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Sight Screen

Friday, May 27, 2005

Sticking point...

Right, so Yasir Hameed's gone, Pak 55/2 -- and stand in captain Younis Khan to the middle, knowing that Inzy and Youhana are not available and it is now all up to him to guide the side through.
Funny thing about Younis -- when I saw him in the first Test of the India series, I was apalled; seemed a classic example of the can't bat, can't field, can't bowl, can politic sort of cricketer.
Hoo boy, was I wrong -- over the next couple of Tests, he was easily the standout in the side; not just for the runs he scored, but for the fizz he brought to the game, in the field or with the bat.
What I liked most about him, though? His weapon-in-chief is clearly the short single; he uses it to disrupt the opposition bowling, to keep the board ticking and his own juices flowing. And this is the bit I liked -- each time he completed a short single, his bat would go up, he would slap his palm against it in very clear, noticeable applause for his partner.
And on one occasion, I remember, he made a mess of a sweep, the ball went down the leg side, Kartick was scrambling to collect, Youhana was looking for a run, but Younis was looking back, trying to see where the ball had gone.
When he looked up and realized his partner was trying to catch his attention, he walked down the pitch, repeatedly saying 'I'm sorry... sorry yaar... sorry...'
Small thing -- but I liked that attitude, more than the runs he scored.

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