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  • POSTED BY Speng on | May 6, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    If spinners can do the stop delivery pacers can do the equivalent too. I don't like it but it's the rules. In fact Russel's trick (and let's face it - he's no good) is less of an issue than Ashwin's stop delivery.

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | May 6, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    I didn't actually see Russell's delivery, but if it's anything like reported it's low. Changing hands, changing stance, even changing pace of the ball is perfectly acceptable, but the batsman must have the right to know whether to expect a delivery or not. Granted, if you want to be strict about it, there's no reason Watto needed to relax his grip until the dead-ball was called, but in practice there's a build-up to each delivery, and when there's a sign of an abortion, the concentration is broken. It's more akin to taking a penalty in football, pretending to pullout, and then shooting when the goalie has relaxed.

  • POSTED BY Asad_don on | May 6, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    can you imagine how much energy that trickery take from russell credit to him.

  • POSTED BY durber99 on | May 6, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Poor performance from KKR. Feeling bad for Shakib. He tried but running out of ball. He made 21 from 14 balls but Suryakumar made only 9 from 17 delivery, can you imagine, how costly it was? Among the KKR batsman Shakib's strike rate is highest 142.1, out of 5 innings 3 times not out, running out of ball. Other players are too slow. Shakib should bat at number 3. If he clicks then he can destroy the opponents because his strike rate is better than other KKR players. If he fails in batting, no worries, he can recover the gap by his bowling. Sometimes his economy rate is better than Narine. Till now, Shakib is the most valuable player for KKR though he dropped for two matches. If you treat like that a player can feel insecure. KKR lineup should be Uthappa, Gambhir, Shakib, Lynn, Pandey, Yusuf Pathan

  • POSTED BY shiv_cric on | May 6, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    On the Russel incident, the third umpire or the leg umpire might have been the concerned personnels who could have spotted this tom foolery. Wish the third umpires role be extended to point out bizarre happenings which is against the spirit of the game which is hard for onfield umpires to spot. As to the players they need to have the self respect to realise they shouldn't be doing things which are against the spirit of the game or having done it in the heat of the moment, apologise for the same, but this is a hard ask considering the ethics of certain players, hence the only recourse is cover it in the rule book and impose penalties so that players toe the line and not act cute.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    The batsman has a right to know when the ball is being bowled and where from. Apart from the safety concerns, what farce would we end up with if the onus was taken away from bowlers to ensure batsmen were ready? Continuous cricket is a fun game in the schoolyard, but let's not encourage it at the top levels.

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | May 6, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    what Russell did is not fair. The equivalent of switch hit or reverse hit/ sweep is bowlers using either hand without a prior information. It is time the laws are changed, at least in T20 and ODIs, the bowlers need not declare which hands they will use for bowling.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 6, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    I don't think it is justified and felt it was unfair. I think Russell should be penalized so that this behaviour is not repeated.

    A switch hit while terribly frustrating to a bowler is still different from what he did. If Russell would have bowled with the left hand instead of the right hand, then maybe I would say that it is the bowler's equivalent of a switch hit. However pretending to pull out and then bowling the ball is not the same. What would have happened if Watson would have been bowled?

    The game should be played in the right spirit and this action from Russell was not in the right spirit.

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | May 5, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    The bowler has the right to stop short and deliver. Nothing has been said about spinners who chug up and the seem to halt and litteraly stop and deliver the ball. In this case Ruseel did not stop but seemed to slow down but never did stop. The batsmen have had it good, why not the bowlers. All part and parcel of T20.

  • POSTED BY Ravs1504 on | May 5, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    I cannot believe that some of you guys actually support Russell. It cannot be compared wtih things like swith hit. It made the batsman believe that he is pulling out of the delivery and then just bowled it anyway. This is definitely against the spirit of the game. Pity to see people supporting it on the name of level playing field for bowlers.

