) and many pretenders. Chauhan,
Shastri and Srikanth were reasonable without being world class. If
anything, the BCCI is to blame. Compare this with the ACB. They've had
Wood, Taylor, Slater, Blewett, Boon, McCosker, Turner, et al who've
often provided solid foundations for the quality players who followed.
It's the cricketing system, Stupid!
Good luck to India in the next test. Hell, it was not as bad as Durban
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