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Edward Craig: Shah comfortable in Champions role

October 13th, 2009 by Edward Craig in Champions League, England

As Rob Smyth has argued on this blog, Owais Shah has had a rough deal from England. So it has been fascinating seeing him go about his business for the Delhi Daredevils.

In Delhi he is a star – an unarguable hero to the locals. He’s not as big a name as Sehwag, Karthik or McGrath but they still love him. And, like any normal person, that makes him feel relaxed and happy.

The familiar twitches and nervous tics as he bats are still there, as are the flashing, intense eyes – but there is an overall feeling of control that is lacking when he is in England colours. And he hasn’t even done that well for Delhi so far in this tournament.

At practice, he is a popular, hard-working figure. He’s the only Delhi player with his nickname on the back of his shirt – ‘Ace’ – whereas the others have surnames. To English eyes this may look arrogant but in Delhi it is a sign of endearment.

When he comfortably took a boundary catch, in front of 30,000 screaming Indian fans remember, his team-mates congratulated him warmly and genuinely. He smashed a classic Owais six over mid-off with that brilliantly curtailed yet wristy follow through that marks his style – and it was greeted with as much hysteria as anything Sehwag managed.

For whatever reason – and they are many and complex – in Delhi he looks at home.

Edward Craig is deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in Champions League, England | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Edward Craig: Shah comfortable in Champions role”

  1.   jrod says:

    Glenn McGrath has Pidge on his shirt, is that his name now?

  2.   jrod says:

    And Sehwag has viru…

  3.   Edward Craig says:

    Good spotting, Jrod. But my point still holds to an extent - those most loved get a nickname.

    I apologise for lack of thoroughness when checking the backs of the Daredevils’ shirts - the press box is very high up and my eyes are getting worse with age…

  4.   jrod says:

    It is this sort of lazy journalism that is bringing down the Uncle Rupert empire.

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