Yet another buccaneer

Spent some time just now watching a far more interesting cricket match than the one in England — the fascination, right now, being with the way Tillakaratne Dilshan, latest in a gradually lengthening lineup of batsmen blurring the distinctions between Tests, one dayers and T20s, is going.

92 off 72 in the first innings, 71 now off 79 deliveries in the second — performances that would have won high honors in the shorter forms of the game are. Great fun — even granting that the Kiwis have more runs in the loo than on the ground, the sheer command Dilshan brings to the crease is a delight for spectators [and for captains looking to push for a win].

On a related note, Iain O’Brien’s blog has this at the end of day three:

I faced two balls from Murali; I picked them as an offie first and then the doosra. When I got back upstairs to the changing room I re-watched the footage to see if I had got it right. In fact I got them both wrong. It was the other way around. I’ll work had on trying to pick him tomorrow, but more importantly work had with Dan and try to bat for as long as possible. I’ve got a target I’d love to get to, not a run target but a balls faced target. If I get close then I know Dan and I will have put on a partnership of note.

Hmm. This morning he faced 11 more from the offie, got four runs off 10 of those deliveries without ever reading him right, and got out to the 11th — predictably perhaps, by poking uncertainly at a doosra that he thought was coming in, and outer-edging to the keeper. Wonder if he managed to get close to his self-imposed target?

Recently, a group of spin experts in Australia including Shane Warne and his mentor Terry Jenner decided that the doosra would not be taught in Australia.

“There was unanimous agreement that the off-spinner’s ‘other-one’, the doosra, should not be coached in Australia,” Mallett wrote in the Adelaide Review. “I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra.

“It has to be a chuck. Until such time as the ICC declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket I refuse to coach the doosra. All at the spin summit agreed.”

Australia’s No. 1 spinner Nathan Hauritz has been working on the doosra for a couple of years without perfecting it, while Jason Krejza and Dan Cullen have also attempted to develop the delivery. However, the spin coaches were keen to encourage Australia’s young spinners to bowl aggressively, searching for wickets, rather than becoming too defensive.

With ref that last graf — if it does follow on from the two preceding — I am not too sure how the doosra came to be seen as a defensive weapon, but maybe I’m misreading this story. More to the point, though, the likes of Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa seem to look at the doosra as one of those typical dirty tricks that originate in the East [much like they viewed reverse swing, before they learnt to bowl it].

Raises, in my mind, a question: If you ban it from your vocabulary and won’t learn to bowl it, how exactly do your batsmen hope to learn to counter it?

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4 thoughts on “Yet another buccaneer

  1. At the risk of sounding parochial, I would say had the delivery been named ‘Bingly’ instead of ‘Doosra’, it might not have been subjected to such criticism. The next criticism, sunny and co, might come up with would be “players taller than 6 feet should not be allowed to bowl as it gives them an unfair advantage over the not-so-tall ones”.

  2. I am not against the “Doosra” but I don’t agree that it-is-only-the-West-that-has-a-problem-with-it-so-they-have-to-be-prejudiced argument. Two of India’s famed spin quartet, Bedi and Prasanna, are out-spoken in their opposition to the “Doosra”. Sunil Gavaskar, in a recent interview, has objected to the rule that gives unfair advantage to bowlers with hyperactive elbow.

    • Yeah, I read Sunny, and I’ve once had Bish go on about this. The legality of actions is a whole larger debate, which I am not discounting here — my point however is, there are people bowling well within legal limits who still bowl the doosra and bowl it well, so it struck me that it was folly to absolutely ban the thing altogether. Deprives bowlers of a weapon, and batsmen of an opportunity for practice.

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