• MS Dhoni's recent comments about the Umpiring Decision Review System caught the eye. In Ahmedabad, two decisions from Steve Davis involving VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan gave India heart-burn. Also, we'll discuss Kumar Dharmasena's decision today to bring back Martin Guptill with the third umpire's help. I'll come back to that in a bit.

    First, when pressed about using UDRS to avoid Ahmedabad-like situations, the India captain said:

    "You have two umpires who are supposed to take good decisions on the field. If you see Laxman's decision, I don't know what to say exactly about it."

    And continuing about the reliability of UDRS, he says:

    "I am not going to buy a life jacket that doesn't come with a warranty."

    Now, here's the problem with Dhoni's stance. When you say "if you see Laxman's decision", you're going to use TV replays to prove your point — the same TV replays which you say are unreliable for UDRS.

    So, sorry Mahi, you can't have it both ways.

    Then, the bit about warranty and

    Read More »from Why BCCI, Tendulkar are wrong about UDRS
  • See no evil

    Each time a Pakistani cricketer announces his retirement, or gets banned by the PCB, I'm reminded of Yahoo columnist Anand Ramchandran's brilliant spoof on Mohammad Asif.

    Despite multiple doping offences, including being caught with a sachet of opium at the Dubai airport, the Pakistani seamer avoided severe sanctions by slipping through legal loopholes — till the spot-fixing scandal caught up with him.

    Anand's hilarious take was about Asif getting a "three-month life ban". But when you step back and scan all that has happened in Pakistan cricket recently, you might think Anand was writing on an actual event.

    So when the 24-year-old Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider says he has retired from the game, it's hard not to react with disbelief.

    Sure, he'll be back. Sure, this is just the beginning of his story. And in the end, he'll make his comeback. Surely.

    ~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+

    However, reactions to Haider's decisions have been baffling. Sample Pakistan Sports Minister Ijaz

    Read More »from See no evil
  • An earlier blog post asking for Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara’s inclusion in the Test side has caught fire. The reader verdict is split: most of them want Gambhir or Dravid — or both — to stay in the side. Others have supported my view that they need to make way for younger, in-form players — at least for the New Zealand series.

    Here I’d like to clarify that the post was never a call for Dravid’s Test retirement — that is around the corner anyway. He’ll be 38 in January. And despite his illustrious record, I don’t see him making the sort of ascent Tendulkar has made late in his career.

    Here’s why.

    Dravid’s time is running out, especially with his indifferent form. Among the members of the 8000-run club, Sunil Gavaskar, Gary Sobers, Brian Lara and Mark Waugh were done by 37. Allan Border and Steve Waugh hung on till 38 and Viv Richards 39. Only three Englishmen — Geoff Boycott, Graham Gooch and Alec Stewart — managed to play into their 40s.

    Speaking of Gooch, in the week he turned

    Read More »from The Dravid Conundrum

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