Vantage point

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Greatest Captain (N)ever

Ian Chappell has written a rare brilliant article about Warne's captaincy. It is not often that I find myself nodding in agreement as I read an article. That I read the article soon after Warne's unfancied Rajasthan Royals had beaten Dhoni's formidable Chennai Super Kings, made the nodding even more fervent.

There is this je ne sais quoi that bursts out from every molecule of Shane Warne. Call it his cockiness, his arrogance, his style, his unparalleled talent.... whatever it is, it makes it difficult to take your eyes off him when he is on field. Two of my surliest days have been when a) Steve Waugh was chosen to captain Australia after Taylor, and b) Ponting was chosen to captain Australia after Waugh. The first surly day, I shared with my friend Neeraj, another Warne fanatic, who would sit with me in circuit design classes with a red cricket ball in his hand, which he would "leg spin" from one hand to another, under the desk.

Finally we are able to witness Warne's captaincy in full glory. And it is delightful. Yet, in my opinion, the real spectacle is yet to come. That will happen a few months later, in Las Vegas. When Shane Warne takes part in the world poker series. Anyone who has seen how Warne operates, and who loves poker (especially Texas Hold 'Em) can share my excitement at seeing the master of guile sitting at a table, playing with chips as he ponders his next raise.