Friday, May 26, 2006

Sarwan: An Enigma

The first time that a young talent called Ramnaresh Sarwan attracted worldwide attention was in a West Indies v Pak series in the Caribbean in 2000, one which ended in a cliff hanger of a final Test, featuring an epic bowling effort from Wasim Akram for the losing side. Sarwan was an extremely attractive batsman then, perhaps even more than he is now, and with supreme wrists and concise footwork he looked capable of scoring in bulk for his once-great side against bowling of all kinds during the years to follow.

Sarwan's underachievement in Tests since has disappointed millions supporting his team across boundaries, people who patiently continue their seemingly eternal wait for The Turnaround. His case adequately represents a general non-fulfilment of potential by other lip-smacking West Indian batting prospects like Marlon Samuels, Chris Gayle and Ricardo Powell - the most potent batsman on show over the last cricketing decade in my book.

Here are a few telling stats about the Sarwan Enigma. As much as a study in 'what could have been' in terms of a ravine of greatness separating his Test and ODI performances, these engaging figures also help replenish a fast depleting resource named hope in West Indies fans while yet another opposition vice captain makes a career out of thrashing Indian bowling.

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