COMBATTING THE M&M EFFECT……..

The popular chocolate candy

The popular chocolate candy

M&M’s is a popular chocolate candy but the “M&M effect” known to world cricket is the devastation that is seen when Murali and Mendis are bowling in a match. The pair of M&M brought the world’s most competent batting line up to its knees at Colombo. Nothing went right for the Indian batsmen in that match. They looked confused and completely out of touch against the greatness of Murali and they were equally afraid of Mendis who is the next big thing.

The second match in the series starts tomorrow and is being played at Galle, which is said to have a similar pitch to Colombo. Galle is an interesting ground because although the general conditions are similar to Colombo, it can serve fast bowlers well if they bowl according to line and length and exploit the early conditions. The famous Pakistani victory against Sri Lanka at Galle comes to mind when Sri Lanka fell to the brilliance of Wasim, Waqar and Razzaq and lost by an innings and some runs. Zaheer Khan and Chaminda Vaas, the two most experienced pacers that will be playing, will need to bowl out of their skins if they are to give match winning performances.

The deadly duo, M&M, will have some more tricks up their sleeve

The deadly duo, M&M, will have some more tricks up their sleeve

On the spin front, Galle has something for spinners too. On the 3rd, 4th and 5th days of the match, the track will become very productive for spinners. Hence it is important for the toss winning side to bat first, see off the early swing and seam and then post a huge total putting the opposition under pressure against spin. It is especially important for India to bat first because if Sri Lanka manage to score 400+ batting first, India will not be able to win this match and will be under tremendous pressure to perform in the final test; this pressure will be so intense that India might well wilt. Kumble said in an interview today that he does not care so much about the toss or conditions- he placed emphasis on the side showing unity and batsmen showing application when playing the spinners.

Yesterday an Indian TV channel showed video clips of net practice where Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly were discussing how to play Mendis and Murali. The TV presenter was very critical of these senior players because there was a lot of talking involved, but not so much batting practice. Tendulkar was shown trying to bowl in Murali’s action and letting youngsters practice his bolwing; the TV presenter was also critical of this saying that Tendulkar needs to do some batting practice himself, rather than emulate Murali and coach the youngsters. For most Indian fans though, they will not care so much what the Indian team does in order to prepare as long as they are well geared up to face the M&M effect at Galle.

Dravid's career may well be on the line if he fails again in the 2nd Test

Dravid's career may well be on the line if he fails again in the 2nd Test

For the Indian fans, failure is not an option because the effects will be so overwhelming. The greatness of India’s batting, especially when countering spin, will be undermined. Kumble’s captaincy will be questioned and people will demand for Dhoni to be made captain in Tests too (this will have repercussions as well, but it is a completely different topic so it will not be discussed any further in this article). If Kumble does not motivate his players well enough and does not bowl effectively, his career may also be on the line. However, one of the most significant consequences following a defeat will be the effect on Dravid’s career. For a year now Dravid has not looked at his best and age is not on his side either. This may well be his last straw. Even if he performs adequately in this series, he will not be able to carry on playing much longer. Tendulkar always surprises and for various reasons he is indispensable, so he will not be dropped anyhow. Ganguly has had a good run recently so even for him it will not be a career defining series. For Dravid though, the end appears very near unless he can consistently score a few 50’s or 100’s in the forthcoming matches.

On the optimistic side however, India has a record of bouncing back whenever it has been humiliated early on in a series. This is something the Sri Lankan team is very wary of. A statement was made yesterday by the Sri Lankan coach that they will not take India lightly because in the recent past India has been a top team and has always bounced back and startled the opposition. Mendis and Murali will have some tricks up their sleeve, but it remains to be seen how the legendary Indian batsmen Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman will combat the M&M effect this time round when they have been pushed to the brink. Kumble said today that the series is not over yet, and perhaps narrating Shahrukh Khan’s famous dialogue from the movie “Om Shanti Om” is apt way to end this article…………”Picture abhi baaqi hai, meray dost!”

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  1. #1 by khansahab on July 30, 2008 - 12:07 PM

    After WC 2007 and India’s disgraceful exit, many people were talking about how long Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly will keep on playing for. In my opinion Ganguly is now a more precious player than Dravid because he is more confident in batting and has bowled well on those pitches that assist swing. I don’t think Tendulkar will quit any time soon unless he himself is fed up of cricket.

    I think Dravid will retire by latest at the end of 2008 if not any sooner, Ganguly will probably retire around the same time too. Tendulkar will carry on playing at least for another year in my opinion.

    India play Australia in October and England in December; Dravid and Ganguly may hand in their resignations around this time.

  2. #2 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 30, 2008 - 1:39 PM

    Once again the media has warned the Indian batsmen to play cautiously against the m&m in the second test at Galle starting tomorrow. The Sri Lankan chocolate ‘spin twins’ called, m&m created huge problems for the Indian batsmen in the first test, claiming 19 wickets between them. In my opinion it was more of a mental than physical game, and Indians were mesmerized. But, this time it is not going to be the same.

    Galle’s ground manager Jayanda Warnaweera, a former Sri Lanka spinner, said he has prepared a surface that will suit the pair. Once again a comment to demoralize the Indian batsmen. On this issue Amit and Pawan have already discussed at length about the possibility of a 4 day match. Whereas, they should also remember that on this ground in December 2007 the test match between SL and England ended in a draw.

    If Sri Lanka have got spinners and this pitch will favour spinners then India too has Harbhajjan Singh and Anil Kumble. Reportedly, the pitch should help the seamers on the first day, it will start spinning a lot by day three.

    Mahela has pointed out in one of his interviews that only four of the 24 fallen wickets in the venue’s last test in December against England in the drawn test were taken by spinners. And he is not so sure about how this coming week will be when it rains during the week. Therefore, in my opinion most people, after the first test result have forgotten that rain could play a major part in the second test.

    Although the local media reported that Vaas may be rested, since they have called up uncapped pace bowler Dammika Prasad as an additional bowling option for the 2nd test. In my opinion it would be a mistake if they do so, because in Colombo Vaasy did not bowl much, if the fast bowlers are going to make any impact on the first day i.e., in case SL looses toss, then he would be more than handy. A known devil is better than unknown devil. Assuming it from the SL point of view. πŸ™‚

    India should not make any changes from the first test,
    whoever is axed it will have a very negative impact on his psyche, because a lot was talked about them before the start of the first test. Like Gambhir says, “We had a bad test but now we are positive and want to come back hard against the Sri Lankans.”

    The greatest test in the second test would be in the shape of the same million dollar question? “How their batsmen would come to grips with m&m?” And, Gambhir insists they remain positive. He says, “Yes, they have a quality spin attack but we also have guys who can play spin well.”

    Himself he should not throw away his wicket after scoring 40 odd runs like he did in the second innings at Colombo. I expect him to play sensibly and want Sehwag to go insane and berserk. It will have a calming effect on the rest of the players.

  3. #3 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 30, 2008 - 4:19 PM

    When tournaments are postponed, delayed or canceled then, players, fans and supporters get very upset. The 4 nation T20 tournament in Canada has been postponed and rescheduled in October. It means it has been scrapped. Because, in Canada, October is not a month for outdoor activities it is too cold especially for players from hot countries.

    Some of my friends from the Middle East who were visiting Montreal last week, while sitting outside around 6:00 p.m. were asking for a light jacket or a sweater whereas, for us its fine. But, in October everyone needs a light jacket. I have seen Mexicans wearing winter jackets with hoods and leather gloves during the first week of September.

    I think Shahid Afridi must be pleased with the news because, he was bound to miss the Canadian tour. His wife is not well besides he is carrying a wrist injury. Hopefully by the time CT is due in September he should be fit. Right now MJ Clarke seems to be very worried about the players splitting or not willing to participate in the CT. I think he is keen to come and play in Pakistan whereas, Ponting, Symonds and a couple of others are too much worried about security.

    What I don’t understand is about the comments made by Graeme Smith. His team played a full series in Pakistan last year and there was no problem. Earlier they were too concerned about safety and security and after the tour and after winning the series he was boasting that despite the stress our boys played well. So, this kinda concern is like a two way street, you loose, you blame it on the so called terrorist fear and you win, you still brag about your success saying despite pressure the boys played well.

    My Indian friends sorry that I have digressed from the thread, but I have already devoted one full comment exclusively on the second test and it is very much in line with the thread, which I believe is very apt and at the right time just before the second test. I am waiting for a response from Amit and Pawan in particular. Especially in view of the last drawn test against England in December 2007 when the spinners took only 4 out of 24 wickets. So, is it true that Galle pitch is MadhuGalle or Madhuballe for the m&m?

