Aakash Chopra: does that name ring a bell somewhere ? He is an ex-opening batsman for India. He opened with Sehwag in that famous 2003 tour of Australia but suddenly lost favour with selectors after that.
Well, he is now a columnist at cricinfo and he is earning rave reviews for his reading of the game.
Here, in this piece, he is discussing the two LBWs: Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the first test between India and England.
In Sachin’s case, the ball had been spinning appreciably, if not alarmingly, away from the batsman off the surface, plus Monty Panesar was bowling from the Nursery end (so the slope was helping as well). As a batsman you tend to play outside the line of the ball to cover the spin. That’s what Sachin was probably trying to do when that particular delivery held its line and thudded onto the front pad. There was no change in the bowling action on that delivery – it was definitely not the arm-ball and there was not much variation in the speed either.
Once you’re hit on the pads, the immediate reaction is to push your pad as far outside the line of the off stump as possible, so as to create doubt in the umpire’s mind about whether the impact was outside the line. When you push your already planted front leg further down, the bat gets hidden behind the pad. This can easily be misread as not offering a shot, but that’s not always the case.
Now, watch the video of the maestro’s dismissal and see if Chopra’s logic makes sense.
I would agree, except for the fact that I feel Sachin was really not offering a shot in this case.
Now, watch this video and tell me if playing inside the line to Monty would be a less risky option:
Poor Kaif looks absolutely stunned, but then that was in the dustbowls of India. The ball turned — ever so slightly — but it did turn. Playing inside the line (and not stretching full stride forward) was a huge mistake. Going back to the Sachin video, one would get the feeling that the bat was waiting for the turn.
But, lest we get drowned by logic, shall we applaud “the Monty” for his efforts !!!