Kapil Dev does some plain talking
Title for A-13
India lacks commitment, says Greg Chappell
Agarkar to miss next 2 ties too
36 in an over by Mishra
Clean sweep by city teams
Kader notches up four wins
Averoff for Indian Oaks

 
 
KAPIL DEV DOES SOME PLAIN TALKING 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Adelaide, Jan. 22 
Aise to nahin chalega... Aur kitne match aisa kheloge?” is how coach Kapil Dev ‘greeted’ the team last evening, after the defeat at Pakistan’s hands.

This morning, while preparing to leave Hobart for here (via Melbourne), the team couldn’t have missed the banner headline in the top daily there, The Mercury: “Self Destruction.”

The headline didn’t say anything else. There was no need. And, if the headline won’t quickly be forgotten so too, perhaps, the Kapil-fired admonishment.

For the first time on this trip, probably, Kapil did some plain-talking. It wasn’t a formal team meeting, but everyone would have heard the coach’s words, in the Bellerive Oval dressing room.

It’s not just a coach’s frustration, though — everybody back home would be finding it awfully hard to accept this terrible run: One win in a side game (against New South Wales) and one draw (versus Tasmania) with as many as nine defeats — two side matches, three Tests and four one-dayers.

“The tour isn’t over, the tournament isn’t over... We’ve got some hope,” reminded captain Sachin Tendulkar, but just about everybody in these parts is convinced this team is sans spunk. In a country where spirit is everything, that’s equivalent to receiving a third-class rating.

In fact, should Pakistan put it across Australia at the MCG, tomorrow, India will need to win all four remaining games and, even then, can only hope to pip Pakistan by virtue of a better net run rate. As of now, India are laggards there as well.

Actually, the team appears to have given up and even some of the seniors are now focussing on the home series against South Africa.

Greg Chappell, for one, feels the Indians could win one or two matches but, given the despondency, even that seems the ask of the season.

The poor performances, notwithstanding, the Indians continue to be a mega-hit. Sachin, for instance, was mobbed at the airport this afternoon — not for the first time, and it certainly won’t stop here.

Kapil and vice-captain Sourav Ganguly, too, are very high on the popularity-scale.

Meanwhile Sachin, Don of the present era, is expected to either call on the original Don, Sir Donald Bradman, or at least speak to him this time around.

Though he wanted to, Sachin could do neither during the Adelaide Test, six weeks ago. The Indians will be in town till the morning of January 27, when they depart for Perth, after two back-to-back games on the preceding days.

Tickets for Tuesday’s India-Pakistan match are available but the ‘Australia Day’ game (coinciding with our Republic Day), against Australia, is a sell-out.

The onus will be on Sachin’s team to give the packed holiday turnout, at the Adelaide Oval, their money’s worth.    


 
 
TITLE FOR A-13 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22 
Team A-13, comprising Amit Daga, Atul Almal, Rajiv Rungta and Rakesh Salarpuria, came from behind to win the Royal Challenge Invitational golf Cup with a total four-round score of 163 today. Team A-17, comprising M.L. Agarwal, C.K. Pasari, Bharat Khemka and Aditya Bajoria, were second (161).

jeev at joint 16th

Jeev Milkha Singh shot a one-under 71 in the second round today to be joint 16th and make the cut in the Mercedes Benz South Africa Open in Johannesburg today.    


 
 
INDIA LACKS COMMITMENT, SAYS GREG CHAPPELL 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
 
Adelaide, Jan. 22 
Not having played in India is about the biggest regret Greg Chappell has, apart from that Trevor (underarm) incident. “My education remained incomplete as I didn’t face the best spinners in their own backyard,” he keeps saying.

Over the years, however, this inspirational batsman and former captain who features in Australia’s Team of the Century, has followed Indian cricket rather keenly. And, India’s current performance — if we can call it that — has left him disappointed.

