Rajan's Wrong 'Un: Ashwin engineers his way off bench?

World Cup Diary

There's much talk about whether India will play off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin against South Africa today.

When Ashwin broke through in last year's IPL, his fondness for the new ball led to comparisons with Dipak Patel, who opened for the Kiwis in the 1992 World Cup. A better comparison might be with Srinivasan "Venkat" Venkataraghavan, who had a similar action. Curiously, Venkat and other Indian greats Erapalli Prasanna and Anil Kumble were all qualified engineers – Ashwin is studying to be one.

Tardy Shehzad gets his final warning

It's a useful rule to take stories emanating from Pakistani training sessions with a pinch of salt. But this is too good to ignore. Ahmed Shehzad, a brash 19-year-old batsman, was this week scolded in the nets for being lethargic. Yesterday, he turned up late, and Waqar tanned his rear. "Do whatever you want to do," he said. "I will not take this any more. This is your last chance!" Until Monday's game against Zimbabwe, that is.

Luck of the Irish in short supply

A stunning 94 off 55 balls from Kieron Pollard and Devon Smith's career-best 107 led West Indies to victory over Ireland. The Irish now need two wins to qualify. If it proves beyond them, they may rue umpire Asoka de Silva's bizarre refusal to change his mind over the leg before decision he gave to Gary Wilson. TV replays are meant to reduce human error, not compound it.

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