Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Normal Boring Genius

[This post was compiled nearly four weeks back but somehow I managed to defer pressing the 'publish' button.]

Now we know the guy that stalled Aakash Chopra's nascent international career in 2004. As Aakash confesses, it was
him again.

The other day Cyrus Brocha, TV anchor and arguably 'the original funny man of Indian Television', invited Glenn Donald McGrath to his cricket show on TEN sports. Among other things Pidge rated Lara 'slightly' ahead of Sachin as the best batsman he bowled against. Apparently Lara is the only one who has played him with a commendable degree of assurance over a period of time. Glenn, of course, remembered to add that he got Lara a mere 15 times to end the affair on 'his side'. That must have been humility for he was discussing someone he admired. No wonder batsmen cannot stand his sight or sound.

"People come to me asking for secret of my continued success expecting to learn a magic formula - and go back disappointed when I tell them they have to bowl 99 out of 100 deliveries at 'that' length hitting top of off stump."

"International cricket is all in the mind and it is better to keep things as simple as possible."

It's the unmistakable normal boring genius of Glenn McGrath, a man whose cockiness and foul mouth has always made the prudish side of me root for his rival batsmen, for the other team.

Normal, coz' those two statements and all their variants are done to death by commentating ex-players. An estimated 47.34% of those utterances have come while this tall Australian was in action.

Boring, coz' they are nothing that we would care to spend much time thinking about. We heard that crap long before we became self styled cricket pundits and it was only slightly less boring the first time.

Genius, coz' they are nothing that international bowlers other than this man and Curtly Ambrose have come close to achieving on so many occasions under telling pressure ever since I fell in love with cricket nearly a quarter of a century ago.

No wonder the selfsame bland words, emanating from his lips, sounded like holy mantras even to people that have hoped (against hope) to see him vanquished in his playing days.

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