Friday, August 20, 2010
In recent times, a lot has been talked about Mohammad Yousuf's comeback to test cricket, but have fans noticed that another legend in his own right Steve Tikolo has announced that he is coming back from retirement and would play in the 2011 world cup?
Kenyan cricket has been ravaged by corruption charges, players strikes and even the performances of the team hasn't been up-to the mark. Kenya lost every match in the ICC division one league, the A team got crushed by Uganda and the nadir was getting thrashed by local sides in India. Steve Tikolo had earlier said that he would comeback only if certain conditions were agreed upon by the board, but recent results seem to have forced the Kenyan board to agree to his demands.
Anyway, let us leave aside the current problems in Kenyan cricket and concentrate on the batting prowess of the king from Kenya. I first saw Tikolo in the 96 world cup in the subcontinent. I thought here is another associate batsman, who would be devoured by the likes of Kumble, Warne and Murali, but every-time I caught a glimpse of his batting, the more impressive his batting looked. One of his best knocks in that world cup was his 96 against Srilanka. Lankan batsmen massacred the Kenyan bowlers and got almost 400 runs on the board, but Tikolo didn't lose heart and took the Lankan bowlers to the cleaners and got a fine 96. Just like any other good batsman, he has a good defence, but what makes his batting a pleasure to watch is his eye-catching strokeplay. Tikolo can just walk across the stumps and smash a bowler like his hero Sir Viv and can even play shots with finesse like the late cut. When he is in the mood, it seems like someone is swatting bowlers like flies. In short, Tikolo is a complete batsman, who can get a place in the middle-order of few test sides.
At the age of 40, he may not be the same force that he once was, but his experience of playing spinners in the subcontinent and his more than useful off-spin bowling would come in handy on subcontinental pitches. Long live the King from Kenya!!!