England v India, 1st npower Test, Lord's

'Many factors' in over-rate rule saved Dhoni from possible ban

Sharda Ugra and Nagraj Gollapudi

July 27, 2011

Comments: 59 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir have a chat, England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day, July 24, 2011
Gautam Gambhir would have led India at Trent Bridge if MS Dhoni had been found wanting by the Lord's official scorer © AFP
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni
Series/Tournaments: India tour of England
Teams: India

India head into the second Test in Nottingham with much hanging over them: they trail England 0-1, their main strike bowler is battling to return from injury and their batting is looking to get into the groove. The one blessing is that captain MS Dhoni has defied widespread apprehension and cold calculation to escape the trip-wires of the over-rate in Tests through the somewhat open-ended ICC rules that depend on "many factors on the ground" and the interpretation of those factors.

A transgression at Lord's would have been Dhoni's third in a calendar year and would have led to an automatic suspension from the next Test.

At the end of England's innings at Lord's, India were found to be two overs short; that was the calculation of three independent sets of scorers, two of whom were present at the ground. A similar calculation by the official Lord's scorer would have meant Gautam Gambhir captaining the side at Trent Bridge. After the match, Dhoni said that he had been informed by the match referee that India had done well on the over-rate and he was in the clear.

ESPNcricinfo contacted the ICC and asked whether it was possible that the official scorers had taken a particular situation or event into account before arriving at their calculation that had India well within the rate required and if there were unconventional factors other than innings breaks, fall of wickets or inadvertent delays that had been worked into the calculation.

An official spokesperson said that the calculation for over-rates depended on "many factors on the ground on the day and the interpretations of those factors. These are always left in the hands of the match officials as they have a better grasp of the mitigating issues. The calculation is made over the course of both innings and the regulations provide that in calculating the over-rate, allowances must be given for, inter alia, all time lost due to circumstances beyond the control of the fielding team."

When asked whether India had been reminded of their over-rate at any point during the Lord's game, the ICC spokesperson said, "What we can say is that players are regularly reminded of the laws and regulations regarding time wasting and over-rates and they are always requested to be more proactive in improving the pace of play."

An official present at Lord's said that umpires could give due licence to captains depending on local circumstances. At Lord's, for example, new batsmen sometimes take more than two minutes to settle down. "You have to come down a flight of stairs and then walk through the Long Room and past the members into the stands. At times the batsmen take more time to settle down and can delay the play by doing various sorts of things."

The official stated that both teams were on par in terms of over-rates, though India may have been a minute faster, and that the official times varied across all the three Lord's "time-keepers" - the field umpires, the match referee and the official scorers.

The best way to complete the required number of overs, the official said, would require the change between overs to be around 10 seconds, which can save up to 16 minutes in a day. Protracted celebrations of wickets followed by a fielding change after the new batsman had got ready to play also led to more time being wasted.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SpartaArmy on (July 29, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas: If yu are a hard core fan of Dravid it dosnt mean that yu have to go hard on others. They all play for the TEAM and all of them are great. USELESS captain?? I hope ALL IS WELL with you. He won us WCs twice as captain, better you check the reality before making comments on people who achieved more than what MOST OF 'U's can ever dream of.

Posted by   on (July 29, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

Doesnt this favor slower bowlers with shorter runups than the faster ones with long ones. As usual, yet another crazy idea that is now law in cricket. What should be done instead is that the ICC should empower the umps to penalizes the team that bowls slow deliberately, fast or slow. That will take care of the problem.

Posted by bobagorof on (July 29, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

With all the talk about Test cricket being 'boring', I would have thought the ICC would be interested in ensuring a high over rate was maintained (90 overs in the day is supposed to be standard and achievable) so that the fans get as much action as possible. Batsmen certainly don't take 2 minutes to 'settle down' in Twenty20, so why should they be allowed to hold things up in Test matches?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 29, 2011, 1:22 GMT)

@ravichakra, can't agree more bro. Absolutely. Dhoni and the batsmen (barring Dravid, VVS and Raina) cost us the match. Mukund was also ok. BTW, I saw your thanks in the other article. Yes, I'll do my part in letting the world know what a rare genius Dravid is. It is always an insult to compare a teamman like Dravid with a selfish to the core paper 'god'.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (July 28, 2011, 22:04 GMT)

