January 7, 2017

No cricket for the week

I had actually decided early in the week that I wanted a week off away from training and playing and instead focus more on my strength training as I wasn’t going to play today. I know some people who won’t like what I did but it gave me time to think about my mental approach towards it. I’ve always had a technical approach for my cricket which will always be with me as I will know what I did wrong and how I can correct it.

I think I had always had a fear of failure from the time I started playing cricket in the 2003-04 season and it’s still there when it comes to fielding. It’s still there for batting especially if I have to hit out immediately when I come to the crease and fielding when I occasionally hope a ball doesn’t come my way after I drop a catch. Perhaps as the great Shane Warne says, we need to keep it simple. From now on then, I just hit the ball while looking to score, bowl the ball and hit the deck and catch and field everything that comes my way. At the moment, I’m in a very good club with very good people, I just need to change the mindset and be positive. Everyone knows including myself I have potential but mental games is what we have to master to unlock the potential.

Basically come next week, I’ll look to be positive and forget about the fear of failure and see where it takes me for the rest of the season. I am little bit confident then I was on the new year with a new Albion lid being delivered from The Cricket Warehouse in Melbourne. On the subject of the lids (term for helmets), I’ve been infatuated with Albion since I purchased my first helmet in 2004-05 and they were well known. My last helmet was an Albion Club that I bought in 2012-13 season but I decided to replace it having copped a few knocks on the head during practice and in the game between then and now.

Thankfully, I’m grateful for Cricket ACT not to enforce the helmet regulations set by Cricket Australia for their first-class and international cricketers. I would be disappointed to part with my new Albion helmet if it was the case given I had recently bought it on New Years day. However, keeping in tradition for my all Gray-Nicolls gear, the Gray-Nicolls helmet worn by David Warner and Shaun Marsh seemed a good one to buy in the future should we be forced to follow the mandatory helmet guidelines.

Last night before watching the Big Bash League fixture between Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes, Vishnu Chari showed me his bats including his newly bought Kookaburra Kahuna. To him, these bats were of the right size for him, but when I picked each of those bats, and was able to lift and swing them, they seemed too light. It was the case when I lifted each of my Gray-Nicolls bats a few hours earlier. Perhaps I’m indeed getting stronger which means I have to make slight adjustments to my batting technique at practice next week so I can just hit the ball with timing and power. It may have augured well for my bowling since I could try to bowl a little quicker than before while giving priority to bounce and movement.

Increase of Popularity of Diary of a Grade Cricketer

The popularity of the Facebook page of the same name as this site, has gone through the roof since the new year. It was around 50 likes during this time but currently it has crossed 600. I’d couldn’t believe it but I knew Chris ‘Archie’ Arcella and Andrew Loveday played their part by promoting my online diary. I was exclaiming to Archie that I couldn’t believe these state of events. He said that I’m a great author that provides a great insight into a level of cricket that not many people know about. He also likes the fact what I write is real and reliable. It is also something people can picture of a guy trying his best which makes it a well written story that everyone likes to read. On that note, that was the aim of this online diary, to detail every single moment of my grade cricket career and tell it as it is immediately rather than compile one huge autobiography like international cricketers do which occasionally brings out skeletons from the closet and break several friendships.

With these well written stories, Archie also mentioned that he and Andrew certainly felt they made the right decision to join Ginninderra and they thought I was one of the main guys that made it an enjoyable experience for both of them. I too enjoyed having around because they’re awesome guys who bring a fair amount of chat and humour which helps us to relax and to unsettle the opposition. I think Andrew has now addressed me as Hurricane know instead of my first name so that nickname has certainly stuck.

Yesterday, I had made a comment on ESPN Cricinfo for the New Years test match between Australia and Pakistan when I said that Australia should enforce the follow on and if they have to bat again, so be it because they need to get use to batting last for their upcoming India Trip. The ESPN Cricinfo commentator for the test, Nikhil Kairo said that the delayed start (and subsequent wash out of the first session) could possibly force Australia to enforce the follow on. What happened next what I thought was plain ridiculous when my club president Chris ‘Griffo’ Griffin posted on Facebook that I was on Cricinfo. I thought what’s the big deal because I made my own comment and not that of Diary of a Grade cricketer. I mean everyone posts their opinions on that site so what’s the point until I realised that Griffo was trying to make me look famous. It was all a good laugh.

Going back to the increase of popularity from 50 to 600, I jokingly thought that if I paid for every Facebook like and view and visit to my online WordPress site, then it would pay off my rent for a year or my HECS/HELP debt in one hit. But I obviously don’t write stuff for money, I simply write because I want to express my thoughts to the public much like current and former international cricketers do but without burning bridges (i.e destroying friendships) and creating controversy.

Still thinking of that five-for

I just can’t seem to get the five-for I took against Wests-UC in December which remains my first ever haul in all forms of cricket. I nearly took a five-for in Perth in their South Metropolitan Cricket Association competition for Riverton Rostrata against SJ Blues on a hot Australia Day. I finished with 4 for 92 off 21 overs in 2 day match in 7th grade and had a truckload of catches missed off my bowling.  My captain at the time Andrew Taya, remarked in his end of year write up that I was destined for a 8-for had those catches been taken. I had thought of the time it was my only chance of what’s considered equivalent to a batsman’s century. Thankfully, that five-for has come on the Turf wicket at Keith Tournier Oval in Ainslie on what was a batting paradise.

The interesting point about this was leading up to the match against Wests-UC, people like Govind Thiagarajan and Sammy Gautam said something like, “Come on Rohit, you’re going to get five wickets today” and yet I didn’t but on that game I did. I think that five-for justified my decision to move to Turf away from Synthetic because turf wickets gives you a chance especially if there are grass patches or cracks on the wicket. Furthermore, it gives you opportunity to showcase your skills like reverse swing that you wouldn’t do on Synthetic pitches. Immediately Andrew told me he had a suspicion that I would take 5 wickets in our next game but I wonder if the stars will align for that to happen.

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