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Sight Screen

Friday, December 02, 2005

Saad Bin Jung on Barry Richards

Here is the story. One bit from this story conjured up a memory:
What was the most difficult period of an innings for a batsman of his stature?
Between 0 and 20 was his prompt reply. Once he was past 20 things eased out.

I had -- as in another context I have mentioned on blog before -- an occasion to talk to Barry Richards, some years back, when he was in Mumbai to take part in the Masters tournament. One of the questions I asked him then was on similar lines -- we were discussing what he called first ball nerves, and which he said affects the greatest of batsmen, no matter how many games he has played in the past. Barry's solution?
As I walk out to the wicket, he said then, I keep telling myself one thing over and over again; and it is this -- I am an international batsman. I am good enough to not get out for zero; I am good enough to make 10 runs against any bowler in the world under any conditions at all.
He keeps repeating that to himself, Barry said -- and once he has those ten runs to his name, he forgets about them and sets the clock back to zero, and starts all over again.
It seems to have worked for him -- in the four Tests he did play (average 72.5, aggregate 508, two fifties, two hundreds -- against Australia), his lowest score was 29.

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