Owls growl and wolves howl,

Blood smelling bowlers make the batsmen

grovel and beg for life.

Balls swing in and out

and then come crashing into the toes.

Bouncers will knell some chin music.

A battle without guns and lances

but batsmen will bleed and quiver to death.

Cork wrapped in leather is hurled at batsmen

at quixotic pace.

Many blunder, some surrender.

The rest run up and down the 22 yards-

a race between life and death.

 

When the bowlers wreak havoc on the batsmen

and make them shiver at the sight of their run up,

would walk out a man,

up through the horizon

with a twinkle of zillion suns,

like a dare devil just woken up

from its deep slumber,

with a nexus of pitch black nebula

crazily whirling like a typhoon in the background.

Silhouetted by a halo that surrounds his head

he would swagger with his devil may care debonair.

No shields, no armor, no blade, no fleet,

Yet like a legion that has won the world,

like a paladin rising from the corpses

during times of great sorrow.

A time of adversity inviting him to give itself a permanent farewell.

 

Captains shout and wave at the fielders

like a general marshaling his troops.

An ambush to be unraveled on the  combatant.

But he flanks them all and walks to the crease,

Marking his guard like a bull pawing the ground,

Deterring the predators and ready to assail without warning.

The planning has been done.

Field set; fate sealed.

The instruction is clear, the plan is perfect.

Nights of analysis on how to get him out

have yielded only a few options.

But the bowler believes, so does the captain.

Yet the sight of his stance would send tingles across the spine,

that will spread through the shoulders and end up in the fingers.

The bowler runs in and bowls it full outside off,

trying to lure him into a false stroke.

Short extra cover and the slippers wait like vultures

ready to clamber on to the prey on any given opportunity.

But the fire around the man souses and turns into a cold blue aura,

and he nonchalantly leaves the ball.

 

A tiger is crouching to attack.

A hermit stork is patiently waiting to prey on its victim.

At times he can illustrate the patience of a Buddhist monk.

Not flattered by the surrounding;

Unfettered by the proceedings.

He carefully chooses the balls to hit and leave,

like a connoisseur lusciously separating food on their taste.

When the clouds of tragedy clears

and the sun of settlement beats down

He can shape shift into an inebriated devil

that sabotages anything in its view.

An old dead tree or a voluptuous, luscious  looking tree

both mean the same to him.

Sans compunction he drubs the bowlers.

Majestically hooking and aesthetically threading the gaps,

he marauds bowlers with a sword laced with silk.

He is a demon roused from the sleep

with a stomach that hadn’t had anything for years

He pounds, thrashes and wrecks everything at sight.

It is an incarnation no bowlers will want to see,

even in their nightmares.

 

Sledge the paladin!

It would not mind returning the favor.

The response wouldn’t be abusive or too long;

It won’t question your sexual orientation

or your parentage.

Instead it would be  a pile of carefully chosen words

strung together by its stylish lilt

aimed at your ear lobes

that can quickly reach your brain

and bring back haunting memories that

you died to forget.

 

He is a tactician by birth;

A schemer by profession.

With a rasping tongue

and an infinite parlance,

his acerbic orations

can question authority and

topple governments.

He is a man who can silence critics with performance;

comatose them with silence;

and kill them with eloquence.

Swimming against the tide is his game

Sanga is his name!