Off spin

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Saqlain Mushtaq: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Saqlain Mushtaq is on terra firma with regards to the art of spin bowling.

What he said:

 “Why not? A person is made of this earth, which has not been discovered completely yet.”

Saqlain Mushtaq is confident that the doosra—the off-spinner’s googly—can be bowled legally without flexing one’s elbow beyond the stipulated  limit of 15 degrees permitted by the ICC.

Mushtaq said:

“I have always believed you can definitely bowl it with a legitimate action, working on various aspects of your body. You can bowl the doosra with your fingers, wrist, elbow, shoulder and you can even get it right with your foot positioning. Every individual has his own physique. If you don’t have strong shoulders you can execute it through you wrist and fingers and use elbow to bowl a faster one. In either case you have to have strong control over your wrist and ensure it doesn’t collapse. And without the kink you can safely bowl a doosra within the permitted flex.”

Mushtaq additionally believes that a new mystery ball can always be devised  and added to the craft of spin bowling.

He said:

Why not? A person is made of this earth, which has not been discovered completely yet. So when you start thinking and start experiencing deeply, then you start experimenting. And then what you produce, that is a real invention.”

What he really meant:

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and God created man from clay. The earth and specially the seas have not been fully explored. And who knows what elements may still be discovered? Necessity is the mother of invention. We sub-continental chaps are about jugaad, my friend. We’ll make do somehow, 15 degrees or less.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“And Muttiah Muralidharan is made of plasticine.”

Waqar Younis: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t




Waqar Younis was unprepared for crackdown.

What he said:

“This crackdown is going to affect the preparations of teams for the World Cup especially those teams whose bowlers are being reported.”

Former Pakistani pace bowler Waqar Younis believes that the timing of the clampdown on suspect bowling actions is inopportune and adversely affects the World Cup chances of the teams whose bowlers have been reported, specifically his country’s.

He said:

“I am not sure about the timing of these new laws being enforced by the ICC. The new protocols and technology to test bowling actions could have been done after the World Cup.” 

Three Pakistani off-spinners—Saeed Ajmal, Muhamad Hafeez and Adnan Rasool—have been placed under the scanner in the past month.

He added:

“When bowlers are reported at any level for suspect actions it obviously affects their confidence. I know Hafeez is concerned after being reported. So it does affect your preparations for the World Cup.

I don’t know because cricket has changed in the last decade or so, laws have changed and so have bowling actions. Spinners now use more variation and different deliveries because they are being tested constantly in all formats with the growing popularity of T20 cricket.

One can understand when the ICC rule for bowling action is being stretched so far but I still have my reservations about the timing of the new protocol for bowling actions.” 

On the doosra:

“The doosra delivery is an unorthodox delivery but staple for spinners and it adds value to the game. I think the ICC needs to look at this aspect. Whoever bowls the doosra will always bend his elbow more than the allowed 15 degrees because it is natural. Secondly the medical aspect while testing bowling actions should also be taken into consideration.” 

What Younis really meant:

“The Pakistanis are losing their match-winning spinners because of the crackdown. What are we to do if the ball we invented—the doosra—is outlawed? Play marbles?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Let’s hope this whole affair reverse swings.”

 

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