Watching KKR's defeat against double D (As Danny Morrison used to call Delhi Daredevils) last night reminded me of a long forgotten hero. A tall, athletic fast bowler (in fact the fastest in his country of 130k trundlers) who is no mug with the willow. He was the quickest to 50 ODI wickets and scored the fastest ODI fifty for his country. But what happened after those initial feats is the stuff of legend.
"Reincarnation of Kapil Dev", "Bombay Botham", "Imran and Hadlee rolled into one". "Sachin with the bat and Srinath with the ball"(his mindless critics ignorantly blabber the reverse as true). Adjectives abound. Yes you guessed it. We are talking about one and only "Ajit Bhalchandra Agarkar".
Neighbour's pride and Owner's envy. He was already a legend with his 5 ducks in a row and several match-winning bowling performances. Who cares if those bowling performances has only resulted in wins for our opponents. His cult only seem to grow further as he ventures into new vistas. With his IPL exploits, he has earned new adjectives "Kolkata Klusener", "Marathi Morkel". He is the X factor KKR missed in their first two matches en route to their uncharacteristically insipid performance of two wins in two matches. After a hat-trick of losses against the Chennai, Mumbai and Double R, KKR realised who they are missing.
In fact Sourav Ganguly was so impressed with our hero that he argued with SRK to get the team name changed to AAR after he inspired his team to a sensational win against the table toppers from the bottom - KXIP with his two-wicket burst at the top. Sanity returned in the next match against Delhi last night when AAR's assortment of lollipops and full tosses was flayed to all parts of the ground by marauding Warner.
With the chase getting increasingly tougher for KKR, the novice Angelo Matthews was bowled by an excellent yorker. My brother was exclaiming that this is the end of the chase. Sorry bro, you are wrong, no chase is over until the experienced campaigner AAR is done with. I was cheering at my highest decibel much to the surprise of my grandma at the mere sight of my hero stepping into Kotla wielding the bat with the swagger of Sir Viv. When KKR was needing 7o runs in 4 overs, commentators were seen to be exclaiming that they need nothing short of a miracle innings of the sort played by Bhajji 2 nights back. Critics might say such comments are inane, just to infuse some life into a zombie match. As always, critics are wrong. Commentators know what they are talking about, they know there is still one man left in KKR who can play such an innings. Saha and Agarkar were the ones at the crease and I am not referring to the poor Saha who is resigned to play second fiddle.
Live ball-by-ball commentary posted by Cricinfo would illustrate the heroics of AAR better:
Bhatia to Agarkar, FOUR, Bhatia bowls a low ball outside off, Agarkar swings and gets a bottom edge through Karthik's legs for four
Bhatia to Agarkar, no run, Agarkar swings again and this time he doesn't place it between Karthik's legs, he misses it completely
What placement!! What cunning!!!
Oh my dear!! How much India is missing you..!!! Hope Dhoni and Kris Shrikant is watching this blog.
My cousin used to say he is the only batsman who can clear the ropes with a cunningly edged shot since shots off the middle of his bat could only fetch him a boundary. Keep going Ajit!! Long may live your lore!!!