One of my favourite pastimes is to get on to YouTube and search for thematic cricket clips. Sometimes, it is Steve Waugh playing a dogged innings, sometimes the search is on Mark Waugh’s delightful batting or Allan Donald’s hostile spell.
The other day I was watching Ricky Ponting’s farewell press conference, which I think is a must watch for many reasons. Try it; it is around 17 minutes of pure pleasure as Ponting answers the media one final time with his daughter on his lap.
Ponting replies with his usual Tasmanian flurry of words, eyes squeaking time and again under that worn out but proud Baggy Green.
It is amazing to see a man in such an emotionally charged moment, answering questions besides minding his bespectacled little daughter. The way he tells her to “concentrate” is cute and tells something about Ponting, the dad. Watch the video, you will like it.
Another clipping that I have often watched is “Best Yorkers”. It has Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Donald, Waqar Younis, Darren Gough and Lasith Malinga. The clip is about 4 minutes and 16 seconds but after the T20 league final it will surely go up by at least 20 seconds. I am referring to the Malinga yorker that bowled Michael Hussey in the first over. That, for me, was the moment of the final.
It wasn’t those dramatic yorkers that snake into the stumps. It was the good, old-fashioned quick ball, accurate and guided by conventional swing. Surely, it should make into the YouTube package.
Another aspect of the final that may not find a category but had a huge impact nonetheless was Rohit Sharma. He led really well and I liked the way he shuffled his bowlers.
A captain’s true test is when he is on the field, defending a total. That is the time when he has to think and be ahead of the game.
In the dugout or in the dressing room, things are different. I hope this is the turning point in Rohit's career and he gives his talent the respect it deserves.
Plenty of hope
It may sound absurd in current times but Indian cricket's present looks good. We have issues with the sanctity of sport in our country but seeing the success of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, et al presents hope. Add to that list the leg-spinner from Punjab, Sarabjit Ladda, Cheteshwar Pujara, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and you will know what I mean.
I am not basing my observations only on what we saw in the league alone. Some of them have excelled in international cricket and the others at first-class level, but they have it in them to go the distance. Sanju Samson did well in the tournament but I'd like to give him time before we herald him to top-level cricket.
Sachin paaji’s declaration that this was his final league season came out of the blue. I met him in Mumbai when KKR played their away game. Since I am dropped from both formats he was urging me on. He said, “Gauti, chhorna nahi”. Paaji, I am at it. But sadly, Paaji’s YouTube “IPL package” has quietly slipped into history.
Kaizen Media Solutions. The writer is KKR captain.