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Sunday, October 14, 2018

WI falter again ... Umesh Yadav's remarkable feat

Umesh Yadav achieved something great today ~ a 10 wicket haul.. .. he has played 40 tests – has taken 117 wickets – in ODIs 73 matches 105 wickets – statistics will never reveal the true greatness of this speedster .. read more !
Another West Indian capitulation, as expected from a team, which is pale shadow of what Clive Lloyd led to India those decades.  But, then lot has changed .. .. actually they did well this morning restricting Indian lead but .. another display of poor batting doomed them.  There have been many chaos ..
Even before the tour started came the news of Chris Gayle opting out of West Indies duty to play in T20 - and this time even T10 - leagues. Even odder considering the 2019 World Cup is only eight months away. But Jason Holder didn't find this turn of events surprising. The West Indies captain felt the opener was "tapering off" and hoped that in his absence, some of the younger players seized the opportunity.  The team is shaken – Windies are about to lose their head coach Stuart Law at the end of the year. Before that, in 2016, they lost Phil Simmons. And before that, in 2014, they lost Ottis Gibson.

Today, at Hyderabad, another  West Indies Test in India, another three-day finish. By the end of it, it seems scarcely believable that West Indies had at one point put India under such pressure that they risked a serious injury to Shardul Thakur for a few extra runs. That was when West Indies' talismanic leader Jason Holder had dragged West Indies back into the contest, but India somehow managed to eke out a 56-run lead, which proved decisive thanks to another batting failure.  With this win India has 10  consecutive Test series wins at home including the two one-off Test series against Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is the joint-longest streak for any team at home. Australia had two such streaks ending in 2000 and 2008. No other team has more than eight home series victories in a row.

Today, the mercurial Umesh Yadav was on a hat-trick twice; he didn't get it, but became only the third Indian fast bowler to take a 10-for at home, paving the way for India's 10th straight series win at home with only the fourth Man-of-the-Match award for a fast bowler in India this decade. It is staggering the match ended when it did. Only 14 wickets had fallen in the first two days. West Indies had managed to stay competitive, and had at one point put India under pressure on the second afternoon with four wickets down for 162. Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane then bailed India out, and began the day only three behind West Indies' 311.

This morning it was Jason Holder show – his 5 for 56 is the first five-wicket haul by a West Indies fast bowler in India since Kenny Benjamin's five for during the Mohali Test in 1994. The only other two overseas fast bowlers to have taken five-fors in the last two years are Josh Hazlewood and Ben Stokes.  He is the first West Indies fast bowler since Courtney Walsh (in 2000) to take four five-wicket hauls in a calendar year.  He is on a real high 33 wickets in six matches at an outstanding average of 11.87 - the best for any fast bowler with a minimum of 30 wickets in a calendar year in the last 100 years.

An Indian pace bowler taking 10 wickets in a Test is a real rarity.  The great Kapil Dev did that in Pongal Test 1980 at Chepauk, Chennai taking 11/146 against Pakistan and winning the man of the match; again against the mighty WI at Ahmedabad Kapil had figures of 10/135 (in that Test Kapil took 9/83 in the 2nd innings – in the first Maninder 4 and Roger Binny 3 had restricted the Windies).  Back in Feb 1999 against Pak at Koklata, Javagal Srinath took 13/132 and now Umesh Yadav has 6&4 finishing at 10/133 .. .. no mean achievement that !

One will understand its significance, when they extrapolate this statistics : at Rajkot against Windies in 1st Test, Umesh bowled 11 & 3 overs; against Afghanistan 6 & 7; against Srilanka at Nagpur 2017 – 16 & 29; at Kolkata 20 & 5; in a match at Galle, he bowled 14 & 9 .. .. doubt – he has great stamina, delivering speed consistently, but in home conditions, when the spinners come on too early and with India playing 3 spinners – the pacers of Umesh Yadav ilk are neglected lot and end up throwing from the deep – and he has a good flat throw at that.  With the Captain not trusting and with so limited opportunities, Umesh Yadav has really done well.  Kudos to him.

The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has asked the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to "submit his explanation within a week" a day after he was named in an anonymous #MeToo post. An allegation made by a woman claiming to be a former colleague of Johri was posted on Twitter on Friday night. ESPNcricinfo has also seen communication that shows that the BCCI had been alerted as long ago as January 2017 to a harassment case allegedly involving Johri in his previous employment. It is not clear if the allegation made on Friday, to which Johri has to answer, is the same case the BCCI was alerted to in January 2017. Johri has not made any public comment; calls and messages to him remained unanswered. The allegations have appeared as a part of the 'me too' movement. Though, the said allegations do not pertain to his employment with the BCCI, the Committee of Administrators of the BCCI has deemed it appropriate to seek an explanation from Mr Johri in relation to the allegations. He has been asked to submit his explanation within a week. Future course of action will be considered on receipt of his explanation."

The woman behind the Twitter allegation claims to have been a colleague of Johri before he had moved to working with a "niche satellite channel". It was posted by a verified Twitter account of a person who has published several such anonymous allegations on behalf of others. This is the first high-profile person involved in Indian cricket administration to be named in the #MeToo exposes.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Oct 2018.

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