Friday, April 15, 2005

The Afridi Effect

My mammu, a conservative man, told me in the prime of his youth, 'Life is like a game of cricket. As you gain experience, you discover that the pointers you got your first day, the pointers you didn't have patience for, are the ones you have to keep relearning, over and over again.'
I hope he witnessed the 'Afridi effect' last night!
Last night, bored out of my brains, I decided that I would follow the cricket match on the internet; an arduous task, where broadband does not do me any favors. After the first innings I found which had a live feed to the Audio commentary. So I put it on, and opened up a game of Backgammon. A friend came online, and we wondered what would happen when Pakistan came out to bat.
Our amateur analysis didn't matter.
Neither did the expert opinions.
Afridi came on and he did what he does best. A show of brutal thrashing with complete disregard for the conservative strategies of the game, the time of day, the pitch, the bowler's experience, fielder positioning - Nothing could have persuaded him to stop, and that's the way its always been.
I have never been a fan of Afridi, consider him too flamboyant for the game. Ditto Akhtar. 'If you can't control your wits, don't play!'
But this was his day. And by God, nobody else could have done it. The Indian attack was clobbered and all their moves were rendered futile, all from a man who has been described as 'hardly knows how to bat'. But he does understand something about human psychology:
Fear breeds confusion, which destroys confidence, and then on, strategy can not be implemented.
I saw some commentators on the web dismiss the performance as a one-time lucky shot, and I agree. What they fail to realize is that that is exactly why he is in the team. The day he works is the day the rest of the team idles. His disregard for technique might be scorned at, but his contributions cant be overlooked.
Now, where is mammu's phone number?