Holmans, from cricinfo's new Different Strokes blog, writes a little paean of
sorts to Outside the Line's very own patron saint, Shiv Chanderpaul. Always nice
to see the love spread around.
I have to admit, though, I'm a little tired of people referring to his batting style as ugly, or unseemly, or, as Holmans puts it, "a style best appreciated on the radio." (They make it sound like it's the Elaine dance, or something.)
On the contrary, Shiv's every stay at the crease is an extended display of kinetic beauty... it's like a strange and hypnotic kabuki break dance, all knees and elbows and wrists flailing in every direction, in constant motion, with varying speeds, yet always culminating in the most balanced, technically correct position in the textbook.
Seeing Chanderpaul hit a cover drive, with perfect footwork, off the middle for four is like watching a Comaneci landing after a complex 3 minute gymnastics floor routine. You just gasp, do a double-take, and wonder, how the hell did that just happen?
(If anyone ever was in need of a tight 5-minute super-slo-mo highight reel set to cool music, it's Old Man Shiv.)