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The Mahi-meter

by Gaurav Sethi

There’s a change in thanks - Raina could hardly thank Sachin after his hundred. He did the next best thing in Indian cricket, thanked MS. When exactly did MS take Raina under his wing – the move to CSK is now three season’s old. Coming in at one down is not entirely new for Raina, but with MS’s trigger-happy position swapping, it’s a biggie that Raina continues to come one down, not just for CSK but for India in T20. To grab the position in one-dayers could take longer for Raina, but with runs and MS backing him, not that long.

Raina is lucky, as is Yusuf Pathan. Both have been on the Mahi-meter. RP Singh was, but how long can you push a guy for a smile that’s steadier than his bowling.

Nohit Sharma is off the radar. After not coming off as an opener in the previous edition, even an out of touch BossDK is picked over him – argument is clear, BossDK opens, albeit with limited success, Nohit opened, but with no success.

So it’s down to Yusuf Pathan vs Nohit Sharma; Yusuf darts it in the power-play, and is your big match-changer on reputation. Nohit can bowl, but isn’t called on with the same regularity, not in the IPL at least. On perception, Yusuf is your big-hitting all-rounder, who plays with the threat of a match-winner.

Whereas Nohit is a finisher, he’s been batting late for India, and finishing for the Chargers. He bowls occasionally, but much less than Yusuf.

From a few months back, when I couldn’t care less for either player, I think both have acquitted themselves somewhat – Yusuf has stopped chewing gum, his head’s steadier, and he doesn’t go out first ball. He still threatens to. He had a monster season before being picked again – and has been able to do the tough math that he has to think and hit rather than the other way round.

As for Nohit Sharma, when he catches them like a juggler, you want him in the side for his catching alone. It’s a dying art, every team should be duty bound to play a bloke for his fielding alone. And much as Nohit’s dull-head disposition can be a put-off, (and his shot selection as appalling as Yusuf’s), this is his time – bet he knows that too, as does Yusuf. Back home, Uthappa must think the same, but he’ll have to wait.

Nohit is up against it – 3 games in the super 8s – how much rope with Mahi give Yusuf? Right now Nohit Sharma’s best shot at making the eleven is shitty. Somebody in the middle order will have to get diarrhoea this time.


straight point said...

yousuf hardly talks but leaks runs like diarrhoea with ball...

i applaud dhoni for thinking beyond south africa and testing bowling combination in early stage... by now he wud have decided the combo and i don't think he will risk his preference over india'a chances...

pathan just doesn't fit in...

Som said...

And Nohit has caused his cause no good when he said he owes everything to Yuvraj. It can't get worse.