  4. #4 by khansahab on July 30, 2008 - 10:44 PM

    Miandad has recently supported Lawson in saying that PCB should honour their contracts. I don’t think it is right for Miandad to say something like this because under Lawson the team morale and performance has declined. We should all honour our obligations and contracts but if the stakes are so high, such as the national cricket team than any commitment can be nullified for the betterment of the team.

    Was Woolmer a good coach? In Woolmer’s tenure we saw some positives in the side such as generally good team spirit (with the exception of instances when Shoaib Akhtar was playing), the transformation of Malik from a tailender to a responsible batsman and the transformation of Yousuf from being merely a solid batsman to being a world class batsman. In terms of bowling I don’t think there were many significant changes, maybe he helped Afridi gain more control of his bowling. However the negatives in Woolmer’s tenure outnumbered the positives by a mile- Sami and Kaneria’s decline, Akmal’s decline, no improvement in openers, no improvement in running between the wickets, no improvement in fielding and worst of all, decline of the pace department.

  5. #5 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 30, 2008 - 11:41 PM

    khansahab

    The reason why Miandad said that is perhaps to cover his own a$$ as well, when he was the coach of Pakistan team, they did not honour and fulfill their commitment and replaced him with Woolmer, perhaps that must be on his mind that – if again he is ever made the coach or given a responsible role for a certain period of time that should be honoured. In any case a contractual obligation is a contractual obligation and must be honoured and what you said is also right. Therefore, there must be a clause saying that if the Board is not satisfied by the coach’s role or his performance, they can fire him, but then, they should pay him his salary for the rest of the period.

    As regards development or otherwise during Woolmer’s period, I believe that the success or failure credit goes more to the individuals than the coach. Because, it is the players who play and a coach can only help them up to a certain level. The role of a coach in cricket is not the same as the role of a coach in (ice) Hockey here. The coach is very powerful and can replace any player even during the game, but in cricket it is different. So, it depends upon how much power and authority a coach is allowed to exercise. Woolmer joined hands with Inzi and both were having a hand in glove kinda relationship. But, neither of them were able to control Shoaib Akhtar and he is back again to ruin the atmosphere of the team and the career of a few new young players.

    While dealing with Lawson, Akhtar has an upper hand because, Lawson is a weak person and Akhtar despite being out of action for so long will still be intimidating both Lawson and spineless Malak. In fact, Malik has already started singing his tunes by saying, “We would like to welcome Akhtar in our team as he is a match winner.”

    If a captain is strong and has a say in the team selection then, he won’t care much about a rogue trouble maker. But, Malik wants to be a winner by hook or by crook and Akhtar is not a threat to his captaincy, because Akhtar has hardly any time left in his cricketing career. So, Malik knows which side of bread’s Butt he should butter to save his own Butt.

    So, everyone is trying to save his a$$, which in Urdu we call it, “Ullu seedha kerna” and thats what they all are doing.

  6. #6 by Pawan on July 31, 2008 - 12:35 AM

    Khansahab

    Thanks a lot for this new thread. I was waiting for it. You have read my mind!

    The m&m candy analogy is also very funny and appropriate. The question is what kind of candies are Murali and Mendis — peanut or milk? I would say they are blood sucking mammels! Mendis, to me looks kinda alien as well, may be am reading too much into him now, but look at the way he keeps his line and length on the spot. Hardly any balls are wayward. At such a young age, having so much control with variation, is terrific.

    You also mention that the Galle ground looks to be a good seamers wicket as well. Wasim, Waqar and Razzaq have enjoyed this wicket. But if you have forgotten, let me remind you, Indians seamers are nowhere near Wasim, Waqar and Razzaq’s calibre. We have completely shabby bowling combination. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma have been extremely dissapointing and I cannot see it getting any better. And I am not getting pessimistic, but you could see for yourself in their bowling form. I can see that SL has completely got hold of Indian batsmen by now and I can see the defeat staring into their eyes. First day or two they will have to be vary of Vassy and the next three days will be all m&m. So wherever or whenever you bat, make sure you bring along your arthi with you. Char kandhe toh mil jayege fielders kay.

    You have made a nice observation about Kumble’s comment “Kumble said in an interview today that he does not care so much about the toss or conditions…” Well, the reason is simple, he simply knows that bat first or second or third or fourth, they are going to lose, so no point in worrying about the toss.

    If India bat first, then they will have to play out Vassy, which most won’t because they are too focused on m&m right now. Once they lose wickets against Vassy, then m&m will gobble them up like jelly beans, which apparantely Zaheer doesn’t like. Gettin gout cheaply will hamper the bowlers confidence, to go along with it will be fielders lack of enthusiasm and presence of mind, so that they will drop a s**t-load of catches and further demoralize the bowlers. SL will make a huge score batting second and then its fun time again for m&m.

    If India bat second, then there will be only one problem — who will be the man of the match? Murali or Mendis.

    My dilemma is when will the match get over, third day last session or fourth day first session – of course weather permitting.

    About Indian news channels, I suggest you minimize viewing that crap, as it is simply waste of time. They are so useless that even the channel owner won’t have any faith in what they say. My dad tells me that unke zamaney mein, they had BBC news only and the news was so powerful, accurate, honest and reliable, that even for major events/news in India (like assassination of Mrs. Gandhi), they used to rely on BBC. I am afraid I agree with my dad’s views that todays news channels are far from being reliable, infact they are so unreliable that whatever they say can be taken as false at first!

    About Sachin, Sourav and Rahul chit-chatting in the nets, well I feel what else can they do? They say they know how to play m&m, right? They have commented in press that now they are pretty comfortable playing m&m, then they must be right. So instead of making 20’s and 30’s we can now expect them making 10’s and 20’s. Because they have to remember that if they don’t practice and move forward, then it is a big problem for them since at the same time m&m are practicing and making plans for Indian batsmen. I would like to ask the big three or four one big question — They say that they never played Mendis before and were bound to fail and are hiding behind that excuse. What about Mendis playing them before? He didn’t play them before either, but still he got them bamboozled. How?

    I would like to correct you here

    You say “For the Indian fans, failure is not an option …”

    In fact failure is the only option for us now and hence I have already prepared my mind for it. In fact I will be surprised if they even put up a fight. Talk about fighting, I heard in some “unreliable” news channel while I was surfing tv, that Kumble gave a big dressing down to the players and that the players were planning to return back to India because of this loss. Then Sachin and Kirsten kinda calmed down the maahoal. Well I would like to gift the Indian players some bangles and let them wear those, even a few sareers or salwar kameez won’t be a bad idea, coz if they expected Kumble to sing songs of praise for them then they need my gifts.

    If the Indians fail in this series then serious questions will be asked of Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman. Thats for sure.

    You are right about “Picture abhi baaqi hai…” though…

    Javed I have the analysis for Eng v/s SL coming up next.

  7. #7 by Pawan on July 31, 2008 - 12:55 AM

    My Indian friends sorry that I have digressed from the thread, but I have already devoted one full comment exclusively on the second test and it is very much in line with the thread, which I believe is very apt and at the right time just before the second test. I am waiting for a response from Amit and Pawan in particular. Especially in view of the last drawn test against England in December 2007 when the spinners took only 4 out of 24 wickets. So, is it true that Galle pitch is MadhuGalle or Madhuballe for the m&m?

    This is what Javed wrote — Sir, you don’t have to apologize to us for digressing in the thread cause this is your blog and your site and you can do whatever you want. Also if you start apologizing for such small things, then all my posts will start with apologies since I have digressed in almost all of my posts.

    About match between Eng and SL, I have the score-card in front of me right now and just a glance at it will tell us a lot of things. Let us see what it reveals.

    SL make almost 500 batting first, so the wickets don’t really count, whether they are from seamers of spinners. It is such a huge score that none of the bowlers seemed to impress. Now in come the Englishmen – 81 all out first innings – Vass’s four-wicket hall ably supported by other seamers and no need of Murali. English follow-on and get successful in thwarting the defeat by scoring 250 odd at the loss of six wickets. Again some unknown quantity Welagedara gets two of those 6 wickets and Murali after 38 overs gets 3.

