Prasad or Nehra for Kumble
It was like surviving ball-by-ball: Deep
British media calls Dalmiya loose cannon
Rajasthan, Rlys earn points
Anshuman in semifinals

 
 
PRASAD OR NEHRA FOR KUMBLE 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRAPRATAPSAHI
 
Centurion, Nov. 21: 
Experienced Venkatesh Prasad,who wasn.t consid ered for either the first or second Test, has come into reckoning for the third and final one, at the SuperSport Park from Friday.

According to wellplaced sources of The Telegraph, either Prasad or Ashish Nehra will replace Anil Kum ble. The three bowlers certain to play are Jawagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh.

With the wicket having more than a touch of green (as of this afternoon) and looking reasonably firm, the Indi ans won’t repeat their Port Elizabeth mistake. In other words, two specialist spinners will not be fielded.

While captain Sourav Ganguly generally has much faith in Nehra, who played the Bloemfontein Test, Prasad’s exclusion has surprised quite a few in South Africa, including the legendary Graeme Pollock, now a national selector.

Additionally, Prasad has throughout been consistent at nets. In fact, he was present at this afternoon’s workout at the Park, along with Nehra, Zaheer Khan, V. V. S. Laxman, Shiv Sundar Das and Connor Williams.

As it was an optional nets, the others preferred to stay back in Johan nesburg (45 minutes away). .They need a break... After all,we.ve just fin ished a Test and the next is less than 48 hours from now,. coach John Wright pointed out. Opener Williams, of course, is set for his Test debut. He will remain uncapped only if the International Cricket Council stays Match Referee Mike Denness. oneTest ban on Virender Sehwag. Then, there will just be one change from the second Test XI: Prasad or Nehra tak ing Kumble’s place.

Meanwhile, with sand strewn acr oss many parts, the Park’s outfield look ed ugly. However, Ms Elise Lombard, chief executive of the Northerns Crick et Union (headquartered here), assured only repair work was being completed. Apparently, the scars left by a concert (to mark a popular radio station’s silver jubilee) haven.t disappeared.

.Come Friday and the outfield will be just fine,. insisted Ms Lombard, the first lady to head a cricket setup in South Africa. Indeed, she may well be the first No. 1 of a men’s cricket body anywhere.

   

 
 
IT WAS LIKE SURVIVING BALL-BY-BALL: DEEP 
 
 
FROM LOKENDRAPRATAPSAHI
 
Centurion, Nov. 21: 
The morning after a heroic batting performance, Deep Dasgupta was his usual calm self. But, yes, the spring in his step is distinctly visible . much in con trast to the somewhat disillusioned look not many weeks ago.

It’s actually been an incredible month for Deep. It began with his Test debut (Bloem fontein) in nearbizarre circumstances: First choice wicketkeeper Samir Dighe pulling a back muscle just before the toss. Then, Deep didn.t flinch when asked if he would open in Port Elizabeth.

As it turned out, Deep registered 63 excel lent runs in the second innings, playing a sig nificant role in India saving the second Test and keeping alive the threematch series.

.I think every minute of my stay (over five andhalf hours) at the wicket was a learning experience. Did I break my innings into half hour segments? Oh, no, it was matter of sur viving ballbyball,. Deep told The Telegraph in Johannesburg (around 50 km from here).

Definitely pleased with his effort, as he should be, Deep added: .I wasn.t looking to score as we had to bat out time... Yes, it was de manding, but I wasn.t overwhelmed by the pressure. Moreover, batting with the vicecap tain (Rahul Dravid) was amazing... Rahulbhai helped me concentrate better..

Eventually, though, Deep fell to a loose shot (off Mornantau Hayward). In fact, he himself admitted it was a .soft. dismissal. Incidental ly, Deep and Dravid (87) added a recordrewrit ing 171 for the secondwicket.

As things stand, however, Deep is set to re turn to the middleorder (as Connor Williams will replace Virender Sehwag). .Look, I.m happy anywhere. In any case, as I.d said before the Port Elizabeth Test, one must be mentally prepared for whatever job is assigned. So, where I.ll bat is not an issue,. he remarked.

