Padikkal’s audacious smile
It came immediately after the first four of Devdutt Padikkal’s IPL career but it wasn’t a smile of joy or relief. There was, however, a touch of audaciousness about it. It was the first ball of the second over, and Padikkal not only charged out but also side-stepped outside leg stump to biff it over midwicket. He nodded his head to himself as he savoured the moment and flashed a triumphant smile, that you usually see in advertisements. It was a lovely little private moment, of a boy in the man’s world knowing he belongs out there. No one would have been surprised by his fifty on debut after watching him bat a few overs. Serene in temperament, still at the crease, a lack of any pre-determination apart from that first four, and the skill to play the ball late, he played all around the park. Growing up, he had idolized Gautam Gambhir and even his hero would have been proud had he pulled off a knock like this.
Devdutt Padikkal: A new star is born ❤❤ pic.twitter.com/4Xq89HWN1v
— Nihar (@Niharfcc) September 21, 2020
Agony of guilt
Jonny Bairstow, whose imperious urge to hit another six had led to not just his dismissal but also triggered a collapse, was sitting in the dugout when he saw the youngster Priyam Garg get bowled, trying to play a lap shot. Hyderabad had slipped from 121 for 2 to 129 for 5 in space of 7 balls and the match was slipping out of their hands. Sitting in the dugout was Bairstow, sweat pouring off his forehead, eyes glued to the action in the middle and when he saw Garg lose his wicket, that sinking feeling hit Bairstow. He knew he had started the self-destruction and perhaps there was a bit of guilt in that shake of head. Until then, he had bossed around in the middle with a series of short-arm pulls and thrilling pick-up shots to the leg. Perhaps because of the boundary-glut, he felt invincible and went for an almighty heave to the leg against Yuzvindra Chahal but failed to connect. He was disappointed then but it wasn’t a patch on the emotion that hit him minutes later in the dugout.
Limp in pain
Mitchell Marsh was writhing in pain on the field. Twice. The first yelps of pain came on the field with the ball in his hand when he twisted his right ankle on the followthrough. He has had a history of ankle problems and surgeries and though the man whose nickname is bison tried to grit through his pain and bowl, he couldn’t. He had to hobble off. In an ideal world, his day would have been done there and ankle frozen in ice but when duty calls, it yells. When the eighth wicket fell, he came out to bat but fell almost immediately, spooning up a simple catch. As he hobbled in pain, his Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch, who was in the opposition in this game, rushed across in concern. Finch even wanted Marsh to place the arm around his shoulder and help him walk off but Marsh waited out for the physio to come out. On air, another Australian Brett Lee said Marsh should have never come out to bat as he might have put his ankle in real jeopardy.
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