Once upon a star, a star is born.
Is Anirudha Srikkanth is a star in the making?
In the first game of IPL4, the young dasher gave spectators a glimpse of his talent.
He has a cool head and a great temperament.
Opening for Chennai SuperKings, the right-hand bat composed 64 off 55 balls which included 6 fours and 2 sixes to propel his team to a competitive 153 in their essay.
Victory by his team off the last ball of the final over ensured that he was declared player of the match.
It seems just yesterday that Anirudha’s father, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, was opening the Indian batting.
The senior Srikkanth—now chairman of selectors—was a destructive opening bat as well. Partnering Sunny Gavaskar, his unorthodox approach to the game and a devil-may-care attitude was a refreshing change from the staid, copybook, purist style of play adopted by most openers.
He was a natural; his joie-de-vivre shone through in his batting. He was an electrifying fielder, able to pull off stunning catches.
His Test match record does not do full justice to his talent. That’s because his penchant for risk-taking was more suited to the ODI format.
He played 43 Tests, accumulating 2,062 runs at 29.88. His ODI record reads 146 matches, averaging 29.01 for 4,091 at a strike rate for 71.74. He scored just two Test tons, doubling the number in ODIs.
By the time he was 30, his reflexes had slowed. He retired at 33, playing his final Test against Australia in Feb, 1992. He was a member of the 1992 World Cup squad but could not make much of an impression. He played his final ODI against South Africa in March 1993, out for a duck to Allan Donald.
He will always be remembered as Cheeka and was an integral part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad.
Can Anirudha come close to matching his father’s exploits?
His current batting form augurs well and hints at promise. But at 23 years of age, he has maybe another four years to make a mark on fickle Indian selectors.
Can he translate his performances for Chennai Super Kings into better ones for Tamil Nadu and catch the eye of the selectors once more? Playing under MS Dhoni can do his cause little harm.
If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?