A week full of records and controversies

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Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011, 16:55 [IST]
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A week of records and controversies

Bangalore, Nov 19: Every moment is important as anything can happen anytime, in a game like cricket. With many activities happening throughout the world, here is an attempt to pile up the most important events of the week. Highs and lows of this week with the important events that grab our attention the coming week is also given.

The highs include, Dravid's 36th century marking his fourth at Eden Gardens, with 952 runs and five centuries, he is the highest run-scorer for the year 2011. He went past Ian Bell 950 runs as he scored119 runs against West Indies earlier this week. He has achieved this feat earlier by scoring 5 centuries in 2002.

Rahul Dravid who scored his 36th century at Eden gardens, his fourth at the venue, is 21 runs short of reaching 13000 runs in test cricket just behind Sachin tendulkar who is leading the table with 15,086 runs.

While people all over the globe were curious about Sachin's elusive 100th ton, Rahul Dravid slipped into the limelight by scoring his 36th century and yet another valuable innings to help India win the Eden test against West Indies to seal the series. With just 21 runs short, he is going to reach the milestone in the third test to be played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai starting on Nov 22.

His partnership with Laxman was again the talk of the town as they both played a remarkable innings. The latter went on to post his 17th century as he remained unbeaten on 176 which reminded cricket buffs of his career best 281 against Australia at the same venue.

This has been a special venue for Laxman as he jointly leads the table with most centuries at Eden with Azharuddin. Both have scored 5 centuries at the venue.

South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis' was in news as he scored 10000 runs in test cricket during the second test against Australia at Johannesburg. He became the 4th batsman to have crossed the 10000 run mark after Sachin, Rahul Dravid and Ricky Ponting.

Similarly, Jayawardene became the 9th batsman to have registered 10000 runs in ODIs and the second Srilankan batsman after Sanath Jayasurya to have achieved this feat. In his knock of 17 against Pakistan in the third one dayer at Dubai, he crossed the milestone when he was on 13. Sachin, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Inzamam ul Haq, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis and Sanath Jayasurya are the others are ahead of Jayawardene who have scored 10000 runs in ODIs.

Umesh Yadav, got his career best 4/80 in the second test against West Indies at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Though he did not impress everyone in his debut, played extremely well in the second test as he picked up 7 wickets in the match including a four wicket haul in the first innings.

Infact, the win over Windies at Eden Gardens came atfer 36 years ending the drought, as India had not registered a win against West Indies at the venue since 1976. This also marked India's innings victory against Windies which came exactly after a year since Nov 2010 against New Zealand in Nagpur where India had won by an innings. India's series win against West Indies happens to be the 50th Test series victory for India.

While these were the highs, there are a few lows too that grabbed most of our attention. Starting from Peter Roebuck's mysterious death, who committed suicide fearing to face sexual assualt charges. Peter Roebuck, worked as a broadcaster for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, also wrote for the nation's Fairfax newspapers, was covering Australia's test series with Proteas when he was found dead at his hotel in Newlands.

A lot of issues came into light as the mystery over his death started unfolding. This was indeed considered as a dark day as the cricketing fraternity and the journalists mourned his death as its impossible to read his articles in future.

He had the ability to describe a game of cricket in such a way that even if someone didn't like the game, he or she would like it after reading his article.

If South Africa's victory over Australia after dismissing the Aussies for a paltry 47 in the second innings of the first test at Newlands, Capetown can be considered as achievement, Aussies registering their fourth lowest total will be considered as one of the lows.

This humiliating loss has led to various consequences. Seniors Ponting, Haddin and Johnson's poor form has made the situation worse as they are on the verge of being dropped. Aussies, for the first time, have been that vulnerable as wickets were tumbling at one end. Though Aussies selected the best team possible for the second test and started off very well in reply to South Africa's 266, they raced to 174/1 before losing 9 wickets for 122 runs to end up scoring just 296.

Another shocking event was the turnout at Eden Gardens. It was indeed a surprise as hardly one could As an point out a crowd. There were hardly any people watching the match at the stadium. Whereas there were instances of a full house, even though India was on the verge of losing against England in 1977. A renovated stadium with a capacity of slightly over 60000, was looking like a morgue as tweeted by Tony Grieg.

While the turnout at the Eden Gardens hurt the players, there were more hurting decisions that came along as Indians won the second test. Yuvraj Singh was dropped for the third test as Rohit Sharma who has scored two consecutive hundreds in the Ranji Trophy including a match winning knock of 145 got a berth to the Test team after Yuvraj's continuous struggle for runs.

Rohit Sharma awaiting his Test debut, adding another youngster to the team making it a new team which has a blend of experience and youth.

Since Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are performing extremely well, Harbhajan who was dropped for the second test too, finds it difficult to make a comeback to the national side as it looks like his inclusion for the Australian tour also seems to be bleak.

While these issues suggest improvement and stresses on challenges and competition, there was yet another controversy that revamped as Kambli opened up. This drama has given a new twist to the match -fixing saga that invokes interest to the World cup 1996 match against Srilanka which India eventually lost after choosing to field. His allegation against former captain Azharuddin has raised quite a few eyebrows as BCCI and former players insist for a probe to check whether Kambli has his facts right.

While this controversial allegation might take time to calm down, there are a few records that might capture our attention over the next week. A win at Wanderers will help South Africa register their first series victory at home against the Aussies. While there are speculations about Sachin's 100th ton, as every one are curious about master blaster achieving this rare feat of completing 100 international centuries at his home ground. The other one being Rahul Dravid who is just 21 runs short of 13000 runs in Test cricket. Cricket buffs are awaiting for these milestones by their favourite batsmen of all time.


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