Deep, by the way, acknowledged he was much more confident behind the wickets in the second Test. .It’s not that I was lacking in confidence, on debut, but I wasn.t then ab solutely sure of my positioning... I needed to sort out a few things. I did, in Port Elizabeth, and the tips from Dave Richardson helped..

Among other things, Richardson (South African .keeper from late 1991 to early 1998) suggested Deep keep his head .dead still. while making collections.He also had a few words on the positioning when spinners were in operation.

Richardson himself has been pleased with Deep’s progress. Speaking exclusively the other day, he said: .Deep does have a future.... What Richardson left unsaid is that the 24 yearold should be given a reasonable run. That the frequent changing of wicketkeepers, in India, must be put on hold.

Now, at least, Chandu Borde and his col leagues have good reasons to do just that.

   

 
 
BRITISH MEDIA CALLS DALMIYA LOOSE CANNON 
 
 
FROM AMITROY
 
London, Nov. 21: 
The ICC’s room for manoeuvre, while it dealt with India’s request to replace Match Referee Mike Denness, was restricted not least be cause of media pressure not to give into pressure from Jagmohan Dalmiya, a man whom the British press loves to hate.

In today’s newspapers, Dalmiya, the Indian board chief, has had to contend with some fearsome bounc ers. The Times (.Denness provokes India fury at bans.) said Dalmiya .has enhanced his reputation as something of loose cannon by calling for the replace ment of Mike Denness, the Match Referee for India’s Test series in South Africa..

It added: .Some observers, though, believe that Dalmiya showed wilful contempt for the authority of match referees, undermining the ICC’s at tempt to improve standards of behav iour at international level..

The Times also wrote about Dalmiya’s efforts to reduce the number of Tests India play in England next summer. .Just how big a spanner Jag mohan Dalmiya, the meddlesome pres ident of the BCCI, could throw into the works of the ECB became abundantly clear yesterday with the publication of next season’s firstclass fixtures list. It is an elaborate structure built around seven Tests . three against Sri Lanka, four against India . and a triangular oneday International series. The re moval of one large brick, or one Test as Dalmiya is demanding, would send the ECB back to the drawing board.

.Working on the principle that the show must go on, the ECB expects India to honour their commit ment to playing six oneday Internationals, or seven if they reach the final, and four Tests..

In The Daily Telegraph, Dalmiya got a roasting as well: .Jagmohan Dalmiya is attempting to reduce the Indian tour of England to two Tests. The Indian team ended the second Test against South Africa yesterday in disgrace, having been fingered by Mike Denness, the Match Referee, for collective bad behaviour, and back home, where their board of control, were in dulging in a war of words with the England cricket board about next summer’s itinerary in England, there was every prospect of a slanging match over shadowing the forthcoming threeTest series..

According to The Daily Telegraph, .the case ap pears to be very simple. The ECB intend to hold the Indians to the four Test matches that the tourists agreed to this year. Tim Lamb, the board’s chief exec utive, spoke yesterday, with some feeling, of the docu mentary proof.The tour was drawn up with the assis tance of the Indian board whose previous president, A.C. Muttiah, and previous secretary, Jaywant Lele, had confirmed that four Tests would take place.

.India being India, nothing is ever that simple. Since Jagmohan Dalmiya and Niranjan Shah came into office, the Board of Control has pressed for one fewer Test. The subtext to this argu ment is clear. Dalmiya, who is no friend of English cricket, and who is mistrusted by many people within the world game, is trying it on. But Lamb is clearly in no mood to be tri fled with, and has determined that the ECB will stand its ground. He feels that England have behaved properly in every regard, and will continue to demand that the Indians fulfil their obligations, set out and agreed upon earlier this year..

The Guardian carried a report from Hyderabad and Port Elizabeth. It began: .Jagmohan Dalmiya yester day called for the immediate replace ment of Mike Denness as Match Ref eree for India’s Test series in South Africa. The bellicose president of the Indian cricket board acted after Den ness found Sachin Tendulkar guilty of balltamper ing and five of his teammates guilty of other offences including excessive appealing..

