Monday, 17 October 2005

A Super Flop and technology encroaches ...

Well it looks like the jury is well and truly out. The Johnnie Walker Super Series that pitted the "Best of the World" against the Australian Cricket has ended with resounding victories in all forms of the game. Given the dominance of the Australian team, the concept of having a Super Series every four years has been put back in the cupboard. We may see it dusted off when another team rises to the continued dominance that the Australian team has enjoyed for over a decade.

Overall the performance of the supposedly more dominant World XI players was vastly below par, particulary in the batting department. The bowling showed some glimpses of brilliance, or maybe that should be some glimpses of Super Freddie. It was quite interesting to read some of the comments excuses made saying that many of the World XI players arrived without having any real match practice. Well I'm sorry, but if that doesn't wash for the Australian team in their recent Ashes lapse, I don't see why it should be expected here.

The other interesting point to come out of the series was the mixed reception, from both player and officials, on the used of technology, in the form of TV replays, to assist the umpires decision making process. My thought is that the umpires should be left to make the decision how they see fit. When I've done my stints umpiring I've generally gone with my first impression. Once there is an element of doubt, the general rule is the decision goes in favour of the batsman. It's worked for quite a number of years now in all forms of cricket from international level right down to the local park cricket and I really don't see the need for a change. Maybe we're just getting too much analysis from the TV telecasts and, all too often for some people, we're discovering that umpires are human and prone to mistakes. The best bit of footage for me was Kallis' dissmisal in the first innings. He asked Hayden if the catch was taken, Hayden said "Yes mate" and Kallis walked off the field. No umpire required.

One part about all the new technology I've found really interesting is the super-slow-mo replays of the players. It really opens your eyes when you see just how much the bat flexs and wobbles as a batsman plays a ball. That's just from the slow bowlers with the ball travelling around 70-80 kilometers, forget about the fast bowlers where the speed is almost double!! Watching a bowler in slow-mo is like torture as you see all the muscles and tendons stretched and the way the whole body moves in the delivery stride. Makes you realise that there is a lot more to bowling than just running up and rolling your arm over.

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