21 June, 2021

Deceptive Bouncer

Nobody really knows how he manages to be so quick off the pitch. Adding to the deception that his diminutive figure offers, his run up too is slow. But mysteriously the ball goes like a bullet.

Deceptive Bouncer
I first saw Ajit Agarkar when I was the chairman of the selection committee. Part of my job was to be on the move and spot budding talent. I used to watch a lot of club-level matches. It was in one such match that I saw this frail, little guy bowling deceptively fast. His deliveries would just kiss the pitch and take off like a rocket. Even then he was considered some sort of an all-rounder.

When I first saw Agarkar bowl, he reminded me of Ramakant Desai with whom I have played Test cricket. He too was small and frail but could bowl very quick. He had the audacity to bowl bouncers to the West Indians in West Indies. Agarkar is the modern avatar of Desai, in shape, form and attitude.

After impressing at the club level, Agarkar later went on to play for Mumbai and then the country. Frankly in the beginning I was not very sure if Agarkar could make the big league. Though he was quick, he conceded a lot of runs and his batting was inconsistent. But this lad from Shivaji Park lived up to the early promise by racing to 50 wickets in one-day internationals faster than anyone...

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