Monday, March 26, 2012

Magnificent Mahela!

When you look at Mahela Jayawardene's career as an objective onlooker it is hard to not acknowledge that judgement on him has been influenced by two factors. 

The first being that he plays for a Sri Lankan Team that rarely gets exposure in the Test arena in high profile clashes and as a result the respect that their players deserve. His majestic style is the secondary rod for his back in respect to fans immerse in its supreme grace and have it as their overwhelming view of him. Which is understandable for it is bit like looking at a shiny diamond and not remarking about its translucent glow.

The downside to this understandable adulation is that we overlook his eclectic mastery in batsmanship for we almost always focus on that characteristic elegance without recognising all his other equally honed qualities. You would have to have been Blind Freddy not to be in awe of these in Galle yesterday in an unbeaten innings of 168 that had all of his characteristic style, but was a master class for everything else he displayed.

It was as if he was paying homage to the recently retired Rahul Dravid in the way he batted with such a relentlessness in mind as characterised by his steely resolve. Surrounded by the insanity of action of his Team mates and the carnage that followed he was oblivious to it all.  Digging in in a manner that he was impossible to usurp, and then returning fire when the chance presented with a flurry of brilliant counter attacks.

Symbolically in the battle within the War, he took every chance to target one of England's generals in Graeme Swann by rendering his off spin bowling hopelessly inadequate against him. With Mahela drifting between milking Swann or mauling him as seen by the fact that he scored 59 runs off just 68 balls against Swann with his Team in such trouble.

The fact that the hosts ended the day on 289 was a miracle in itself when all onlookers thought it would need an act of God for them to threaten 200. Sure, the stumps figures was helped by a few 'Monty-isms' in the field, but it was more to do with Mahela's genius. 

168 runs with plenty of more on offer for him in comparison with the 111 runs contributed from his Team mates told the tale of his immense effort while at the same time condemning his Team mates flakiness.

Reminding us all again of the only tag that belongs to this great Sri Lankan batsman....


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