Friday, December 9, 2011

Some days it simply isn’t your time to shine.

Just when you think your best intentions are going to bring you great reward, your day’s work gets cut short by some young upstart of a bowler who gives you a sterner than wished for examination of your abilities.

Take New Zealand test opener, Brendon McCullum. Mightily talented, but much maligned of late, he's been on the receiving end of the harshest of criticisms for his performance during the first test at the Gabba. Here he was at Hobart, hunkering down, intent on demonstrating to all and sundry that he could curb his natural proclivity to blaze the day away with the most daring shotmaking his imagination could conjure up.

And he was succeeding too.

At least until James Pattinson - who was in the middle of garnering his second five wicket haul in only his second test – came along with a ball that was so sinister of intent, and psychopathic in nature, that McCullum’s hopes of a long and industrious stay at the crease were stymied by the latest of swing. So demented was its demeanour, as it knicked the edge of McCullum’s willow, that it could not but help facetiously laugh in the visage of the batsman as it derided its victim with the perfect line and the perfect length.

That it was a cracking delivery cannot be denied. McCullum had been scuppered for a measly sixteen runs. Ninety-eight minutes of stoic resistance in tandem with Kane Williamson had come to nothing.

At 3 for25, the duo had battled hard in a dire situation and he was dirty with himself. But he need not have been. There are simply occasions when one has to admit that the bowler has genuinely won the battle with a delivery that was too good.

It was clear too, that he was attempting to change his ways to better suit the needs of the test side. That is to be admired.

This time, though, the young buck had got one over the grizzled old veteran

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