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Friday, June 7, 2019

MSD lightning stumping ! ~ Balidan badge in news !!

MS Dhoni always is in the thick of action ~ in the 40th over of SA innings, he stumped  Phehlukwayo  with ease bringing delight to be bowler Yuzvendra Chahal. It was a happy sight for all of us seeing the stumping again and again on TV but not for a Paki Minister !!!  ~ don’t get carried away – the photo here is Chahal cleaning Rassie van der Dussen

On Tuesday, Dale Steyn left the World Cup without bowling a ball. It was unfortunate to say the least, irrespective of your loyalties. That, however, hasn't left the World Cup bereft of top-of-the-line fast men. Leading that contingent are Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah, two young pacers, who have the skills and the brains to intimidate batsmen. If you need proof of that, just revisit their opening spells on Wednesday. .. .. .. .. this World Cup 2019 is certainly proving to be very interesting ! ~  it was frustrating to see WI lose chasing a big total, and sort of having things under control towards close and yet losing .. the score card reads :

Australia 288 (Coulter Nile 92, Smith 73, Brathwaite 3-67) beat West Indies 273 for 9 (Hope 68, Holder 51, Starc 5-46) by 15 runs .. it was a tale of    Aaron Finch's Aussies strangling their way to a 10th consecutive ODI victory, something achieved through a combination of efforts that will please the coach Justin Langer no end. For all their top order woes, the Australians were resourceful in adversity. They found restorative partnerships guided expertly by Steven Smith, extracted from Nathan Coulter-Nile the innings of his life, and, unlike West Indies, did not miss a chance in the field.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, fast, hostile and accurate, produced a pair of superb analyses, used expertly by Finch to constrain, pressurise and ultimately crush the West Indies chase. Hope, Pooran and Holder flattered to deceive ~ Russel, Braithwaite could have been judicious in their shot selection when win was in the offing. The match was marred by some poor-umpiring too, if not biased one ! for that close 15 run loss.

Michael Holding slammed the umpiring during West Indies' loss to Australia as "atrocious", while Carlos Brathwaite described some decisions as "frustrating" and "dodgy" and suggested that West Indies players are on the wrong end of decisions more often than their opponents. The umpires, Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, had four decisions overturned between them and Gaffaney also missed a blatant front foot no-ball from Mitchell Starc that preceded the delivery that claimed the wicket of Chris Gayle. If the no-ball had been called, Gayle would have had a free hit on what was ultimately the wicket-ball. Brathwaite were to say, . "even when we were bowling we thought a few balls close to head height were called wides. And obviously three decisions in one over as far as I can remember being dodgy, it was frustrating and sent ripples through the dressing room. "To lose Chris in a chase of 280, who can probably get 180 of them himself obviously, broke the start that we wanted to have. But the umpires do their job, they try to do it to the best of their ability, we as players go out there to do our job as well, so there was no confrontation between the players and the umpires." Holding, commentating on the ICC's world television feed, was even more scathing, extending his criticism to the umpires' handling of the Australian bowlers' appeals for wickets. "The umpiring in this game has been atrocious," Holding said. "For one, even when I was playing and you were not as strict as they are now, you were allowed one appeal. You don't appeal two, three, four times to the umpire." "They are being intimidated which means they are weak."

"This has been an atrocious bit of umpiring by both [Gaffaney and Palliyaguruge]." In all, Gayle reviewed three decisions - two in one over and all off the bowling of Starc - and had the first two overturned. On the first occasion, Gaffaney gave him out caught behind only for the replay to show the audible sound of ball on wood had come from the ball shaving the stumps but somehow not dislodging the bails. Gayle reviewed twice more, both for lbw decisions by Gaffaney, before being given out. But it wasn't until the ball preceding the wicket was replayed on television that the West Indies players realised that Starc had overstepped by a considerable margin.

In previous day’s match – India comfortably beat SA by 6 wickets.  India 230 for 4 (Rohit 122*, Dhoni 34, Rabada 2-39) beat South Africa 227 for 9 (Morris 42, du Plessis 38, Chahal 4-51, Bumrah 2-35).

On Tuesday afternoon, Rabada playfully engaged in a roaring contest with teammate Chris Morris. Both men let their emotions out by roaring as loudly as possible. For a tiny moment, Rabada's face, glistening with sweat, revealed a sense of joy, a sense of unbridled and uninhibited excitement that is at the core of his craft. South Africa's batsmen had disappointed for the third match in succession - they scored 227 for 9.

The stumping of Phehlukwayo . .. .. is in news !  as people spotted MSD spotting an insignia in his gloves ~ not any ordinary one but the ‘Balidan badge’ !  ..  The "Balidan Badge" or the Army insignia was spotted on Dhoni's gloves as television replays showed him stumping Phehlukwayo in the 40th over of the innings bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. Fawad Chaudhry,  Pakistan's Federal Minister for Science and Technology, put out a tweet on social media voicing his opinion on the matter of Dhoni's wicketkeeping gloves and slammed the Indian media for debating on the matter. Balidan is a distinct insignia of the special forces, which form part of the Parachute Regiment. It has a commando dagger pointed downwards, with upward-extending wings extending from the blade and a scroll superimposed on the blade with "Balidan" inscribed in Devanagari. Only Paramilitary Commandos are allowed to wear the Balidan Badge.

Dhoni, who has been conferred an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment in 2011, had also undergone training under the Para Brigade in 2015. Twitter though was abuzz with fans showing respect to Dhoni. One fan wrote: "Salute & respect to MS Dhoni who printed insignia of 'Balidan' on his wicket keeping gloves." Another fan wrote: "This man shows his love for the nation and army.  There are photos showing the insignia on the back cover of his mobile too. 

MS Dhoni's love for the armed forces is a secret to none. The former Indian captain himself holds an honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Territorial Army and has never failed to profess his love for the forces. It was not the first instance when Dhoni was seen making his support for the Indian forces public on the cricket field. After the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF troopers lost their lives, Dhoni had come out with an idea of wearing camouflage caps during an ODI against Australia in March. The entire team, along with Dhoni, was seen sporting camouflage caps in their bid to pay tribute to the security personnel who lost their lives in the terror attack on February 14.

However, the ICC feels otherwise. The ICC regulations says: "The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match."  .. .. but right from 1980s, matches played on Fridays at Sharjah have different timing and there have been occasions when Paki team have prayed on the field too !

It is time, ICC concentrates on the game and ensures quality Umpiring ! ~ change in bails that fall when ball hits the stumps or change the rule that ‘one is bowled when ball hit stumps’ irrespective of bail falling or not !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
7th June 2019.

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