An excellent day was, however, marred by hopeless over-rates. The Sydney
Test was blighted by all sorts of unsavoury incidents but one offence,
committed by both teams in the series so far, is the speed at which the
bowlers have gone about their job. When India last toured Australia Sourav
Ganguly came close to a ban for failing to keep the over-rate up to speed
but on this tour the matter hasn't even come on the radar.
A 90-over stipulation was put in place to rein in the West Indians, who, it
was argued, were gaining an unfair advantage by bowling their battery of
fast bowlers leisurely. The decision to play with four quick bowlers in
Perth was Australia's and so was the onus to keep it moving. They were found
shockingly lacking. They bowled 12 overs in each of the first two hours, 13
in the third, 14 in the fourth, and the second new ball wasn't due until
after ten minutes of the scheduled close of play. That is an unacceptable
breach of playing conditions.
Something ought to be done. Fines have just not worked. Ian Chappell
advocates banning the captain but there might be a even better deterrent.
Hit them where it hurts the most by docking them for runs. See how no-balls
have become scarce in Twenty20 after they introduced the free hit.