Monday, March 28, 2005

A Cricket Post (for a change...)

Watched an exciting final session of the India-Pakistan Test Series today. It's always nice when a series boils down to the very last session. This time it was Pakistan who walked away with the smiles plastered on their faces. I got the feeling that Inzy could have declared a little earlier yesterday, but then hindsight is a powerful tool! Anyways, the final result today vindicated his decision.
There was a small session post tea, where Tendulkar had decided quite resolutely to duck under anything remotely short. This resulted in one not-so-short Sami delivery hitting him in the back of his helmet. He wasn't even fazed.
Now the point is, have you realized just how many times this happens in modern cricket? I mean a batsman getting hit on the helmet and just shrugging it off! Makes you admire all those batsmen who belonged to an era when a felt cap was all the cranial protection you had. I think Sachin would think not twice but 20 times before hooking or pulling a fast bowler were he batting without the luxury of the helmet. Which is just one of the reasons why you cannot compare him with batsmen like Bradman. Even Sir Viv batted for most of his career without a helmet and assaulted some of the fastest bowlers of his time with his ferocious pull.
It brings to mind an incident where Ponting had gotten hit in the jaw trying to pull Shoaib Akhtar delivery while not wearing a helmet. Many people may consider this sheer stupidity on the part of RP, I think it was a manifestation of his gutsy, I-don't-give-a-damn-about-you spirit. There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity and I think Ponting was on the correct side of that line.
I'd like to see more batsmen coming out without the helmet, even to face fast bowlers. It's fine if tail-enders wish to wear a helmet, but I feel the better batsmen of the world should not. The game's already skewed in favor of the batsmen; let's make it a little more interesting.

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