Monday Blues are back and so are we with our weekly segment ‘Overreaction Monday’ where we dissect all the ridiculous things meted out this week. With a series-defining Sydney Test on, everyone was solely focusing on that and thus that adores the majority of our column this week.
Pujara is a 'snail' in Test Cricket
After Cheteshwar Pujara did the Cheteshwar Pujara thing once again in Sydney, batting without any worry in the world, the Internet was divided. Many people criticised the batsman for his pale and defiant approach even though that was the best period to bat in the day.
SC Take: We all know Pujara, don’t we? His method might’ve failed to yield runs in the first two Tests and could only result in a fifty in Sydney, this was the method that helped India win the Test series in Australia last time. Sure enough, Pujara could’ve accelerated a bit early but with India lacking the insurance of Virat Kohli, it would’ve been a plan fraught with risk. Critics tore into him but now if you think of it, that saved the game for India.
Pujara’s method yields result in multiple counts and he must’ve backed others to open up with him holding fort in one end. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and he received a jaffa from Pat Cummins as soon as Pant was dismissed. Here Pujara wasn’t to be blamed because his presence in the middle was fundamental to the discourse of the innings. By blaming him fair and square in the first innings, what the Indian fans did in the second was a complete contrast - they wanted Pujara to bide time. The irony!
Will Pucovski is not fit for Test cricket
Two overs into his international cricket career, Will Pucovski was written off as someone who is just another Australian opener who is here due to lack of options with a stiff batting technique.
SC Take: The ridiculousness of the statement is there to see and I don’t know what more could I add to the narrative? Social media is a place to gain popularity and followers and if sounding like an expert does that to you, why not? Because being an expert is cool.
Will Pucovski is a fantastic young man and whose contribution towards mental health awareness and bravely standing up for his own demons was a powerful gesture in itself. He suffered a fair share of problems in the lead up to the debut Test in Sydney and expecting him to take the world by storm right away is like living in a fool’s errand.
Instead, Will stood up, rode his luck and delivered a debut fifty. He had understandable concerns against the short ball but the one-hit towards mid-wicket against Bumrah speaks volume about why he could be in for a long haul. It is about patience and learning the finer nuances of the sport before making himself a complete cricketer. We can have our popcorn and celebrate a youngster than dismissing him right away.
India fears travelling to Gabba
After the long saga of uncertainty regarding the venue for the fourth Test, Michael Vaughan, like many other Australian fans, wondered if it was the Gabba factor that was pushing the Indians to create chaos and not the Quarantine regulations.
SC Take: It is funny when Vaughan talks cricket. Because he doesn’t. Ahead of the tour began, the former English skipper predicted that India would lose all three series and when India won the T20Is, he said a 4-0 loss is still on cards. India slumped to a low in Adelaide and came back but Vaughan was adamant it would be 3-1. The ridiculousness of the statement doesn’t really cease to exist there.
This is an Indian team, depleted by their own demons, lost almost half a dozen players to injuries and unavailability but didn’t drop their towel at all. They fought back and ensured a lesson of patience for all and sundry in their approach and grit and gumption. If anything this is the only Indian team which will brace going to Gabba and provide us with a great contest but that doesn’t sit well with Vaughan. His atrocious statements keep on being a problem in cricket punditry which need to be condemned, Vaughany. Please mend ways.
Smith is a cheater for scuffing the mark
Steve Smith shadow-practised in Sydney and in the process, managed to scuff off the guard mark for Rishabh Pant and the Internet went berserk, calling him a cheater.
SC Take: This is bullshit, wasn’t it? For once, we can call this an attention-dividing tactic from the former Australian skipper but cheating? This was far from it.
The very fact that the batsman often takes a fresh guard after most breaks makes it paramount for Rishabh to take a new one in Sydney as well. Thanks to a self-lost man like Smith, who loves batting more than I love junk food, it might be a fundamental interest to bat on a flat deck again and the subsequent reflex reaction.
It might not have been as well but what that fundamentally tells us it is not something that can drive the result away. He didn’t make a footmark on the crease either. So calling him a cheat is just one of the reactions that would take the sheen off and create unnecessary narrative going into the Brisbane Test.