Monday, June 05, 2006
I wonder if I am writing too much on cricket and on one person, Monty.In my latest posts, I have deviated from writing what I am trained to write.Precisely, Health and more precisely spiritual health and my beloved sikhism. Cricket fever is on in my country.When tabloids ripped the Sri Lankan team off labelling themselves as easy for being hunted by rejuveanted Englishmen, I find hard to concentrate on anything else as do my fellow countrymen.The series give me enormous pleasure as once again Tabloids try rip Monty Pannessar's courage off. I tend to concentrate on him as our other player, Harbhajan seems to be within his shell having not been able to produce an iota of performance that he usually delivers. Every cricketer has a bad patch and one is able to come out of that infertile period quite successfully with a little bit of determination.I believe that thhis is that period of Harbhajan.Very soon we will see the true colours of the Turbanator -1.
Everytime , I go through Guardian or Telegraph columns, I cannot stop smiling as Monty manfests true sikhiness. The otherday, Fletcher had said that if he remains to be a long term member of the English team, He's got to do something more than bowling. Simon Hughes writes in Telegraph that Fletcher said "he's got to make sure he improves his batting and fielding". Writes Simon Hughes " He has done so, looking nothing like the man with feet for hands that he did at Edgbaston, loping around Trent Bridge's green swathe with none of the previous tension in his muscles and fielding everything cleanly". According to David Llewyleen of "Independent" The cheers were ironic, but they would have been music to Monty Panesar's ears. The batting of England's left-arm spinner has received almost as much criticism as his fielding, but he showed he is no mug with the willow when he swept Muttiah Muralitharan over deep midwicket for six before one sweep too many resulted in an lbw success for Sanath Jayasuriya " .His response was typical of a sikh. He gets his eye examined , wears contact lenses in order to improve his fielding the department which he is notorius for. He shed extra sweat in practicing fielding.
Just before the run chase , Monty was optimistic that the target was gettable even if his own observation of the wicket and its support to spinners was the kind of treat Great Murali was waiting licking his fingers. He does his duty having claimed his first 5 wicket bag ( 5-78) which in the presence of bamboozling perfromance of Muralidaran evaporates like dew in the presence of peeping out sun. Primarily selected for his bowling ability what else do you need? This was even emphasised by Duncan Fletcher in the same interview, "He's picked to play as a spinner and do his job as a spinner and as long as he's trying there's nothing more you can ask of an individual."
Then comes the run chase. On a hard , bouncing pitch the tabloid hunters became hunted while their hunted became hunters due to the fiery spell of Murali.Englishmen were falling like 11 pins. But the man who their coach severly criticised as needing to improve in fielding and batting becomes the best batter under prevailing circumstances. He shows his collegues with better vision, even Murali was nothing ( 26 runs). He hammers Murali over the ropes to the delight of his followers who say if all non native British are like him, it 's OK and those who come with stockings as DASTAR and fake beards.
What else do you need from a man who was picked to take wickets. Is n't that the manifestation of the sikhi spirit embeded in all khalsa members by our beloved warior saint Guru Gobind Singh ji. Sikhs are upto any task they are entrusted with. Monty is reported to have met a sikh SANt and his advice was to go and be involved in Monty's passion. As a one who recites Japji, Monty knows the powers of meditation and concentration. As a sikh he should be a hardned bloke. As a result he may not be a soft target as the British Tabloids may think him to be.
Come Ashes, He may be in full blosom. So watch out Aussies.Sledging may release the full sikhiness in Monty the lion
Michael Henderson of Times wrote:
England’s last man( Monty) swept Murali boldly for four and then got more bat on the stroke, sending the ball into the crowd at square leg. What a fine stroke that was! Five wickets, a jaunty little innings and the crowd’s acclaim: this was the best day of his young career.Monty Panesar had hardly presented his handsome credentials, five wickets in a Test innings for the first time, than the Kandy man barged the young Sikh out of the way.