A couple of days ago, I noticed an ad by the former Indian opening batsman Krishnamachari Srikkanth. The ad is for a lens company - Varilux. It has Srikkanth saying - "I read my newspaper just as I used to read a Marshall delivery".
Srikkanth, though exciting, wasn't a consistent player at all. Nor was he reliable. He could hit a very good ball for six and get bowled by a very simple delivery. I remember that he always struggled against Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. Marshall - hmm... I don't remember but I think Srikkanth didn't read him all that well at all. Marshall was a genuine quick bowler and one of the West Indian greats. So that ad line probably isn't too good for the lens maker.
Srikkanth's record doesn't convey the kind of feeling that Indian fans had whenever he came out to bat. His inconsistency proved to be his doom. Though a very intelligent cricketer, I think he lacked the temperament like that of a Tendulkar or a Dravid or even that of an Azharuddin. If he had that, Srikkanth would have made justice to his immense potential.
Which reminds me of a quiz question that did some rounds in 91-92. What connects Simon and Garfunkel to the Venkateshwara Suprabhatam? It turns out that Srikkanth used to hum from both of these whenever he did his customary walk from half-way to the square leg empire back to the stumps - between deliveries. Pretty strange, eh? Srikkanth was like that - a bag of contrasts. He makes a pretty good commentator on TV nowadays. He has a good business and making money as the 'brand ambassador' for some brands... (who is not a brand ambassador nowadays? )
The thoughts we get on seeing an ad from a cricketer of yesteryears...