Albeit cricketing standards have lowered, last decade has witnessed men with strong character & temperament like Cook, Dhoni, Misbah. Yes we have observed abatement in cricketing standards as well as in interest of the audiences for Test cricket. May be that’s the reason we don’t get to see the temperament and technique that we saw a decade back. I still remember and miss few nail biting test matches that I saw as a kid. The fad for test cricket was no less in those days. This inflow of T20 and rapid cricket has reduced interest for test cricket noticeably. That said, there have been some brilliant players in the recent times as well, a few I mentioned in the initial statement of this blog post.
I have always believed that the true potential of a players is put under test only in Test cricket. T20 is all about throwing the kitchen sink and doesn’t apparently involve a lot of technique. Test cricket requires patience, technique and is not restricted to mere talent. Albeit it may appear a tad monotonous to some but a true cricket lover who loves quality cricket would always love test cricket. The red new ball is not that easy to face as a batter. As a batter at times you need to play out the overs to avoid a debacle. As a bowler you have to wait for that ‘lapse of concentration’ of the batsman to get his wicket. Test cricket indeed can be testing and challenging.
Alastair Cook is one such phenomenal player, someone who looks like a complete batsman. His style and approach of batting befits test cricket. His stats speak for him but it is not just about the stats! He adds so much to the game and is indeed a treat to watch for any cricket lover. We have seen him play few brilliant innings under adverse situations as well and that is what makes him special. Cook has also led the side as a captain. As a skipper as well he has always kept his cool and has led the side pretty well. On 30 May 2015, Cook became the leading run-scorer in Test matches for England, surpassing Graham Gooch.
Currently Alastair Cook is in the elite group of men with more than ten thousand test runs, now that is some achievement. That said Cook is not a done deal yet, he is still fit and batting brilliantly. He is still ‘work in progress’. Cook currently has more than eleven thousand runs under his belt and he still has a lot of cricket in him. The current England-South Africa test series would probably witness him surpassing few more greats of the game! Alastair Cook looks disciplined, focused and temperamentally strong. We want more men like these for the benefit of Test cricket.
Players of Indian origin playing international cricket for England has apparently been a culture. In this ongoing test series Hameed makes a debut and carries the legacy forward. The young guy looks calm and has got the quintessential English technique as well! The young man’s patient innings in one of the test matches showcased his temperament as well. Never easy for a debutant to play in India when the whole crowd (apart from a few tourists taking sun bath) is hostile and the ball is turning like anything.
Hameed isn’t the first one of Indian origin to play for the English. There have been many players of Indian origin who played for England and were pretty known faces in the cricketing world. It all started with Ranjitsinhji, the king who played cricket for the England team. Ranjitsinhji is regarded as one of the greatest batters of all time. The Ranji Trophy is named after him and carries a cardinal significance in the domestic circuit. After Ranjitsinhji his nephew Duleepsinhji carried the legacy forward and player cricket for the English at the international level. The famous ‘Duleep Trophy’ is named after him and is pretty famous in Indian domestic cricket.
In recent times as well many Indian origin men have played for the England cricket team. Nasser Hussain, Ravi Bopara, Ronnie Irani, Monty Panesar are players of Indian origin who have played for England at the international level. These players have done well at the highest level as well and they are known worldwide. So Haseeb is just carrying the legacy forward and the young guy looks promising as well. Tour of India is always a fantastic learning experience.
Well let me make it extremely clear initially itself that I am not English! I haven’t even visited England ever in my life so far (although I would love to)! I am writing this article or rather blog post just as a mere cricket fan, someone who has grown up watching cricket. The fad for cricket in this part of the world (Asian subcontinent) is amazing. We love cricket beyond boundaries and borders. That’s the reason that players like Wasim, Akhtar et al. have a huge fan following in India as well! Likewise Sachin, Virat are loved in Pakistan as well! We love the game and we want the game to maintain its standards.
Well, let’s talk about KP now! We have always heard that he may be a hard to control bloke at times! He is a tad mercurial and may become a tad undisciplined at times as well but isn’t he the most talented English batsmen in this contemporary times! There is no doubt that when KP is batting it’s a treat to watch! Every shot is scenic and pleasing to the eye. The current team needs him as well! They have tried enough to shun his presence in the team but they’re still in a limbo!
Players that are extremely talented and passionate at times may be a tad eccentric as well! As a captain or the mentor of the team you must know how to handle such players as such players are talent personified. Handling talent is an art as well! We all love such players like Kevin Pietersen who bring the style quotient into the game! Such players are the reasons the people watch the game for! The youth imitates such class acts and that is what brings the glamour into the game. We don’t want a dull show, do we? We don’t want boring 40 year old men playing cricket with no fire or zeal!
Kevin Pietersen’s latest run in the domestic cricket has been fabulous as well! He made a triple hundred, what else you want him to do to get a place in this English side! To be very candid, in my opinion there is no one even half as talented as KP in this entire English cricket team. He surely deserves a place in any team of the world, as long as it’s a cricket team. I have been following Piers Morgan pretty closely on twitter just to stay updated about Kevin Pietersen. He is extremely correct when he says that the trust issues that Strauss has stated as a reason for KP’s rejection makes no sense at all! Seriously, Strauss should have concocted a better story for the rejection of the class act KP. We all know that Strauss is not even ten percent of what KP is as far as batting is concerned! On any day, I would prefer watching KP’s fluent thirty plus innings over Strauss’ ton. A moment of rapture is far better than hours of boredom.
I would again request English Cricket Board to rethink about their decision and bring back Kevin Pietersen in the side. I am saying this as a pure cricket fan who loves the game of cricket. Personal behaviour or nature of a player shouldn’t be a problem as long as he is performing and is an asset to the team. Please bring back KP to the side otherwise it will be a huge loss to the game and a really sad waste of talent!