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Inside Siraj's fantasy world of Miya Magic.

by Gaurav Sethi

Siraj can be earnest to a fault. And yet at the same time, he can stare at any Batman with those crazy-eyes. The man wielding the bat is neither a batter nor a batsman, he is, in Siraj’s world, Batman. 

Siraj is a comic in the guise of a bowler. He is some related incarnate of Sreesanth, who was also a comic. 

Comics don’t go down well in Indian cricket. They are either superheroes, legends, the next big thing, yet they always confirm. If you don’t, someone will be very firm with you, and that will be that. 

Even great spells can’t save you then. A gig with a broadcaster extends some form of armistice. 

 But that’s another’s story. Here we are in Siraj’s story. 

 To some in the world, Siraj may appear to be a comic. But in Siraj’s world, he is a superhero from one of those DC or Marvel comics. The difference between comic and comics is such. 

So when the mantle of ‘Miya Magic’ was added, it was gleefully accepted. Such is Siraj, he’s often gleefully accepting. Except in between those 22 yards, where there is none; he puts on the garb of a superhero to do his Miya Magic thing. 

It took a cricketing freak like AB de Villiers to coin Miya Magic. It took another one like Virat Kohli to help harness the magic with his backing. 

Even superheroes don’t work in isolation anymore, this is the time of the Avengers - Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider – almost a cricket team. 

 Miya Magic and King Kohli. Miya Magic and Mr 360 degrees. Miya Magic and Boom Boom. 

 Where the wickets flow like the hugs after a 6/21 spell – magic. And as in the comics, it’s all rather straightforward. Siraj is out there to save the world, or at least Asia (cup) from Lanka – the land of Ravana, a fight of good over evil. 

 He is possessed by the powers of line and length vested in him. He unveils them, just as he does in celebration, aping another superhero, CR7’s ‘Siu’ style. 

 Every superhero has his Achilles heel – that which makes them nigh human. How else will they appeal to humanity? 

With Siraj, it’s his rules of engagement – that often adhere to no rules at all. Siraj in the face of a Batman after being hit over the ropes - with the ‘same thing that makes you, breaks you’. Losing it bad. Yet not breaking. Rising. To fight another day. 

Siraj hasn’t always been the toast of the IPL. Which in many a memory means, he’s not cutting it. Till he did last year, in his best season with the ball. His One Day International numbers lately, have been exceptional. Siraj’s one day had come. Repeatedly. In The Gabba Test, in 2021 (5/73). In the R Premadasa, in 2023 (6/21). 

 On both occasions, Siraj went to his super powers – killer Test lines and length. Pitched up. Ball moving. In. Out. Seam. In the air. A dream conjured by Siraj. A nightmare for the Lankans. 

When Siraj tightens the screw 

Screw all the words, the poems, the songs 
Just gimme lines, lines, lines 
Lines, Siraj 
Gimme those lines Siraj 

Screw all the speeches, the process, the intent 
Just gimme eyes, eyes, eyes 
Eyes, Siraj 
Gimme those eyes Siraj 

Screw all the noise, the SFX, the gyaan 
Just gimme shhhhhhhhhh 
Shhhhhh, Siraj 
Gimme that shhhhhhhh Siraj 

Screw all of this 
Screw all of them 
Screw it all 
Screw them all 

Just take this strip 
Just let it rip 
Just take this strip 
Just let it rip 
Let it rip 

Screw all those variations, comparisons, prophecies 
Just gimme that length, that length, that length 
 That length, Siraj 
Gimme that length Siraj 

Screw all the words, the poems, the songs 
Just gimme lines, lines, lines Lines, Siraj 
Gimme those lines Siraj 

 (However plausible this may sound, some of this is a work of fiction)

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