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Monday, August 25, 2008

Howzzat Munaf??

Arjuna Ranatunga was not among the fittest of players to have graced a cricket field, actually he was pot-bellied. So was Inzy, even Boon and Warne. But I never had a problem with their rotundness - they were good at their craft, put in their best efforts always, and were deeply passionate about the game. Isn't that all that a cricket fan expects of his heroes? But can we say the same about Mr Munaf Patel?

As long back as January 2007, this blog had advocated for his non-inclusion in the team in spite of the fact that on the merit of his bowling skills alone, he was a shoo-in into the India team. Munaf is leaner, thinner and younger than the Ranatunga, Inzy and Boon I am talking about. Yet it is a shame the way he fields. It's understandable that everyone can't be a Jonty, but one does expect the player to put in his 100 percent, isn't it. Did you see the match yesterday? ( India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, 24th August, Colombo) This guy's absolute lack of passion drove me crazy. Munaf was bowling the 46th over of the innings; in the 2nd ball of the over he ran the non-striker Ajantha Mendis out (!), but didn't bother to make a real appeal. Granted, I have the advantage of the TV replay which he didn't and he may not have realized that Mendis was actually out, but he would have atleast realized that it was a close case. Isn't that when players all over the world appeal?? But not our man - just a faint howzatt and he was already trotting back to mark his run-up!!

In the very next over, he gave away an extra run where there should have been none. Both the mistakes didn't ultimately prove to be costly. In fact, Munaf himself dismissed the dangerous looking Jayawardene in the very over that we just discussed above. No one is doubting the quality of his bowling skills, but this man has no passion at all. Ian Chappell once commented, "How can you be playing for your country, and not get excited sometimes." I am not as big a fan of sledging as Ian though I do agree with the bit about getting excited. Surely a cricket team doesn't need a bowler who can't be excited about making an appeal. Howzzat?

1 comment:

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