Monday, December 06, 2004

Dubious contributions to cricket aesthetics

Indian batsmen, while admired the world over for their wristy, flashy strokeplay, have also been guilty of two smears on the face of cricket: the strange lightweight pads patented by Sunny Gavaskar, and now used by Tendulkar and Laxman, and the presence of the non-cricketing sticker on bats, which is now seen on the bats of just about all major Indian batsmen.

The pads first. Their main claim to fame is that they are lightweight. But the way in which they wrap around the knee, and their soft, pudgy look is discordant. You can see Tendulkar wearing them them here and Laxman in this shot. The Laxman photo also features the Britannia sticker.

Contrast the photos with a the following photos of Michael Clarke:

First this or and then this.

The helmets admittedly, are just as ugly (and plenty has been written about how ugly helmets have made modern cricket).

Australian cricket might have kicked off the trend towards the tacky in world cricket, but the true standard bearers are now the Indians. Ironically, its the Australians to whom we look now for the last nods to traditionalism in this game.

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