Master of flight and turn

Master of flight and turn

Post by samarth harish sha » Sun, 30 Apr 2000 04:00:00


From The Hindu, dated 30th April, 2000. What is it about Ramachandra Guha
that makes you go back to the top and read the article once again, after
you've finished reading it once? Surely, the man is a master, himself!

-Samarth.

-----
Master of flight and turn

ONE cool spring morning 15 years ago, I was riding my moped to work in
Bangalore. I aimed to get in two hours early, for that afternoon I had
been asked to join the nets of the Friends Union Cricket Club, to thus
begin a playing career interrupted by five years of monastic study. The
air was crisp, the sky cloudless, the jacarandas in bloom, the roads
altogether less crowded and more shaded than they were to become after
this city was elevated to a (silicon) valley. A line of the great
physicist C. V. Raman came to mind: "My greatest discovery was the weather
of Bangalore". The association was apt, for my destination was the place
Raman had also worked for - the Indian Institute of Science. My mood of
self-congratulation was interrupted by a Standard Herald that came briskly
in from a side road. I braked, and so did the car driver. His windows were
down, and I saw within the face of Erapalli Prasanna. I collected myself
and hastily simulated a curving off-break and enquired, with uplifted
palms, whether he still bowled them. He shook his head and sped on his
way.

Although no words were spoken by either party, I read meanings into the
meeting. For I bowled off-breaks myself. Surely this chance encounter with
the master of the art augured well for my second cricketing career.
However, when I left work for the F.U.C.C. nets, I found that the skill
had deserted me completely. I could still turn the ball, but the control
was abysmal. The muscles that accurately propel a cricket ball had been
out of work too long. I now realised, shame-facedly, that the message
intended by the God of Cricket was the opposite of what I had first taken
it to be. If Prasanna accepted that he had bowled his last off-break, who
was I to pretend I could still roll them along?

A few weeks ago I ran into Prasanna again, at the Bangalore airport. I
went up and introduced myself, and while he waited for his wife, and I for
mine, a few desultory words were indeed exchanged. We talked, of course,
about the decline of spin bowling. I had no solutions, and nor, it seems,
did he. He must despair at the quality and performance of the men who now
bowl off-breaks for India. I am luckier, for I can at least console myself
with memories of Prasanna at the bowling crease. And I have many. The
first time I watched Prasanna bowl was in the summer of 1970. It was a
club match, but at a time when club matches mattered and Test players
appeared in them. Prasanna and B. S. Chandrasekhar both played for City
Cricketers, who, on this occasion, were playing a match at the Y.M.C.A.
grounds, abutting Cubbon Park. Their opponents, in this quarter-final of
the Y.S. Ramaswami tournament, were the Indian Air Force, Jalahalli
station, cricketers of quality and (even in those pre-Kargil days)
officers of charisma. Several of the aircraftsmen had played for the
Services, in those days one of the more competitive Ranji Trophy sides.
Their captain had even played for North Zone and Central Zone. This was
the opening batsman D. D. Deshpande, who, this day, was in cracking form,
hitting four or five boundaries in the early overs. Prasanna brought
himself on, and in each of his first two overs bowled an off-break three
or four inches short of good length. On the mat, where balls sit up high,
this marginal misdirection allowed Deshpande to pull them both with the
turn to square leg for four. In his third over, Prasanna sent down another
short one. The batsman made to pull, but the ball went straight through
and caught him on the back foot, plumb leg before.

Years later I played against Dinu Desphande myself. At lunch I told him of
where I had first seen him bat. "Ah yes, Pras," he answered, generously,
"he made a fool of me that day." By then I had seen Prasanna make a fool
of batsmen a good deal more gifted still. One being that maker of 34 Test
hundreds, S. M. Gavaskar. In February 1974, Karnataka played Bombay, in
Bangalore, in the quarter-final of the Ranji Trophy. The home side batted
first, and with hundreds from G. R. Viswanath and Brijesh Patel posted a
score in excess of 400. The match would now be decided on first innings,
and Karnataka could call upon two of the greatest spinners who ever played
- Pras and Chandra. Bombay had, however, two magnificent players of slow
bowling, Gavaskar and Ajit Wadekar, batsmen who played with as much
feeling for their city as for their country.

