Stand-in Dhoni bowls pies with spice to give Kev food for thought

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Lord's

Anyone who missed the drama and saw only the figures, might advise MS Dhoni, quite forcefully, against giving up the day job. But with a touch of luck – and, more to the point – a touch of the bat, India's action man would have broken Kevin Pietersen's heart yesterday.

There were at least a couple of part-time bowlers (Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina spring to mind) who could have helped the tourists out of the hole in which they found themselves once Zaheer Khan's worrying hamstring injury reduced a four-man attack to three.

But those who really know Dhoni, like Sunil Gavaskar, predicted that India's charismatic captain would rip off his wicket-keeping pads and award himself the difficult task of delivering Zaheer's "missing" overs. Gavaskar was right – and Dhoni's decision was damn near inspired.

You could almost hear Pietersen thinking "oh no" once he looked up and saw who had the ball in his hand straight after lunch. This was the batsman, after all, who fell in rather embarrassing circumstances to another occasional Indian bowler, Yuvraj Singh, a few years ago and then tried to hide his discomfort by calling the spinner a "pie-chucker."

Well, if Dhoni was serving up medium-paced pies yesterday, several of them were clearly covered with spicy sauce. His first delivery had KP in enough of a tangle for bowler and temporary keeper Rahul Dravid to shout for lbw. Then, midway through the captain's second over, Pietersen had to be reprieved by the decision review system (that part of it not vetoed by India) after being given out, caught behind, for 73.

The appeals by Dhoni and Dravid were genuine but while umpire Billy Bowden agreed with them about the outside edge, "hot spot" showed that ball had passed bat without making contact.

That was as near as Dhoni came to dashing Pietersen's century dream. But the man who had previously bowled only three overs, in three separate Tests, had rattled KP's cage and performed creditably enough to give himself another spell later in the day.

Dhoni is not the first keeper to remove his pads and have a trundle in Test cricket. Indeed, Tatenda Taibu took a wicket for Zimbabwe a few years ago. Perhaps Dhoni has, inadvertently, found a potential answer to the old problem of how to strengthen your attack without weakening the batting. In any event, don't be too surprised if you spot Matt Prior bowling off 20 paces before the next Test at Trent Bridge for it may no longer be enough for a keeper to catch edges and score sparkling 70s.

It is fairly unlikely, though, that any stumper will match the performance of Alan (A C) Smith, the former Warwickshire keeper and ex-Test and County Cricket Board chief executive. Tired of standing behind the wicket during a championship match against Essex in 1965, he brought himself on to bowl and promptly took a hat-trick.

India could have done with something like that yesterday as England built a commanding total after being put in. Still, India enjoyed one piece of luck when Eoin Morgan was given out for nought in curious circumstances. Dhoni, back behind the stumps, pouched the delivery and umpire Asad Rauf upheld Praveen Kumar's appeal for a catch behind. Morgan wandered off without complaint, but replays suggested he did not touch the ball and the suspicion was he may have thought the verdict was lbw.

The incident supported the argument that the decision review system should be used in its entirety or not at all. As things stand here, Morgan could not have referred his dismissal for lbw but could have done for a catch behind. Confused? So may he have been.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
News
peopleActress tells men: 'It's your issue too'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam