Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A brutal deja vu

This first appeared on Cricinfo's Plays of the Day.

"[Shahid] Afridi was the difference between the two sides in Kanpur," Rahul Dravid had said before this game. "We need to get him out early." Well, shortly after Pervez Musharraf and Manmohan Singh shook hands with all the players, the offensive began.

Ashish Nehra to Afridi. Just outside off, swing and miss. Hmmm, Nehra must have thought, maybe that's the wrong line. Second ball, down leg, glanced for four. Third ball, on his hips, tucked away for four. Fourth ball, down leg again, glanced for four again. Fifth ball, short ball on middle stump, a high pull that looped up as if being sucked in by a cloud, and then fell on the fence for six. Hmm, Nehra must have thought, let me try something else. Last ball, outside off, slashed for four through point. Twenty-two off the over.

Nehra walked away, looking down at the ground. All this had happened before. Familiarity, in the case of Afridi, does not breed contempt; it breeds fear.
amit varma, 9:45 AM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage