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Azhar Ali and Ian Bell: Why we cannot compare the two runouts

Ian Bell
Ian Bell
Satyam Jha
ANALYST
Modified 28 Oct 2018, 20:36 IST
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England vs India, 2nd Npower Test, Trent Bridge, Day 3

It was the final ball before the tea break, Eoin Morgan flicked an Ishant Sharma delivery towards fine leg with a desperate dive from Praveen Kumar at the ropes. The fielder wasn't sure he made a successful stop. Assuming the ball touched the fence and hence, dead, Bell left his crease to walk towards the pavilion when the bails were dislodged at the striker's end.

He was adjudged run-out, within the laws of the game.

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Tests, Abu Dhabi, Day 3:

Azhar Ali gets an edge off Peter Siddle past gully and the ball races towards the third man fence until it decides to stop a fair distance from the boundary. Mitchell Starc collects and returns the ball to keeper Paine, who whips the bail in a flash.

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali

Meanwhile, the batsman, assuming the ball went for four, stops midway on the pitch along with his partner. Before he could even react, or make any attempt to return to his crease, the bails were already dislodged and he is gone, again, within the laws of the game.

The similarities:

We can strongly argue about the one common factor that led to both the dismissals – both batsmen assuming the ball had touched the fence and consequently believing that the ball was dead.

The contrasts:

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1. In Bell’s incident, the fielder was completely unsure about his attempted stop, which gave a clear indication to everyone that it had indeed gone or four, which was not the case in Ali’s dismissal.

2. In the former’s case, tea was to be called after that delivery, so it was somewhat a natural tendency (not correct, though) for the players to leave their crease to stroll towards the dressing room. Again, this wasn’t the case in the latter’s dismissal.

We have seen a few other incidents, wherein the batsman left the crease even before the ball was dead. Muttiah Muralitharan’s dismissal by Brendon McCullum in 2006, when the Sri Lankan spin legend left his batting crease to congratulate his partner Sangakkara on a milestone, will remain a famous one in this list of run outs.

Published 28 Oct 2018, 20:36 IST
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