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There are only two men in Indian cricket

by RajaB

Bishen Singh Bedi might have a loose tongue, he might be a publicity monger, for all his acerbic he was, is and will be a great master of a dying trade. The art left arm slow bowling. Ask any one who’s savvy enough to speak cricket without having to refer to www, he would say “Bedi was the baap of all”.

In roughly 13 years, he played 67 tests. His returns with his left hand were 266 scalps at 28.71.
Muralitharan played for 18 years, 133 tests and returned with 800 scalps at 22.72

Let’s look at some statistics now…

What are we going to see now ?

a. Where Muralitharan was when he finished playing his 67th test

b. Removing all the home test matches, to avoid the “My favorite groundsman” factor for both bowlers

c. Remove the obvious minions, Zimbabwe is the only one in the list so we remove them

d. Because we are removing Zimbabwe whom Bedi never played and some might argue they had the Flower power when Muralitharan played. We make a compromise, in all matches Muralitharan took more than 2 wickets you discount 2 wickets (meaning you add it to his total tally, that of the Flower’s). Just to give him that advantage of hard earned wickets

Now, here’s how the board looks

Bishen “Loud mouth” Bedi

Tests played: 67

Tests played at home: 28

Wickets: 266

Wickets at home: 129

So we reset his tally to 266 - 129 = 137

So Bedi’s final figure is 137 test wickets at the end of his career

Muttiah “Protractor” Muralitharan

Total Tests played: 133

Wickets: 800

At the end of 67 tests…

Tests played at home: 35

Wickets: 340

Wickets at home: 195

Wickets against Zimbabwe (after deducting 2 from tally more than 2, the actual tally is 12): 9

So the rest tally is: 340 – 195 – 9 = 133

After 67 tests who is great ?

Who tested the batsmen the most ?

And who troubled the establishment more ?

Let us not let someone belittle one of our greats. We Indians have this habit of letting go of our culture, history & the greats, as told by our forefathers. Thanks to politics we can’t acknowledge the fact that we have let ourselves hijacked.

Let’s try and make Indian cricket politics free !! (outside the purview of BCCI of course)

As of now we know that there are only two real men in Indian cricket, one is Prasanna and the other is Maninder Singh. Let’s join them in telling the world “No Muralitharan, you are wrong… Singh Bedi is King Bedi”.

And hope he says “Sorry, I was misquoted” (as they all say !!)


Homer said...


Since Murali had 340 wickets to Bedi's 266, the argument is dead and buried right there.

Fancy footwork with numbers is not going to change that.

Secondly, what did Murali say that was out of order? The fact that Bedi would have been found out by today's bowlers? Or the fact that he did not have variations?

Just because Bedi is Indian does not give him carte blanche to shoot his mouth off and nor should we support his every asserttion with blinkers on only because he is Indian. Or are you suggesting otherwise?


Homer said...

"Secondly, what did Murali say that was out of order? The fact that Bedi would have been found out by today's bowlers? " should read "Secondly, what did Murali say that was out of order? The fact that Bedi would have been found out by today's batsmen? "

RajaB said...

@Homer: "Would have been" is a rather long shot. It is like saying if Bradman were playing now he would have been found out by bowlers and wouldn't have even crossed the 40 mark on averages...

What Muralitharan said is definately out of turn. Or whenever he tries something that doesn't involve bent rules it is out of turn !!

And what Bedi said is not wrong at all... We all know the rules were rewritten. May be the way Bedi puts it across is.

And on the numbers, there is no fancy footwork at all... I thought it was very fair

straight point said...

We all know the rules were rewritten. May be the way Bedi puts it across is.

can we say that one over per bouncer rule has benefited sachin most...? if the rules were re-written what murali has anything to do with it...? why not blame icc for that...?

if that rules ONLY benefited murali we would have seen lots of his clone but that's not the case...

and lastly but more importantly... what variations bedi actually had (the very basis of murali criticism) to settle the matter one way or other...?

RajaB said...

@SP: I'm sorry, I don't understand what your argument is...

Bouncer rule and bending ?? What are you trying to prove here man ?

Clone... What is that Gujarat / Saurashtra spinner who was banned ?? Forget his name... Why was he banned ?? There are many, we have woken up late and now we are putting an allowed angle etc. to fool ourselves.

The variation argument is a lame duck... Let's assume he didn't have variations, then where did the wickets come from ? Can we then say the batsmen of those days were so dumb that they couldn't even pick an ordinary bowler ??

Homer said...


Extrapolating Bedi's record and comparing against Murali's, without regard to the fact that the game was played in a very different era, is fair, but ": "Would have been" is a rather long shot.".

Secondly, the rules were changed because the ICC, in its infinite wisdom, ran tests against the spectrum of bowlers, and found that every single one of them ( barring Sarwan) were guilty of violating the throwing rule.
Murali was the catalyst for this, nothing more nothing less.

And its a strange land we live in where we support one man vilifying the other but do not allow the same rights to the man wronged.


achettup said...

Let us not let someone belittle one of our greats. We Indians have this habit of letting go of our culture, history & the greats, as told by our forefathers. Thanks to politics we can’t acknowledge the fact that we have let ourselves hijacked.

Not just Bedi, we should defend Bal Thackeray, those bastard Pakistani minsters have insulted him many times. Like Bedi, he too is one of the greatest controversy mongers ever from India. What has Thackeray said that is wrong anyway, the world has been redrawn and everybody knows the Marathi is losing out because of this.

RajaB said...

@Homer: I am not disputing that Muralitharan was a great bowler of his era... His doosra was not legal, period.

I am using the same "Would have been" Muralitharan has used in his interview... If Bedi would have been an ordinary bowler is right, I think I am alright !!