  • POSTED BY scaceventura on | May 5, 2014, 23:15 GMT

    If the ball had hit Watson, it could've caused serious injury. This is not the same as switch hit. Ashwin pausing and bowling is innovation, but acting like pulling out is unsportsmanlike.

  • POSTED BY Mannix16 on | May 5, 2014, 22:13 GMT

    Legal? Yes. You can't do anything about a bowler's run out because it's distracting or tricky (think of Paul Adams). Within the spirit of the game? Definitely not. Similar to the switch hit situation in a way. I do think that if the Switch Hit is allowed, bowlers should be able to switch their hands from left to right handed if they want or right to left it they want. And if batsman can change their stance before a ball is bowled, then why can't a bowler change his run up slightly to throw the batsman off?

  • POSTED BY __PK on | May 5, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    Muhammad Aarez Ali if you're suggesting switch-hits be banned, then you have to ban batsmen advancing down the track before the bowler releases the ball. No, Russell deliberately fooled the batsman into thinking he was stopping. The umpire should have called dead ball and Watson would have been within his rights to complain if he'd been dismissed.

  • POSTED BY MWaqqar on | May 5, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    What Russel did was absolutely unfair.

  • POSTED BY billios on | May 5, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    I think the poll needs a fourth option - I don't mind what Russell did, but the third umpire needed to call dead ball. Watson clearly dropped a hand off the bat when he saw Russell pulling out as if to say he wasn't ready, if the batsman isn't ready (and for good reason in this case) then that should be the end of it.

    Will be interesting to see whether anybody tries this again.

  • POSTED BY CricketFanInCA on | May 5, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    No one has the right to kill others... If Mitch / Steyn / MMorkel did this with 150mph, Watto would not have survived... So whatever Russell did was against any game of sprit... It was leg umpire fault not to call it as no ball or dead ball but indian leg umpire in this match was inexperience...

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Russell's delivery was unjustifiable and in no way comparable to a switch hit. Th etwo comments on the live scorecard sum it up perfectly:

    Ranjith P: "This is no innovation because Russell was not trying to distract Watson's concentration. He was trying to make him think that was a failed run up and give up on the ball. This is completely different from a batsman moving in his crease to create innovative shots. I will never support Russell's action. "

    Sriram: "When batsman thinks bowler is not going to bowl and if bowler bowls it is unfair. On the contrary, when batsman changes stance, there is all indication that batsman is still trying to hit the ball and keep the ball in play."

  • POSTED BY StarHawk on | May 5, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    To those who are supporting Russell's delivery.....you cannot compare this to the switch hit or any other innovation used by the batsmen. The bowler basically pulled out from his bowling run up and made the batsman believe its a dead ball. Imagine if the batsman took his eyes off the ball and the bowler bowled the ball at the batsman's body?? This could cause some serious injury!

  • POSTED BY NIKSTERROR on | May 5, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    That was against the spirit of game. He acted like he was falling and couln't bowl , someone like Ashwin use to pause his action sometimes but that is acceptable given that he is confirm to bowl. Talking of switch hits most of the times batsmen ends up loosing his wicket and sometimes fails to get the extra run from a really wide ball.For disturbing the batsman concentration,10 fielders are already there who sledges hard to get rid of him.

  • POSTED BY ufriends on | May 5, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    @Muhammad, @mus_tard He is allowed to switch the ball from right to left hand and bowl. He can bowl slower ball, jump like Dinda and bowl or Malinga way or china man or googly or.....

    But there are certain things which goes beyond ethics then these should be stopped. It should remain game not a war or business.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    i cant believe people are saying what Russell did was fair; when a batsman plays a switch hit or something you know his going to play a shot but when a bowler pulls out he doesn't bowl the ball. Poor Sportsmanship by Russell

  • POSTED BY I_Love_My_India on | May 5, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    I think what Russel did is wrong.

