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When the Sanaths go marching in.

by Gaurav Sethi

I want to be in that number. Who wouldn’t want to open with Sanath – Atapattu aside, I can’t think of anyone.

Just look back, they say it’s twenty years of Sanath Jayasuriya, I say it’s more than that. At least 40. Then they say that’s his age, but I say he’s been playing international cricket ever since he was a little cricket nymph. Bonking balls over third man till there was no man in sight; Sanath is the man who made averages redundant; he’s the guy who gave strike rates a new meaning in one day cricket. He made an average of 30 inconsequential because it came at a strike rate of 90.

It’s taken Indian cricket a decade to decode that – through Sehwag’s slump, they spoke of his 20s and 30s; not once did they mention his stratospheric strike rate. The media which sucks up to Sehwag now, are the same guys who did him in a few years back – when it came down to a toss-up between Ganguly and Sehwag, they conveniently positioned Dada’s 10k runs against Viru’s lesser numbers.

Talking of numbers, I’m going to toss Sanath’s ODI numbers alongside Viru’s – their batting averages are similar (32 and 34); strike rates (91.2 and 102.9). While Sanath’s 91 is snappy, seeing as he’s been playing since Sachin (1989); the 100 plus is Sehwag’s ode to one day cricket in the 2000s. Indian cricket though, refused to look beyond the 30 something average; must make them happy it’s shot up from 32 to 34 in the last year or so.

Now chew on the bowling numbers: identical strike rates of 46. This is how it works: Sanath strikes every 46 balls, and as if in solidarity so does Sehwag. Economies are on the higher side, but then if they like smashing bowlers, there’s no reason they won’t want to get smashed themselves: each ball’s a tequila-shot for these guys.

While Sanath stops, hops, bowls, claps for the ball to be returned for a possible run-out; Sehwag resembles one of those canny kids bowling off spin in a Dilli maidan. I can go on about their bowling averages (36 and 40), economies, but frankly there’s no point to it. One bowls much less than the other; plus there are always some ribald jokes to be had. Hats off!


Bhaskar Khaund said...

Ribald jokes , or bald jokes...:-) Intersting parallel - now check out this symmetry :
Dilshan ------ Sehwag
- -
- -
- -
- -
Sachin ------Jayasurya

Its like a neat little box linking the four openers on IPL and ODIs,with an "X" linking the ODI pairs. I call it the "X" factor from In-The-Box thinking. "Y" did i do this ? OK , now mentally remove the digonal linking Dilshan and Jaya. What you get is a "Z" , right ? So that's where i'm heading now ..., snoozeeland,zzzzzzzzzzz...

Bhaskar Khaund said...

Darn ! the tabs went off ...what a flop of a KL ! ;-) well , i'd made digonals linking Dilshan and Jaya and Sehwag and Sachin...i really must hit the sack now , this thing's really hit me , gnite:-)