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: http://is.gd/u1LZrA .

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?

6 comments:

skopeyy said...

Firstly, I think that the ad with Harbhajan is complete rubbish. There is just no way anyone could bowl anything with that grip(at 22s). Not even Harbhajan.

About the doosra itself, as someone who's played quite a bit of cricket, I can tell you the grip for the doosra is much like the grip for a regular offspinner, except for the wrist position at release. Very,very few people can do it without chucking. Saqlain was probably the only one who could. bowl with least bending of the arm. Its mighty difficult to even land it, let alone control it in a match situation.

Murali was very different obviously because he didn't bowl even the off-spinner with a conventional grip and release.

Prithwiraj said...

@skopeyy
agree with everything you say, except for the part about bhajji's grip. i wouldnt be surprised if he gave the pepsi ad guys "technical input" for shooting the ad.

just saw footage of a saqlain doosra, and it has an undeniably clean action. but knowing pakistani bowlers' tendencies defy physics with doctored balls, anything is possible.

but, however bhajji grips the ball, the doosra he bowls in the ad seems chucked to me.

also, on an unrelated have you noticed that he mostly wears full sleeves?

skopeyy said...

Pepsi came up with that weird grip when they introduced the thinner Pepsi tin. This was when they started their Youngistan crap. Nothing to do with Bhajji. So I believe its Pepsi who tried to fit in their grip with Bhajji's purported doosra. Usual marketing faff.

Good point about the full sleeves though. Shoaib Malik and Saeed Ajmal who also bowl the doosra, always wear full sleeves..

shrik said...

Yeah no. Look at super slo-mos of Bhajji's doosra if you can, someplace. There is no way he grips it that way.

Don't let Pepsi marketing pull one over your eyes like this!

Prithwiraj said...

@shrik
rather than pulling wool, pepsi may be harming bhajji's reputation by making ppl like me suspicious :)

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