    I see some people trying to defend the "bowler's rights" because the batsman can adjust positions last minute unlike bowlers. For the switch hitting, going down on the knee cases, the batsman change that at the last minute and we should appreciate the effort of the batsman by adjusting the line and length to hit. Most of the times, we have seen the bowler wins barring a few batsmen like Maxwell or Devillers. In this specific case, when Russel stopped running, Watson assumed that the bowler is not going to bowl and wasl not be prepared to bat. I think both cases are different.

    If still you think what Russel did was right, then the under-arm bowling by Trevor Chappell was also right.

  • POSTED BY AshwinMS on | May 5, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    @MUHAMMAD AAREZ ALI He made it look like he's stopping.Not just switching his stance.

  • POSTED BY mus_tard on | May 5, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    I fully support what Russell did.

    Just like how batsmen can play different types of shots, bowlers can bowl different types of balls with various speeds. Just like how batsmen can disturb the bowler's concentration by moving from leg to off, backing away, faking a charge, going on one knee, bowlers should be able to come up with ways of disturbing the concentration of the batsmen as well.

    It may be a batsman's game but bowlers have every right as a batsman does.

  • POSTED BY ChulaW on | May 5, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    I think what Russell did is fair too.. Batsmen are allowed any leeway while the bowler delivers the ball, messing with the bowler's head. Why can't bowlers do the same?

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    @ufriends....isn't what he did same to the switch hit used by the batsmen....the bowler and the fielding captain sets the field for a right arm batsman and bowls according to it....then what gives batsman the right to switch his stance at the last moment...that too after the bowl is bowled.... The bowler should have the right to change his bowling stance mid-action

  • POSTED BY ufriends on | May 5, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    What Russell did ...cannot be justified in any way. He should have apologized and bowled the ball again.

    Umpires need to step up to lift the spirit of game. You have square leg and 3rd umpire. They should have intervened and informed Llong.

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  • POSTED BY Speng on | May 6, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    If spinners can do the stop delivery pacers can do the equivalent too. I don't like it but it's the rules. In fact Russel's trick (and let's face it - he's no good) is less of an issue than Ashwin's stop delivery.

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | May 6, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    I didn't actually see Russell's delivery, but if it's anything like reported it's low. Changing hands, changing stance, even changing pace of the ball is perfectly acceptable, but the batsman must have the right to know whether to expect a delivery or not. Granted, if you want to be strict about it, there's no reason Watto needed to relax his grip until the dead-ball was called, but in practice there's a build-up to each delivery, and when there's a sign of an abortion, the concentration is broken. It's more akin to taking a penalty in football, pretending to pullout, and then shooting when the goalie has relaxed.

  • POSTED BY Asad_don on | May 6, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    can you imagine how much energy that trickery take from russell credit to him.

  • POSTED BY durber99 on | May 6, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Poor performance from KKR. Feeling bad for Shakib. He tried but running out of ball. He made 21 from 14 balls but Suryakumar made only 9 from 17 delivery, can you imagine, how costly it was? Among the KKR batsman Shakib's strike rate is highest 142.1, out of 5 innings 3 times not out, running out of ball. Other players are too slow. Shakib should bat at number 3. If he clicks then he can destroy the opponents because his strike rate is better than other KKR players. If he fails in batting, no worries, he can recover the gap by his bowling. Sometimes his economy rate is better than Narine. Till now, Shakib is the most valuable player for KKR though he dropped for two matches. If you treat like that a player can feel insecure. KKR lineup should be Uthappa, Gambhir, Shakib, Lynn, Pandey, Yusuf Pathan

  • POSTED BY shiv_cric on | May 6, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    On the Russel incident, the third umpire or the leg umpire might have been the concerned personnels who could have spotted this tom foolery. Wish the third umpires role be extended to point out bizarre happenings which is against the spirit of the game which is hard for onfield umpires to spot. As to the players they need to have the self respect to realise they shouldn't be doing things which are against the spirit of the game or having done it in the heat of the moment, apologise for the same, but this is a hard ask considering the ethics of certain players, hence the only recourse is cover it in the rule book and impose penalties so that players toe the line and not act cute.

