19 January, 2021

Oriental Magic

With flair and originality, subcontinental cricket infuses the game with a new spirit and logic

Oriental Magic

SOMEWHERE in the Valhalla of cricketing greats, Ranjitsinhji must be smiling. Not at seeing his countrymen scale new heights of glory. But at seeing them do so playing the highly original, flamboyant brand of cricket that was his hallmark. No boring statistical player, no respecter of rules, he was the greatest of the subcontinental maestros who imbued oriental cricket with a rope trick mystique, inventing the elegant leg glance, sending the ball singing to the boundary with wand-like waves of his bat. Much like Sachin Tendulkar. And Sanath Jayasuriya. And Romesh Kaluwitharana. And Vinod Kambli. And Saeed Anwar. And Aamir Sohail. And Ajay Jadeja.

In the spirit of a great tradition, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have in this World Cup announced that they are reinventing the game, and this time around they are marrying flair and flamboyance and a nose for victory. They are throwing out the occidental wisdom of cut-and-dried strategies and percentage cricket and beady-eyed calculations, and bringing back the armoury of magical spin, flashy batsmanship and...



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