According to the Guardian, Malcolm Speed, the ICC’s chief executive, is .in a quandary. He made it clear last month that the ICC would crack down on dis sent in international cricket. He is also determined that ICC authority will be imposed while he is in charge, but he will also realise that Denness. decisions seemed harsh.He will not be helped by the willingness in South Africa to accede to Dalmiya’s demands..

The Guardian also drew attention to Indian news priorities. .The controversy dominated Indian televi sion throughout the day and knocked news of Afghanistan from the top of news bulletins..

   

 
 
RAJASTHAN, RLYS EARN POINTS 
 
 
BYASTAFFREPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 21: 
Rajasthan beat Milan Bithi 21 to earn three cru cial points in their race to steer clear of relegation zone in the Cal cutta League’s first division group A competition.

Sumit Bhakta and Bandhan Naskar’s goals offset the Milan Bithi strike by Sanjib Mishra to set up Rajasthan’s win at Moham medan Sporting ground. Raja sthan took their tally to 21 points.

Railway FC, another team in danger of finishing among the bo ttom four, also won today. S. Kar makar struck the matchwinner against Eastern Railway who were pretty relaxed having already qual ified for the championship leg.

Kidderpore kept hopes of bag ging a topfour berth alive follow ing a 10 verdict over Peerless. San jib Sarkar netted the crucial goal.

The day’s fourth group A ma tch saw Howrah Union and City AC sharing two goals as well as a couple of red cards. Soumava Das got the Howrah goal, Joseph Lal sangzwala restored parity. The men sent off were Sanjoy Roy (Ho wrah) and Swarup Sarkar (City).

Cricket season kicks off

The big guns will be in action as the local cricket season kicks off with the A.N. Ghosh Memorial Trophy tomorrow. Mohun Bagan face Eastern Railway, East Bengal meet Netaji Subhas Institute, Ka lighat clash with Tapan Memorial while Wari take on Shyambazar.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh na tional under15 team will play the Bengal under14 side in a series of matches in the city and districts next month. The Bangladesh colts arrive here on December 4.

State volleyball

Tollygunge Subhas Sangha (TSS), Howrah Union and Eastern Railway notched up straightset wins in the 50th state senior men’s volleyball championship today.

RESULTS: TSS bt Aryan 2624, 2514, 2519; Howrah Union bt Bayam Samity Darjeepara 2514, 2514, 2522, 2520; Eastern Rly bt Simla Bayam Samity 25 11, 2927, 2514.

   

 
 
ANSHUMAN IN SEMIFINALS 
 
 
BYASTAFFREPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 21: 
Assam boy An shuman Dutta scalped fourth seed Harshit Sharma 61, 36, 64 to en ter the semifinals of the Tata Fu tures zonal meet today.

The eighthseeded Anshuman played sparkling tennis to pocket the first set in next to no time. Ha rshit levelled set scores before suf fering cramps at 22 in the decider. He had a physio in attendance cou rtside and resumed bravely. But Anshuman took his chances to co mplete the hardfought win in an hour and a half.

The top three seeds advanced with little difficulty. Sunil Kumar saw off Manoj Sewa 64, 63; Vinod Sewa dismissed Arka Mondal 64, 60; Chandra Sekhar Mohanty ro uted Dhrub Kumar 61, 62. Sunil will meet Mohanty and Vinod cl ashes with Anshuman tomorrow.

RESULTS

Singles quarter finals: Sunil Kumar bt Manoj Sewa 64, 63; C.S. Mohanty bt Dhrub Kumar 61, 62; Anshuman Dutta bt Harshit Sharma 61, 36, 64; Vinod Sewa bt Arka Mondal 64, 60.

Doubles quarter finals: V. Sewa & C.S. Mohanty bt Manish Shaw & Bapi Haldar 60, 61; A. Dutta & A. Mondal bt Farid Alam & Abdesh Roy 63, 60; M. Sewa & D. Kumar bt Samrat Ghosh & Rijit Chatterjee 63, 36, 63.

   
 

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