When Ian Gould had to reverse his LBW decision of Sachin Tendulkar off Saeed Ajmal's bowling, he looked quite miffed. I don't blame him - it was the first time in this entire World Cup that an Ian Gould decision had been reviewed and reversed. This now leaves only two umpires with clean records - one controversial and the other absolutely spotless. The controversial clean record is held by Billy Bowden (read Ian Bell) and the spotlessly clean record is held by Aleem Dar - that man is as good as the latest piece of technology available!
Tendulkar was very very lucky to survive that LBW call. Have a look:
Had even a little bit of that ball made contact with the leg stump, Tendulkar would have been out for 23. That distance between the ball and the leg stump was just about 1 centimeter (my approximation technique tells me it was about 11.2 millimeters). Phew!
Later on, it became more and more clear that Sachin Tendulkar survived because he was destined to, even if he tried his best to change the course of destiny! He admitted later that such a thing (5 chances) had never happened to him ever before. And trust me, it is unlikely to happen ever again!
The ball immediately after this LBW appeal was masterfully bowled by Ajmal. While the earlier ball was an off spinner that Tendulkar had played across the line to and missed, he now bowled a doosra that Tendulkar failed to pick and was almost stumped (again saved by similar margins)! But I have a problem with Ajmal's doosra.
For long I have felt that most doosras are clear cases of 'chucking', and in Ajmal's case, it is very very apparent. I do not know how the ICC calculates the 15 degree margin, and which point is taken as the axis, but here's what I saw and made of it.
The first image below is the delivery stride of Ajmal on that stumping appeal (doosra). The second image is the same as the first one, worked on a little by me.
Assuming ICC uses a similar methodology to measure the 15 degrees elbow bending rule (with obviously a lot more sophisticated and accurate technology), I am sure they will find that this one clearly exceeds the limit. I don't know what is the exact measure of the angle made by the red lines in the second image, but I will tell you this - if that angle is less than 15 degrees, then I am ready to jump off a 10-floor building!
I hope ICC cracks down on this increasing violation of the 15 degree bending rule. Johan Botha's doosra had been banned for some time, and I am sure that if ICC look into Ajmal's action closely, then they might well have a case to ban not only his doosra, but also his pehla!
What a disaster at Old Trafford
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