Thursday, March 31, 2011


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!


Unknown said...

yeah sridhar....doosra's are tough to bowl without bending.....wat r ur views regarding Murali's Pehla?

tracerbullet007 said...

any idea as to how many of Taufel's decisions have been overturned?

Unknown said...

@deekay, I don't have a problem with Murali's pehla or doosra. His elbow is forever bent. He cannot straighten it at all. And the 15 degree rule is with regard to straightening.

I used to have doubts earlier. But then I saw a video on Youtube that cleared them. I cannot find the link now, but I'll tell you what that video had.

Murali's elbow had been encased in a plaster such that it would be impossible to straighten it further than its maximum limit. And with that plaster on hand, he proceeded to bowl all his variations.

His bowling is based on his phenomenal wrists, and not on his elbows. Ajmal and others are a different case.

Unknown said...

@tracerbullet007, Simon Taufel has been challenged 11 times, and has had just 1 of those decisions overturned.

In the England v. South Africa Group B match, JP Duminy was ruled out by him caught behind. Duminy challenged that call, and there was inconclusive evidence to suggest that the ball may or may not have brushed his glove.

I was, therefore, surprised to see the third umpire rule it not out. I would have ruled it out because the benefit of doubt in reviews should go to the ground umpire's original decision, and not to the batsman.

Had that decision not been overturned, even Taufel would have been 100% clean.

I am hoping that Aleem Dar and Simon Taufel are named the umpires for Saturday's finals. The third and fourth umpires should be Ian Gould and Steve Davis, in my opinion.

Unknown said...

Bowden's umpiring really shouldn't be considered controversial. He's basically doing standard umpiring, not giving lbw's if the batsman is struck a good distance from the stumps. It's just a coincidence that a few 2.5m+ decisions have happened with him there, and he isn't reversing his original decisions at all.

Unknown said...

Hi Rishabh,

The reason why I considered Bowden's decision of Ian Bell controversial have been recorded by me in this blog: UDRS: UMPIRE'S DAFTNESS RECORDING SYSTEM.

I have looked into what the law said about such 2.5 m cases, and ICC themselves realised that Bowden should have changed his decision. That is why they amended that rule two days after the match.

I have a problem with the new amended rule as well. I have noted by criticism and suggestion for the improvement of this rule here: UDRS 2.5 M RULE - CRITICISM AND SUGGESTION.

Root of all evil said...

Dar and Taufel are now named as Umpires for the final, now that Pakistan is not going to Mumbai.

That aside, I agree completely with your very articulate explanation of Ajmal's Doosra. It looked dubious even to the naked eye. I think his bowling action had been marked as suspicious earlier and was cleared later.


Unknown said...

@deekay, here is the link to that Murali video that I was talking about. See it and decide for yourself whether Murali chucks!

(P.S.: I am sorry for the fact that Ravi Shastri hosts that show! :) )

sk said...


You did alot of effort in working up the doosra and calculating the angle but if you had been a follower of cricket you would have known that Ajmal have been allowed by ICC to bend his arm at 23.5 degrees. the reason for that is that his arm has a permenant tilt because of an accident. you can read more about it by googling it. or you can check his wiki profile at
Sorry to disappoint you that you are not the first one to notice such a tilt :)

Unknown said...

SK, firstly welcome to the blog and thank you for the link.

But I can still tell you that most cricket followers will not be convinced by that. I'll tell you why, but for that, first see the video of Murali in the link I have given above.

In that video, it is clearly stated that Murali's extra prowess with the doosra comes from his shoulder and more importantly, phenomenally flexible wrists. Ajmal is not reported to have had any such wondrous parts of anatomy.

Secondly, it took that video and Murali bowling his doosra with a plaster on his elbow, to convince me completely about him. I think you have never tried bowling an offspinner and a doosra.

Try it yourself in a backyard or at a ground. You'll find that it is near impossible to bowl a doosra without a significant elbow bend, and very few can manage it to be less than 15 degrees (even if the additional 8.5 is considered).

So, my stand has not changed much. I might accept that Ajmal's doosra is legal, but will need more convincing. I'm not saying ICC will do a special test on Ajmal to convince me, but if ICC were insightful, they would have done a few tests on not just Ajmal, but a lot of other off-spinner (and even a few left-arm spinners) long back to convince the cricket fans world over about the legality of their actions.

knowledge_eater said...

Many bowlers chuck, I don't mind much due to pitches these days. But, I do mind how unfairly people talk about or criticizes particular bowler compare to others who come in same category. I don't understand why people criticize Bhaj for his action where he doesn't even bent that much compare to Botha, Ajmal, Hafeez, Razzak (bangla) or even even already bent Murali's hand. That's what I don't like.

It's good that you have pointed out here. Yes, He bents, it's not fair, but it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

sachin tendulker was definitely lbw on 23.i think it was not in the interst of ICC to see India out of the world cup.india is a biggest cricket markeet and many of ICC officials,ex cricketers,commentators,sports journalists are being heavily paid by indian cricket mafia and they having good time with bollywood actresses. too much black money is involve in indian cricket and ICC is the main partner of it.
the main turning point of the game was that tendulker was not given out lbw on 23.this was a clear cheat by ICC and cricket gentalmen's game( cricket )from gamblers,black money and corrupt ICC officials.

vijay said...

You should compare both the original frame(when the ball was being bowled and sachin got out) with the one that was shown in hawkeye. They were completely different(ball's impact on pad and sachin's bat position). Something fishy is going on.

Unknown said...

thnx sreedhar for fishing up the link.....i remember seeing some photos of murali being strapped up and braced in an Australian university where he was tested for this....but did not get an explanation like this.....can bear with Shastri for this one......;-)

jit said...

hey shridhar
i read your remarks about the ajmal doosra and then clarification on murali. but i fail to understand as to how, muralis bent arm action can be justified wheather he wears a plaster or not. even if murali spins it with his wrist he cant bend his arm, or can he? by that logic, all wrist spinners should be allowed to do that and vice versa.
that day was one when i saw sachin absolutely at sea, ajmal and afridi for that couple of overs made him look like a novice. it was the arrival of gambhir at the other end which saved the day. as gambir kept facing ajmal and sachin had a breather. especially that over from saeed ajmal was exceptional. i am very sure in my mind and have always been that Hawk Eye is flawed and terribly flawed. Projecting the trajectory and angle of a spinning ball is not hawk eye ke bas ka kaam. i have seen that ball and appeal in slow mo so many times and i am convinced that sachin was out and so was the stumping. had they the technology to freeze the last frame i am sure he would have been adjudged out.
But But But i think it has got to do more with the mathematical probability which was at work. Sachin must have been given out on so many dubious descisions in his career, and especially the legbefores that i have lost count. so the probabilities came together and fortunately for us,hit pakistan in the groin.

Anonymous said...

Btw, who is ajmal result matters d most n india won yeppi :D i dunno y u ppl becomes so much xited abt d 1 ball miss still dnt knw if afridi his 1 six and gets out the 1 six will be uploaded in fb that afridi hits not d out 1 lolz :D get ur mind wash b4r posting anything meaningless :/