22 June, 2021

Long, Tall Sadie

The drought at the top is over. Ramesh, a southpaw in the classic mould, is the find of the season.

Long, Tall Sadie
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

IT was after close of play on the third day at Calcutta. India was just 275 short of a win, with all 10 wickets intact, and even the weatherman didn't know it would rain mineral water bottles the next day. Pristine cricket-that gentle, yet mortal combat of skill and nerve-was still on everyone's mind. Particularly Sadagopan Ramesh. The gangling 24-year-old southpaw, the latest in a string of experiments at the top of the batting line-up, had managed in five innings to give people something to talk about other than Sachin Tendulkar. Yet, as he took team physio Andrew Kokinos on a visit to a temple, his prayers would certainly have been for a big, match-winning score-a seal of quality on the first flush of a tentative harvest.

It was not to be. He did score 41, and with Laxman, put on a 100-plus opening stand. But, after a batting resume that read 43, 5, 60, 96, and 79, it wasn't good enough-a few more like that, and he would be in danger of being branded as another middle-distance runner of erratic appetite and fickle humour.

Ramesh, a regular at the Anjaneya temple near...

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