    What does this imply? Wicket is conducive to seamers and may be spin is so slow that batsmen have enough time? But one must also consider the weather factor. Each of those five days, rain was the most common denominator ( or dominator I should say). For the first two days only 129 overs were bowled. Now if everyone agrees that the pitch is conducive to seam bowling, then why couldn’t Sidebottom, Hoggard or Harmison make any difference? Even with rain’s assistance the English bowlers performance is way below average. On day three, things take a turn for worse for Eng. They get bowled out by Vass and are all out for 81. Partly their own inexperience in batting on SL wickets and partly Vassy’s experience on bowling on such wickets. Day four is a wash out, almost, only 30 odd overs were possible and this saves England. But now the pitch is not so good for the seamers, cause its a fourth day wicket. Could have been good for Murali, but rain had played spoilsport. Day five, starts early, but again rain keeps on interuptting and playing hide-seek with the players. Spin I think must’ve become very slow due to rain and may be due to the pitch.

    So my view on the Eng v/s SL match is that it was mostly rain-affected and the results could have been different had rain not played spoil-sport. But the question here is whether today’s match also going to be rain affected? The answer is know by one and only – RAIN GOD.

  8. #8 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 31, 2008 - 1:27 AM

    LOL Pawan

    You are on the dot in analyzing that England Sri Lanka test match because you pulled out the scorecard and me, I only heard Jayawardene’s comments on ATN TV when he said, 4/24 wickets fell for the spinners and the rest were taken by seamers. Also, there was no mention of rain in his comments. But, I wrote that after the first test, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day there was no rain and we tend to forget the rain factor. And, in Galle it rains, sometimes it rains cats and dogs and sometimes it rains m&m.

    Talking of cats and dogs, my cat hates rain but, my cousins dog loves rain. I guess all cats hate rain and all dogs love rain. I used to love rain in Pakistan and even in Dubai, but here I hate it. Because, we have such a long winter and so much snow, we want the summer to be warm and sunny. So, you can say I have this cat and dog nature in me, right? πŸ™‚ After all dog is man’s best friend. You say this to your wife or your girlfriend she will feel jealous. But, its a fact. The proof is …………………

    The proof is you put them in the car boot and lock them up for one hour and then open the trunk and see who is more happy to see you? πŸ™‚

  9. #9 by Zain on July 31, 2008 - 1:43 AM

    Its good to see that you guys are taking so much interest in the second test and doing all sorts of analysis and predictions. On cricinfo the preview says that. ” Galle has been something of a fortress for Sri Lanka: they have lost just one of their last nine Tests here since July 2000.” So, no wonder why Pawan is so skeptical about India’s success. If they win the series would be over and India will be faced with harsh criticism and like you guys have said, that will be the end of Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman, but I guess it depends on their performance. If the rain makes it a draw then the third test option will be open for a series draw. But, India with such a solid batting line up must not crumble like a cookie. They must fight and prove their worth. I think if Sachin and Co. cannot do that it would be a big crisis situation for others because they are rated as the best players in the world who can handle spin well. In a few hours from now the match is going to start so lets see how it starts and who wins the toss?

  10. #10 by Rohit on July 31, 2008 - 9:49 AM

    nice thread Khansaab. today india did everything they didnt do at colombo. sehwag played with loads of positive attitude and Gambhir looked very resolute. after some early hiccups both batsmen settled really well. what a shame rain has stopped play! now is the time for the indian batsmen to capitalize and push for 400-500 runs. the indian team is definitely a top team but its still way too inconsistent. playing like minnows in the first match, but as champs in this one. i dont want to sound too optimistic but i think (hope) india will fight back and win this one πŸ™‚

    about dravid and the rest, now the dressing room will be brimming with confidence so i think these seniors will do OK. maybe dravid might not because of this bad form, but i think tendulkar and ganguly will shine. the best piece of news is that with the wet pitch at least the spinners will not be that effective. so the initiative rests with team india. chak de india!!!

  11. #11 by Abdul on July 31, 2008 - 10:23 AM

    Its a devestating spin bowling partnership when Mendis and Murali bowl in tandem . Murali is a freak bowler who can turn the ball both waysfrom both angles and there is always the possiblility of nicking one to frist slip of the doosra when he’s operating or getting a bat/pad or even lbw or clean bolwed with his fizzing off break and magical wrist.His action will always be a controversy but his ability is extrodinary and immense.

    Meanwhile the young prospect of Mendis is emerging on the scene. He’s a mysterious spinner and can bambozle top class batsmen.He has a big future ahead of him and is a potential successor of Murali but for know M n M are wripping through the lengthty Indian batting order.

  12. #12 by Rohit on July 31, 2008 - 11:13 AM

    Abdul

    you are right in saying that M&M are great bowlers but what do you mean by “but for know M n M are wripping through the lengthty Indian batting order”?

    Because as of now Sehwag and Gambhir are ripping apart Sri Lanka, the run rate is almost 5.5 per over. Sehwag just hammered a century. Were you talking about the first test or the 2nd test? because if you are saying “but for know” that suggests the 2nd test which is being played at Galle, i suggest you look at the scoring card because india are going to win this one——-167/0 in 31 overs.

  13. #13 by Kunal Sabherwal on July 31, 2008 - 12:03 PM

    Oh Rohit. dont go too hard on young abdul…….India is 200/4. Sri Lanka have bounced back and they are ripping through our batting line up now!!! looks like india wont be able to reach even 300 now. a shame really.

  14. #14 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 31, 2008 - 1:18 PM

    I wrote earlier that in the second test, I want to see Sehwag should go insane and berserk and I wanted Gambhir to stay there for as long as he could. The openers did the job for India but the BIG THREE AMIGOS let them down. So, at the end of the day the honours are even now after a very good start. The wicketkeeper Jayawardene came in front of Sangakara, who was in the first slip and spoiled his vision and the later spilled a simple catch because of that and Gambhir was the lucky batsman.

    Dravid’s defensive demeanor dented by Mendis and I guess it was a hat rick, all three innings he played Mendis did the trick. If he does not score big in the second innings, he is gone (with the wind) Mendis will probably send him to the caves of Ajantha where Dravid will remain as a monument of the past. And remembered for being The Great Wall, or The Berlin Wall which is no more there.

    Sehwag seems to have appetite for runs and he has scored big, he should stay there all day on the 2nd day to convert hundred into a big two hundred or may be his third triple. Laxman Anna. is known to play big innings as well and he does have the temperament, so lets see if this partnership prevails and save India from further blemishes.

    I am sure Amit and Pawan must be sharpening their knives to skin the BIG CATS. There is more than one way to skin a cat, if you can’t skin it this way, you can skin it that way. I am not trying to butcher the poor cat but using the proverbial expression that, there is more than one method to reach the same end. If the others score big, then the big don’t have to score big. And not in the literal sense of skinning or killing a cat. I love my cat. πŸ™‚

  15. #15 by theossa on July 31, 2008 - 1:49 PM

    Like I said in my previous thread, India wanna keep an unorthodox talented player like Sehwag in the team as he is a genuine match winner. I have a feeling that either Sehwag or Laxman will stay on the wicket and India will post a challenging total. I think 350 would be a good score on this wicket. It’s time for Zaheer and Sharma to show some magic. Since SL will batting last, Harbhajan and Kumble must be licking their K9s for wickets in the second innings. Game is on baby!

  16. #16 by Amit. P on July 31, 2008 - 3:07 PM

    It was a proper display of “English style”, how to throw a good (this time it cant be better) start and put whole team in unnecessary pressure …. its time for selectors to act brutal. Once they were looking very much comfortable to post 400+ runs .. now they are in position to beg for 300. Lets see how the game progresses from here on …. their first target shud be of 300 … and its minimal requirement to be in the game. Considering the long tail of indian line-up this is the last pair to bank on.

  17. #17 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 31, 2008 - 3:10 PM

    khansahab has emailed me this video link, its an interview of Sohail Tanvir by Farah and I thought of sharing it here, not only the interview but, my views as well and I also want you guys to comment on it.

    khansahab thinks that it is sheer arrogance from Tanvir. I think that more than arrogance, its the finesse that is lacking in his approach and it shows from the way he speaks that he is not very well educated. Also, the way he was praising and idolizing Wasim Bhai is an example of how our players are insecure and they like to lick the ass of some big ex-player to support them. For Wasim, there is no bigger joy than this to see a left hand fast bowler idolizing him and praising him in front of the world. He would love to support a rising star, especially if he is a left hand fast bowler. And take the credit that “he has spotted or recommended him.”

