Sunday, August 7, 2011

Et tu, Plaha?

For quite a while in recent times, Plaha has always seemed to be an "automatic selection". For what reason, I do not know. But it always want me to give a Shakespearean-Marc-Anthony-like-speech-about-it. Now that he's (temporarily) out of the side I will give this.

Friends, Indians and Plahatards,

Many years ago Harbhajan Singh wove a net around the "mighty" Australians. 32 wickets he picked, as India pulled off a miraculous series win. For years, he was our key strike bowler, until Dada was no longer our captain. Since, then his Strike Rate has climbed from 60 to 76, his average has similarly suffered and his wicket taking abilities have nose-dived. But friends, please remember, that Harbhajan Singh is a man with a very big heart and he has 400 wickets

Whenever Harbhajan Singh bowls around the wicket to the right hand batsmen, we all whince as if someone shot somebody in the nuts. He darts the ball into middle and leg as if he's throwing stones at the annoying cat from next door. The ball spins about as much as an ostrich can fly. But friends, please remember, that Harbhajan Singh is a man with a very big heart and he has 400 wickets.

Harbhajan Singh never ever looks like picking up a wicket now. He has lost his flight, guile and the aura of mystery that seemed to shroud him when he picked up the ball. So he looks to contain the runs. In recent times, he has struggled to do even that in tests. It's all very well to go at 4-5 rpo in ODI's and T20's (hell, it may even be considered good). But when you give the same in tests? You have a problem. But hey, don't forget, Harbhajan Singh has a very big heart, and he has 400 wickets.

Whenever a commentator supports Harbhajan Singh, you remember Anil Kumble. You remember how Kumble was dropped every now and again to "make way" for Harbhajan. You remember how Kumble was always fighting to stay in the team because of his "he cannot spin the ball" stereotype. Now Harbhajan Singh who similarly seems to have forgotten how to spin a cricket ball, is suddenly a shoo in for the team. Why? Nobody knows. Maybe it's Sachin Tendulkar. Maybe it's MS Dhoni. Maybe it's the BCCI. But somehow he still remains. Maybe it's because Harbhajan Singh has a very big wicket and 400 wickets.

But don't worry everybody, the moment has finally arrived, where Plaha is no more in the team. Let us rejoice and hope that he makes a return as a much improved bowler. Until then, we shall forever remain indebted and thankful, for his very big heart, and his 400 wickets.

Thank you.