Of all the batsmen in the world, whom would you want to be off strike when your team requires 1 off 1? I would go for Reolof Van Der Merwe- the clown who personifies clumsiness. A trait which also makes him one of the most entertaining cricketers to watch. For instance, take his innings in the IPL final which was studded with numerous slips, amusing falls, outrageous shots, embarrassing misses. I haven’t even mentioned his high energy outings on the field.
Why wouldn’t anyone sane want him to be on strike? He plays in only one way-Slog Hoick Heave and most importantly keep your eyes closed. There’s no question of him nudging the ball into the gaps or subtly dropping the ball at his feet and running. Looking at his high chances of slipping, I wouldn’t want him at the non-striker’s end too. He might slip and fall and run without a bat and cross the line while jumping in the air with joy without actually having grounded his foot beyond the crease and eventually wind up run out. Trust me he’s that kind of a bloke.
He’s notoriously shoddy when it comes to staying in the crease. I, myself, can recall him getting stumped out thrice and run out twice while playing for RCB in the edition gone by. Having said all that, we fans of “ROFL” wouldn’t want him to change a bit. We relish his 1-D approach and are amused by his awkwardness and his unheralded fielding proficiency.
A sample of VD Merwe’s batting in the words of the professionals:-
Johnson to van der Merwe, SIX, Violence! Third time lucky. He clears the front foot and murders a length delivery way way over the midwicket boundary.
Abdulla to van der Merwe, SIX, that’s a mis-hit! He specialises in those shots alright, his leg moves back as he tries to crash it over the onside but he sends it over wide long -off instead
As a non-related side issue, how stupid is it that they measure the distance of a six by where the ball ends up instead of estimating the distance the ball would have travelled if it hadn’t hit that stand or that scoreboard?
A not so evident stat from IPL:
|AB de Villiers||181||90||60.33||12.06|