It's a curse in disguise for India that Dhoni isn't banned. Now India is all set to go in with a useless captain, keeper and batsman. What a tragedy! Indians have to play out of their skins to offset the disadvantage of having Dhoni in the team.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (July 28, 2011, 20:44 GMT)

DHONI IS ONE OF THE BEST CAPTAIN IN PRESENT DAY CRICKET, I THINK HE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO TAKE FULL PART IN CHOSING A TEAM FOR TRENTBRIDGE BECAUSE OF THE INJURY SITUATION OF HIS TEAM. I THINK INDIA SHOULD TAKE A BOLD STEP AND PLAY YUV RAJ AND MISHRA ALONG WITH HARBHAJAN THIS WILL HEP TO GET THROUGH THRIE OVERS QUICKER. BE SIDES, SHANE WARNE AND MURALITHARAN HAVE A GREAT RECORD AT TRENT BRIDGE. MORE OVER PIERTERSEN , TROT AND PRIOR ARE SUSCEPTEBLE TO GOOD LEG SPIN SUCH AS MISHRA ( WARNE). FIVE BOWLERS ISHANT, PARVEEN, HARBHAJAN, MISHRA AND SREESANT PLUS YUV RAJ. TAKE OUT MUKUND FROM THE SIDE HE HAS A LOT TO LEARN. GAMBHIR AND DRAVID TO OPEN. IN THE WORST CASE OPEN WITH ISHANT SHARMA TO TAKE OF THE SHEEN. I KNOW HE CAN DO IT. TEAM: DRAVID,GAMBHIR.TENDULKAR, LAXHMAN. DHONI, RAINA, YUVRAJ, SHARMA, HARBHAJAN, MISHRA,SREESHANT, PARVEEN. SHARMA PLAYED THE PACE IN SOTH AFRICA AND AUSTRALIA WELL. FIVE BOWLERS IS THE GAME. S.N.SINGH

Posted by Iyer on (July 28, 2011, 17:08 GMT)

I wish he was banned. That way India could have placed the best 11 available out of the 14.

Posted by sabs2012 on (July 28, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

One of the factor I can remember of was that when India was bowling the batsman stopped the bowler because of some flies in front of his face.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

Finally RS Madugalle decides not to fine/ban. I am shocked. May be he is just waiting for the most crucial point of the series!

Posted by DaveS99 on (July 28, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

I think some people are missing the point. The purpose of encouraging the captain to meet the minimum overs requirement is to get the paying public as much cricket as possible. As the aim is to get the public good quality and quantities of cricket and depriving them of Dhoni playing would not achieve this goal and would be a bad move. I suspect that the powers that be looked for a way of making sure that he wasn't banned. The figures can no doubt be interpreted to show that he did not meet the requirements but I hope that sense has prevailed.

Posted by anver777 on (July 28, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

A close call for Dhoni !!!! don't u think the excuse is quiet a puzzling one ???????

Posted by TwitterJitter on (July 28, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

"The official stated that both teams were on par in terms of over-rates, though India may have been a minute faster". This means England were worse with over rates compared to India but as usual it is amusing to see comments at cricinfo asking for Dhoni to be banned and BCCI blah blah...

Posted by CRIACE on (July 28, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

WHO REQUIRES DHONI IN TEST TEAM. HIS POOR WICKETKEEPING,HIS NONSENSE DECISIONS IN PRIVIOUS MATCH (LIKE BOWLING BY RAINA JUST AFTER LUNCH), AND THOSE WINS AS A CATAIN WHICH COME BY ONLY LUCK OR AVERAGE IN EARLY THIRTIES(EVEN HARBHAJAN HAVE OF 26) OR THE FEW GOOD INNINGS PLAYED BY HIM(EVEN HARBHAJAN PLAYED MORE USEFUL INNINGS THEN HIM LIKE CONSICATIVE HUNDRED AGAINST NEWZEALAND) ON WHICH BASIS HE SHOLD BE SELECTED HE ALWAYS TEST THE BUTTER OR FAME WHICH COMES THROUGH HARD WORK OF LIKES DRAVID, LAXMAN SAHWAG AND SACHIN. EVEN NOT BOTHER ABOUT THE DINNER INVITATION OF INDIAN EMBASSY DUE TO SOME PRIVATE SHOW OF HIS WIFE CHARITY FONDATION .WHAT PARTHIV PATEL DID WRONG WITH INDIAN SIDE THAT HE ALWAYS SELECTED AS TEEAM MEMBER BUT NOT GIVEN THE CHANCE TO PLAY EVEN SINGLE TEST IN RECENT PAST AND THROWN OUT OF SQAUD.PLAY WITH YUVRAJ IN NEXT MATCH AND DRAVID AS A KEEPER . AND I ALSO THINKS FOR NOW ONWORDS THE DEGRADATION OF INDIAN TEAM IS STARTED

Posted by ravichakra on (July 28, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

How does it matter whether he plays or doesnt! Not sure how that will affect the outcome.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 8:47 GMT)

Surprise, surprise, India let off the hook once again. Why Dhoni was allowed to bowl himself with the delays that swapping out of the wicketkeeper's gear involved, when Tendulkar was available to turn his arm over I have no idea. I don't blame India for abusing their financial position (again), but I do blame the ICC for rolling over once again.

Posted by SLrajitha on (July 28, 2011, 8:42 GMT)

Sri lanka play better in Eng than Indians. India playing lot test cricket that is the reason they are at No1. Eng is the No 1 test team in world. for me next Sri Lanak, Aus, SA next will be India.

Posted by Notredam on (July 28, 2011, 6:11 GMT)

come on india..win the series 3:1.and lets have andrew peters keep quie...wthut sehwag...they look pale and numb...he is more imptnt than zheer khan.,,

Posted by ashish514 on (July 28, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

Probably the time taken by Dhoni and Dravid to shuffle the wicketkeeping gear between them is considered as India had no other bowler to bowl and Zaheer's injury was the circumstance beyond control of the fielding team. I dunno if it can be considered, just guessing....By the way those who say the fielding sides of old maintained the spirit of the game and completed overs in time, if it had been so, there would have been no one-bouncer-per-over and penalty-for-being-slow rules. Only the fielding changes took less time because there wasn't so much at stake for the teams earlier as is now. In those times, cricket was only followed on radio and there's wasn't so much media hype and pressure.

Posted by Ykesh on (July 28, 2011, 4:43 GMT)

@Viswanathan Vasudevan: Agree with you totally. In fact the world should look into it more closely. It also reminds me one of the Articles here sometimes after World Cup 2011 which said that this Indian team being the only one to have won the World Cup ever in history with bowlers not being as compared to other cricket teams. Also, it would be nice to observe the fate of England at some point in this series, should any of their front line bowlers suffers the same as Zaheer.

Posted by pr3m on (July 28, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

ICC rules are almost impossible to meet with, on a regular basis. I wonder how England got on with 15 overs to the hour with three fast bowlers. India barely managed 13 and a half with Raina bowling.

Posted by landl47 on (July 28, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

I'm glad Dhoni wasn't banned. We've already seen many excuses for the Indian defeat at Lord's. I want there to be as few excuses as possible for their defeat at Trent Bridge.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 2:04 GMT)

I have never seen such kind of biased treatment of ICC with BCCI and team India. I can bet that if it was any team other than India, ICC would have banned the captain of that team. ICC is totally dancing on BCCI's tunes. First ICC did not take any action on Dhoni's statement against australian umpire, then ICC introduced a new version of UDRS by excluding LBW's and now letting Dhoni go by introducing these new so called " many factors". It is now about time that ICC change its name it Indian Cricket Council and name Shashank Manhor their new CEO. Very sad for the game of cricket, over all. :(((

Posted by Optimistix on (July 28, 2011, 2:03 GMT)

WI under Lloyd and Richards had atrocious over rates, and were partially responsible for the rules becoming stricter. Amazing that people can now claim they "just got on with the game", "played in the right spirit", etc.

I'm a great admirer of the West Indians of the 80s, but let's not pretend their over rates were anywhere near 15 per hour.

Posted by   on (July 28, 2011, 1:51 GMT)

India is No.1 with a mediocre bowling attack. Its not their fault. In fact it only goes to show the lion hearted way they have been playing the game. People who say missing zaheer khan is an excuse..rewind to 2005, first test of the ashes, Mcgrath has a mishap and the so called invincible aussies lose the series. in fact both the test eng won, were the one's missing McGrath. It tells a tale by itself. Everyone needs their best team, to be No.1. Today it seems to be Eng turn but all they need is one blow with one of their main bowlers, they will be done and dusted. Even with this team they will struggle for supremacy in sub-continent pitches. So India is a deserved no.1. Try and take the title instead of doubting the title.

