Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bishen Singh Bedi is Probably Right

After Murali retired, Bishen singh bedi called for a ban on the "doosra". His logic was that
"I strongly feel the ICC should take action to ban the doosra since it just cannot be bowled legally. Ashley Mallett has said the 'doosra is nothing but chucking' and Australian spinners, including Shane Warne, have raised an alarm against coaching it in Australia."
Read the full article here: .

I was not so convinced about this till I saw this Pepsi ad, which "traces" the origin of Harbhajan Singh's doosra (Harbhajan had been called for throwing in the early stages of his career. But, after corrective action, as well as new definitions of chucking, he is deemed clean.).

See how he grips the ball (at the 22s mark). Now, get hold of a ball, and grip it exactly the same way, and try to bowl with a straight arm. Could you? The only way to bowl (and I mean it in the old way, not the post-Murali-controversy way) with this grip would yield one of the following
  1. A dislocated shoulder
  2. A feeble dead ball or a lollypop delivery begging to be hit into the stands
  3. Knuckles bruised beyond repair
Now, try to bowl the with the same grip again, but bend your elbow just a little. Voila! You have suddenly launched a vicious missile that flummoxes all except the greatest batsmen!

Thus, my contention that Bishen Bedi was right. Harbhajan no doubt has a clean action, and the few doosras he bowls go unnoticed. In fact, to my biased eyes, the delivery shown in the ad itself is chucked!

Can you bowl a vicious doosra with a straight arm?