“I think the Indians got intimidated by Australia in the Test series and, as a result, are short of confidence in the Carlton and United Series,” Greg told The Telegraph this afternoon.

Greg, who is in his second year as South Australia’s coach, added: “I would, without a second thought, have backed Australia to win the Test series. At the same time, with such a solid batting line-up and a reasonable attack, I had expected India to cope better with conditions...”

According to Greg, the Indians’ inability to withstand “relentless pressure,” in the Test series, suggests they weren’t quite there in the mind. “In this on-going series, too, there isn’t a big enough commitment to succeed.”

That’s a strong indictment, but definitely well-deserved.

Of course, it’s unfair to single any one batsman, but fact remains that Rahul Dravid’s failure (93 runs in three Tests; 105 in the first four one-day matches) hurt India’s cause appreciably. It has been the mother of all let-downs.

“Dravid’s one of the top-line batsmen, even the opposition knows that... Initially, I did get the impression he was working hard to get the better of the conditions, the mental effort was certainly there. However, Dravid got too concerned about survival and forgot batting is about making runs as well,” Greg opined.

He added: “Really, batsmen must balance the two... Batting isn’t just seeing out two hours or two sessions, it’s about scoring runs. That has to be a batsman’s top priority.”

India need to win all four remaining games, to give themselves a possible shot at the best-of-three finals. But few, if any at all, are willing to back India.

“It’s too stiff an ask... Yes, India could win one or two matches, but not all four. For that to happen, they need to defeat Australia twice but, thus far, they haven’t looked a team which can beat them. Pakistan can, and they’ve done so, but not India,” Greg remarked.

He added: “Confidence apart, at the moment, India are a bit short both on batting and bowling.”

Would he have picked Mohammed Azharuddin, one-day cricket’s most experienced and successful batsman?

Greg, a former selector, preferred not to commit himself: “Look, I’m too far removed from the goings-on in Indian cricket to say anything either way... While there is a time and place for experience, there also comes a time when you begin looking at the future.”

Azhar is 36. Greg, by the way, has been one of Azhar’s idols.

Speaking about Pakistan’s resurgence after being wiped out in the Tests, Greg pointed out: “Basically Pakistan is a very talented team, but while it couldn’t handle the relentless pressure in the Tests, that slight relaxation — which is inevitable in one-day cricket — has given the freedom and space to play what comes naturally.”

Greg listed three factors for Australia’s exceptional run: A solid side; Steve Waugh’s leadership and the ability to sustain pressure which chokes the opposition.

“I was confident Australia would win at least four of the six home Tests (three each against Pakistan and India), but six out of six has been fantastic. The team has much depth and variety and the selectors have been picking players good at fielding, too...

“There’s that look about this team which suggests it only means business and, yes, Steve’s captaincy has played a role. For Steve, the World Cup was the proverbial turning point and he’s got the confidence to lead his own way. In any case, Steve leads by example.”

Reacting to his selection in the ACB’s Team of the Century, Greg said, emotionally: “No accolade will ever mean more... It’s difficult describing how I feel being put in the same bracket as all those greats...”

But would his XII (with Allan Border as 12th man) have been any different? “I’ve got no argument with the selection. However, some of the stalwarts who played in the first-half of the last century probably didn’t get the (selectors’) support they deserved.”

It was obvious Greg had somebody like Victor Trumper in mind.

Incidentally, Greg recently declined an offer from Glamorgan to coach the County side in the English summer. “It would have been too much... Frankly, I couldn’t have done justice to both jobs — at South Australia and Glamorgan.”

Years after quitting, Greg continues to be different.    


 
 
AGARKAR TO MISS NEXT 2 TIES TOO 
 
 
FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
 
Adelaide, Jan. 22 
Medium- pacer Ajit Agarkar, who was to have recovered (from a hamstring injury) in time for the back-to-back matches here, will not be fit for both games.

This was conveyed to the team management last evening, in Hobart itself, by the physio-cum-physical trainer Andrew Leipus. The team management then ‘requested’ the Board for a replacement.

