by Chaitanya Halgekar
When Darshan Kadam, playing on 28, offered a simple catch at long off on the bowling of Parikshit Shetty, everyone at Union Gymkhana were stunned. So far he looked untroubled and his 28 runs included some eye pleasing strokes.
But on the third ball of the 8th over, he came down the track and lofted a good length delivery straight in the throat of long off fielder. That was a shot which a batsman would generally play when he is not getting runs and is desperate to score.
However, this was not the case with Patil. He played a beautiful punch off the back foot in the covers on the very first ball of the innings. That shot although yielded four runs, was worth a million dollars. Then in the next couple of overs he scored two more fours by hitting a tremendously powerful cover drive which went past three fielders and a splendid stroke on the leg side.
Then in the 6th over he took the attack to the opposition by belting a colossal six over commentary box. That ball easily traveled about 90 meters. After watching all these magnificent strokes, it was a clear Patil was on a rampage today. It was his day. He couldn’t do anything wrong.
But in the 8th over Parikshit Shetty did something which looked impossible. He unsettled Patil. And it took him just two balls to do that. The first ball went past the outside edge and Patil looked stunned. The next ball too posed tremendous questions as it beat the bat again.
By the time the third ball pitched on the wicket, Patil was out of his crease to smash hit without even thinking about the consequences. The result- a simple catch. It took mere two dot balls to break the concentration of Patil who it seemed to be invincible today.
Cricket is a high quality game for this same reason. A player can never get relaxed as every ball has the potential to destroy him. It takes only one six to spoil the figures of a bowler and on the other hand, one good ball can undone all the hard work of the batsmen.
This is Cricket. The one ball game. The one ball battle. You either go back or you stay there to continue the battle