Seasoned selector and former cricketer Jatin Paranjape once said he could tell whether Sachin Tendulkar was in form or not with his eyes closed. All he needed to do was stand next to the nets where Sachin was batting and hear the sound of his bat when he played his famed cover drive. Paranjape elucidated that with an in-form Sachin’s bat, the sound that arose was like that of a spring let loose after pushing it back, which therefore carried a lot of tension within. Yes, to Paranjape, all that the chiming of the willow as it met 5.75 ounces of leather on its sweet spot was like a spring let loose. That, according to him, was the sound of form.
I can’t claim to be an expert on cricket or have played it with passion, but I remember an exceedingly overcast afternoon while I waited for my turn to bat at West Ham Park cricket ground. The pitch was artificially made and had the zip you would associate with Kiwi pitches, on which an experienced batting side could tumble with less than 100 on the board.