Till late tonight, though, manager Mahendra Bhargava had not heard from the Board. He also could not say whether a specific replacement had been sought.

[According to a PTI report from Mumbai, the Board has turned down the request. Board secretary Jaywant Lele has been quoted as saying “T. Kumaran was the preferred replacement.”]

“Leipus informed that Agarkar is only 80%-85% fit ... He may be fit for the Perth matches, but is out for the games on Tuesday and Wednesday ... Whether or not he will stay back, for the rest of the tour, is something the Board will decide,” Bhargava told The Telegraph.

Agarkar got injured during the match against Australia, at the MCG last week. Incidentally, the team already has an extra player in V. V. S. Laxman.    


 
 
36 IN AN OVER BY MISHRA 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22 
Tollygunge Agragami’s Dharmendra Mishra put his name into the record books hitting six consecutive sixes in one over against Suburban on the opening day of the CAB senior division league today.

At Town ground, Mishra hit the sixes off off-spinner Sandip Ganguly during his innings of unbeaten 101. His knock included four fours and 11 sixes.

Subrata Banerjee took six wickets in East Bengal’s win.    


 
 
CLEAN SWEEP BY CITY TEAMS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22 
Calcutta teams made a clean sweep winning the top three prizes of the Wills Tolly Cup corporate golf meet at the Tollygunge Club today.

GS Atwal & Co, represented by Govind Atwal, Harmeet Sahney, Eckhardt Walner and SG Deb, tallied 123 points to win the title.

MR Exports (121) and Visa International (115) were placed second and third respectively.

Lt Col. PK Singh and Wing Cdr Mandeep Singh, with 76 points, won the Wills Favourite Foursome.    


 
 
KADER NOTCHES UP FOUR WINS 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22 
With jackpot pool paying a poor dividend of Rs 59, it may be easy to guess that favourites were unstoppable in today’s race-card. Incidentally, all the winners in the five legs of the pool — each one a trophy event — donned the sporting Deepak Khaitan colours with jockey Aslam Kader seen at advantage on four of them from as many rides.

Allied Forces was the hottest of all winners in the day’s feature, the 2,000m American Express Indian Champion Cup, sponsored by the American Express Bank. At the wire, the six-year-old Darius Byramji-trained gelding, by Razeen out of Gourgandine, was a shade over six lengths clear of the Vijay Singh-trainee, Super Sunrise who made all the running until challenged by winner at the top of the straight.

Vijay, nevertheless, led in his three winners through Alterezza, Aquaria and Ocean Sunset. The last named horse was, however, the most hard-pressed to win from Kargil Soldier.

The day also had its share of tragedy in the baby race, the Galstaun Cup. Absolute Performer fractured his shoulder and the Richard Alford-trainee had to be put down.

RESULTS

1. Scottish Law Handicap 1,600m: (3-5-2-1) Persuasion (Manohar) 1; Black Mane (Tamang) 2; Assyrian (C. Alford) 3; Magic Fountain (A. P. Singh) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 4-1/4; 2-3/4; (1-41.8). Tote: Win Rs 34; Place: 14; 26; Quinella: 63; Tanala: 164. Fav: Assyrian (2). Winner trained by Bharath S.

2. Galstaun Cup 1,200m: (5-9-2-8) Alterezza (Kader) 1; Madame X (Shanker) 2; Rock Falcon (Gowli) 3; Ingleside (Connorton) 4. Won by: 1-1/4; 5-3/4; 4-3/4; (1-16.5). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 12; 13; 14; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 66. Fav: Alterezza (5). Winner trained by Vijay S.