    Another thing is, this stupid woman Farah, the way she was introducing and interviewing him by praising him so much must have done more damage than anything good. Because, in front of the world you are praising him so much, he is bound to say things like: “saamnay Tendulkar ho ya Brian Lara ho, mujhay iss ka koi farq nai parta.”

    On one hand he was praising Wasim Bhai to the extent of worshiping him and on the other hand you are being disrespectful to the two great batsmen in the world by saying, I don’t care if they are facing my bowling because I am the best.

    Yes he has the best bowling figures in T20 i.e., 6/14. But, in the recent ODI, he gave away almost 90 runs in 10 overs during Asia Cup, didn’t he? I think it was 87 ? A run or two less than Wahab Riaz which is the worst by any bowler.

    And recently, on bad conduct he was reprimanded by the PCB for indiscipline and for being uncooperative or for staying out and staying up late and ignoring the rules and for being disrespectful etc. Although he was denying in front of the camera by saying, I don’t have any such habits or I am not aware of what else Wasim Bhai does. Lekin succhai chhup nahee sakti banawat kay asoolon say.

    So, apart from their own weaknesses i.e., lack of education and proper grooming, it is the media that plays a major part in spoiling them rotten by showering unnecessary praise and accolades. For this I hate the media and people like this stupid woman who knows nothing about cricket or even about handling a simple interview must shut up.

    Nadia Khan also does so many stupid things on her show, but she is in this business for very long time and people have taken it for granted and she knows how to cover her weak points by blabbering and bullshitting. But, she is not as charming as she used to be, so she should not act like a teenager otherwise people would be saying: “Buddi Ghori Laal Lagam.”

  18. #18 by Amit. P on July 31, 2008 - 4:47 PM

    One more thing i wud like to add here ab’t this referral system ….. i m not much ab’t this (may be b’coz it didnt work well for indians)…. but who cares ?? .. anyway ..
    First why 3 referrals only … let every batsmen to be comfortable with this, so that each batsmen will walk out without any grudge. It wont kill much time …. hardly one minute for each referral, and in a day there will be ab’t max 10 referrals. Second, third umpire shud feedback both hawk-eye and snicko results to on-field umpires. Its upto them to agree or not with those results. Till now this system has cost 3 dismissals against indians. In first test Sehwag was wrongly given out while dilshan was wrongly given not-out. This time dravid wasn’t out but india already consumed one referral so he decided against it and walked down the pitch.

  19. #19 by Amit. P on July 31, 2008 - 5:26 PM

    Flintoff is on fire, already took 4 wickets, and he is in mid of a tremendous spell …. real testosterone is on flow …. fighting for hopless england ….. here are commentary of some deliveries that SA are facing


    66.1 Flintoff to Kallis, no run, what a ball, and Kallis hasn’t seen that! A yorker which he tries to jab down on and it misses his off stump by an inch. Perilously close
    66.2 Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a fast bouncer which flies past Kallis’s nose. Edgbaston roars their approval, for the first time in the match
    68.1 Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a fired-up bouncer to which Kallis snaps his neck out of the way. It’s fast, it’s straight, and Kallis avoids facial surgery by an inch

    “It’s Donald v Atherton in reverse,” says Miller

    68.3 Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a swing and a miss outside off! This is terrific Test match cricket here, a wonderful sight to see Flintoff roar up to the crease against one of the very best of modern-day batsmen
    68.4 Flintoff to Kallis, OUT, he’s BOWLED HIM! What a ball from Flintoff and what an over, fired in at off stump and Kallis is beaten for pace and outswing, his off stump knocked back several metres
    72.6 Flintoff to Boucher, no run, he’s not seen that at all! It was wide of the off stump and you could easily hear Boucher roar “awww” as he ducked and weaved himself out of the way
    74.4 Flintoff to Boucher, no run, Boucher’s not seen that – it’s a leg-side full toss and he jerks out of the way, his eyes wide with part-terror and part-astonishment

    I think he got tired …. already bowled 6 overs in this spell. I am cursing my fate that i cant watch this match now.

  20. #20 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 31, 2008 - 6:25 PM

    Amit

    I agree with you on the subject of referral system and asked myself a question why 3 only? Must be due to the amount the time is consumed in it. But, you are right so what? Why should one or only 3 player benefit and not the others? As regards the match referee or the 3rd umpire feeding back, then its worst because, if it is showed on the big screen, the public will also see before the decision is taken and they may or may not agree with the umpire and there will be a big uproar. Imagine that happening in Kolkata if Dada is playing or some similar situation. But, I agree on the numbers to be increased, for sure.

    Regarding Flintoff, you are cursing why you can’t watch, I am cursing why didn’t I when I have the option to see it on TV live? I have been saying from the beginning that Vaughn is not treating Flintoff the way Brearly used to treat Ian Bothom. Even in the previous test he bowled his heart out and was unlucky not to get wickets. That spell against Kallis was Tabarnak, to clean bowl Kallis is not an easy thing, its a big achievement because his defense is rock solid. Besides, Flintoff remained not out in the first innings and I wrote he should play a little up the order. Because, when he is in good nick he is a treat to watch and he needs support from the other end.

  21. #21 by khansahab on July 31, 2008 - 9:30 PM

    Tanvir’s latest interview. What arrogance! This guy seems to be headed for self destruction:

    Pakistan fast bowler Sohail Tanvir was the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) most successful bowler but he has said that it is in the Test arena that he really wants to prove himself.

    “If you are ranked as a player, it is solely based on your performance in Tests,” Tanvir told Gulf News. “The one-day and Twenty20 versions are meant to entertain the crowds who come to watch sixes, boundaries, catches and wickets. I am comfortable in all forms of the game, but it is Test cricket that I would love to prove myself now.”

    Tanvir has played only two Tests so far in his career, making his debut on Pakistan’s tour of India in 2007-08. He had tremendous success with the Rajasthan Royals, who bought him for $100,000, during the IPL. He took 22 wickets in 11 games at an average of 12.09 and economy-rate of 6.46 and held his nerve during the IPL final against Chennai Superkings to score the winning runs off the final ball.

    “I know I am worth much more,” he said. “And based on my performances, I think I can easily get a million dollars, if not more. I have two or three very lucrative offers from other IPL franchises, but there is time for me to make a decision for next year.”

    Β© Cricinfo

  22. #22 by JAVED A. KHAN on July 31, 2008 - 11:46 PM

    khansahab

    This guy is already in the footsteps of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. He does not look the same person when he played on his debut. Then he was very simple, humble and like any other new comer who is keen to do anything to get a place in the playing XI. Now he says that, he doesn’t care about anything or anyone, he knows he is the best. When people start thinking like this, thats the end of it. You are doomed. Shoaib Akhtar started bragging just like him that he is better than Waqar and Wasim and ended up like a looser.

    The way Tanvir talks about his achievements is not just arrogance but, its like having exaggerated self-opinion and self-praising imbued in his psyche. Self-praise is for losers, be a winner and stand for something. Always have a class, and be humble and gentle. That should be the motto or the message that he should be giving to others, instead of bragging so much like a monkey praising his own tail. Honestly speaking, I used to admire him as a new bowler who has this weird action and he is so humble. But, now I just don’t like him because of the way he talks and thinks so much about himself.

  23. #23 by Pawan on August 1, 2008 - 4:38 AM

    Javed

    Your proof on who is more reliable…

    The proof is you put them in the car boot and lock them up for one hour and then open the trunk and see who is more happy to see you?

    Good one!

    From above criteria I would definitely choose the obvious as someone to spend life with but unfortunately I have animal phobia, especially dogs! So you see, I have no choice.

    Zain

    Being skeptical about everything is my nature, but over here I am sure India cannot win this match, either they will loose or if rain God is with them, then they will be able to draw it. The reason is simple Sir, just look at the way the wickets were thrown away yesterday by the big three. Dravid is not in any semblence of form. Tendulkar focused too much on m&m and forgot the old fox Vaas, while Ganguly is being his casual best. No wonder they are struggling at the end of first day – 214/4

    Javed

    You said…
    “I am sure Amit and Pawan must be sharpening their knives to skin the BIG CATS.”

    Well, there is no need to R.I.P. their skins, as they are already naked now. I am afraid they lack the intensity rather than skill to handle m&m. If only they could concentrate, they could have done much better, but I dunno whats going on in their mind. Its really sad to watch them surrender so meekly. As I said earlier, lack of focus on the old fox has lead to the fall of Sachin and Sourav while Dravid is at the nadir of his career. He will retire at the end of this series, unless a magical century comes up in the second innings.

