Sunday, October 12, 2008

Aussie wicketkeeping A.G.....and B.G

Cannot curse my current busy work schedule enough for encroaching upon that 'final frontier' in my personal life: following the last India-v-Australia Test series of this decade.

I missed the entire 2nd Day's play at Bangalore. Today, the 3rd day, was a Saturday and yet I did not get a chance to watch a single delivery live on television. Worse, I failed to catch up with the scorecard after the tea time score of India limping at 195/6.

Coming back home I rushed on to Neo sports and found solace in an ongoing highlights package. Solace stayed for a moment and disappeared soon. I felt a pang. 'Coz the man in baggy green keeping wickets during the Indian innings was not the guy that I would have loved to be seen there forever. There was Hayden at his familiar 1st slip position. There was Ponting with his old signalling habits, Clarke making Indian batsmen look like his bunnies once again, Lee generating the same effortless pace but not the same guy to collect those perfume balls.

It hurt to remember that Lara and Gilly are not playing Test cricket anymore. I removed the sentiments and got back to the game on hand.

I had a second look at the man behind the stumps. By now he had stopped sticking out like a gold coloured button on a black shirt. I recalled that I had liked this guy for his gritty and positive displays at every opportunity he got. I have not seen too much of his keeping but his batting should be as good that of the guy on the other side of Gilly,Ian Healy, which was bloody bad enough for opponents going by the occasions he chose to rise to.

And then I discovered what I did not expect. Watching Brad Haddin in whites for the first time I thought his persona has glimpses of Ian Healy himself. Not to say that the two men look like identical twins; but I thought I saw a reflection of Healy in the stature, manner and movements of Brad Haddin. If you are wondering if it was an illusion effected by tears welling up at the grief of losing Gilchrist, I suggest you have a peek at the photos below.

I have sampled 7 pics apiece of the two Aussie keepers on either side of Adam Gilchrist from cricinfo photos. The 1st four pix cover their keeping, the fifth pic shows them celebrating dismissals, the 6th & 7th ones are snaps of their batting.

Haddin pic 1, 2, 3, 4; Healy pic 1, 2, 3, 4

Haddin pic 5; Healy pic 5

Haddin pic 6, 7; Healy pic 6, 7

Let me know what you thought.

Footnote: I shall be unfair to Brad Haddin if I fail to add that he is a classier batsman than Ian Healy. The pics 6 & 7 are adequate indicators. By the way, that "A.G." in the title really stands for "After Gilchrist", even if you found that too horrendous after guessing so.

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