Well the ICC point and the catalyst thing, I am not sure... But that is another debate... We all know what the rules were bent for some votes and who made that happen...

As your last point, I agree with you... my only point is "Muralitharan could have chosen other things... could have called Bedi a mad man or something" questioning the man's credential is not on... It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, worser than when Bedi called him a javelin thrower

Homer said...

After biomechanical tests conducted in the 1990s, it was discovered that during a delivery as it rotates around the shoulder, a bowler's arm naturally flexes laterally, and that to comply with the Laws of Cricket at the time and bowl without any flex of the elbow was virtually impossible. Seemingly orthodox actions of bowlers assessed by visual means as legal were all technically illegal. The ICC decided to set a realistic elbow extension limit. This was 10 degrees for fast bowlers, 7.5 degrees for medium pacers, and 5 degrees for spin bowlers.

The ICC carried out a test on all bowlers through video footage during the 2004 Champions Trophy in England. The test brought up some startling results: ninety-nine percent of all bowlers tested were found to flex their elbow to some degree, and often flexed it much greater than the limit set at the time. After a review by an expert panel, the ICC decided to raise the limit to 15 degrees for all bowlers. This limit was chosen as the ICC believed that any flexing of the elbow above 15 degrees would be visibly noticeable.

Mahek said...

Don't think there's anything wrong with either of them airing their point of view. Sure you can't blame Murali for a change in the rules, but it's also a fact that the Lankans took it as discrimination against one of theirs instead of accepting the umpires' verdict.

The whole 15 degree rule is a sham. How do the umpires measure the flex in real time? Can they tell the difference between a flex of 14 degrees 59 minutes 59 seconds and a flex of 15 degrees? The official line is that the flex is visible to the naked eye if it's 15 degrees or more. Conversely, it means that if I perceive a bowler to be chucking then the flex must be 15 degrees as I wouldn't have seen the flex otherwise.

The bowler Rajab is talking about is Mohnish Parmar. He used to take wickets for fun in FC cricket until they got him to change his action. Harbhajan doesn't bowl with Murali's action but his doosra is pretty suspect as well.

Mahek said...

What's the big deal about variation? Warne is one of the greatest spinners in the history of the game and he hardly ever bowled the googly. Harbhajan has a doosra and yet Swann has comfortably outbowled him in the last two years.

RajaB said...

@Homer: I have the same question as @Mahek, how do we know that the doosra in match situation is under 15 degrees ? In fact we had a cartoon on bored on that 15 degree rule some time back

@Mahek: Muralitharan has every right to stand up and say something but he should have done that the right way... not belittling and questioning the credentials of Bedi, the champion bowler. I have no qualms had he spoken about Bedi, the mad man. There is a difference I thought

mspr1nt said...

hahahah, I dunno how I missed this. Wow dude - stop being so bitter. Praise the bushbaby!

(I know not going to try to argue because I effing hate numbers!)

achettup said...

RajaB, people -and many Sri Lankans do- can say the same of Bedi, he has belittled the bowler (he still refuses to use that term for Murali) who in all likelihood will hold the record for the most test wickets for ever. When Murali said Bedi was a controversy monger, he was spot on, Bedi seems to live for these moments.
Mahek is quite right, both are entitled to their opinions, I take it further, let them sling as much mud at each other as they wish. Let them show the world that they are that stupid and petty about it. But why should anybody else get involved? Has Bedi asked for our assistance? Did Murali ask other Sri Lankans to fight for his honor? Its their stupid fight, and is a non-story. Not ours. Not simply because we have the bad luck of being born in the same country as two idiots.
Also, if you are going to play around with Murali's minnows, take away Bedi's 20 wickets in NZ, the minnows at the time... But its a pointless bit of analysis and argument. Just because Murali or Bedi make unsubstantiated statements doesn't mean we need to go about one way or another to prove or disprove them.

ram5160 said...

@ Raja B,
dude, come on. Credentials are the one thing both cricketers and fans can question. Without that, we wont have anything to talk about. We Indians target Ponting and the aussies 10 and so on. On the other hand how do you respond to comments like Javelin thrower and shot putter? Your suggestion that he insult Bedi back would appear childish, silly and undignified to say the least.
Secondly, your sampling technique is totally off base. Sampling is the heart of statistics. Any technique involving the investigator choosing specific events leads to bias. A random sample of 67 test matches across Murali s career would be better. Have no idea though on wat the results would be. U also forget that Murali developed the Doosra later in his career while Bedi s stats take into account his increase in experience and development as a bowler.
Thirdly, u are not comparing Kumble and Prasanna s stats to Bedi- which is what Murali was talking about.
Fourthly, who won more matches for his country? Would like to see stats for all 4 of them.
Finally, Bedi s not half the man Murali is.

Mahek said...

Ram, Bedi has the best average of all Indian bowlers with more than 30 wickets. Yes, better than Kumble, Prasanna or Chandra.

How many matches have they won for India? This is the same stupid logic people use to define "matchwinners". Can one man alone win a test match? It's pretty obvious Kumble has been on the winning side more often & frequently than the spin quartet because he's played twice the number of tests and had a better group of players around him.

As for their manliness, I'm slightly disturbed with how you're so confident about the extent of their manhood.

raj said...

The English Defence:
"Per the ICC rules, murali's action is legal. Period."
The aussie defence
"Go check the scoreboard mate. Success on field is enough to negate all allegations including shameless sledging and provocation and pushing the rules only to be protected by Chris Board. If you win on field, nobody should question you therefore..m“

As an aside, what is this personal space. What did aamer do to Ponting that made Ponting cry to
Broad that "is ne mera balatkaar kiya"