    Theossa and Javed

    You are right about Sehwag, that he is a totally devastating player and that on his day he can win matches on his own. But… there is no consistency boss. He is like Afridi, when they get going they look good, but when they fail, its really embarassing. Also Afridi is an allrounder, so he can keep his place on the basis of his leg-spin alone, but Sehwag cannot, if he fails. And if his form is bad, then thats it. Very difficult player to take a decesion on. But recently he has been showing some good form in test cricket. Hope he does well.

    Amit

    You said…
    “hardly one minute for each referral, and in a day there will be ab’t max 10 referrals.”

    How do you know there will be only ten referrals? I think there will be a myraid of referrals if there is no limit because then the captains would refer everything.

    To make this referral system better, I suggest the following things:-

    1. Refer all the doubtful catch decesions. By this I mean not only the clean/unclean catches, but also the question that whether the ball took the bat’s edge or not.
    2. Do not refer any of the LBW’s, but give the TV Umpire the veto power to reverse a wrong decesion given by the on-field umpire. For example – if the batsman is given out LBW but the ball hit the pad first then, while the batsman is leaving the ground, the TV umpire will have the power to reverse this decesion.

    My logic behind these two points is that a batsman should be satisfied before leaving the field and should never be given out wrongly. Question can be asked as to why so much favor to batsman, well, my answer is that batsman only get one chance, while bowlers can bowl so many bowls and get so many chances to get the batsman out, so if one LBW decesion goes against them, then nothing will happen, they will again run in and bowl. But a bad decesion against a batsmen can change the complexion of the match.

    Khansahab and Javed

    I think you people are being very strict with Tanvir. I watched that interview and yes he does say a few shocking lines, but as Javed mentioned that he has not really had higher education and methinks its because of that. He looks to me a little uncouth. Thats the right word for him. But he is a newcomer and he will learn how to speak to the media. Come on guys don’t be so harsh on that kid. I like the way he has come up in the Pakistan bolwers ranks and is fast becoming the bowler to be made plan for. He will learn how to speak. Don’t worry.

    Talking about Nadia Khan, well, childish or not, she looks hot to me! So keep those interviews coming Mam.

  24. #24 by Pawan on August 1, 2008 - 4:44 AM

    Forgot to mention…

    Flintoff! wow!

    Keep those inspiring performances coming man!

    If the Indian’s show even half the intensity what he showed today, then they can rest well at night satisfied that they fought hard and not hardly! irrespective of result. Such intensity keeps the game going.

    I would also like to mention the high intensity moment of Aamer Sohail and Prasad, where irrespective of the winner, the game was taken to a different level by these two gems. It is moments like this that makes cricket interesting rather than the format (i.e., T20, or ODI or test).

  25. #25 by khansahab on August 1, 2008 - 9:19 AM

    Pawan

    Excellent analysis again from you. Let’s start with Nadia Khan:

    She has a Paindoo style of presentation and her “chichori-ness” really annoys me. But yeah she is quite hot, I don’t like her now but I used to like her 2 years ago. In fact I would watch 2 minutes of her programme every morning just to get a glimpse of her. She speaks rubbish and everything about her programme is rubbish but she used to look hot. You know now why I am obsessed with Lahore, every other woman you see there looks kinda like Nadia Khan πŸ™‚

    Pawan, it’s good to see your sympathetic views regarding Tanvir. However at this moment I don’t see any difference between him and Asif or Akhtar. Both of them also started the same way, in fact for the first year or so you couldn’t tell their careers would turn out to be disaster stories. There are uneducated cricketers all around the Subcontinent; in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, but it’s just Pakistan which is cursed with some players who are just willing to break all limits and go the extra mile. So when a fragment of the public calls them “superstars” or “heroes” it really amazes me because they are not the heroes or superstars decent or civilised people would want.

    Javed A Khan is very right in saying that the media and the public are responsible for the attitude of players like Tanvir, Asif and Akhtar. However, some of the blame goes to them too, for their lack of refinement and uncouth behaviour. You can blame their parents, their relatives, or circumstances, but at the end of the day it isn’t something the media or public cause. In the Subcontinent we are quite emotional people- if we see someone performing well for the country we lose control and start showering praises.

    Look at the example of Senator Zafar Iqbal Choudhary. By calling Asif a superstar after the latter’s detention in Dubai on drug charges, he is indirectly an accomplice to whatever Asif has been doing. This was a disgraceful incident for Pakistan, yet the Senator was still supporting Asif. Why? What message does this provide to Asif, who will think that one of the most senior lawmakers in the country and an individual with one of the most prestigious jobs in the country is fighting for his release calling him a superstar?

  26. #26 by theossa on August 1, 2008 - 11:29 AM

    Haha, Sehwag scored a double century and Harbhajan is bleeding Sri Lanka. I was sooo on dot, I wish I had asked something for myself like a date with Natalie -;)

  27. #27 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 1, 2008 - 12:56 PM

    I watched the first session of the test match live on TV and what a solid innings Sehwag played. He deserves that double hundred. Now, he is the only Indian batsman to score a double century in Sri Lanka. Also, the second batsman to carry his bat through – of course the first one is none other than Gavaskar.

    He was aiming for 350-400 and ran out of partners. India could have posted 400 but no one supported Sehwag. Mendis got 6 but, against Sehwag was looking ordinary, I still believe that Mendis can be handled without much difficulty and Sehwag has proved that. He played aginst him like a hero. Out of his 4 sixes, I only saw the last one and that was a straight drive over the bowler’s head, everyone thought that the ball could only be hit on long-off, but Sehwag moved so much that he made room for playing that shot towards long-on. Finally, Harbhajan is proving his worth so should old Kumble must be doing.

    Pawan

    You could be wrong that India cannot win, if India takes the first innings lead that could be very crucial. I don’t think Tendulkar will fail again. Sehwag should take chances and play aggressively in the second innings and if he scores a brisk 70-80 that will change the complexion of the game. So, don’t lose your hopes buddy.

    About the LBW referral, you mean to say that if the ball hits the bat first? Because if the ball hits the pad first then there is no need for any referral. I agree that LBW appeal and referral against Sehwag was long and unnecessary. Technology is helpful like in case of Kumble’s stumping but for an LBW decision, its useless unless there is a bat and pad case or a very obvious weird decision that goes against the batsman. I agree with you that the situation may change drastically if a good well set batsman is wrongly given out.

    About Tanvir, I think khansahab has explained to you in detail and I agree with him, I have seen how Akhtar and Asif changed especially Asif and Tanvir is going in the same direction. And you are right he is very uncouth. These dimwit dolts talk about God only to deceive the masses who watch them on TV with this buddies and forget Him when they are in a disco with WWW (wine, women and whores) or when they are dealing with drugs.

    Nadia Khan is 29 now and she doesn’t want to appear matured for her age for whatever reasons she has on her mind. She started her TV career at the age of 17 and she is one of those cases who have done a lot in her life and met so many people in such short time and still believe that she is 17. Its good that I had left Dubai when she arrived there. πŸ™‚ Its very strange that after spending most of my life in Dubai, I don’t like that place anymore, although the family still owns property in very prime area of the city, and still I have dozens of friends over there, but I don’t like the way it has changed and became a cosmopolitan city of hookers and opportunists. More later g2g.

  28. #28 by khansahab on August 1, 2008 - 1:19 PM

    Dear LS Visitors

    Please visit our new section, “Great Videos”, where you will be able to enjoy and comment on some very entertaining cricket related videos.

    Thank you.

  29. #29 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 1, 2008 - 2:50 PM

    The video section is good. I think the names or the caption should have appeared below the video instead of top to identify it better. Also a few key words to describe e.g., in Wasim’s video, “don’t miss his interview with Simi Gharewal in the end.” Or, something like that.

    Khansahab

    Right below that you must also put Sohail Tanvir’s video. The only thing is, its a bit long. Is there a way to edit it and keep only the interesting bits in it?

    All the videos must be under 3 minutes. Longer than that would take away the focus and attention. We should also try to find good quality videos there instead of dark or blurry visioned videos. In any case its a good idea and I think most people will like it.

    Pawan

    On Nadia Khan Show in one of the previous threads I have posted a video link of her show interviewing Malik and then Afridi.

    Over all Afridi seems to be very confident and did not allow Nadia to dominate which she normally does, he said something very interesting, I wasn’t expecting it from him.

    When she talked about his glamorous and flamboyant life style and was trying to corner him, he did not deny and kept saying, I am a different person after my marriage and blah, blah. Then he continued that his basic nature has not changed and his wife is very “shareef” and he is a total “flamboyant” aur dono may say ek ko Shareef hona chahiyeh. Then she said, why is that? And he responded, ” wo iss liyeh kay Jab mard kharab ho jai tou aurat usay theek ker leti hai, laikin agar aurat kharab ho jai tou nahee sudharti.”

  30. #30 by khansahab on August 1, 2008 - 3:03 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I did make an effort to find good quality videos. However the vast majority of cricket videos on Youtube are poor quality unfortunately!

  31. #31 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 1, 2008 - 3:34 PM

    khansahab

    I know and I understand that problem. My statement is more like a wish than a complaint.

    I was watching Shoaib Akhtar’s interview with that clown Naeem Bokhari. Part 1 & 2

    Both are too long but, they are worth watching, not that they are great from my point of view, but it is always good to know how they think about themselves. In my opinion Shoaib Akhtar is very self-centered, he is so full of I, me and myself in him.

    And that Bhonda Naeem Bokhari who couldn’t handle his own marriage with Tahira Sayyed was asking him about successful marriage life and successful career in life. I remember watching his interview which is at least 16 years old it was with one of the film actresses Reema or Neeli I can’t remember who is who because I heard their names more than seeing them. And this fellow was drooling all throughout the interview, right now he looks like a grandfather and he has still not changed his cheap antics and gigolo tartness are still the same.

    During the interview with Shoaib, instead of being an interviewer he was behaving like an adviser to him and, before even posing a question he was agreeing to what Shoaib did under the circumstances and then asking his view to express it by asking the question, thats a very foolish way to interview someone. Obviously Shoaib was so pumped up and so charged up and was lying through his teeth and denying what he did.

    The funny bit was about dressing room discussions in which Shoaib said something in his part2 interview. This interview was just before the T20 WC when he was sent back after hitting Asif with a cricket bat.

  32. #32 by Abdul on August 1, 2008 - 4:46 PM

    Rohit, I was talking on the general side of procedings not the current 2nd test. Anyway despite the fabulous innings played by Sewhag no one else really contibuted and Mendis still picked up 6 wickets at a good rate.Nevertheless the match is rather evenly poised with the spinners being the key on this Galle pitch after two daysof intriguing test match cricket in which the spinners are dominating procedings.

    Meanwhile the Edgbaston test is proving to be an exciting. Andrew Freddie Flintoff -Englands talesman bowled very very well in a highly outstanding spell of fast bowling to get Englandback in the game. Now England have built a decent lead . It shall prove to be an interesting finish to the test match. I maybe peaking to early but if Freddie and co stay fit England may be able to win the Ashes next summer with the home advantage and freddie’s presence which is always a thrill for the crowd.

    Anyway I have recently watched thoda pyar thoda magic on net . It was a good film demonstating obedience and discipline between both children and adults.

  33. #33 by khansahab on August 1, 2008 - 5:50 PM

    Since Abdul has mentioned Thora Pyaar Thora Magic (Abdul, how did you think Ameesha Patel looks in that “Lazy lamhe song”?) I’ll also mention about The Dark Knight which I have seen twice now.

    I recommend everyone to watch this movie irrespective of whether one is a Batman fan or not. Every scene in the movie just blew me away. Although it has a fair amount of action and Batman heroics, it is most suited to adults because of the various themes in the movie which only adults would understand and appreciate properly, such as loyalty, love, devotion to a cause, justice, good and evil etc.

    There are certain issues in the movie that justify my assertion regarding adults enjoying this movie:

    1) The only fairness in the world is the flipping of a coin, a 50-50 chance. That is because everything we do, we do selfishly. Everything is a function of our biases and prejudices. Also, there is no fairness because good people are suffering the most. Hence, “chance” or flipping a coin before deciding what to do is fairness because it does not take biases into account. There will always be a 50-50 chance. Harvey Dent lost everything he loved despite being a good man who wanted to do good for Gotham City. His spirit was corrupted by the sadness and frustration of why bad things happen to good people. That made him a monster.

    2) Rules, laws, order, these are made my people so that society can function properly. However these things go against free will and they restrict people. They can go against human nature. Anarchy, chaos, destruction is a manifestation of the purest form of free will. The Joker, the main villain in The Dark Knight, is an agent of anarchy and lives by the code that there is only one rule in this world which is, “There are no rules”.

    It has been a week since TDK opened in theatres. Already it has broken many movie records. It is currently rated as “the no 1 movie of all time” on the world’s biggest movie resource, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). I wouldn’t say if it was better than The Godfather, Heat, The Shawshank Redemption or other classics but it is a path breaking movie in its own right and will always be remembered as one of the finest movies ever made.

    The Dark Knights stars Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

  34. #34 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 1, 2008 - 6:03 PM

    South Africa are banking on their first innings lead despite Kevin Pietersen’s ninety plus and now Collingwood reached his 100 in style with a SIX. Otherwise up till now, (in Zaheer Abbass’s words,) this “Hay-riss and Kay-liss” were bowling well, but Collingwood reached his 100 in Sehwag’s style. I wonder why Stuart Broad is not playing? Is he injured? He batted well scored 60 – 70 odd runs and remained unbeaten on one occasion.

    This is my point if, India bowls well today and take at least 50 runs lead and then Sehwag goes berserk again with a quick fire 70-80 then the rest will do something, I hope Tendulkar will not disappoint us in the second innings too. From the fourth day afternoon, the wicket would be favouring spinners so, India should be bowling on the 4th day to take advantage of the situation.

  35. #35 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 2, 2008 - 10:16 AM

    Pawan & Amit

    U guys must be happy now not only because of the first innings lead but, the way the openers gave another flying start in the second innings and Gambhir in particular is playing very confidently against Mendis and thrashed him for a couple of fours (I am watching post tea session live on TV for the 3rd day). Earlier Dilshan took a stunning catch to dismiss Sehwag who was going at great pace.

    India’s lead is already 181 with 9 wickets in hand. If Gambhir and Dravid can stay all day together and build up a lead of 260-270 today and tomorrow by lunch they should convert it to 400 and declare. That will give ample time for Harbhajjan and Kumble to deal with the SL batsmen.

    At the moment it is “advantage India” and they should not let it slip. Gambhir is hitting at least one four per over against Mendis but, Dravid is still reluctant and not so confident against him and playing like a novice. Murali is back into the attack, man his doosra is doubtful, dubious and deceitful and out of frustration or whatever it is, he is bowling it more too often.

    I liked the way Gambhir has switched gears and playing it in a cool and composed manner. Yesterday I watched Sehwag’s double hundred and I reckon when he was on 199 and on the second ball of the over there was a possibility of taking a single to complete his double hundred but he refused. Because, the only other batsman left was Ishant Sharma and he did not want to expose him for 4 balls. He took that run on the 4th ball. And Sharma was out immediately. The point Sehwag proved is, he wanted to score more runs for the team than scoring a double hundred for himself. That should be the spirit. There was no 99 or 199 nerverousness he was as cool as a cucumber.

    More later…. but you guys should chill out, watch the rest of the match and enjoy a lovely Saturday morning, “lazify” on Sunday and celeberate victory on Monday morning to counter Monday morning blues. πŸ™‚

  36. #36 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 2, 2008 - 10:18 AM

    My bad

    I must have jinxed Gambhir. Against Mendis he was attacking but the last ball he played, tried to defend it and missed the line and was beaten and bowled by Mendis. In come the little master Tendulkar.

    LOL

    Pra Waqqa and Arun Lal are commentating and Waqqa just said, Gambhir just dis-read it. He meant misread it. Arun Lal holds a Ph.D degree I guess its in Anthropology and he never miss a chance of talking about the birds. On day one when the cameraman spotted a bird he started talking like a parrot by saying this is “Maina” and then kept blabbering about its species that is found in Sri Lanka and I was wondering either I am an idiot or he is because, it wasn’t looking like a Maina to me. The cameraman zoomed in and it was a crow. “Isko Kuv-way aur Maina ka farq nahee.” Thats what happens when you blab a lot.

    Tendulkar is showing his intentions here, he just came out of his crease and lofted Mendis over long on, one bounce and its a four. He read the googly well. Now, I don’t want to jinx him. Let him play his game, I get a cuppa tea for myself and watch the rest of the game and enjoy Waqqa and Arun Red Bull’s comment.

