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Friday, July 1, 2011

Ishant Sharma gets 100 wickets in Tests – Statistical story and the ‘not out’ of Dhoni – deceived by technology.

At draw of stumps on Day 3 – the Barbados Test stands wide open.  After a poor day 1 when Indians were bowled out for 201, they took a slender lead as WI crumbled to 190.   India now leads by 34 runs with both the openers unbeaten at the crease.

A personal milestone for the lanky Ishant Sharma measuring 1.95 m (6 ft 5] who had a career best haul of 6 for 55.  Ishant born in Sept. 1988,  became the fifth youngest bowler to pick up 100 test wickets after the great Kapil Dev Nikhanj, Daniel Vettori, Waqar Younis and Harbhajan Singh.  At 18 years of age he was called to join the Indian squad for the SA tour in 2006-07 but eventually made his debut only in May 2007 against Bangladesh at Dhaka.  He has so far played 32 tests.

A better indicator would be the no. of Tests played (actually it should be even better with the Innings played !)  There are 107 cricketers who have taken 100 wickets in 30 Tests or less.  The fastest amongst them was G Lohmann of England.  Of the list below, only Roberts and Botham played in late 1970s – others played much much earlier when the game was not so competitive.  It took him 9 years and 241 months for achieving this feat – 16 tests in 10 years !!

Andy Roberts & Ian Botham got their 100th wicket in 2 years and a few months; Kapil achieved this grand feat in 1 year and 105 days but had played 25 tests – most of them on dead Indian wickets.  

Player
Country
Mat
GA Lohmann
England
16
CTB Turner
Australia
17
SF Barnes
England
17
CV Grimmett
Australia
17
C Blythe
England
19
AL Valentine
West Indies
19
AME Roberts
West Indies
19
IT Botham
England
19

There are 8 Indians in that list of less than 30 and Erapalli Ananda Sundara Prasanna leads the Indian achievers with 20 tests.  You could observe that Kapil Dev is the lone Fast bowler in that list.
Player
Mat
EAS Prasanna
20
A Kumble
21
SP Gupte
22
BS Chandrasekhar
22
MH Mankad
23
N Kapil Dev
25
Harbhajan Singh
25
BS Bedi
28
DR Doshi
28
IK Pathan
28
J Srinath
30
The third  day at Barbados was marred again by rain and the match by another botcher attributed to the host broadcaster this time.  Yes Dhoni was out to a no ball and though there was no DRS a reference was made to the third umpire for the legitimacy of the delivery.  In the First Test also Dhoni was out to a dubious no ball.    Here it was the  final delivery of Fidel Edwards' 15th over, the 59th of the innings, which had Dhoni offering the catch to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-on.

Ian Gould wanted a reconfirmation from the third umpire that the delivery was legitimate and Edwards had not overstepped the bowling crease.  The third umpire, Gregory Brathwaite after watching the TV replays which suggested that Edward’s foot was within the crease informed Gould so and he was given out.  India, then 167 for 5, collapsed after the fall of Dhoni's wickets to be all out for 201 in the final session's play.

Now it has been confirmed by ICC that it was indeed a no ball and the third Umpire conveying its legitimacy was due to an error by the host broadcaster.  Ridiculous and how can such a stupid thing happen !!

It is now reported that what Brathwaite was shown by the host broadcaster was not the one to which reference on legitimacy was made but a replay of another delivery.  What a goof up !!   The host broadcaster for this series, IMG Media, acknowledged the mistake and has apologised. They claimed that it was a case of human error, compounded by a senior replay operative having to return home at very short notice.  The match referee Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees went on record stating that it was an unfortunate but honest mistake !!  

Sure there is no way this decision could be reversed but should there not be accountability and should IMG Media be allowed to march on with the simple apology !  Would Chris Broad’s Nation have accepted a similar error happening in India or Sri Lanka with the same magnanimity  ??

India have never won two Tests in a series in the Caribbean and the third and the final match is scheduled for July 6-10 in Dominica.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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