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Sight Screen

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Osman specials and more

Here's someone who writes with passion for Pakistan. I liken him to what Harsha is to Indian cricket. And in his fourth day report for the ongoing Pakistan England test match, he concentrates on the poor form of Mohammed Yousuf. There are parallels to another stylish batsman who kept getting out in the 20s and 30s, VVS Laxman. Laxman got 16 scores of twelve runs or more where, each time, he kept getting out after looking like he was in the best form of his life. Obviously, some of them were scored when he batting at No 6.

Osman Samiuddin also comments on the tumultous history of Pak-Eng test series. Old article but interesting reading for those who missed it. Some of it was outright funny. Such as the below sections:
1983-84 - Fresh from a dope-smoking scandal, England arrives in Pakistan for a three-Test series. They lose their captain Willis to a viral infection and Botham to a dodgy knee after the first Test; the latter leaves the country muttering, infamously, "Pakistan is the sort of place every man should send his mother-in-law to, for a month, all expenses paid."

1992 - Melbourne - Pakistan beats England to win the World Cup. Wasim Akram wins the match award dismissing Botham, Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis; Botham's dismissal is greeted, allegedly, by Aamir Sohail asking him to send his mother-in-law in next.

While this was written from Osman's point of view, often downplaying Pakistan's misdeeds, it is easy to see which of the two teams has more hypocrites.

Andrew Miller asks England not to panic. This test seems to be swinging to and fro every day. But I agree with Miller, if England keeps calm, they should see this through. Wonder if Shoaib has other plans though. The first innings was only the fourth time he bowled more than 25 overs in a test match without getting injured and he gave good company to Akmal while batting. Who knows, he may have turned a corner in his life.


  • I followed VVS career since his debut for India in 96-97...this guy has some psychological issues...low confidence thing. He used to score 20 and 30s get out in most ordinary fashion. Getting out to good ball is ok, 90% of the time, he pokes at a ordinary delivery and get's out in slip cordon. VVS is a wasted talent.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 09:54  

  • toney: I would not compare this Yousuf innings with Laxman at all. No matter what Laxman does, how frustrating he gets for us, he's never been so reckless and unmindful of the team plans. What Osman wrote here was exactly my reaction at Yousuf's shot-making and getting out today. I think on this alone he needs to be 'rested' in the next match!

    And btw, thanks for pointing out that history piece by Osman...love his writing. Although I liken him more to Rahul Bhattacharya, his Indian counterpart at cricinfo. Harsha, maybe because of more experience and authority, is a bit more decisive in expressing his opinions.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:58  

  • rajg
    Ordinary shots like the one SRT played in WC 03 final or in the Natwest final. Wasted talent huh!!! Do you need tapes of 01 Eden gardens, 02 Port of spain, 03 Mohali or 03 Adeledie. 3 wins and 1 draw (when we could have lost in Mohali). Give me the same kind of innings SRT in the same period. Point is you can make anyone look bad by disecting and bisecting some meaningless statistics.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 10:17  

  • You're right, Osman is an accomplished journalist, and I like the fact that Cricinfo have some one who is has all local know how, his piece on Raza was good too.

    I wish he wrote for Dawn more frequently (occasionally does match bulletins for them, currently Dawn have Khalid Hasan, who is ok)...

    You can't argue with anything Osman's said here, that was a mad innings from Yousuf, and I'm sure he'll get told that from Bob - he should be.

    And he's under achieved for some one his ability through out his career, so an improvement is long over due.

    I'm really enjoying Cricinfo's coverage of the tour, the Miller diaries, and seperate Pak/Eng view for each day's play - all makes it very balanced. The diaries in particular are a massive hit with me, I feel like I've travelled with Andy right the way through. He really knows how to write.

    By Blogger Zainub, at 10:20  

  • zainub, too true. The Miller diaries are excellent...even better than actual match reports.

    By Blogger worma, at 10:26  

  • Osman's tumultous history piece is excellent. Well balanced IMHO.

    Both sides need to get over this "umpiring thing" and treat it as a piece of intriguing but ancient history. Neutral umpires have eliminated that notion of bias.

    What a bore all the UK broadcasters were about that Butt "run out, not out" incident BTW. It was close but it was rightly given not out in accordance with the Laws. Period.

