Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The man who blew it

Greg Blewett was a batsman of calibre and grace. One look at him trading his stuff and you would nod in appreciation of sighting a quality player armed with an unmistakably Australian batsmanship . Not cementing a place in the Australian team is an understandable regret for him as he quits first class cricket. It was not unfair though, because his performances wavered too badly to displace any of the players to sport baggy green for long periods over the past decade.

The abiding memory of this man must be his partnership with Steve Waugh in the 1st Test against Springboks at their backyard in 1996-97. The best fast bowling attack of the world were denied a wicket over a whole day's play. It was wonderous for Indian fans to see a young player score that series-defining double hundred at Jo'burg against a team that all but gobbled us up in our first test there, the Boxing Day Test of the preceding series a couple of months back. [For the record, India were all out for 100 and 66 in that match. That 66, however, had a memorable side gain for India - it highlighted the abilities of a fledgling Wall that remained unbeaten on 27 in the rout with all other batsmen returning single digits.]

In some ways Greg Blewett was quite like Stewart Law. Both appeared on the international cene during the late 90's when Aussies were steadily gaining ascendancy in both forms of the game. Both had a lot of obvious ability of the eye pleasing variety. Both were part time bowlers of the partnership breaking kind. And both failed to achieve the heights they looked like reaching when they started out.

It matters little though. Greg Blewett feels he has done his best, and that is all that he could do.

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