  • POSTED BY on | May 6, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    The batsman has a right to know when the ball is being bowled and where from. Apart from the safety concerns, what farce would we end up with if the onus was taken away from bowlers to ensure batsmen were ready? Continuous cricket is a fun game in the schoolyard, but let's not encourage it at the top levels.

  • POSTED BY Siva_Bala75 on | May 6, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    what Russell did is not fair. The equivalent of switch hit or reverse hit/ sweep is bowlers using either hand without a prior information. It is time the laws are changed, at least in T20 and ODIs, the bowlers need not declare which hands they will use for bowling.

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 6, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    I don't think it is justified and felt it was unfair. I think Russell should be penalized so that this behaviour is not repeated.

    A switch hit while terribly frustrating to a bowler is still different from what he did. If Russell would have bowled with the left hand instead of the right hand, then maybe I would say that it is the bowler's equivalent of a switch hit. However pretending to pull out and then bowling the ball is not the same. What would have happened if Watson would have been bowled?

    The game should be played in the right spirit and this action from Russell was not in the right spirit.

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | May 5, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    The bowler has the right to stop short and deliver. Nothing has been said about spinners who chug up and the seem to halt and litteraly stop and deliver the ball. In this case Ruseel did not stop but seemed to slow down but never did stop. The batsmen have had it good, why not the bowlers. All part and parcel of T20.

  • POSTED BY Ravs1504 on | May 5, 2014, 23:40 GMT

    I cannot believe that some of you guys actually support Russell. It cannot be compared wtih things like swith hit. It made the batsman believe that he is pulling out of the delivery and then just bowled it anyway. This is definitely against the spirit of the game. Pity to see people supporting it on the name of level playing field for bowlers.

  • POSTED BY ufriends on | May 5, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    What Russell did ...cannot be justified in any way. He should have apologized and bowled the ball again.

    Umpires need to step up to lift the spirit of game. You have square leg and 3rd umpire. They should have intervened and informed Llong.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    @ufriends....isn't what he did same to the switch hit used by the batsmen....the bowler and the fielding captain sets the field for a right arm batsman and bowls according to it....then what gives batsman the right to switch his stance at the last moment...that too after the bowl is bowled.... The bowler should have the right to change his bowling stance mid-action

  • POSTED BY ChulaW on | May 5, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    I think what Russell did is fair too.. Batsmen are allowed any leeway while the bowler delivers the ball, messing with the bowler's head. Why can't bowlers do the same?

  • POSTED BY mus_tard on | May 5, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    I fully support what Russell did.

    Just like how batsmen can play different types of shots, bowlers can bowl different types of balls with various speeds. Just like how batsmen can disturb the bowler's concentration by moving from leg to off, backing away, faking a charge, going on one knee, bowlers should be able to come up with ways of disturbing the concentration of the batsmen as well.

    It may be a batsman's game but bowlers have every right as a batsman does.

  • POSTED BY AshwinMS on | May 5, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    @MUHAMMAD AAREZ ALI He made it look like he's stopping.Not just switching his stance.

  • POSTED BY I_Love_My_India on | May 5, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    I think what Russel did is wrong.

    I see some people trying to defend the "bowler's rights" because the batsman can adjust positions last minute unlike bowlers. For the switch hitting, going down on the knee cases, the batsman change that at the last minute and we should appreciate the effort of the batsman by adjusting the line and length to hit. Most of the times, we have seen the bowler wins barring a few batsmen like Maxwell or Devillers. In this specific case, when Russel stopped running, Watson assumed that the bowler is not going to bowl and wasl not be prepared to bat. I think both cases are different.

    If still you think what Russel did was right, then the under-arm bowling by Trevor Chappell was also right.

  • POSTED BY on | May 5, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    i cant believe people are saying what Russell did was fair; when a batsman plays a switch hit or something you know his going to play a shot but when a bowler pulls out he doesn't bowl the ball. Poor Sportsmanship by Russell

  • POSTED BY ufriends on | May 5, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    @Muhammad, @mus_tard He is allowed to switch the ball from right to left hand and bowl. He can bowl slower ball, jump like Dinda and bowl or Malinga way or china man or googly or.....

