Tuesday, January 30, 2018

935. The crazy lunatic cricketer from India

He would sniff and twirl his nose while gripping the bat. He was a heavy smoker and he had breathing difficulty. I saw him in the 1987 world cup where he scored a quickfire 75 of just 58 balls. That scoring rate was a rarity those days.

That is when I noticed this crazy opener from India. He did not have a great technique and would often get out edging the ball to the slips or planting his foot right in front of the stumps and getting out LBW to a loose delivery. But what made me like him is the fact that this crazy man would just see the ball and smash the ball to all corners of the ground. I used to imitate his sniffing style while playing street cricket as a kid.

A great memory of this man is from the match India played against Pakistan in the 1992 world cup. He opened the batting for India and faced 39 balls to score just 5 runs. I was waiting for him to erupt, but he seemed so out of touch. Facing the likes of Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed and Imran Khan was never an easy joke. Indian posted a low score. However, he made up for his poor batting display in that match by putting the brakes on the Pakistani chase by pouncing on a low sharp catch to dismiss Aamer Sohail who was cruising at 62 runs of the bowling of my all time favorite cricketer- Sachin. That was the defining moment of that match and India defeated Pakistan in that match.

He does a lot of trash talk and he was a party animal of the yesteryears. One thing that made him stand apart was the manner in which he faced the West Indian fast bowlers.  There was one fiery fast bowler Pat Paterson (Patrick Patterson). He was the fastest of all the fast bowlers of that time. He bowled a full over of 150+ kmph bouncers to the Australians and literally made them wet their pants in the famous WI VS Aus 5th test in 1991.

If facing the likes of Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Holding, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh without a Helmet was no easy joke; this crazy Indian opener must have been really a lunatic to go without a helmet to face the fiery Patrick Patterson. But he did that too. 

People often laud Viv Richards for his bravery for not wearing a helmet throughout his career. But I like this Indian lunatic because he was the one who made me to follow and fall in love with the game of cricket. If you have not figured out who I am talking about, check this six by the craziest Indian opener of all time Krish Srikanth as he thunderbolts a Patt Patterson ball out of the park. Tony Greig's commentary adds flavor to the video.

Do not get offended because I called him a crazy lunatic. I am one too.

- Chronicwriter

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