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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Off Spinner conundrum - succumbing to Moeen and Ashwin wicketless

In olden days there was rivalry between Erapalli Prasanna and Srinivasan Venkatraghavan and perhaps Prasanna got more opportunities .... Harbhajan was successful – remember his bowling during that Aussie tour in 2001, and that Kolkatta hat-trick.... there was Shivlal Yadav too (M Venkatramana, Ashish Kapoor, Ashok Patel, Arshad Ayub) – all Off-spinners, who played for India at some point of time.  In Nov. 2013, about an year ago -  Darren Sammy became Ravichandran  Ashwin's 100th victim  in Tests. He reached that landmark in only 18 Tests to take these many wicket; becoming   the fastest bowler to the landmark since Clarrie Grimmett took 100 wickets in his 17th Test, against West Indies in 1931. Ashwin’s feat was two Tests less than Erapalli Prasanna, who was the previous fastest India bowler to 100 wickets in Tests.

At Old Trafford,  Indian players must feel ashamed to look out of hotel curtains even – there has been rain, with more predicted in the place due to apocalyptic cyclone – the Indians made no attempt to even extend for another session and be saved by the rain is real low point.  In a test already stopped by rain, India contrived to finish on the third day itself with  nine wickets falling in heap  in under one session. No managing member appear to be taking control and charging the players – the coach is not be seen at all nor felt. 

Virat Kohli nearly holed out to long leg sweeping Moeen Ali before he eventually fell to a meek push outside off. Ajinkya Rahane drove hard at Moeen and offered a simple return catch. MS Dhoni stepped out and was caught at midwicket.  India lost playing bad to a rookie offie Moeen Ali who is no Muralitharan.... and our lone off-spinner bowled only 14 overs without a single wicket.  Surprisingly his batting exploits have taken him to top of all-rounder rankings ! – not trusted by the team to play in the first 3 tests and wicketless in the only innings he bowled – but  replaced Vernon Philander – skewed !!!

News from the team playing after a decade - John Nyumbu became the second Zimbabwean to take a five-for on Test debut .... it is reported that Harare crowd had to resort to song and dance to amuse themselves for large parts of the day and was grateful to offspinner John Nyumbu when his five-wicket haul, the second by a Zimbabwean on debut, ended a decidedly slow South African innings. Good performance considering his wickets included : Du Plessis, JP Duminy.  Elsewhere Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal has been reported for a suspect bowling action,  in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. As per ICC regulations, Ajmal will have to undergo testing of his action within 21 days, but can continue bowling until the results of the test are known. According to the ICC, the match officials' report cited concerns over a number of deliveries that were considered to be suspect and concluded that the bowler's action needed to be tested. The report has been handed over to Pakistan's team manager, Moin Khan. The PCB, in a release, said it would wait for the testing process to be completed before reacting to the matter. This is the second instance of Ajmal being reported for a suspect action. In April 2009, the bowler was reported for his action while bowling the doosra, and was cleared the following month.

In the last couple of months, Sri Lanka offspinner Sachithra Senanayake and New Zealand's Kane Williamson have been reported and subsequently banned from bowling due to illegal bowling actions. Others who have been reported include Shillingford; Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal and Johan Botha.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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