Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket

Artists Wanted

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Cricket is a constantly evolving game. The technique of batsmen in the era of the 1950's was not the same in the 60's or for that matter in the 70's and 80's. But what the current scenario lacks is the presence of genuine artists with the willow.

Cricket is not about brute power. The gentleman's game was made grace personified by many an eminent batsmen. Around 70's and 80's there were the likes of Zaheer Abbas,David Gower and Sunil Gavaskar. They attracted the audience with their subtle
stroke play.

Again the next decade saw the likes of Mark "Junior" Waugh. A fantastic player of spin bowling, he at times made batting look very easy. The flick on the on side which was one of his trademark shots still strikes awe. Very rare for a non-asian player to display such wrist work. India had the privilege of having Sachin and Sourav. One the God of cricket and the other the God of off-side. Some memories of Ganguly piercing the offside with surgical precision never fade.

West Indies had one such player in Brian Charles Lara. A very flashy cricketer, his stroke play pulled spectators to the stadiums. The high back lift was complemented by great wrists. The British found one later by the name of Michael Vaughan. He demolished Australia in an Ashes series with his stylish strokeplay. In New Zealand there was Nathan Astle, Pakistan had
Inzamam who, in spite of his big stature, displayed a good exhibition of batting.

Such artists are a rarity nowadays. When we see the likes of a VVS Laxman clearing his front leg for a big heave over midwicket it just evokes pity. The game is changing. The advent of T20 has made cricket a slam-bang game. Luckily some intense Test cricket is also being fought courtesy The Ashes and the India-South Africa series.

Now and then we can see players like Jayawaredene and Hashim Amla who are there to prove cricket can be played the other way round too. What cricket now needs is not the likes of a Pollard or Yusuf Pathan but the likes of sublime stroke players like Mark Waugh or Ganguly.




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