    By Blogger Ged, at 11:09  

  • Agreed...Osman Samiuddin is a wonderful writer.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 13:28  

  • The whole world seems to agree that Laxman hasn't done justice to his talent and doesnt figure in the present scheme of things. There seems to be just one charecter trying to prove that he is superior than anybody in the present Indian team or probably anyone else in world Cricket

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 13:47  

  • reverse, who is that? :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 13:48  

  • Toney , thats really asking, especially if you have been following this blog for the last couple of days. Anyway, jsu scroll up..

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 13:51  

  • Ahh, I get it

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:17  

  • Toney...righto

    By Blogger Reverse Sweep, at 14:27  

  • "Wonder if Shoaib has other plans though. The first innings was only the fourth time he bowled more than 25 overs in a test match without getting injured and he gave good company to Akmal while batting. Who knows, he may have turned a corner in his life."

    I would certainly hope so.
    On the other hand, it would be nice to see England win. Would bode well for the next two games.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 14:37  

  • ged,
    "What a bore all the UK broadcasters were about that Butt "run out, not out" incident BTW. It was close but it was rightly given not out in accordance with the Laws. Period."

    Have to strongly diagree with you there. There have been many similar incidents over the past few years with such close calls going to the third umpire where the bail is not even visible because of the fielder's body blocking it. However, if the stumps are significantly broken, which they were, before a batsman has made his ground, he's always been given out, regardless of the visibility of a completely dislodged bail. It is safe to assume that if the stups are broken and leaning about 6 inches or so towards the ground, the bail is dislodged. With the bail being so small and the same color as the stumps (something the ICC must rectify-- it's got to be in a contrasting color), it will be very common for the third umpire to not be definitively see the dislodged bail. Common sense should prevail, as it has with third umpires the world over. It is understood that if the stumps are broke, the bails are almost certainly off. In my opinion, benefit of the doubt does not mean beyond any shadow of doubt, it just means beyond reasonable doubt. I think it is an unreasonable doubt to assume the bail is not dislodged when the stumps are significantly borken before the batsman has made his ground. Almost always the bails will be dislodged in such a situation, whether visible or not to the third umpire. I distinctly remember an incident during the Super Series where Michael Holding was questioning whether the bail was completely removed (as in no small part of it was still touching). Such nuances are rarely visible to the naked eye unless you get some sort of magnifier involved. The verdict then was out just as it almost always has been over the past few years in many similar scenarios. The umpiring precedence clearly indicates that was out. It does not really matter for one match, but for the future umpires have to go by the disturbance of the stumps, unless they can definitely see the bails still lodged in place. Not the other way round, where the umpires disregard the broken stumps and give it not out because they do not have visible evidence of the bails distinctly in the air. By doing it any other way, the third umpire is left with far too much subjectivity in close calls-- really not the way it ought to be.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:39  

  • so changing religion from jesus to allah didnot help yousuf or whatever he is now.....what a jerk

    By Blogger tombaan, at 16:41  

  • Furthermore,
    Allow me to pose a hypothetical scenario:
    Imagine a side-on angle displaying that the keeper has gloved the ball, but you cannot really see the stumps, but you can see the batsman who is running well wide of the pitch is distinctly short of his ground. On the angle from behind, you notice the stumps are almost simultaneously broken and the bails are off as soon as the keeper gloved it, however, the batsman is out of view. An umpire ought to be able to use simple deductive reasoning of the 2 camera angles to give the batsman out. It would be completely unreasonable to give the benefit of the soubt in such a situation, even though there is no one definitive camera angle where the third umpire can see a bail completely dislodged before the batsman has made his ground. I've actually seen third umpires give a rather similar scenario out a couple of times-- combining 2 camera angles and using deductive reasoning. That does not mean the batsman is not being given the benefit of the doubt; it simply means the doubt must be reasonable.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:48  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:51  

  • prem panijker,
    Are you actually saying Mohammad Yousuf is a jerk just because he converted to Islam? Because that is what it sounds like. I don't want to assume the worst of people, so I'm going to give you an oppotunity to retract or clarify that statement. There really is no place for such bigotry in this blog, or anywhere else for that matter.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 16:52  

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