    But there are certain things which goes beyond ethics then these should be stopped. It should remain game not a war or business.

  • POSTED BY NIKSTERROR on | May 5, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    That was against the spirit of game. He acted like he was falling and couln't bowl , someone like Ashwin use to pause his action sometimes but that is acceptable given that he is confirm to bowl. Talking of switch hits most of the times batsmen ends up loosing his wicket and sometimes fails to get the extra run from a really wide ball.For disturbing the batsman concentration,10 fielders are already there who sledges hard to get rid of him.

  • POSTED BY StarHawk on | May 5, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    To those who are supporting Russell's delivery.....you cannot compare this to the switch hit or any other innovation used by the batsmen. The bowler basically pulled out from his bowling run up and made the batsman believe its a dead ball. Imagine if the batsman took his eyes off the ball and the bowler bowled the ball at the batsman's body?? This could cause some serious injury!

Royals v Knight Riders, IPL 2014, Ahmedabad May 5, 2014

Russell's fast one on Watson

Alagappan Muthu
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad
  shares 27

Shane Watson the batsman was fooled by Andre Russell, but ball in hand the Rajasthan Royals captain came back brilliantly
Shane Watson the batsman was fooled by Andre Russell, but ball in hand the Rajasthan Royals captain came back brilliantly © BCCI

The pull out, almost
The slower bouncer and the wide yorkers are part of every fast bowler's arsenal. The spinners have the doosra and there were even rumours of a teesra. In Ahmedabad, Andre Russell has pioneered a variation that might well be nominated as the height of trickery. He chugged up to the crease and in the final few steps seemed to pull out. Shane Watson loosened the grip on his bat and was already preparing for the umpire's call of dead ball. Only Russell revved back up and bowled a short and wide delivery. The startled Watson walked down to have an animated chat with umpire Nigel Llong, but the delivery was ruled legal.

The flamingo
The IPL has had spectacular feats involving the boundary rope and the latest entry was provided by Suryakumar Yadav and his nimble footwork. Shane Watson blitzed one down the ground and the fielder backpedalled as far as he could. All the while though, Yadav was spying the progress of the ball and having judged its trajectory, raised his hands over his head and well behind him to pluck a magnificent grab. But that wasn't the end of it. The momentum pushed him off balance, but Yadav shoved his left leg into the turf and extended all his other appendages in the air to hold onto his balance and gift Sunil Narine with the purple cap.

The edge
Karun Nair endured two failures to start the season and then overcame a sluggish beginning to erect a match-winning effort against Delhi Daredevils. That form carried through and he looked assured of himself in Ahmedabad, but that didn't mean the odd bit of luck wasn't welcome. First up, it was a full toss. The added bonus was it being on leg stump. And to cap it off, Nair's shovel over square leg went for six. Off the edge. Or should we start calling it the face now?

The new guy
Ryan ten Doeschate's athletic prowess would have played a significant part in Knight Riders inducting him into the XI ahead of the seasoned Jacques Kallis. He had the opportunity to reiterate that to the public when Stuart Binny smoked a length ball down to deep midwicket. The flat missile threatened to lob ten Doeschate when he propelled himself back, flung his hands over his head and completed a stunner in quite nonchalant fashion.

The comeback
After Knight Riders had established a brilliant platform in the chase, they promoted Russell at No.3. He lasted three balls and Watson got the better of him every time. The first one was a yorker that was just about dug out and almost resulted in the run-out of the well-set Robin Uthappa. The second one was dug in short and rose past Russell's chest as he let it go outside off. The third was a legcutter which pitched around middle and leg and straightened to beat Russell's grope to flatten middle stump. A long, hard stare from Watson at the departing batsman indicated he had not forgotten Russell's trick earlier in the match.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo