I was watching the IPL game last night and witnessed RC take out DC and I caught myself talking out loud (in response to another DC wicket)...."Shit, these guys are useless!!"
The look on the batsmans face as he walked off the field triggered a memory flash...a younger me walking off the cricket field on the Sishya field, having got out first ball in an intra school tournament. A whole bunch of students watching (worried more about the girls though!;)) ...some sniggering...I remember the thought that ran through my head, "Machan, you dont even know how to hold a bat..."
In the same match, standing behind the wickets as the Wicketkeeper/Captain I remember my team-mate Mayank, a wonderful pace bowler (though with an erratic run-up that confused most batsman) bowling with full gusto at the opponent. Wonderful line, a gentle swing, perfectly pitched and rising to perfection, beating the batsman and into my gloves, standing 15 feet behind the stumps. I also remember the pain!
He was not bowling any more than 75 or 80 kmph (we were only in the 10th grade and small built)...but even at that distance behind the stumps my hands were killing me (though I had inner gloves and a brand new set of keeping gloves, grudgingly handed over by the PE teacher)....even though I had collected the ball cleanly, the stinging sensation running up through my hands made me see stars!
In world cricket we see speeds in excess of 120kmph...from a medium pacer! Even Kumble, a spinner (off break) generates speeds in excess of 100kmph. The wicketkeeper actually stands right there, up next to the wickets...imagine his reaction time when he makes a stumping or run out…mindblowing! To understand the magnitude of their achievements we mere mortals have to slow the video down to fractions of seconds and even then we need modern technology, with all its computing power and simulations and 100billion operations a second, to tell us something the umpire already knew 10 seconds ago, with his finger up in the air! An interesting example of the sheer pace of events on the field was put in perspective when, between overs, the TV producer replayed the images of a fielder at short midwicket hold a catch from a sizzling shot by one of the batsman. They replayed the shot and resulting catch in slow motion again and again, while measuring the time from when the ball hit the bat to when the fielder caught the ball. This entire sequence of events took 0.6 seconds! For humans to experience fluid vision we need to see 24 images (frames) a second. This shot and the catch was captured in just 14 !If mankind is looking for inspiration we need to look no further than these tiny miracles that happen everyday in every sport at every level. Performance and human capability taken to the limits. At the end of the day, as mere mortals, who are we to Judge?