November 23, 2009

B.B.O.T.D. - Coaches and Roaches

23rd November happens to be a very special day in the calendar year for me, for years now. It’s hardly surprising that cricket is not left out. Today, two cricketers share their birthday namely, Gary Kirsten and Merv Hughes.

In 1996, during the WC in the sub-continent I was surprised by the talent of one namely – Christian(was what I was told). Weird that, it was my mistake and a means to remember him. I dint even know the South Africans could play cricket. It was more so because of the ban they were under, which I was unaware of.. But this guy just kept improving and impressing me, also because he opened the batting and was left-handed was enough to grab my attention. Then in a match against U.A.E. he was calling in the fire engines, he smashed 188, with ease. Kirsten, going on to become a well known opening batsman for his style of play and the ability to play a long a patient innings as well. Like his 275 against England or his match saving patient century on the 5th day. Kirsten’s style of play is much appreciated and applauded. Kirsten held most batting records for South Africa, only to be over taken by Jacques Kallis in almost all categories. Kirsten, today is the coach of the Indian cricket team and has received quite a lot of appreciation from the team. Inspite of some senior pros like Sachin, Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly and younger players like Jadeja, Raina, Rohit, Ishant… the team has had no problem with the coach or his coaching methods. Improvement in Gautam Gambhir’s game can be directly complimentary to Coach Kirsten.

The other man, celebrating his birthday today doesn’t need any introduction. The picture says it all, Mervyn Hughes very well known for his fiery bowling and his famous moustache. He even got them insured for 38,000 US$!! Phew.. But, it was sure worth every penny. Just the vision of Hughes running in was a sight to watch. Like many other Australian quicks, Merv was selected to play the longer format only. He dint have much success in ODI’s. He ended with 212 wkts from 53 tests for Australia, with a one of a kind Hattrick against the Windies. He got Ambrose of the last delivery and picked up Patrick Patterson of the very first ball of his next over. Only, it was the final wicket to fall in the innings. Later, in the second innings he got Greenidge of his very first delivery. Winning him a rare format of hattrick.

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