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
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!