Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A new weapon

Besides the Indian left-arm swing bowling, there is a new secret (well, its not so-secret) weapon that England's batsmen must deal with in the third test at the Oval. This is the RPSingh-post-wicket-taking-leap-cum-punch. If you have the time, stroll on over to You Tube, where you'll be able to find approximately 234 video clips showing the wickets that fell during India's second innings. Now, carefully watch both the Pietersen and Prior dismissals. As Singh dismisses Pietersen, he runs towards the South African-in-self-imposed-exile, and leaps, while simultaneously attempting to knock off Pietersen's skull with a clenched fist. Only some dexterous head movements by Pietersen (a skill acquired, no doubt, during his stint in South Africa avoiding punches thrown by Graeme Smith, and more recently while dodging beamers from irate Mallu quicks) saved his bacon. Then later, Singh bowls Prior, and if you look at the replay carefully, you can see Prior forced to stop chattering for a second, and move his head quickly again in order to avoid, yes, you know it, the flying RPSingh-leap-cum-punch.

Despite these lucky escapes, other English batsmen might not be so lucky and thus frenzied preparations have begun in order to combat this deadly combo of Superman-and-Batman-like threats. Current English preparations have taken two forms: active and passive avoidance. In the former strategy, English batsmen anticipating being dismissed by Singh are practicing nifty foot moves and sidesteps with professional boxers (rumor has it that the Anglo-Pakistani boxer, Amir Khan, overcome by the desire to stick it to the old enemy, has offered to help the English team). In the latter strategy, English batsmen will take the longer route to the pavilion, either walking off at wierd angles and then swinging around to the pavilion, or walking in the wrong direction, and then, feigning confusion, turning to go in the right direction (by which time Singh will have descended to earth again).

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