There is much talk gong on about the Suraj Randiv no ball that prevented Sehwag from reaching his century. Should he have bowled a normal ball and allowed Sehwag to get his well deserved hundred? Or hsould he have denied his opponent the pleasure of getting a hundred by bowling a no ball?
Another match, another time.
Pragyan Ojha and Ishant Sharma defy Muralitharan who is one wicket shy of getting a stupendous 800 wickets before his retirement - one that he had already announced. Should they have got out to ensure that Murali gets his 800th scalp? Or should they battle out a hopeless situation? Interesting posers that lead to much debate.
To me its simple. The first principle of a competitor is to fight till the last ball. By looking to fight till the end, the sportsman may just open a glimmer of a chance that could lead to a miracle. And that is the only duty of the sportsman - to give his best even at the last ball.
In Suraj Randiv's case, he not only flouted the first principle through his misguided action, but he actually, deliberately, ensured that India won by bowling that no ball i.e. he did his team a disservice by bowling that ball. In the end analysis, a miracle where Sri Lanka could have drawn the match with India if 6 wickets fell at the same score, was denied by their own bowler. So we have a case of a bowler who won the game for India deliberately. In my opinion, this is against the first principle of trying till the last ball and instead, focusing on depriving an opponent's personal milestone. Suraj Randiv needs to be reprieved under the laws of cricket for bringing disrepute to the game.
On the other hand, I support the two youngsters, Ishant and Pragyan Ojha, for sticking out against not just Murali, but also the temptation to be his 800th wicket and thereby enter the record books in a rather dubious way. Temptation also since its a great milestone and Murali is a nice guy and another soft hearted batsman might just have played loosely at a delivery to cap a deserving career of a great cricketer. Keeping the first principles of the game in mind, I'd give full points for the lads for playing in the right spirit of the game and ensuring that Murali goes to bed a proud man, having 'earned' his wicket.
There rests my case.