Posted by Meety on (July 28, 2011, 0:26 GMT)

I found this article to be extremely frustrating, were India slow or not? The scorers seemed to think so. India weren't punished - that is fine by me, EXCEPT that the "conditions" weren't explained. Were they giving India some license due to the Zaheer injury, (I can handle that)??? The decison NOT to punish Dhoni (3rd strike), reeks of towing the BCCI line, (there are probably justifiable reasons, just doesn't seemed to be explained well by officialdom)!

Posted by jaymin_316 on (July 28, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

"Why cant someone like mukund be declared as captain on paper dhoni being thevreal captain. So that if the problem occurs mukund will be banned and not dhoni as he is the captain on paper. This is politics at its peak." Posted by <facebook user> on (July 27 2011, 17:19 PM GMT)

I had to comment on this. Brilliant idea...........

Posted by retard_monkey on (July 27, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

There seems to be a propaganda and every thing that India does these days is being closely scrutinised while other teams enjoy being away from the limelight. Hard to imagine the pressure this Indian team has to go through on a daily basis. Give them a break guys and lets talk about cricket. It is cricket that India was found wanting and not over rates in the first test. Lets hope they can pull themselves out of this and prove to the world that they still deserve to be the no.1 ranked side in the world.

Posted by residentcomic on (July 27, 2011, 22:10 GMT)

Sportscityferret/dsig3 - Spot on

Posted by stormy16 on (July 27, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

This is non-sense at best!! The great teams of the past (Aus/WI) just played the game within the spirit of the rules and didnt have to look for money or infulence to constantly 'guide' them to glory. They played the game within the rules and respected the spirit of the games and these sorts of debates were never part of the deal. Seperate the men from boys as they say and the great teams (as opposed to 'bought' teams) just get on with the games without the dramas!!

Posted by dsig3 on (July 27, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

@sudhir98 welcome to the top my friend. When Aus were on top it was very fashionable to slam them at every corner in the media. Now its India's turn, lets see how you like being the tall poppy.

Posted by themightyfenoughtys on (July 27, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

Ten seconds per change-over, can you imagine ESPN-Star's complaint !! They sell at least 40 seconds to advertisers.

Posted by sudhir98 on (July 27, 2011, 18:59 GMT)

Is it just me or is every piece of Indian cricket team news coverage negative?

Posted by gandabhai on (July 27, 2011, 18:56 GMT)

Please do some research to see how many other teams have been behind in their over rates in the past ten years . If every team that were behind on their over rates were punished then i would accept Dhoni to be punished . If not then he should not be punished . How can everyone expect BCCI to be FAIR when India often gets the wrong end of the stick ?

Posted by addiemanav on (July 27, 2011, 18:17 GMT)

The ideal way suggested in the article that change between overs time shud be 10 seconds.there r some 'factors' which wont let that happen..10 seconds means that u can not fit more than 1 ad in the break..its about revenue as well!!over-rates were pathetic for sure..and almost every team suffers from it..and there has to be a better way to find the solution..what captains do is give ball to the part-time spinners if they dont hav regulars which then costs them the position of domination that they hold!!dhoni didnt bowl ishant on day4 after lunch,bcoz ishant was tired & also i think the over-rates might have forced him to do so!!who knows,had ishant bowled after lunch and removed prior,ind wud hav been chasing 330odd..a fantastic ending for sure..but eng were given the free space & allowed them to post a huge score!!i remember similar sword was hanging over ponting's head too during 08-09 series vs ind in 4th test..ponting gave part-timers the ball and allowed ind to escape and win!!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

One More Instance of how the BCCI is bending ICC to its Knees......

Posted by 360review on (July 27, 2011, 17:41 GMT)

Just another way to put more pressure on Dhoni and India.

Posted by allblue on (July 27, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

Yes I'm sure there are "many factors to consider", but I'm also sure that we all know what the most important of those factors is, don't we!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

Why cant someone like mukund be declared as captain on paper dhoni being thevreal captain. So that if the problem occurs mukund will be banned and not dhoni as he is the captain on paper. This is politics at its peak

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (July 27, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

Nagraj appears to be a better writer with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the game. Wonder what it takes to be a Senior Editor!!

Posted by OzWally on (July 27, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

They failed to mention the main "factor". The BCCI runs cricket and wouldn't put up with going into the next Test without their Captain.

Posted by Charindra on (July 27, 2011, 16:56 GMT)

ICC, MCC, umpires or match referees wouldn't dare ban Dhoni. After all, India rules. In the same way that England and Aus were for more than a century. Truly pathetic situation. The rule of law applies to all, unless you're Indian of course!

