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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Cricket

Desire to excel at all cost an alluring aspect
Gautam Gambhir
New Delhi, October 29, 2012
First Published: 23:02 IST(29/10/2012)
Last Updated: 02:09 IST(30/10/2012)

Now I understand how commentators or cricket experts feel when their predictions come true.

For a brief period, I too felt elated at being prophetic about the Sydney Sixers being the favourites to win the CLT20.

They did it in style in a final which was always headed their way. And it did seem like a good batting pitch at the Wanderers.

Therefore, it was surprising that the Lions were tottering at 32 for five in the seventh over. Be it Delhi, India or the Kolkata Knight Riders, I have captained teams that have had spinners.

While it looks good when it comes off, the captain and bowler must have a lot of conviction.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/10/30-10-12-pg18a.jpg

This was in plenty on Sunday night when the Sixers started to bowl with Steve O’Keefe and Nathan McCullum. 

Not easy for spinners
Some conventions never die and it must have been pleasing for Brad Haddin to see off-spinner McCullum remove the left-handed Gulam Bodi and the left-armed O’Keefe accounting for the right-handed Alviro Petersen.

It is not easy for spinners to operate in T20 and that too when you are playing on an easy pitch and in a smallish ground. I was particularly impressed the way O’Keefe tied down the batsmen.

The score of 121 was never enough as it was a question of one partnership of about 30-40 runs. Michael Lumb did just that. He was fantastic and reminds me of Matthew Hayden.

If you can recall or catch the highlights of him playing a stroke down the ground, you'd know what I mean.

Even in his sweep stroke, he comes down on the ball and tries to play square-leg like Hayden. I wonder if it has anything to do with his stint at Queensland, a place where Hayden comes from.

Lumb was special
Lumb looked special in the final and so did my friend Haddin. I am told Haddin was playing with a fractured hand. I can tell you from experience that it is not easy, especially when you are a wicketkeeper as well. I love this aspect of my sport — the want to do well at all costs.

Most cricketers would have done what Haddin did — to play with pain in a final. In the end, I am sure nothing would have mattered as it was the Men in Pink all the way. Well done!

This is perhaps my last interaction with you through my columns. I may write during the IPL but let’s see. I hope you liked what I wrote. I certainly enjoyed interacting, sharing stories and even putting on the expert’s hat. By the way, Natasha and I are still looking for the wallet for me.

Any suggestions?

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The writer is the KKR captain


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