3. Pearson Surita Memorial Cup 2,000m: (2-1-5-3) Allosaki (Kader) 1; Astrajoy (C. Alford) 2; Master Charlie (Brji) 3; Majestic Star (Gowli) 4. Won by: 2-3/4; 3/4; 1-1/4; (2-10.8). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 10; 17; Quinella: 20; Tanala: 59. Fav: Allosaki (2). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

4. American Express Indian Champion Cup 2,000m: (1-4-3-2) Allied Forces (Kader) 1; Super Sunrise (C. Alford) 2; Kaizen (Connorton) 3; Arendal (Amil) 4. Won by: 6-1/4; Dist; Dist: (2-6.8). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 10; 13; Quinella: 14; Tanala: 19. Fav: Allied Forces (1). Winner trained by D. Byramji.

5. Glasgow Courser Trophy 1,400m: (3-5-2-1) Aquaria (Kader) 1; Super Smile (Islam) 2; Scimitar (Manohar) 3; Mountain Memory (Som) 4. Not run: Classic Wonder (6). Won by: 2-1/4; 5; 3-3/4; (1-29.1). Tote: Win Rs 19; Place: 13; 14; Quinella: 16; Tanala: 80. Fav: Aquaria (3). Winner trained by Vijay S.

6. Sreepriya Cup 1,200m: (2-5-1-6) Ocean Sunset (C. Alford) 1; Kargil Soldier (Engineer) 2; Amanda (Rutherford) 3; Aileron (Rabani) 4. Won by: SH; 1-1/4; 3-3/4; (1-15.3). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 16; 20; Quinella: 32; Tanala: 128. Fav: Ocean Sunset (2). Winner trained by Vijay S.

Jackpot: Rs 59; (C) Rs 11.

Treble: (i) Rs 61; (ii) Rs 50.

TODAY’S TRACK TRIALS

Outer sand track

2,200m: Audible (C. Alford) in 2-39s; (400m) 31s. Easy.

2,000m: Aldebro (Kader) in 2-22s; (400m) 27s. Good.

1,400m: Alternator (Kader) 1-45s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Moved well. Tsavo (Rb) and Compliance (C. Alford) in 1-30s; Former a length better.

600m: Vested Interest (Manohar) 40 2/5s; (400m) 27s. Moved well. Time Of Times (Rb), Internal Affair (Yadav) and Lucky Sovereign (Rb) in 43s; (400m) 29s. They were separated by 2ls and a distance. Adventure (C. Alford) and Alyssium (Kader) in 42s; (400m) 28s. Both easy. Mystic Hill (A. P. Singh) 43 2/5s; (400m) 29 3/5s. Alygator (Kader) and Astoria (C. Alford) in 46s; (400m) 32s. Former was much superior..

Sand track

600m: Media Star (Salim) and Relative Shade (Gurang) in 39 2/5s; (400m) 27 2/5s.    


 
 
AVEROFF FOR INDIAN OAKS 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
 
A good second to Smart Chieftan in the Bangaore summer Derby, Averoff is taken to win the 2,400m Kingfisher Indian Oaks in Mumbai on Sunday. The Guineas’ run of the Steinbeck-Kolar Gold daughter is best ignored as she needed the outing because of changed race tracks. Aslam Kader partners the Darius Byramji-trainee.

SELECTIONS

1.30 pm: Soul Mate 1. Rumaan 2. Park Royal 3.

2 pm: Vitali 1. Winawin 2. Rogue Trader 3.

2.30 pm: Rich Babe 1. Fire Girl 2. Hearts In Motion 3.

3 pm: Spice Boy 1. Lunar Mist 2. Prince Of Fashion 3.

3.30 pm: Storm Dancer 1. Helianthus 2. Silver Sea 3.

4 pm: Gold Dust 1. Solid Truth 2. Cyclonic 3.

4.30 pm: Averoff 1. Ray Of Light 2. Congratulations 3.

5 pm: Silver Shadow 1. Stella Maris 2. Mischiefmaker 3.

5.30 pm: Debut 1. Heaven’s Feel 2. Silver Dust 3.

Day’s Best: Silver Shadow Double: Soul Mate & Rich Babe    

 

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