  37. #37 by Rohit on August 2, 2008 - 2:59 PM

    now india must capitalize on this situation and they should give sri lanka a target of 400 odd on the final day. the situation is ideal for team india and as javed a khan said, it is advantage india at the moment. but this advantage can too easily be slipped if the batsmen start attempting stupid shots. the best thing is, keep your calm and score in singles and doubles until a lead of 400 is reached.

    i get the tiny feeling india will win this match. they should to keep the series alive.

  38. #38 by Amit. P on August 2, 2008 - 5:10 PM

    Javed,

    India lost all those advantages that they gathered during whole day of the play, in last 2 overs. I am still puzzled why sachin is not scoring substantial … he is in good nick, unlike dravid or ganguly .. but somehow he is not succeeding at the moment … his dismissal in vaas spell was nothing but a big disappointment …. only sehwag can throw his wicket in that manner.

    Dravid dismissal again raised some questions abt this review system. How much time a captain shud take to appeal for a review and what kinda talk is allowed with umpire before review? Captain cant ask umpire ab’t his doubt before review. Its upto captain to decide .. he cant discuss his doubts with him. In one instance jayavardhne asked doctrov whether it was inside edge or not .. and doctrov told him that dravid nicked that ball so cant be LBW … then jayavardhne rightly didn’t ask for review. I dont know ab’t ICC verdict on this review system but my verdict is on … and its BULLSHIT.

    Now looking at bigger picture, this test match is still well poised (slightly in favor of india ) … india shudn’t wrap up before lunch … they shud try their best to stretch their inning not only in terms of runs but in time also. Time is critical here …. if SL start their inning just after lunch then it will be big advantage for them. Batting during noon time is always easy against new ball. Its upto ganguly and laxman how they are going to handle the situation.

  39. #39 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 2, 2008 - 5:54 PM

    Amit

    When I posted my last comment on this blog the score was 200 for 2 and for me it was early morning and I had to attend something important related to my work, so I left and now when I come back to see the same score with two more wickets down within 6 balls. This is pathetic. I cannot understand how this could have happen. You are talking about the review, appeal etc. I have no clue because I didn’t see and I have a feeling that Billy Doctrove got carried away because Murali has a reputation to be a great bowler. I have already written a lot about his doosra and what more can I say? But, how come Tendulkar got out when he was looking in good nick, did he threw away his wicket like Sehwag? Actually Dilshan took a stunning catch over his head in the point region and thats Sehwag’s weakness. Also, he didn’t middle the ball so he paid the price.

    Like you have rightly said, it is up to these two batsmen to show how good they are and how great they were, they definitely need to stretch it up to tea. I quiet agree with you that post lunch and pre tea is always an easy time to score. They need to stretch the lead to 330-340 at least to be able to put them under pressure. Even 300 would be difficult for SL but, you never know.

    khansahab

    I won’t call Wasim Akram a legend because of so many reasons but, I certainly rate him as a very good bowler, one of the most dangerous left hander not only for Pakistan but he is world class. But, Wasim has done so much damage to the game of cricket in Pakistan and brought a lot of ill-repute to the country because of his alleged involvement in betting that it does not equate his legendary accomplishments and he can never be called a legend. In my books, in the game of cricket, only Bradman, Tendulkar and Lara are legends and no one else.

    I told you about Nadia Khan that the way she is acting now like a 17 year old doesn’t suit the personality of a matured woman of 29 and obviously the Urdu expression, “Buddi Ghori Laal Lagaam,” befits her personality. She needs to grow up or give up (the show).

  40. #40 by khansahab on August 2, 2008 - 8:13 PM

    Javed A Khan

    I understand your point about Wasim Akram now, when a person becomes notorious for large scale betting and match fixing scandals not to mention drugs and alcohol abuse, one can lose respect for him. If only Wasim, Waqar, Salim Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif etc had kept out of this mess they would have been loved much more.
    It is very humble, unbiased and open hearted for you to admit that in your opinion only Bradman, Lara and Tendulkar are legends. I say this because you have not placed any Pakistani in that list and also because despite being Pakistani you have placed Tendulkar in that list. Bradman must have been a genius to average 99 in such an era where bowling actions were not heavily scrutinised and batsmen used to wear hardly any protective gear. About Tendulkar, he is not in my list of favourite players (although his contemporary, Rahul Dravid, is and will always be) but his gargantuan achievements can be seen from his statistics. One thing I will definitely say though is, maybe I don’t understand cricket as well as it may appear, but perhaps no player is as good as Tendulkar when it comes to “creating shots” out of the blue, such as playing a ball outside off stump to mid wicket, cutting the ball for six, moving aside from the stumps to create “a room” and hitting the ball for six over extra cover etc etc.

  41. #41 by khansahab on August 2, 2008 - 8:30 PM

    Rohit

    I agree with your suggestion that the best thing to do would be to not get carried aways and lose your wickets. It is very important for India to win this match. If they win their confidence will be high going into the 3rd Test and we may see Dravid and possibly Ganguly being given another chance to resurrect their form. Kumble’s captaincy will remain in tact and what happened in the 1st Test would be more or less forgotten.

    The chances look 65% in India’s favour to me at the moment. If India manage to give Sri Lanka a target of 300+ then they can’t lose the match. This pitch looks like it will produce a result and the spin will assist Kumble and Harbhajan greatly on the final day. So provided India can keep their cool and patience they are likely to win. Something tells me the 3rd Test will end up as a draw.

    I read a very interesting piece of news today. Gambhir was asked how he could play Mendis so well in this match and he said, he has started reading Mendis now by focusing on his fingers just before he releases the ball. So we were right on this blog when we said Mendis’ mystery will one day be unravelled. Unless Mendis starts jerking his arm like Murali to produce substantial spin people will definitely solve this mystery behind his finger positions and grips.

  42. #42 by Pawan on August 2, 2008 - 9:59 PM

    People have discussed about the review system after Dravid’s dismissal in the second innings and have mentioned that the time given for Mahela Jayawardene to discuss with Billy Doctrove and eventually ask for review and that how wrong it is to give so much time to the Sri-Lankan captain. Ian Bishop, commenting at that time live on TV also raised the same issue, of time given to the captain to decide whether to go for review or not. The point looks valid, but I would like to raise another issue or kink in this review system, which might be really interesting. I was watching the match live when Dravid was given out by the third umpire. Some Sri-Lankan commentator was commenting along with Bishop at that time and they went through the dismissial methodically. First Murali’s steps were watched, proving it wasn’t a no-ball. Then it was seen where the ball picthed. The rule is if the ball is pitched outside the line of stumps, AND if the batsman is offering a shot, then technically its not out Leg-Before-Wicket. But if the batsman has not offered a shot, then one can give it out LBW. Now Dravid offered a shot and missed the shot, so the ball should pitch in line in order for him to be out. As seen by virtual-eye, the ball pitched half in-line and half-outside the line of stumps. In such a case doubt must be raised whether one can give it out or not. Now there is a saying “when in doubt, decesion must go in favor of batsman” and that is because, as we discussed earlier, and as Javed also agreed, a batsman gets only one chance, but bolwers can bowl as many balls as possible to the batsman to get him out. That is my point number one. Doubtful pitching of the ball. Then the next doubt, which is a very obvious and glaring one, is that the ball hit Dravid’s toe at least two meters away from the stumps. We do not need any virtual eye to see that Dravid was so much stretched forward that he could have easily qualified for the Biejing Olympics (considering the scarcity of gymnasts in the Indian team). The point is 2 meters is a large step forward and there is no way one can give that out, whatever the virtual eye says. Any ordinary/average umpire will tell you that whatever I have said is correct. Two doubtful issues in the umpires mind should have benefited the batsman. But surprisingly and sadly the decesion went in favor of the bowler. Then I noticed something very interesting. The third umpire was a Sri-Lankan, which defeats the point of having neutral umpires. No matter how fair a person is, he is bound to have some partiality towards his country of origin and if you can have two umpires which are neutral on field, then why can’t you have the third umpire to be also neutral, especially when he is now the king-maker or decesion taker. Such crucial decesions can really change the complexion of match and also someone’s career. I strongly object third umpire being Sri-Lankan. It is grossly unfair. No wonder why Dravid rushed out of the stadium with dis-respect and anger rarely seen from him. I don’t know what is the view of LS bloggers, but this is my personal view on this issue. I have said it before and I will say it again, the whole point of introducing technology in cricket should be to make sure that a batsman walks out of the ground satisfied that he is out.