Posted by khiladisher on (July 27, 2011, 16:40 GMT)

DHONI IS VERY LUCKY TO NOT MISS OUTPLAYING THE SECOND TEST-THIS IS A GOOD OMEN FOR INDIA ,STILL IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO WIN THE TEST WITHOUT THE 2 SUPERSTAR PERFORMERS-SEHWAG AND ZAHEER. A FULLY FIT INDIAN TEAM WITH SEHWAG AND ZAHEER WOULD HAVE WON THE SERIES FOR INDIA 2-0

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 27, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

Right .... have read that twice. And still dont understand how Dhoni has escaped an 'automatic' ban without there being any sort of disclosure as to how. Presumably there werent threats of airplanes waiting at Heathrow with their engines running like we got on the last Australian tour.

Posted by K.A.K on (July 27, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

Many factors? hmmm... Dhoni saved by the Lords.

Posted by ronnieb on (July 27, 2011, 16:27 GMT)

if slow over rates have a commercial effect, they should stop tv coverage after the decided time ... don't think anybody would like to watch their team loose just because captain wanted to get through some overs quickly.

Posted by arnabpaul2k on (July 27, 2011, 16:14 GMT)

Dhoni was saved because Indian Bowlers could not take many wickets in the England 2nd innings... once Broad and Prior settled, there was no waste of time at all...

Posted by jrben on (July 27, 2011, 16:10 GMT)

"many factors on the ground" - Could one of the factors be Jonathan Trott? With his customary walk to the square leg position after every ball how on earth can the bowler complete his over in less than 4 mins to get 15 overs in an hour?

Posted by Vindaliew on (July 27, 2011, 16:09 GMT)

10 seconds between overs? My goodness, that would mean that your field would have to be set taking into account who is bowling the next over, and if it's a fast bowler you're obliged to have a long on or long off.

Posted by spiritwithin on (July 27, 2011, 16:00 GMT)

when a captain fails to manage the over rate consistently it shows lack of planning,in the first tests DHONI was lacking in all aspects be it in batting,wicketkeeping or tactics as captains,with his keeping skills he sud'nt be in the test team and his batting is always shaky in tests...its high time bcci start searching for a better captain in the test squad who warrants his place on his specialised skills,Dhoni is a good odi player so keep him as ODI captain but he does'nt deserve a spot in the test team

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:49 GMT)

what a load of tosh. Bet if it had been Bangladesh or new zealand he would have got the chop. Perhaps we are working on BCCI instead of British summer time.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:30 GMT)

i guess comments starting to blame BCCI's "influence" in pardoning dhoni would start flooding this forum... :P

Posted by asterix.gaul on (July 27, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

I wonder how the incoming batsman would feel if he stepped on the park and the bowler already at the top of his mark. It would be a bit unnerving, and increases the likelihood of extended the initial jitters a batsman encounters in his stomach. You may actually get a wicket this way!

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

Sensible call. Obviously if MSD does it again then there will be no question but to have him banned for one game, that would be brinksmanship, I fear.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

Of course how can they suspend MSD?! They don't want to make the BCCI angry... It's a political game now-a-days! =)

Posted by Yevghenny on (July 27, 2011, 15:12 GMT)

Let's be honest, this is the administrators afraid of TV ratings being affected. I'm not too bothered, I would hate to see Dhoni suspended for this series

Posted by TapeBall on (July 27, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

Actually I am not astonished at all. But it's good for England that Indian fan and players can't make any justification this time for not having their Captain/wicket keeper. I am looking forward to see all their first choice 11 for the next test and then we will go from there.

Posted by kitten on (July 27, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

'The official stated that both teams were on par in terms of over-rates, though India may have been a minute faster', I am not surprised at that statement, as we must remember England has three pacemen(who invariably take longer to bowl), and only one spinner, though Trott and Pietersen did have an occasional bowl, whereas India were only left with two pacemen, after Zaheer limped off. In fact, Dhoni, and Raina assisted Harbhajjan with the bowling. So Zaheer's injury was a blessing in disguise for Dhoni?

Posted by Vilander on (July 27, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

the way he is keeping and batting, it would not be such a blow seriously.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2011, 14:38 GMT)

If this situation had arisen with any other team the captain would have been banned, this is a disgraceful cowardly act on the part of the ICC yet again. The paying public are yet again sold short.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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