When the white ball properly connects the middle of the bat held by a certain Nicholas Pooran, it tends to disappear into the crowds. It’s a sight as if the ball thought it belonged there over the ropes; not in the firmly held grasp of the bowler.
Not that lofty sixes do not recur when such a sight takes place in the game.
But when they don’t, the bowler and fielders develop irate facial muscles and suffer from dropped shoulders since boundary hitting by Nicholas Pooran takes centrestage.
It’s all part of the game.
And by now, not just the batting-loving obsessive Windies fan but the cricket fan, in general, may have come to note the familiar signs when the left-hander takes centrestage:
The bat position from the third slip, the relaxed back stance, the wagging blade before the delivery approaches its customary Trinidadian assaulter and the whisker of runs that come by when willow gets into the act.
It’s a Pooran show; the likes of which we’ve already seen famously in the ICC World Cup 2019 contest versus Sri Lanka where the leftie scored a famous 118, a knock many Caribbean cricket devotees who saw the Laras and Sobers’ will live to tell their progeny about.
And where most recent events stand, then we all saw it, at least, in patches of absolute brilliance in the recent edition of the famed Indian Premier League, where one of West Indies’ most gifted batsmen scored a third of his IPL career runs.
That’s right, unless you already forgot that of his 912 IPL runs, Nichols Pooran scored 306 in the 2022 edition. His strike rate touched 145 and he creamed 2 scorching fifties.
It’s just that none of that customary power hitting and exquisite timing has so far come to the party for national duties for the West Indies out here in The Netherlands.
And sadly from a fan perspective, the thing to note is that this is when Nicholas Pooran isn’t on just national duties but is the active serving captain of the side.
All that the famous dasher of the cricket ball has stayed out on the batting turf for his West Indies team is a span of 36 deliveries.
Newcomer Keacy Carty stayed put for eleven overs, so to speak, on his own, during his important unbeaten contribution of 43 runs that came off 66 deliveries in the 2nd ODI at Amstelveen. The right-hander was, on June 2, playing his debut ODI innings for the Caribbean national team.
Interestingly, in the same contest, his captain, not long after hitting a six, found his stumps rattled and that too, against a new arriver in ODI sphere; it was off spinner Aryan Dutt’s seventh 50-over contest for his Dutch team.
But what’s most interesting is that the manner of Pooran’s dismissals so far in the series has been pretty similar:
On both occasions, he faltered whilst attempting strokes that could’ve been technically reassessed. On both occasions did he find himself clean bowled and rather worryingly, to the same bowler: Dutt!
Surely, as fun-loving kid growing up in Couva, Trinidad, there’s little chance that Pooran would’ve idolized Sanjay Dutt, legendary Bollywood film hero as to be losing his magic to someone named Dutt.
But casual humor left aside, it would’ve been rather humorous if the bastion of cricketing excellence that the West Indies have been, would’ve lost the game to the Dutch.
Thank god for it never happened. Thank god that in the first game there was the mighty Shai Hope with his 119 not out. And thank god that there was Brandon who played like a King with his unbeaten 91 in the next game.
For where the much-needed runs from the bat were concerned, Pooran, now also captain, wasn’t quite among them.
Not that he would not have desired featuring in them; the flavour of the Caribbean batting has already scored 1138 of those from just 1170 deliveries in fifty-over cricket.
But what he needs to desperately do, since so many look up to him and talk about him, in the Caribbean and now, even beyond, is to feature in some and urgently so.
Else what’s the fun in being the newly-appointed captain but only doing media pressers at the conclusion of a game praising the others for delivering the goods. Which is when Nicholas Pooran is himself so capable of doing that too on his own?