'DOOSRA' dealt with a Doosara | Daily News

'DOOSRA' dealt with a Doosara

Years ago, after a practice session there was a team meeting at the NCC. At that meeting where strategy was discussed, Michael Tissera asked new ball bowler Nihal Seneviratne how he goes - meaning to what field does he bowl to. Prompt came the reply from witty Seneviratne - 'by bus'.

And today we ask which way will the Doosara go? Have we missed the bus?

Which way will the Doosara now spin? Which of our spinners will be Doosath? These are the questions that haunt spinners in the world and especially Sri Lanka where it was made a fine art. That the dreaded 'DOOSRA' AKA the one that goes the other way, was a delivery invented by former Pakistani off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and made a fine art by Sri Lanka's off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. That an illegal action is required to bowl it is old hat now.

The latest bowler to fall foul and be penalized for bowling the 'DOOSRA' with an illegal action is Sri Lanka's promising offie Tharindu Kaushal. Kaushal was a find and bowled his offies tantalizing and with vicious spin and bemused batsmen not only in domestic cricket, but most importantly in international cricket.

Then when he looked like being another Abu Fuard, Neil Chanmugam, Lalith Kaluperuma, Vijaya Mahendren, Cyril Ernest, Mahinda Athulathmudali or a Ralston Burke, some smart Alec introduces him to bowling the 'DOOSRA' and then he finds himself in a flat spin. The above mentioned bowled the one that went the 'other way', using the seam to get the ball to move the other way. But their actions were legal.

'Offie' Tharindu Kaushal reported - sub head

Kaushal was reported after the Indian series and after being tested was found to be bowling the 'DOOSRA' with an illegal action and the International Cricket Council has like the perennial by that gentleman of song JIM REEVES been 'accused, convicted and condemned' by the International Cricket Council.

The ICC cricketing sheiks in Dubai have bowled the 'DOOSRA' back at Kaushal and have ordered that he not bowl the 'DOOSRA' again, but can continue to bowl his offies. It certainly would have knocked the confidence out of the youngster. He was among the wickets bowling the offie. Why he had to resort to bowling the 'DOOSRA' which requires an illegal action is inexplicable.

Then a pertinent question to ask his bowling coach former left arm leg spinner Piyal Wijetunge is: Was he as coach ignorant of the fact that it requires an illegal action to deliver the 'DOOSRA'? He has been bowling coach for long and cannot claim ignorance. Then why did he risk allowing Kaushal to bowl the 'DOOSRA'?

Wijetunge debarred from bowling

It is no secret that Wijetunge who bagged bags of wickets in inter-school cricket playing for St. Anthony's College, Kandy, domestic cricket and representative cricket also had a suspect action and was debarred from bowling. We are not trying to belittle the bowling coach, but facts are stubborn.

Now that Kaushal's confidence must surely been tested , it will be interesting to watch whether he still retains his ability to be among the wickets like he did in the few Tests he played or whether he will be history like Senanayake.

The selectors would have been in a quandary to play him not. But the selectors have done well in playing him in the First Test against the West Indies which began on a Galle wicket that has become spin friendly in recent times and if he varies his offies should meet with success.

Bemused opposing batsmen

Bowlers such as Pakistani, West Indian and Sri Lankan spin champions - Saeed Ajmal, Sunil Narine and Sachitra Senanayake dominated the cricket scene and bemused opposing batsmen with this delivery capturing bags full of wickets before being stalled in their tracks.

Before Ajmal, Narine and Senanayake, it was Mushtaq who made batsmen look silly and captured wickets consistently. Then Muralitheran learned the ropes and baffled batsmen by fine tuning it to be his main wicket taking weapon and when he bowled it, it was always a wicket taking delivery and most of his 800 wickets came off the 'DOOSRA.

The 'DOOSRA' is a delivery bowled with an off break action which pitches and instead of turning in like a normal off break, viciously spins and goes the other way fooling the best of batsmen who play imagining it is an off break and falling prey.

Batsmen complained

With off spinners dominating with this delivery and making batsmen succumb, it was not long when batsmen suspected and complained that the 'DOOSRA' was being delivered with an illegal action that looked to be more of a throw which forced umpires to have a close look and complain.

It was later discovered that for the 'DOOSRA' to be bowled it requires an illegal action and when Ajmal, Narine and Senanayake delivered umpires reported and tests proved that the bowlers were delivering with illegal actions.

All three bowlers needed correction and when they came back to the big game, they were never the menacing bowlers they were before being tested and corrected. They had lost their viciousness, looked ordinary and it was sad to see them dropped from their national teams.

Pakistanis dump Saeed Ajmal

The Pakistanis have dumped their number one spinner Saeed Ajmal who spun them to many memorable and exciting victories saying that he is not the bowler that he was before having his action corrected. Pity because he was such a wonderful sight to watch when spinning and having batters in a flat spin.

To the West Indies- Sri Lanka series and it is encouraging and interesting to note that the Windies selectors headed by that 'super cat' Clive Lloyd have reposed their confidence in Sunil Narine and slotted him into their one-day squad. It will be interesting to see how he goes. Offies Nathan Lyon and Moeen Ali don't bowl the 'DOOSRA'.

Using the phrase - how he goes - brings to mind an amusing anecdote. A Board President's X1 led by Michael Tissera which included the writer was slated to play Hong Kong in a three day Unofficial Test at the CCC ground in 1972.

Going by bus

After a practice session there was a team meeting at the NCC. At that meeting where strategy was discussed, Tissera asked new ball bowler Nihal Seneviratne how he goes - meaning to what field does he bowl to. Prompt came the reply from witty Seneviratne - 'by bus'. Didn't the team break out in lung splitting laughter?

Seneviratne who opened bowling for Saracens under the leadership of Shanti 'Kiri' Pieris after a successful seasons with Wesley College was the son of another opening bowler for Wesley who resembled a Wesley Hall, Christe Seneviratne, a former Sports Editor of the 'DAILY NEWS' who played in the exalted company of that Sri Lankan batting legend Mahadevan Sathasivam for Wesley.

Playing on their home turf in Galle and with weather conditions and the wicket to their advantage, if the Sri Lankans are unable to beat Jason Holder's Windies babes, it will be a sad indictment on their game and everything it stands for.

Drop in all aspects

The Lankan game had dropped in all aspects - BATTING, BOWLING and FIELDING as was proved in the Test series losses to Pakistan and India. It will be interesting to watch how and what interim coach Jerome Jayaratne and his fellow coaches have done to resurrect our game all round. The end of this Test series will tell.

The Calypso boys from the Caribbean are entertainers. In batting they know only to hit the ball, and as they say it is not to be poked at. When it comes to fielding it is electrifying. In bowling speed was their forte. But sadly not any more. So over then to the Test series and let's hope to sing the Calypso perennial at the end - cricket luver'ly cricket - not at Lord's where I saw it, but in paradise- Sri Lanka.

By the way enjoy life now. It has an expiry date on it.

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