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Sight Screen

Friday, June 03, 2005

Indians in England

Harsha Bhogle, here, argues a case for why Saurav should be playing county cricket just now. Speaking of which, it is tea time out there, and in the Glamorgan versus Sussex game, Saurav is all padded up and ready to come out. Sussex 497/5 declared and, into the last session of the final day of the three-day game, Glamorgan in reply 112/2, and going along at a crackling 5.09 runs per over. Both the not outs look set and the team list has Ganguly down to come in at number five. Interesting, if he gets to bat now, he'll face, among others, Mushtaq Ahmed the Pak leggie.
And while on Saurav, Arun Lal heard from, on what the captain still has to offer the side. Way back in 1996, when Saurav was picked for the England tour, there was a huge uproar, with 'zonal quota' being the leitmotif. At the time, I remember asking Arun -- who had worked a lot with him -- what he thought of Saurav, and Arun was surprisingly vehement.
This kid, he said then, will surprise everyone. He talked of the work Saurav had put in, after that disastrous tour of Australia in which he didn't get to play a game, and came back with then manager Ranbir Singh Mahindra's unfavorable report in his kitbag.
But the most surprising part of Arun's assessment, then, was that Saurav would be an even bigger hit in one dayers than in Tests, because 'he can hit the ball harder, and longer, than anyone you know'.
At the time, I found that a touch hard to swallow -- I mean, Saurav, then, wasn't exactly about musculature; it seemed scarcely credible that he could hit as good a long ball as Arun suggested. Didn't take long, though, to see what he was talking about -- and I still believe when he is on song, he has to be the most elegant player of the lofted shot in the team, and among the best in the game.
And in passing, here's Surrey coach Steve Rixon's assessment of what Bajji's arrival in England means to his young team.

3 Comments:

  • Prem,

    I've often discussed with other guys on your blog -- the concept of having "fun" while playing pro sport.

    Bhogle touches on that aspect in the article that you've linked. That is key, man. I hope Saurav's focus is on his cricket -- I hope he enjoys the green countryside there, the quaint inns and pubs, I hope he gets a chance to be himself and mingle with the locals. He has to mentally unwind himself while "enjoying" his game.

    I, for one, am happy that he has decided to play county cricket.

    Sriraj

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:55  

  • true more than the much talked abt offside play of saurav, it is the sixers of the spinners which are fun to watch, it will be a great loss to indian cricket if saurav cannot find that touch again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57  

  • it's interesting how the common assumption seems to be that if you go play county cricket, there's a good chance that you will get your touch back. I hope that will prove to be the case with Saurav, incidentally.
    Isn't it just as likely though, that a stint in county cricket can put you into a slump and/or worsen an already poor run?
    I'd be very interested to hear of instances where county cricket has forced a run of poor form on a player.
    Of course, the conditions are player friendly in that there is less pressure etc so more often than not, it would help more than hinder. Ganguly incidentally, has a third ball duck today.

    By Blogger avinash, at 13:04  

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