This time, I nervously said "right arm over" to the umpire, went to the top of my run up with a shining new red "cherry" and then ....was momentarily confused. There was a leftie on strike. Its not as if this was the first time I'd be bowling to a lottai but somehow not knowing it beforehand made me pause because (a) am confused (b) was already nervous about opening the bowling. After some thought call to the umpire and said "around" knowing fully well that I hadn't bowled around in the last year or so. Then went on to bowl 7 consecutive wides. Sometimes you never know WTF happens to you when you lose confidence mid-runup. Especially if you are used to the habit of deciding where to *try* and pitch the ball before runup and then execute it. Poor confidence meant that I was confused about where to pitch it until delivery. While bowling my 7th wide I was actually thinking "I have no idea where this is going to land" at delivery stride. So gave away 12 runs for the first over. I was prepared to not be asked to bowl again and went and stood sulking @ gully.
That was until I caught a total blinder next over. Batsman slashes at a wide ball and it screams to gully. I jump and grab it one handed. If I was given 5 more seconds to think about it I would have dropped it but strangely not been given enough time, in this instance, worked to my favor. That momentary 'undo' on my pathetic bowling performance gave me another over. Then I went on to bowl 5 overs, 4 maidens and squeezed out a wicket. 6-4-13-1 looked awesome now. Was removed from attack and brought back for the 38th and 40th over. The Pahisthaani left hander was still around batting at 110 or so. I gave 2 sixers in the 7th over and 2 more sixers plus a four in the last over. And was brought back to earth. 8-4-41-2 wasn't going to retain my opening bowling spot. Strangely there used to be a time when playing against pagisthan type teams pumped me up but that day I just dropped my pants and bent over.
Chasing 237 in 40 overs isnt easy. During lunch captain looks at me and says 1-drop. I get all excited. Last year, I got into the team as an opener peethifying that I was Sachin Tendulkar of Palayamkottai but ended up being demoted due to poor performances. After scraping around the bottom of the batting order all last year, I finally got opportunity-part deux. I go in at 20/1. I again mentally prepare to dokku-vechufy for 2-3 overs before even thinking of scoring. Third ball I face, the bowler drops it short, I go back and pull over mid-wicket for 4. Bayangara sandosham and confidence happens and resulting adrenalin makes me give the '36 mottaigalin attagasangal' kind of batting performance. 40 scored of 43 balls: 7 boundaries. Finally got out when team was 101/2. Checked my shot in the last minute while going after a off-side full toss and dragged the ball back to the stumps. We ended up losing by 50 runs. But on the bright side "hope are there mama" that I will be batting higher up the order next game.
Orrey the looking forward to this season.