Thursday, May 7, 2009

The longest millisecond

Suresh Raina's talent is dazzling, as is Rohit Sharma's. The Latter took a hattrick yesterday, while the former came up with an amazing bowling cameo. In an inspired move, Dhoni brought him in to bowl the 15th and the 17th overs (in a match reduced to 18 overs) at a point when Yuvraj and Mahela were belting sixes like crazy. He came up with this gem:
SK Raina 2 overs, 8 runs, no wickets

12 balls without a single boundary when everybody else was getting hit quite easily during the death overs. How did he do it? This tab has a theory.

He appears to have developed a 'feinting' bowling technique - that can be visually explained best by looking at examples like the famous Brazilian soccer player Socrates before he used to take penalties, or the Pakistani hockey player Shabaz's (or Ronaldinho's) deft dodge-moves at the last instant, leaving a defender behind. Every delivery appears to be a game played out in the milliseconds during which the batsman or the bowler blinks first and commits to a move. Raina is able to delay his delivery that millisecond more, and the results are amazing. It has worked so far, and will work until he comes across a batsmen who can stay still that fraction longer. Would be interesting to see him bowl to Sehwag who has the ability to stay still the longest and spot the bowler's intent before the rest of the stadium catches on.

Sports at the highest level, always appears to be played in these milliseconds.

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