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'I Wanted To Show Them ...'

'...that they could not scare me...' On his batting and the wicket of Gordon Greenidge

'I Wanted To Show Them ...'
'I Wanted To Show Them ...'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Outlook talked with several World Cup stars to discuss the key moments of the final and the tournament. Excerpts

When I used to come close to the stumps to bowl my in-swingers, I think Greenidge could not pick them up. He was not reading me well. He was bowled by me in the second Test at Trinidad earlier in the year. Even in the first group game in the World Cup, I got him clean bowled. So, at the back of my mind, I knew I had to bowl him an in-swinger. I waited. The ball was swinging out very well that day, and I was bowling only out-swingers.

The first ball I tried to swing in, pitched at the right spot and it came in sharply off the seam. He left the ball, I saw him try to get his pad in the line of the stumps. It missed the pad and clipped the bails.

Greendige was a great batsman and I always had been a big fan of his. Right from the days when I was growing up. That ball was a normal in-swinger. I've bowled that ball in club cricket, in first-class cricket and got wickets. But the occasion, the World Cup final, because we needed an early wicket... all that made it a very special ball.

When we batted, there were 15-16 overs to go when I came in. I told Kirmani that I was not going to get out, that we should try to stick around until the end and get 35 runs. I was not giving my wicket, they got frustrated after some time. Marshall bowled a bouncer, it kept on climbing at me… And as it came to my face, I turned my face and thought it would go over. But I got hit on my ear, on flap of the helmet. It was like a big slap on my ear. I took my guard quickly. Dujon came and asked if I was OK, and I said I was.

I didn't bother about other things, I wanted to show them that they could not scare me. Next ball, I hit to the midwicket and got three runs. At the non-striker's end, Viv Richards from covers asked me if was OK, and I said yes. He's a good friend of mine.

Before the World Cup, we played a series in the West Indies and Marshall had bowled a lot of bouncers to me... Sometimes, even in my dreams I used to get bouncers and would duck in my sleep! It was really irritating. After he hit me on my head, I wanted to give it back and bowled a bouncer at him when they batted, but it didn't work out.

I was proud I remained not out because the No. 11 should bat and not throw away his wicket. I had the guts to face the fast bowlers, but I was scared of swing bowling, I had no clue about which way the ball was going!

(As told to Rohit Mahajan)

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