Gavaskar started well, and early on drove Prasanna past mid on for four.
He came down to drive another delivery tossed-up high, only this one
swerved away late in the air and left him stranded. Syed Kirmani waited to
effect the stumping, but the ball was intended instead for the off stump.
I can see now Sunil Gavaskar magnanimously nodding in appreciation to the
bowler as he passed him on his way out. When Wadekar was run out soon
afterwards, it became evident that Bombay would lose a Trophy that had
laid 16 years in its possession.

I have spoken of a club match, and of a Ranji Trophy match. Perhaps I
should complete the circle by remembering a batsman (or two) deceived by
the off-spinner in Test cricket. In the Delhi Test of 1974, Prasanna took
a fearful hammering from Vivian Richards - as Bedi and Venkatraghavan did
too. But he did undo those vigorous attacking all-rounders, Keith Boyce
and Bernard Julien. In each case, the tactic was to feed them on their
most profitable stroke. To the cross-batted Boyce, Prasanna cannily placed
Brijesh Patel (the finest fielder on the Indian team) at deep square leg,
where the batsman finally holed out. Julien, a fine front foot player, was
encouraged to drive against the spin. Two or three balls sped through the
covers, but then one that dipped had the batsman hitting it in the air to
wide mid-off.

Bishan Bedi and Erapalli Prasanna were, quite simply, the sovereign
finger-spinners of their generation. To every Geoffrey Boycott or Tony
Greig, who held Bedi to be the best, there was a Gary Sobers or Bill Lawry
who awarded the accolade to Prasanna. There is a lovely story of the 1996
World Cup, when Shane Warne came to the sub-continent to prove, to himself
as much as to others, that he was in all conditions, the best bowler in
contemporary cricket. Certainly there were some Indians who greatly looked
forward to seeing him bowl. One morning at Jaipur, when Warne warmed up
before the match against the West Indies, a short, stocky, middle-aged man
walked across the Sawai Man Singh Stadium to shake his hand and say, "Son,
you have a great talent. I hope you keep bowling for years to come." Warne
was foxed until Ian Chappell, who was standing alongside, introduced the
new fan. "Shane, you are speaking to Erapalli Prasanna," said Chappell,
"the greatest slow bowler of my generation."

RAMACHANDRA GUHA

 
 
 

Master of flight and turn

Post by Stephen Devau » Mon, 01 May 2000 04:00:00

(snip)

Great article.  Thank you, samarth.

Fraternally in cricket,

Steve the Bajan
--
http://www.totalprojectcontrol.com/

 
 
 

Master of flight and turn

Post by Ravi Krishn » Mon, 01 May 2000 04:00:00

< great article snipped >

One of my cousin was a univ player for Madurai university in early 70s.
He had played with names like Hari Gidwani/Sanjay Desai (does anyone
remember him). One day Venkatraghavan happen to visit Madurai Univ. As
word spread of his visit,he was forced to come to nets and bowl few
overs. My cousin played an over of him. The first 2 balls were Ok, but
Venkat totally foxed him from ball # 3. There was complete loss of
footwork and he looked clueless.

He still swears that Venkat was as good as Pras but suffered due to his
acid tongue.

It is amazing that a country which gave the cricketing world such giants
like Subhash Gupte, Vinoo Mankad, Bedi, Pras, Chandra is struggling with
the likes of Kumble/Chauhan (yuck) and co.

RK- [ only manider in mid 80s had it in him to be a top class spinner ]

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Master of flight and turn

Post by Clyde Finne » Mon, 01 May 2000 04:00:00

I have to admit I have never heard of Ramachandra Guha. Is he
particularly well-known in India? There is something extra
special about slow bowling. I can watch it for hours. Modern
television coverage means in most cases that the watcher can
really see the battle between bat and ball - although I now live
in the wrong part of the world to see much cricket.

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Master of flight and turn

Post by Sridha » Mon, 01 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> < great article snipped >

> One of my cousin was a univ player for Madurai university in early 70s.
> He had played with names like Hari Gidwani/Sanjay Desai (does anyone
> remember him). One day Venkatraghavan happen to visit Madurai Univ. As
> word spread of his visit,he was forced to come to nets and bowl few
> overs. My cousin played an over of him. The first 2 balls were Ok, but
> Venkat totally foxed him from ball # 3. There was complete loss of
> footwork and he looked clueless.

making a univ player look clueless isn't such a big deal anyway.
fwiw, i think kumble is a better *bowler* than venkat was, and our
spinners of yore weren't as great as they are made out to be (they
got badly pasted by zed and gang, didn't they ?).
just that we had 3-4 very good ones at the same time, unlike
now, where we struggle to put together 2. when raju was doing
ok, he and kumble did some damage against some pretty decent teams.

