And then there is Munaf Patel. He comes from beyond the boondocks.
Munaf Patel’s selection for the first test was a debatable one after his brain freeze in the last ODI.
Munaf smiled, like he’d sneaked into his first strip bar as a young teen, only, it was his bowling being stripped, ball after ball.
First test, for the third seamer was a tossup between Balaji, Kulkarni and Munaf.
Munaf was tossed in, and he found himself bowling a hat-trick ball, and then prising Mills out on the day’s last ball.
After last ball heroics, it’s impossible not to lead your team off the park, at least in spirit.
Ask, what’s his name, that guy from Delhi, who plays for Haryana, legspinner, er..the guy who got Michael Clarke’s wicket, lemme check on cric…aah yeah, Amit Mishra (serious, I really forgot his name)
Anyway, Mishra and Munaf are the ones you forget.
They’re not the poster boys, not the type you’ll hand a Pepsi, or even a mineral water ad contract.
They can however wangle a good IPL deal.
Get stuff that comes by on sheer performance.
Their bad days will always be amplified more, they will always be under one of those hi-tech flatbed scanners.
Their better days, however, will be glossed over.
Face it they are not the guys you want to see on the sports page.
Not when Sachin shines on the same day.
That is the bane of being Munaf Patel.
Yet Munaf can surprise you – with his bowling, and at times even with his batting.
That ugly sweep off Vettori for four today, that’s one of the days shots that stayed with me.
Then his throw in from the boundary, there was a lotta arm in that, and it wasn’t underarm or relay either.
The crazy wide eyes smile was there too.
Someone is working on Munaf Patel.
And it helps he speaks the same language as a lotta the cool dudes.
Nothing quite like down and dirty Hindi swear words to unite cricketers.
Teri Ma Ki!
For Munaf Patel's Sketchy Job Profile, visit Bored Cricket Crazy Indians (BCC!)