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Friday, March 02, 2007

Odd Pairs at the World Cup

This World Cup sees many players who seem to mirror themselves, in terms of capabilities as well as temperament. They might be playing the same role for their team or they might possess skills that make their team unbeatable. Or they might be just unpredictable. Who are these players?

Craig Mcmillan and Russel Arnold - The Comeback Men. Both these players have served their teams for donkey's years - playing the crucial No. 6 spot. They have salvaged their teams from crucial situations when the top order has failed. For the last year, they were dropped from their teams, but have made a strong comeback recently. Mohammed Kaif would have also fitted in this category, but he couldnt get in.

Glenn Mcgrath and Shaun Pollock - Uncle Scrooge. They can be literally called that. They are the senior pace bowlers of their teams. Usually bowl first up, but can be effective bowling first change also. Miserly in their spells - typically bore the hell of the batsmen and get them out. Pollock, though, can contribute with the bat also. Decent fielders.

Shahid Afridi and Herschelle Gibbs - Mercurial. That is the word to describe the two. They can blast any attack on any pitch on a given day. Or they can get out first ball to an ugly-looking hoick. They are excellent fielders - Afridi having the edge with his fastish spinners as well.

Mohammed Sami and Ajit Agarkar - Mercurial again. These bowlers have promised so much in their career so far. Imran Khan always includes Sami in his strategy for Pakistan fast bowlers. But, they have failed time and again. They manage to provide the odd performance, due to which they remain in the team. But, it is not consistent. Agarkar, though, has been more consistent than Sami.

Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle - Both are opening batsmen. Both can be explosive on their day. They are safe catchers, though of late, Sehwag has been catching some blinders. They can turn their arm over - atleast 6-7 overs. Gayle has been more predictable with his form, as compared to Sehwag. But, the opposition teams would do well, not to let them settle down.
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