The 1979-80 series between India and Australia was greatly affected by rain, but there were certainly moments that lit up the sombre atmosphere. The first Test at Madras ended in a tame draw, and the Australians managed to post a decent 333 in the first innings of the second Test held at Bangalore. However, not many would’ve guessed what was to come when the Australians came out to bowl. It was a Test that speedster Rodney Hogg and umpire Kasturi Ramaswami would remember for a long time to come.
Hogg, who was generally quite adept with the ball, had difficulty landing his foot in the right areas during the beginning of the Indian innings. As a result, he couldn’t work up the required pace and the Indian batsmen seemed to face him with nonchalant ease. He was repeatedly no balled by umpire Ramaswami - 11 times in as many as six overs.
Hogg’s fifth over
Apparently, Hogg believed that the fourth delivery of this over, which was also no balled by the umpire, was in fact a legitimate one and he immediately conveyed his thoughts to skipper Kim Hughes. However, no one could deny the fact that the heat of the moment was getting to him. In a fit of rage, Hogg kicked the stumps towards Ramaswami and walked back to his bowling mark. It was Hughes who remade the wicket and tried to diffuse the volatile situation.
The next over
It wasn’t meant to be Hogg’s day, and the next over post the eventful one provided ample evidence of that fact. He was no balled three more times and that was enough for Hogg to lose control of his temper. He ended up bowling a fiery beamer that went way over the batsman’s head. To this, Ramaswami had no hesitations in calling it a wide. Skipper Hughes had enough of Hogg’s unwarranted attitude and instructed him to leave the field immediately.
Understandably, Hogg’s theatrics didn’t go down well with the huge crowed that turned out for the Test, and he apparently had two oranges hurled at him on his way back to the pavilion.
Hughes saves the day
It was Hughes decision to jointly tender an apology with Hogg after the end of day’s play that saved the situation from blowing up further. The Australian team manager Bob Merriman too played his part in addressing the matter the case. “I have spoken with both Kim Hughes and Rodney Hogg and the first thing I want to stress is that we have full confidence in the umpires. Both Rodney and Kim have apologised to the umpire, and the matter has been resolved between the umpire, and the captain and Rodney Hogg,” said Merriman.
In the series against West Indies, at Port of Spain, in 1984, Hogg and Hughes were at loggerheads yet again. Hogg wanted a specific field set to which Hughes didn’t oblige. Already frustrated at the fact that he wasn’t getting wickets, Hughes’ refusal didn’t go down well with the speedster, and he threw a punch at his skipper. Fortunately for Hogg, he was allowed to go scot-free by the officials.
A Peculiar character
Hogg was considered to be a hot-blooded individual by his fellow teammates. Not only that, he was also a peculiar character. He apparently had his wife erase a part of a video-tape that featured one of his soft dismissals, primarily because he didn’t want his son to think of him as a coward.
(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)