  43. #43 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 2, 2008 - 11:01 PM

    Pawan

    As usual your analysis are good and in detail and from what you have expressed (because I did not see Dravid’s dismissal so my view is based on yours and Amit’s comments) there aren’t two things but, three and the third one is very important.

    You have said that Murali in fact bowled a no-ball by crossing the line and the umpire did not see hence he did not ask the third umpire for that. My point is if the technology is there to make a fair assessment of the situation then the third umpire should have pointed out that its a no-ball and suggested to the field umpire that its a no-ball and everything else must be nullified – He should have used his veto power by saying Dravid is not out.

    The points that you are highlighting is:

    1. The ball pitching outside the line ……… if it is pitched outside the leg stump then obviously it is not out, when it is pitched outside the off-stump and turning towards the stumps as if to hit the stumps and, for a no-stroke he is definitely out and for trying to play a shot and missing the ball, it needs to be seen from every angle. The Hawk Eye is only a guidance its not 100% correct. ( I am forgetting the exact word and using the word “guidance” here). It can only suggest that the ball may have traveled in that trajectory and direction.

    2. As regards the distance of stretching 2 meters. Yesterday, in Ishant Sharma’s case the distance was 2 1/4 meters because he has long legs (and no Butt) yet he was given out because the ball was keeping very low and was going to hit the stumps for sure. Until and unless I see Dravid’s case I won’t be able to say anything conclusively. But, its a known fact that benefit of doubt always goes to the batsman and thats the practice of cricket since hundreds of years. Even with technology you can’t be 100% sure all the time.

    And, I do agree with you that the batsman when he is leaving the ground should be fully satisfied that he was out and not victimized by the umpire with a poor decision.

    I also agree with you about the third umpire, he MUST be neutral otherwise whats the point of having a third umpire?

  44. #44 by Amit. P on August 3, 2008 - 4:41 AM

    Javed & Pawan,

    Some quick points i wud like to add.

    1) Murli’s delivery wasn’t front foot no-ball .. it was legitimate delivery.

    2) As rule says —- If a batsman is playing his shot and ball hit him outside line of the off stump then he cant be out, irrespective of whether ball is knocking middle stump or wat… it doesnt matter whether ball is pitched outside off or in the line. In dravid case ball has hit him 60% inline and 40% outside off .. it was too marginal to be changed by third umpire. If doctrov had given him out then too it was ok decision .. and by no means his decision cud be changed by third umpire by such a close mean relying on technology.

    3) As per schedule, i think Rudy kirsten was third umpire but somehow he didnt make it there, so this SL umpire is doing his job of third umpire .. its just a guess and i am not 100% sure. If this guy can give dravid out then he shud have given warnapura too .. his was also very marginal. But i have no complaints against that decision, i m just putting things in perspective.

    4) About murli action ….. Except Aus every country now accepted his doosra as legitimate delivery …. only aussies are rigid on their stand. IF u ask why murli is a mediocre on auss pitches then have a look at those matches .. he hardly bowled doosra there .. just due to pressure of being in controversy once again. If u ask my personal opinion on his action then …
    forget ab’t his doosra he even chucks while bowling his off-spinners . I cant differentiate his normal and wrong-one actions … for me everything is same and is chucking. Now u ask me whether i like him or not .. then over the years i too get accoustomed with his action …. and now i very much enjoy his bowling.

  45. #45 by Rohit on August 3, 2008 - 10:32 AM

    india in the driving seat now but sri lanka will be disappointed with this performance. earlier on no one was able to put a commanding score after sehwag and gambhir went, but luckily Ishant bowled brilliantly today.

    khansahab

    yea i also remember reading somewhere about Gambhir studying Mendis. IMO mendis should try to get as many scalps before ppl start realizing this “mystery”.

    Amit p

    agreed murali chucks even while his normal bowling. its so unfair man he has got hundreds of wickets with such controversial action. cricket laws have loopholes and loopholes with always get exploited. i think people would have called murali more often if they werent scared of being branded racists. most people will agree warne was miles better than murali because warne had a clean action.

  46. #46 by JAVED A. KHAN on August 3, 2008 - 2:10 PM

    Guys didn’t I tell you before? That India will win this match and they did it on the 4th day, no 5th day needed, the 5th day is for outing on the beach may be! πŸ™‚ Congratulations!!

    Although India’s lead of 305 or whatever may have appeared not sufficient but, the way Ishant and Zaheer started to bowl it was good enough reason to say that they can win easily especially after 10/3 the pressure was on SL to survive.

    I was watching live with my cousin who arrived from the US and shall be staying with me for a week and we watched till 3:30 a.m. after Dilshan was out there wasn’t much interest left it was only a matter of formality to wrap up the match. Like Mendis, Bhajji also get a 10 wicket haul.

    Thats good, are you guys happy now? Especially Amit and Pawan the skeptics.

    Now there is life back in the series and India should not give up from here in fact they should carry on this form and they should not make any changes in the third test, but I guess they will drop Karthik and try Patel.

    Amit, the line that we are talking about is more obvious when it is shown as a virtual 12″ wide red path whereas in reality there is no such thing and the umpire has to rely on his own judgment and that too in the split of a second, so its very hard for him to decide straightaway and as a human being we all err at times.

    About Murali’s doosra. Last while watching the match I reminded my cousin about what Bhishen Singh Bedi said, “No matter how many wickets he may take….” that famous quote of Bedi. He said, no the best one from Bedi is, when someone said, “Murali ka doosra sahee nahee hai… Bedi replied doosra kya? Uska pehla hee sahee nahee hai.” So, you have said it.

    Actually the way I see it is when he delivers the ball, there is a spring type jerk that is obvious, there is no smooth movement or completion of his bowling action. The more you put pressure on the wrist with a jerk, the more the ball will spin.

    Anyways, I am glad its All Inda way now, otherwise this Gunner promoted to Second Lieutenant would have become a Major or a Colonel in the army. Like they made Dhoni Superintendent of Police in no time and Dhoni used to go to Thana on his motor-bike with his long shoulder length hair. Now, he is so filthy rich that he doesn’t need any job.

  47. #47 by abdul on August 3, 2008 - 6:22 PM

    What a comeback from India to win the match and level the series. Bhaji and Sharma were instrumental in the Indian victory.

    Meanwhile sudden news about Michael vaughn who has resigned from captaincy following Engalnds series defeat yesterday as well as Paul collingwood resigning from the one day leadership. A new cpatain will be appointed fro England. To appoint kp will bwe dybolical as he doesn’t seem to have captaincy material and ovcourse could affect his personal performance. I would recommend Strauus as a canidate as he has county experience howver, he isn’t in the one day side so therefore I suggest kp does the one day captaincy or an experienced cpatain like key should be appointed and put in the England one day set up.It’s going to be a tough one for the selectors so I hope they make it wise and sencible.

    Regarding the test match boy Graaeme Smith what a captain innings as RSA win yet another series. They are now the 2nd best side in the world following Australia and in my opinion are the future world champions.

  48. #48 by khansahab on August 3, 2008 - 8:31 PM

    Abdul

    I agree with you about South Africa. Australia will always remain a top 3 side but South Africa might edge Australia out eventually because Australia are now without Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath. Hayden will not stay for more than a year so the Australian side cannot be no 1 for much longer. The players that have replaced these seniors are good but it takes time for everyone to settle and become world class like Warne and McGrath.

    Meanwhile South Africa have also seen Pollock departing but they have a very good pace attack and very strong batting. Smith, De Villiers, Amla, Kallis, McKenzie, Gibbs, Prince- this is a dream batting line up. In terms of fielding they are slightly better than Australia.

    South Africa have enormous raw talent but they still don’t have the aggression and never-say-die attitude of the Aussies. They need to build on that if they are to become world champions. They are also chokers, so they tend to lose the initiative in big matches. If they can nurture their mental strength they will become an unstoppable force and only Australia will be able to compete with them.

    India also has the raw talent to be the no 1 or no 2 side, but India’s only problem is consistency. If it starts winning matches more regularly cricket will become a more interesting sport all of a sudden because whereas 2 or 3 years ago Australia was just unstoppable, they seem relatively vulnerable now and India and South Africa have benefited from some amazing talent in the past few years.

    When I look at the players in the Australian and South African sides I feel very disappointed realising how much work PCB needs to do in order for Pakistani players to attain that level. Unfortunately we had bowlers like Asif and Shoaib Akhtar who could compete with Australians and South Africans but they have let themselves down and let the whole nation down.

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