Boycott slams Indian bowlers

Geoffrey Boycott questioned how did India move to No. 1 status in Tests with the current bowling attack AFP

London: Jul 23, 2011

England batsman Kevin Pietersen should have been back in the pavilion much before he struck his unbeaten double hundred but umpire Asad Rauf’s lack of conviction saved him in the ongoing first Test against India, says Geoffrey Boycott.

The former batsman said Pietersen, who made unbeaten 202 in England’s 474 for 8 declared, should have been given out caught at leg slip when he was on 49 as Rauf had a clear view of the catch but it was referred to the third umpire.

“The only blot on the day was the poor decision by the square leg umpire, Asad Rauf, when he should have given Pietersen out caught at leg slip when he was on 49.

“He had an uninterrupted clear view from 20 yards away and chickened out of making the correct decision. Anybody who works in television will tell you that low catches will always look if the ball has bounced before being caught,” Boycott wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“Batsmen throughout the game know that if a low catch is referred to television umpire there is every chance they will get away with it. I don’t blame the batsman for standing. I blame the umpire for not having the courage of his convictions and making the decision without television.”

That apart, Boycott criticised India’s bowling performance in the absence of an injured Zaheer Khan and said the attack just doesn’t seem to belong to the world’s top Test side.

“It is not Pietersen’s fault that India were one bowler short and their other bowling wasn’t special. Harbhajan Singh made no impact whatsoever, Ishant Sharma tried his best but his inexperience and inability to put the ball in awkward areas showed up time and again,” he said.

“Praveen Kumar is military medium but swung the ball and fully deserved his successful haul of five wickets which shows that in Test cricket, provided you move the ball off straight and narrow, you have a chance of getting people out.

“But with this bowling line up you wonder how the hell India are going to take England wickets without Zaheer Khan.

Even more so, you wonder how they got to number one in the world,” he added.