Even on his (Pat Cummins) worst day, I can always expect him to bounce back and take wickets the very next over | ICF – 130
J – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us a bit about yourself as a cricket fan and your early memories of this sport.
The first match I ever watched was the 2011 World Cup Finals. Let’s just say my father isn’t a big fan of cricket. But luckily that day, our neighbour’s cable connection was off and they came to our home to watch the match. I hadn’t seen a match before, didn’t know the rules or the name of the players but there was something with this game that drew my attention to it. That day, we won the World Cup and the skies lit up like I’ve never seen before, the euphoria multiplied over the night, enough said, it was one of the best days of my life. Maybe my life would’ve been different if my neighbours’ television worked that day, but I’m glad it didn’t.
J – How has this sport played a part in your life?
If I have 99 problems, watching cricket solves 98 of them. It is something I want to watch after a long day. Throughout all these years, it has been there for me. Sometimes, it’s my happiness, Sometimes, it’s just entertainment. Sometimes, it’s painful. Cricket isn’t my whole life, but it’s what makes me whole.
J – You have Cummins in your bio as well as your name, tell us why he is your favourite cricketer.
Patrick Cummins is my comfort person. Keeping aside the fact he’s currently the world number one bowlers in the red-ball format, he is one man I’d trust in the team to do his job every time. He’s fierce, he’s hardworking, he’s passionate. And don’t even get me started about his brilliant bowling spells and the way he tames some of the world’s best batsmen. I’d say, we, mere mortals, are lucky enough that he chose to play this game. Even on his worst day, I can always expect him to bounce back and take a few wickets the very next over. He makes it easy to love him, he betters my anxiety, he makes me a better person.
J – And I take it that Marsh is your second favourite cricketer?
Mitch Marsh is one player I’d always have a soft spot for no matter how bad his form is. Mitchy is like a breath of fresh air. He’s confident. He’s hell-bent on proving himself in the big stage. I love how he never gives up. Despite all his injuries, he somehow manages to pull through always. He’s brilliant for the scorchers. I’d never forget his ashes ton, and that hug in the middle of the run said how much it meant to him. I’d say he hasn’t played to his full potential, I hope he redeems himself soon in the international circuit. I really want him to.
J – Who is your favourite Indian cricketer currently?
KL Rahul. He’s that one cricketer I feel that I’ve grown up with. Someone whose career, at each step, has been a part of my own life. 2016. He was this young guy who had long hair and tattoos all over and opened the batting for us. He had a magical season that year. I don’t think we’ve never had any reliable opener since then until last season. I’ve seen him warm the bench, carry drinks around, fail, fool around and also survive, score tons, grow more mature, and finally captain his own team. I can’t help but feel proud looking back how far we’ve come. He’s so pleasing to the eyes, his shots are very aesthetic. Boy can field, can keep, can play at any batting position and always gives his hundred percent to his team. If I have to choose my favourite innings of his, it’ll be his July 2018 ton against the English. I miss the old him sometimes, he’s a champion and I’m sure he’d find his way back.
J – Tell us what makes the contest between India and Australia so great, in your words.
India and Australia; two of the most powerful cricketing nations. It’s the battle royal, one of the world’s most compelling rivalries where the players from both sides throw in everything they can for their team. We get to see the likes of greats like Steven Smith and Virat Kohli, Patrick Cummins and Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Lyon and Ravichandran Ashwin battle it out on the same grounds. And we never run out of drama on the cricket field.
Personally, most of the India-Australia rivalry has always ended with tears for me — the 2015 World Cup semi-finals (I know your heart broke too.) and this Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Hopefully, we change the pattern and I don’t end up crying the coming seasons
J – So apart from just watching and supporting your team and players, you also draw sketches of cricketers, tell us a bit about that.
I’ve learnt to draw since I was five years old. My drawing skills are something I always pride about. But I had given up on it for almost three years due to personal reasons and this lockdown helped me grow and helped me restart my passion again. It was Mannie, @sapphicstoinis, who bullied me into posting my KL Rahul’s sketch on Twitter. I was very reluctant that time but I’m glad she made me do it. Since then I’ve drawn the likes of Steven Smith, Virat Kohli, Pat Cummins and have made a lot of friends because of it. It’s my dream to meet them one day and present these sketches to them. Hopefully, one day, eh?
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