Asking Yuvi to bowl last over was bad move: Dravid | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Asking Yuvi to bowl last over was bad move: Dravid

cricket Updated: Sep 06, 2007 17:28 IST

PTI
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Indian captain Rahul Dravid, whose on-field decisions have quite often defied logic, has admitted that asking Yuvraj Singh to bowl the last over in the sixth cricket one-dayer against England was a "bad" move.

Dravid's inexplicable ploy to ask Yuvraj to bowl the last over very nearly cost India the crucial match at the Oval as Dimitri Mascarenhas launched a brutal assault by clobbering the part-time bowler for five consecutive sixes.

"It looked like a bad decision (to bowl Yuvraj). Our fast bowlers were going for 14-15 runs an over. I thought Yuvi bowled a good 48th for us. I just took a gamble with him," Dravid said.

While Dravid was justified in not giving the ball to an erratic Ajit Agarkar, who had already proved quite expensive, it was surprising that he did not consider Ramesh Powar for the last over.

The burly spinner has generally been economical and could have done a better job than a part-timer like Yuvraj.

Mascarenhas' heroics in the final over forced Dravid to acknowledge that he still does not have a plan for death bowling that could work.

"When somebody gets hit for 30 in an over you wonder a bit; we tried some different combinations over the series and it did not work out," Dravid said.

Piyush Chawla did well to run in and catch the first hit at deep mid-wicket but the momentum saw him crossing the boundary rope.

"If Piyush had caught that first one, it would have been different," said Dravid.

"Credit for Dimi (Mascarenhas) he cleared everything. After that one I said to Yuvraj 'don't worry, he'll edge the next one'. Then I said it after the second one, but after the third one I gave up!"

It is not for the first time that Dravid has come out with such a bizarre decision.

In the final Test against England at this very ground, Dravid chose not to enforce the follow-on despite the huge lead of 319 runs, a move which came under under attack from a number of former cricketers.

Dravid's rather "defensive" decision meant that India virtually threw away the chance of winning the series by a handsome 2-0 margin.

Dravid stoutly defended his decision but his reference to "people in the living room" drew much criticism from fans back home.

"I know, people might be disappointed because they wanted us to enforce the follow-on. Maybe, if I was sitting in a living room, I would have said the same things," he had said.

Dravid's decision to give the ball to Yuvraj also took Mascarenhas by surprise.

The England all rounder felt that Yuvraj got it a bit wrong and bowled in the right areas for him to flex his muscles and add 30 runs in the last over.

The Hampshire all-rounder -- who had never hit more than three sixes in an over before -- was indeed very proud of his achievement.

"It's what I have been doing for Hampshire for the last four or five years more consistently," he said.

"After I hit the second six I thought 'I am seeing it pretty well here, I am just swinging hard'. They just hit the middle of the bat and Yuvraj probably bowled them in the right areas for me. If you ask him, I guess he'd think he just got it a little bit wrong."