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Bucknor - India's scourge is back

The last two one-dayers between India and Pakistan, at Multan on Thursday and Karachi on Sunday, will feature West Indian Steve Bucknor as umpire. With the series critically poised, this is bad news for India, as Bucknor has in the past given some controversial decisions against India.

* V/s Australia at Brisbane, 2003-04: Sachin Tendulkar leaves a ball alone, which is going well over stumps. The ball hits him on the knee roll of the front pad. Jason Gillespie, the bowler, is the only player to appeal, that too very casually, but Bucknor raises his finger. Tendulkar is thus out for a duck. Fortunately for India, the Test ended in a draw.

* V/s Australia at Sydney , 2003-04: The crucial fourth and final Test against Australia. The hosts are battling to save the Test match, when Bucknor decides to turn down some legitimate appeals for leg-before by the Indians. Opener Justin Langer is plumb in front of the stumps, as is middle-order batsman Damien Martyn, but Bucknor thinks otherwise. The Test was drawn.

* V/s Pakistan at Lahore, 2003-04: India lost the Test match by nine wickets, but the result could have been different had Bucknor ruled in the bowlers' favour on atleast two occasions . Both leg-spinner Anil Kumble and medium-fast bowler Irfan Pathan got Yousuf Youhana ( now Mohammad Yousuf ) to edge to the keeper, but their appeals were turned down. Bucknor also ruled in favour of Inzamam-ul-Haq when Kumble had trapped him plumb in front.

* V/s Pakistan at Kolkata, 2004-05: Sachin Tendulkar was on course for his record-breaking 35th test hundred, when he chased medium-pacer Abdul Razzaq's swinging delivery. The ball didn't touch the bat at all but Bucknor gave the batsman out, a terrible decision in what was his hundredth Test as umpire. India however went on to win the match by 195 runs.

What's in store for India in the next four days?

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1 AustraliaAustralia 118
2 IndiaIndia 112
3 cricketPakistan 111
4 EnglandEngland 108
5 AustraliaNew Zealand 98
6 SouthSouth Africa 92
7 sri LankaSri Lanka 85
8 West IndiesWest Indies 65
9 BangladeshBangladesh 57
10 ZimbabweZimbabwe 48
1 AustraliaAustralia 123
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5 EnglandEngland 106
6 sri LankaSri Lanka 102
7 BangladeshBangladesh 98
8 countryWest Indies 94
9 cricket Pakistan 87
10 AfghanistanAfghanistan 49
1 New ZealandNew Zealand 132
2 IndiaIndia 128
3 west IndiesWest Indies 122
4 AfricaSouth Africa 119
5 EnglandEngland 116
6 AustraliaAustralia 110
7 Pakistan Pakistan 104
8 sri LankaSri Lanka 96
9 AfghanistanAfghanistan 78
10 BangladeshBangladesh 74
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