Thursday, April 21, 2011

Class and variety still breeds in only one format of cricket

Have a look at this link

Do you know what is Murali's jersey number this IPL? I did not notice until tonight that it is derived from his achievements in another format, a format seen to be the only one where bowlers' need to take wickets is FAR more important than just containment. Check pic 9/10 of this link. [I say 'seen to be' b'coz it is only a perception. Taking wickets is the most important job of bowler in all forms - the importance reduces but still it remains #1 priority].

Also check pic 8/10 of that link for Manoj Tiwary's cover drive pic. Whenever that guyholds the bat he looks as good as this snap to me. Pity that he lost his international opportunities to misfortune. People like Tiwary and Rayudu (I was struck by a top-notch, classy cover drive hit by the latter today - keep catching these glimpses as someone or the other watches IPL at home) abound in domestic cricket today and that is where Indian cricket (at least batting) looks healthy. These players have developed their pedigreed batting by growing up playing ANOTHER format, and IPL is ONLY reaping the benefits.

Sangakkara peppered the mid wicket boundary the other day...and before you shut your eyes to conjure up slog sweeps or across the line hits, let me mention that ALL his shots were vertical bat drives. Yes, they really were even if you keep staring at me disbelievingly for the next fortnight..

Even now class is bred in only one variety of the game. First class cricket. It may well change after some years of T20; maybe slogs to mid wicket will be the ONLY 'classy shots'!! I have no problems with those shots; as a fan of my favourite cricket team such shots can very well win us the match. It is the 'ONLY' that bites me as a fan of cricket (as against fan of a team).

I remain one of the biggest fans of Jayasuriya, the first mega product of One-day cricket. But what will you choose if you have the choice between (i) having THE ODD Jayasuriya / Dhoni (alternative batsmanship styles based on modern formats) and (ii) having ALL batsmen modelled on ONLY Jayasuriya (or Dhoni)? Or WORSE still, all of them modelled ONLY on some 3rd generation guy who becomes the first mega product of T20 (hits across the line to mid-wicket ONLY, for instance)?

Again it is the 'ONLY' that I am questioning.

[developed from a note on my Facebook page]

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