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I will NOT believe again!

by Rohit

I’m not usually sappy enough to fall for the media promoted adulation that gets showered on any upcoming fast bowling talent in Indian cricket. I give myself credit for not setting myself up for disappointment whenever we discover the next best thing. I’ve seen the rise and fall many from ‘the next Glenn McGrath’(read Aavishkar Salvi) to ‘the next Wasim Akram’ (a certain Pathan. Enough said. Anymore would be belittling……Akram of course) with my dignity intact. I hold back chuckles when the commentators run out of hyperboles and fall over themselves in delight and always end up feeling good about my sense of realism and superior intellect. In short, I’m not a believer.

Not that Sreesanth got too many lightbulbs for his initial performances. In fact his debut test series against England saw Munaf get the lion’s share of the attention, with Nasser Hussain referring to him as ‘a gem’ (a jinx as clear as any I’ve ever seen.) I, of course, did not believe.

For the most part, he was a decently nippy, reasonably accurate swing bowler. His faults were being prone at times to altercations and always to idiosyncrasies. The pundits, however, were beginning to clear their throats to start mouthing platitudes. I, with my infinite foresight, did not believe.

He bowled with remarkable pace and consistency in his debut year and even took 6 wickets in an ODI against England. The pundits were in full flow and were competing with each other to mouth hackneyed hokum. I, with my supercilious bearing, did not believe.

Then came Jo’burg. Things would never be the same again. He ripped through a top class South African top order like no Indian bowler I had seen. I was transformed from a rational, calm cynic to a picture worshipping, puja performing dyed in the blue believer. I chastened myself for being so obtuse so as to not see his obvious talent. I nodded along when the pundits talked about his impeccable seam position. Surely he was the best bowler out there, no doubt. I harrumphed derisively at the other bowlers who lacked the swing, seam, or had only one type of slower delivery unlike our own God’s gift to fast bowling a.k.a. Sreesanth.

We lost the series 1-2. I still believed. Sreesanth began to show that in addition to two types of slower deliveries, he could also bowl many types of long hops. I ignored them and continued to believe. His histrionics kept increasing at the cost of performances. I silenced my inner fears and continued to believe.

In fact, I kept believing for a long time, almost to the point when we all saw him at the IPL, head in hands. I knew how he felt. I felt much the same way. Like someone had slapped me very, very hard in the face. I had allowed myself to be conned and I knew it. They made a prince out of a pretender and I went along with it. It took me a long time to get over it. That feeling of being cheated still haunts me. I still see those beautiful outswingers in my nightmares, sometimes.

And now he’s back. I refuse to believe it. I’m just not ready for it, emotionally. It’s too much of a commitment, I tell you. I will not be able to survive another rejection….I simply will not. That’s it. The end.

Did you see that ball that got Herath, by the way? Beauty, wasn’t it!
Aargghh!! I can’t help it! I'm relapsing....... I need help!


BCC! said...

We didn't stop believing at Bored. And y'kno neither did you.

straight point said...

cracker rohit!

tho never let anything come in between you and your believes... :)

Gaurav Sethi said...

Really enjoyed reading this - with the same emphasis on really as MSD made in the post match con according to commentary.

When a guy like Sreesanth can return to international cricket, I'm sure it makes a lotta players who've lost out hopeful.

Selectors gotta keep their minds open.

Rohit said...


Yup and somewhere deep inside, I know I believe in Pathan as well!

@Straight Point...

Thanks...! I think the fireworks were in Kanpur actually...the freesanth fooljhadi perhaps?

@ Naked Cricket...

Thanks! I actually think the selectors should be given some credit. This does seem like the result of some long term planning, with the warnings he'd received and stuff. I mean, how many of us thought it was fair to give him a run out of the blue?

Mahek said...

With the way others were bowling it wasn't a surprise that he got the call up.