Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the enigma called Shaun Tait - fastest ball in Indian soil

There was good humour in a satire that ‘this player has quit T20 preserving himself to play for a topnotch  Madurai team in a 5 over contest where he would have to bowl one full over ! – of course with the inevitable no balls & wides’.  One of my recent posts on ‘what could be the fastest ball in India’ @ 153 kmph delivered by Varun Aaron from Jharkhand in front of literally empty stadium in a Vijay Hazare final.  He made news bowling another @ 147 in a Deodhar match against West Zone at Sawai Mansingh stadium.   I was keen to see him bowl faster in IPL – where he has been picked by Delhi Daredevils. 

Perhaps the words were loosely worded enough – it should have been fastest delivery by an Indian; for IPL has so many foreign breeds in the close to dozen teams and many raring to go.
Shaun William Tait is hardly 28 – but has seen many downs than ups.  He came on the scene with a bang with 65 wickets in Sheffield Sheild and became Australia’s 392nd capped player, wishing to the new Lillee or more of Thomson. 
With the disastrous WC campaign, he announced his retirement from the ODI format trying to synergise his energies on the wealth that T20 – to be more precise IPL offered.   For long, this tear away jerky quickie has been bowler known for his short bursts.
He has been pacey but his unique action has put strains on his body and probably his weak heart had quickened his quitting process.  He was touted to be capable of delivering flat blows to the opposition – a promise he never fulfilled in his short career.  Sad, there are bowlers whose careers have been cut short by playing injuries .  Nicknamed Sloon, he played in only 3 tests and perhaps would never add one.  Down under when India toured Australia, he was touted to be one who would run through the Indians much like a knife slicing through butter.  The wicket at Perth, WACA is known to be pacey, offer bounce to the bowlers and trouble to batsmen.  The Indians were expected to succumb to his brutal pace.  Even before the match, there were talks of Indians tumbling to his speed and perhaps getting all out in a session, if  Ponting were to win the toss and put India in.  
It is another thing that things never went by the script and in Test no. 1862 – Border Gavaskar Trophy 34d Test at  Western Australia Cricket Association Ground , Perth on 16th to 19th  Jan 2008 – India won by handsome margin of 72 runs.  Shaun Tait bowled 13 overs conceding 59 runs and in the second essay bowled another 8 conceding 33 runs – more importantly went wicketless on a green top.   Immediately after the Perth test, he walked away from cricket citing physical and emotional exhaustion.  A break with nothing else in sight. 
As they say, one swallow does not make a summer – and Tait has bowled with venom and pace in matches.  Not many would remember that he was a surprise selection in the 15 member squad to WC 2007 in West Indies.  Brett Lee dropped down due to an ankle injury and Tait filled up his boots.  He was the second leading wicket taker with 23 wickets at an average of 20.30.  In the super 8 match at Antigua he claimed 3/41 against England and then 4/39 against Pretoria.  He went wicketless in the finals against Lankans.  His efforts were instrumental in Aussie securing their third consecutive title in a dominant way.  The WC 2011 in the sub-continent was lukewarm as he took 11 wickets in 7 matches.  
IPL is a different cup and there are talks that many players are willing to shun National duty for the lure of money.  The present version 4 has seen some one-sided and some good matches – though it is not even a week old.  Yesterday, Rajasthan Royals executed a good victory against the Delhi Daredevils who are yet to recover from the Malinga shock.  Some unlikely performers in T20 format, it was more of Rahul Dravid and Johan Botha with Ashok Menaria and Ajankya Rahane also joining the party before Ross Taylor dealt some lusty blows.  Statistically, DD made 151  with Warner scoring 51 & Venugopal Rao scoring 6o. 
Shaun Tait began impressively accounting Virender Sehwag and Aaron Flinch then went for some runs against David Warner.  There was high voltage drama at the start – the first ball of the match was a single to Warner; the second one disappeared through cover point for a four and the third saw Sehwag going for a slash and edging it to Dravid.  Finch was treated with raw pace and the fifth ball measured 157.3 kmph beating him by sheer pace.   Perhaps the fastest ball in Indian soil…  in the third over he gave 3 boundaries to Warner.  
So lots  happening in IPL and many are watching the games.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

No comments:

Post a Comment