Thursday, January 06, 2005

How can an SRW fail?

Sometimes initials say more about a cricketer than anything the pundits can come up with. Michael Colin Cowdrey was always going to a blue-blooded bacon-and-tie wearing MCC man. Stuart Charles Glyndwr MacGill, could only have learned his art at the Sydney Cricket Ground. We could go on and on in this vein, but that would take a lot of research, so just take our word for it. The reason initials have come in for such special scrutiny at this moment was the quiet debut of one SRW. No, Stephen Roger Waugh has not stepped back into the cricket world. That red-rag farewell was more than enough, thank you very much.

The quiet debut we're referring to is that blonde-mane flapping, broad chest puffed out allrounder who picked up one wicket and scored 31 for Australia against Pakistan. Yeah some other bloke scored a double-hundred, and someone took a bagful of wickets. But we of the keen glance, the discerning lot, had eyes only for Shane Watson.

In an age when everything is extra-large - people look at you funny if you say you want a small coke, or ask for something as unreasonable as a dosa that actually fits on a plate - his was the classical debut. Not for him the in-your-face showmanship of that other blonde marvel, Michael Clarke. Not for him a stirring hundred in a foreign land with parents, grandparents, siblings, agent and labrador weeping on the sidelines. Watson knew, instinctively, that you must first walk before you can run.

When he batted, Australia had already battered Pakistan so furiously that a Red Cross body count would have been more accurate than some one-eyed statistician ticking off the records. Already, the oppponent's spirit had been crushed. There was no need for any rescue act, no need to play out of the skin, no need to prove many points at once and deliver slaps in the face to any critics. Realising this, Watson delivered a simple innings. His 31 - the first three scoring shots of which were cool boundaries - did not win him throngs of admirers. It merely waved hello to those who have long believed he has it in him to be the best genuine allrounder in world cricket.

When he bowled, and rumour has it Trevor Hohns and co. want Watson to be a bowling allrounder and not a batsman who bowls - he threw people back to an era when it was still fashionable to have a straight run-up, a side-on action, and a strong leap. Few bowlers have such a classical approach, and it's no mystery that he comfortably bowled into the early 140 kph range. Even Jason Gillespie's fastest ball was a mere 1.5 kph faster, and the world thinks Dizzy is a speed demon quick enough to scare little children to painless noisy deaths.

But no, the world will not be convinced about Watson till he writes his name into the record books and saves Australia from dire straits. Save Australia from dire straits? You would sooner need blankets and industrial heaters in the Sahara desert. Don't bother waiting Watto, you're already a legend, and even if you take 1-fors and score 30s.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not as convinced about Shane Watson as you are. I believe that you will never get another all rounder of the calible of the 80s foursome of Botham, Kapil, Imran and hadlee or the legendary Gary Sobers or Miller. The amount of cricket now played makes it impossible for a human body to take the strain of both bowling and batting at the rarefied levels that the names mentioned above did. Look at Carins I bet he has the talent to be among the greatest of all rounders but his body simply buckled under the strain...Flintoff though again a match winner has had injury problems and it has been just one year when he has terrorised oppositions...shane watson though young and talented has already missed a world cup due to a stress fracture.
I don't think it is humanly posible..

Nattu -

8:16 pm  
Blogger wenerd said...

mere speculation at this point it seems. like : kaif should be the next Indian captain.

2:48 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Someone on a Aussie TV program campared his look the Prince in Shrek 2.
As for his cricketing ability I think he is a decent bloke but still needs to go some way before making a mark on the international scene..

3:47 pm  
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