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Time for ICC to review Shoaib's action

If Michael Holding can go on air suspecting Akhtar's action and motives, then ICC ought to take note, writes Bishen Singh Bedi.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2006 16:53 IST

The Indians are feeling the heat of the aftermath of a series loss. Many stories are emanating from Pakistan giving us a million reasons for India's debacle. And more to celebrate Pakistan's accomplishment.

Considering Lahore and Faisalabad were dead woods, it became really a one-Test lottery, which was won by the more daring and enthusiastic Pakistanis. All said and done, all the pluses in the first two Tests were with Indian tourists. In just one game, everything tilted in Pakistan's favour, making Inzy and Woolmer cock-a-hoop. It seems all of Pakistan's moves were well rehearsed and all those of the Indians were shots in the dark.

Well, Dravid has no option but to listen to his critics with his ears and eyes closed. Ditto Tendulkar. Greg Chappell has work on hand. First, to exorcise the ghost of Ganguly. And then, win over the trust of all his wards all over again, before putting them through the tough grind of the fast pace of limited overs cricket.

The Indians would do well to expel the thought of the Test series loss. The sooner the better. And sharpen their cricket wits on the basis of a large hearted retaliation. One way of doing that is to ensure that the dressing room vibrates with one for all and all for one togetherness. The addition of Kaif, Sreesanth, Kartik and Raina should bring about youthfulness which will give good cover to experience. Indian fielding will definitely be an edge over Pakistan. So the limited Indian attack will have a sharper look to it, provided the line and length factor is adhered to.

Reverting to the Karachi loss, I was amused to read Inzamam's and Woolmer's remarks. The Pakistan captain found flaw with two hundreds of Dravid as an opener while Woolmer asserted Greg Chappell's query over Shoaib Akhtar's action motivated the entire Pakistani team. I shall abstain from the number of wickets against the controversial bowler's name. Suffice it to say for now that suspect bowling actions in Pakistan team is not something new. If Michael Holding can go on air suspecting Akhtar's action and motives, then the ICC ought to sit up and take note. Remember Holding is on the technical committee of the ICC. For the one dayers, two more suspect actions will be on display - Shoaib Malik and Afridi. I am not complaining. Simply asserting this is not cricket.

The first of the five one dayers will be played on the flat pitch in Peshawar. I have a funny experience of the cricket venue in NWFP. We played a three-day practice match there. During the course of the game, I had to be relieved to answer a call of the nature. Lack of toilet facility at the ground forced me to go to the team hotel which took almost half an hour. On my return, umpire Shakoor Rana wouldn't let me bowl for that period, which I thought was a bit over-bearing. I hope facilities will have improved a fair bit now.

Come what may, the Indians have no room for excuses. In order to wipe off the misery of the Karachi loss, the Indians have to win the one-dayers. Just a reminder that Greg Chappell's appointment as coach is upto 2007 World Cup. Obviously Greg's utility as a one-day specialist will be under greater scrutiny. Somehow, I feel the composition of India's one day team will be more precise and meaningful. Rahul Dravid too will have a message or two to put across to his counterpart.

First Published: Feb 04, 2006 16:53 IST