Quote:

> He still swears that Venkat was as good as Pras but suffered due to his
> acid tongue.

swears, does he ? looks like he hasn't learnt from venkat's example.

Quote:

> It is amazing that a country which gave the cricketing world such giants
> like Subhash Gupte, Vinoo Mankad, Bedi, Pras, Chandra is struggling with
> the likes of Kumble/Chauhan (yuck) and co.

> RK- [ only manider in mid 80s had it in him to be a top class spinner ]

raju was probably better.
 
 
 

Master of flight and turn

Post by Ambris » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> < great article snipped >

> One of my cousin was a univ player for Madurai university in early 70s.
> He had played with names like Hari Gidwani/Sanjay Desai (does anyone
> remember him).

Thanks for reminding us about Sanjay Desai.  Playing for Karnataka against
Kerala in a Ranji Trophy match, he and Roger Binny had a world record
opening partnership (500 plus partnership).

Talking of Hari Gidwani, I remember seeing him in action in the domestics
(for Bihar) and found him an attractive player. Thanks to a close family
friend, I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to him when he was
working in the Purchase Department of TISCO (Tata Iron and Steel Company),
Jamshedpur. Seemed to be a very nice guy.

<snipped>

Quote:
> It is amazing that a country which gave the cricketing world such giants
> like Subhash Gupte, Vinoo Mankad, Bedi, Pras, Chandra is struggling with
> the likes of Kumble/Chauhan (yuck) and co.

> RK- [ only manider in mid 80s had it in him to be a top class spinner ]

Greats like Bedi, Prasanna, and Venkat are ready to provide all assistance
to aspiring youngsters. But, going by the past record of the Indian cricket
administration, I am not very optimistic. One can only nurture a faint hope
that the recently opened National Cricket Academy will be able to set some
things (if not all) right.

Ambrish

 
 
 

Master of flight and turn

Post by Ravi Krishn » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

>Talking of Hari Gidwani, I remember seeing him in action in the
>domestics (for Bihar) and found him an attractive player. Thanks to a
>close family friend, I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to him
>when he was working in the Purchase Department of TISCO (Tata Iron and
>Steel Company),Jamshedpur. Seemed to be a very nice guy.

Hari Gidwani played for Delhi first. Despite his excellent performance
in RT he could not impress selectors. He later on took up a job with
TISCO and started playing for Bihar as a desperate attempt to catch the
attention of selectors. Yes u are right, he was very stylish.

RK-

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Master of flight and turn

Post by Ravi Krishn » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> fwiw, i think kumble is a better *bowler* than venkat was, and our
> spinners of yore weren't as great as they are made out to be (they
> got badly pasted by zed and gang, didn't they ?).

Actually they went to Pak in 1978 at the fag end of their career. Hence
that 'pasting' can be excused. And yes I have been exposed to that
school of thought which thinks that our spinners were the most overrated
in the history of the game.

RK-

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Master of flight and turn

Post by cricketwal.. » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

> > < great article snipped >

> > One of my cousin was a univ player for Madurai university in early
70s.
> > He had played with names like Hari Gidwani/Sanjay Desai (does anyone
> > remember him). One day Venkatraghavan happen to visit Madurai Univ.
As
> > word spread of his visit,he was forced to come to nets and bowl few
> > overs. My cousin played an over of him. The first 2 balls were Ok,
but
> > Venkat totally foxed him from ball # 3. There was complete loss of
> > footwork and he looked clueless.

> making a univ player look clueless isn't such a big deal anyway.
> fwiw, i think kumble is a better *bowler* than venkat was, and our
> spinners of yore weren't as great as they are made out to be (they
> got badly pasted by zed and gang, didn't they ?).

I dont disagree that Kumble might be a better bowler than Venkat - but
then I personally think Venkat wasnt half as good as the Triumverate
anyway :-)

As for them failing against Pakistan - I still think Zaheer was one of
the great players of spin of all time. And lets not forget the matter
of age either - Bedi was 33, Chandra 34, and Pras was 38 (!!!) when
they played that series.

Quote:
> just that we had 3-4 very good ones at the same time, unlike
> now, where we struggle to put together 2. when raju was doing
> ok, he and kumble did some damage against some pretty decent teams.

Hum. Depends what you mean by "some decent teams" :-) Raju and Kumble
have had the opportunity to fatten their averages against some pretty
terrible teams too - remember, Zimbabwe etc were not test teams in the
old days.

And the true test, of course, is away from home - when the conditions
are not overly helpful. We played on fewer cart-tracks in the 70s than
we did in the 90s, IMHO - one reason for so many tests with results in
the 90s compared to the 70s. And away from home, Bedi averages 33, Pras
33, Chandra 32. Compared to Kumble's 39, and Raju's 52 (!!)

Also, BTW, I dont agree that we had only "3 or 4" good ones in those
days - we had an amazing line of backups, with Goel, Shivalkar, Hans,
Doshi etc. Only Doshi played test cricket, and he made his debut at 33 -
 and few who watched him bowl even then wouldnt rank him above many of
the spinners of the 90s, IMHO.

Quote:

> > RK- [ only manider in mid 80s had it in him to be a top class
spinner ]

> raju was probably better.

Opinions, I suppose. I disagree - I think Mani had the potential to be
a world-beater. His record is badly skewed by the fact that he was
thrust in when completely unready for test cricket, when he was only 17
years old. And of course, soon after 1987 or so, he got the yips and
faded away quite rapidly. But there was that little period in between
when he seemed to have the ability to flight and dip the ball, which
was reminiscent of the glory days of the 70s spinners.

Sadiq [ who used to be a big Mani fan ] Yusuf

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Master of flight and turn

Post by samarth harish sha » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> Actually they went to Pak in 1978 at the fag end of their career. Hence
> that 'pasting' can be excused. And yes I have been exposed to that
> school of thought which thinks that our spinners were the most overrated
> in the history of the game.

As RoshanCat would put it, "they performed above potential". :-)

I agree with Sridhar's view, though, that we had 4 very good bowlers all
at once, and none of them was individually great. In fact, a lot of other
spinners have much better averages. Even amongst their contemporaries,
Underwood and Iqbal Qasim have a much better record than any of our 4
spinners.

What we did have was, however, the equivalent of Kumble, Mushtaq Ahmed,
Dan Vettori and Paul Strang playing for the same team. (Not comparing
bowling styles, just averages and quality.)

Gavaskar also said that apart from the fact that they were all nearly 35
by 1978, the other major factor was also the "deliberate padding" issue.
Our bowlers were essentially brought up in the 50s and 60s, when thrusting
the pad forward to a spinner was a rarely employed tactic. (In fact, it
was probably first employed only in 1957 by May and Cowdrey against
Ramadhin and Valentine during their partnership of 411.)

But by 1978 the likes of Miandad and Zaheer Abbas had perfected the art of
thrusting the pad forward and hence neutralising the Indian spinners.

At their best, Bedi, Pras and Chandra might have been as good as or
even better than Warne and Murali. But over their entire careers, they
probably weren't as good. Put together in the same team, however, they
were probably even deadlier than Warne and Murali can ever be all by
themselves.

-Samarth.

 
 
 

Master of flight and turn

Post by Bill O'Bria » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:



>I dont disagree that Kumble might be a better bowler than Venkat
- but
>then I personally think Venkat wasnt half as good as the
Triumverate
>anyway :-)

Venkat had a very good record till his first 15 Tests or so.
After that he was kind of finished as a wkt taking bowler
though he still was good bad wkt bowler.

Quote:

>As for them failing against Pakistan - I still think Zaheer was
one of
>the great players of spin of all time. And lets not forget the
matter
>of age either - Bedi was 33, Chandra 34, and Pras was 38 (!!!)
when
>they played that series.

Besides that, India didn't play Aus and Pak in the 70s till
'77-'78. Teams like WI were hardly great players of spin.

Quote:

>> just that we had 3-4 very good ones at the same time, unlike
>> now, where we struggle to put together 2. when raju was doing
>> ok, he and kumble did some damage against some pretty decent
teams.

>Hum. Depends what you mean by "some decent teams" :-) Raju and
Kumble
>have had the opportunity to fatten their averages against some
pretty
>terrible teams too - remember, Zimbabwe etc were not test teams
in the
>old days.

I still will put my money behind Kumble to run thru the sides
on krumbler than any other bowler of the past, though Kumble
wouldn't match Pras or Bedi in terms of class.

Quote:

>And the true test, of course, is away from home - when the
conditions
>are not overly helpful. We played on fewer cart-tracks in the
70s than
>we did in the 90s, IMHO - one reason for so many tests with
results in
>the 90s compared to the 70s. And away from home, Bedi averages
33, Pras
>33, Chandra 32. Compared to Kumble's 39, and Raju's 52 (!!)

I think it is hard to compare the two generations just based on
those avgs. For eg, I am not sure if any of the spinners
of 70s would have done any better than Kumble did in those
wkts in Lanka of 1997. Besides those pakerized series too had
some effect. Bedi for eg. didn't do all that well
in Aus 1968 but did well in 1977-78, but was soon exposed by
Zaheer, Miandad and Imran. Bedi did well against Aus at home
in 1969. But, check the figures of Mallet that series.
Ian Chappel while commenting about Aussies in 1998 said
how well they played on turners in 1969 in India etc etc.

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Master of flight and turn

Post by Ravi Krishn » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> Venkat had a very good record till his first 15 Tests or so.

IIRC his first 15 tests coincided with Pras's absence from test cricket.

Quote:
> After that he was kind of finished as a wkt taking bowler
> though he still was good bad wkt bowler.

After that Pras was back in the team and he and Venkat had to fight it
out. In other words Venkat was never assured of his place. Indeed he
would play one test and get dropped for the rest of the series. Many
felt that Venkat's performance nose-dived bcos of that 'insecurity'.
That he had a acid tongue didn't help him a bit.
However Venkat was a regular member in 1971 twin series to WI and Eng.
In fact 1971 was a v.good year for Venkat. (some 35 wkts in 8 tests).
He was the main destructor of WI in the POS test which India won.
Venkat also had a decent role in Oval 1971 victory in Eng.

Not much gifted with the flight, he made it up with deadly accuracy and
change of pace.Venkat's wkt taking delivery was the one which runs
straight and faster. Occasionally I have seen bowling the 'doosra' of
Saqlain, that is the leg break. He clean bowled Larry Gomes for 98 in
the 1979 Madras test with a 'doosra'. Pitched outside the leg stump (off
for Gomes) it took off his middle stump while a bewildered Gomes was
trying it play on the off side.

RK-

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Master of flight and turn

Post by Sridha » Tue, 02 May 2000 04:00:00

Quote:




> > > < great article snipped >

> > > One of my cousin was a univ player for Madurai university in early
> 70s.
> > > He had played with names like Hari Gidwani/Sanjay Desai (does anyone
> > > remember him). One day Venkatraghavan happen to visit Madurai Univ.
> As
> > > word spread of his visit,he was forced to come to nets and bowl few
> > > overs. My cousin played an over of him. The first 2 balls were Ok,
> but
> > > Venkat totally foxed him from ball # 3. There was complete loss of
> > > footwork and he looked clueless.

> > making a univ player look clueless isn't such a big deal anyway.
> > fwiw, i think kumble is a better *bowler* than venkat was, and our
> > spinners of yore weren't as great as they are made out to be (they
> > got badly pasted by zed and gang, didn't they ?).

> I dont disagree that Kumble might be a better bowler than Venkat - but
> then I personally think Venkat wasnt half as good as the Triumverate
> anyway :-)

and i personally think the triumvirate wasn't of one uniform
quality either. bedi & chandra were more often among the wickets
& had more match winning efforts than prasanna.

Quote:

> As for them failing against Pakistan - I still think Zaheer was one of
> the great players of spin of all time. And lets not forget the matter
> of age either - Bedi was 33, Chandra 34, and Pras was 38 (!!!) when
> they played that series.

> > just that we had 3-4 very good ones at the same time, unlike
> > now, where we struggle to put together 2. when raju was doing
> > ok, he and kumble did some damage against some pretty decent teams.

> Hum. Depends what you mean by "some decent teams" :-) Raju and Kumble
> have had the opportunity to fatten their averages against some pretty
> terrible teams too - remember, Zimbabwe etc were not test teams in the
> old days.

how many games vs zimbabwe ? and those spinners had a couple of
series vs packer-depleted sides too, though they were washed up by then.

Quote:

> And the true test, of course, is away from home - when the conditions
> are not overly helpful. We played on fewer cart-tracks in the 70s than
> we did in the 90s, IMHO - one reason for so many tests with results in
> the 90s compared to the 70s. And away from home, Bedi averages 33, Pras
> 33, Chandra 32. Compared to Kumble's 39, and Raju's 52 (!!)

i'm sure venkat & maninder aren't much better. 39 is not all that
different from 33 (closer to 34 for bedi). if we find us 4 spinners
who'll average 39 away from india (and 22 something in india),
 we'll find us another famous spin quartet.

Quote:

> Also, BTW, I dont agree that we had only "3 or 4" good ones in those
> days

i said you could "put together 3-4 very good spinners".
i maintain that only bedi, chandra & pras could be classified as
very good. doshi would probably be up there with them.
venkat would have a tough time making it. kumble most certainly would.
goel was a ranji rex, but we never know how he might have panned
out at the test level. might have gone the raghuram bhat way, fawk
(for all we know - not cussing, in case anyone's wondering).

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> - we had an amazing line of backups, with Goel, Shivalkar, Hans,
> Doshi etc. Only Doshi played test cricket, and he made his debut at 33 -
>  and few who watched him bowl even then wouldnt rank him above many of
> the spinners of the 90s, IMHO.

> > > RK- [ only manider in mid 80s had it in him to be a top class
> spinner ]

> > raju was probably better.

> Opinions, I suppose. I disagree - I think Mani had the potential to be
> a world-beater. His record is badly skewed by the fact that he was
> thrust in when completely unready for test cricket, when he was only 17
> years old. And of course, soon after 1987 or so, he got the yips and
> faded away quite rapidly. But there was that little period in between
> when he seemed to have the ability to flight and dip the ball, which
> was reminiscent of the glory days of the 70s spinners.

frankly, flight, dip, loop and such buzzwords don't give me
multiple ***s. sure, they're important tools, but they're
not the single ultimate measure of a spinner. i too was quite
impressed by what maninder seemed to bring to the mound (if you will),
but the '86-87 matches vs aus & pak caused serious  disillusionment.
opposing batsmen seemed to be able to counter  almost anything
maninder threw at them, including the kitchen sink,
by merely plunking their front feet down the wicket and padding up.
it took him a minefield at chinnaswamy to finally make some inroads,
and even there india ended up losing.
ffwd to '92-93. the bombay test vs england. india looking to wrap it up
3-0 while eng trying despo'ly to hold on. hick (1st innings centurion)
and smith (going strong with 50+) at the crease.
running out of patience, azhar tosses the ball to a bespectacled fellow
who stands at the top of his relatively longish run-up, holds the ball
in his right hand, gives it a tweak and catches it in his left, like
he's going to bowl leg-breaks. experience tells the batsman otherwise.
first ball's pitched on middle. 3/4 length. smith prods forth,
somewhat tentatively. the ball turns a whisker .....
next ball, next batsman. guy called blakey (dekhne mein goray hain,
sirf naam blakey hai - chimes ravi, the clever chaturvedi).  
specialist wicket-keeper. knows his place in the scheme of things.
ball pitched on middle & off. batsman plays for the non-existent spin.
there's daylight between bat & pad - did i mention specialist keeper ?
ball finds it, and takes middle.
passing lightly over the fluff in this bit of yarn, that,
ladies and gents, was the  best 1-2 punch i've seen by an indian
bowler since november 1981.
ok, you might say it's only eng. smith & blakey, who're they ?
what's he done outside india ? all valid points.
but the one thing he's done better than any other indian spinner in
recent times is make the batsman play a stroke at almost every ball
(balls bowled when kapil was approaching 431 don't count).
result - he has the 2nd best strike rate among indian spinners,
at 69 balls per wicket. even if batsmen middle 68 of those.

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> Sadiq [ who used to be a big Mani fan ] Yusuf