This article was once first and predominant written in 2011.
As reasonably one, I was once by no arrive a correct player of lope bowling. That, obviously, doesn’t imply that I was once any correct at facing dash either. I idea about myself to be a moderately nippy left-arm bowler who could presumably maybe swing the ball both ways. For a speedily period within the early 1990s, I was once even idea about a obtain by my neighbourhood membership till they realised that I was once a Madan Lal in Wasim Akram’s clothing.
However tackle on, I don’t love the direction this article is taking. I actually occupy been here sooner than and am accustomed to this journalistic terrain the put a author tries to punch formula beyond his league and finally ends up making an absolute idiot of him.
Through the years, I actually occupy been made to indulge in mud by kids in walk-karts and been checkmated in a excessive 48 seconds by a chess grandmaster. So let me fetch this over with as fast as possible and recall you straight to the toddle on a muggy evening at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium the put Shane Warne is about to bowl the principle of his promised six balls to me.
I actually occupy already idea referring to the a gigantic choice of possibilities and the inevitable nature of things. I would fetch out, once, twice, presumably thrice… bowled, leg sooner than wicket, no matter…however I actually occupy additionally decided that I would by no arrive fetch Mike-Gatting-ed. Some thirty years on I don’t prefer know-it-all grandchild to peruse the video clip of my contest with Warne, and insist, a puff of air escaping by means of the hole between his/her shaky milk enamel, “Advance on, Appupa, you wish to occupy factual plod-swept the person.” Extra importantly, was once this the roughly legacy I would walk away within the aid of, a stigma that will presumably presumably forever affect the Menon household’s cricketing doable?
The first ball is an recurring Warnie loosener, a leg spoil that lands out of doorways the off-stump and swims away all of sudden. If I had been a better batsman I would occupy punched it by means of quilt level however so to languidly pat it in direction of brief mid-off I dwell up dragging the delivery perilously discontinuance to my stumps. Warnie tosses the second ball up. It’s a donkey drop, brief and big, however all I carry out is displace a mighty quantity of air with my bat. “You wish to occupy hit that, mate,” says Warnie. I reply that I’m out of execute and additionally wonder if he’s indulging me. “Warnie, I’m no longer Gatting! Advance on, you are going to be ready to carry out greater than that,” I articulate out.
The third ball is a signature Shane Warne delivery. It is far a shapely, flighted ball that hangs within the tranquil air love a wistful idea. It attracts me forward, lands between heart and off, treacherously darts in in direction of my castle at an fabulous dash.
The googly! This is the delivery that has bamboozled many batting greats of classy day cricket, from Brian Lara to Rahul Dravid. However occupy I been performed in? I flip spherical only to acquire that the ball has overlooked the stumps by a whisker. Warne moans in mock frustration. He play-acts so smartly I actually feel love I’m this rock denying Australia a intelligent-fought snatch.
The subsequent delivery is one more stock leg spoil and I elegantly stroke it in direction of quilt, my first legit cricketing shot. Warne applauds. Later that day I would peruse the video clip of my innings and judge on how gradual I performed that shot. Warnie rolls his arm all once more. It is one more googly however a misdirected one and I’m spared its viciousness.
Warne indicators it’s the closing ball of the over and proceeds to toss up one more stock leg spoil. I meet it a pair of yards down the pitch, snatch it from roundabouts leg stump and slam it over quilt. The internal-out nature of the shot reminds me of Richards aid within the ’70s, in opposition to Thommo and Lillee.
“That was once intentional from Murali,” Ravi Shastri would occupy mentioned. Oh no, Ravi, I was once actually ambling in direction of sq. leg to fulfill my insurance agent after I with out be aware obtain this component made from cork whirling love a dervish and plunging in direction of my toes. So I gave it a solid whack and it went to the boundary love a tracer bullet.
The shot I hit is an uppish one however I’m succesful of behold Steve Waugh at quilt leaping up in vain after which, the ball beating a panting Merv Hughes to the boundary. The spectators on the Gabba upward thrust and applaud. Up there within the commentary box Richie Benaud flicks a poignant shuffle off his face.
Never sooner than in his lifestyles has he considered a stronger alloy of grace and destructiveness. The ever gracious Warne smiles and pats my aid.
“Used to be that a four, Warnie?”
“Oh yes, that was once a four and the earlier one was once a two. So, you’ve scored six runs in opposition to me and I haven’t managed to fetch you out.”
I grin love an idiot. We present out the ‘Thanks, and Cheers mate’ bit after which the enviornment’s most intelligent leg spinner jogs aid in direction of the pavilion.
(Basic image credit: Getty)