Monday, November 29, 1999

Borrowing rate high when it comes to bats

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When it comes to cricket bats, Gautam Gambhir is an experimentalist at heart but he can also be superstitious. On the eve of India's first game against Bangladesh, Gambhir played with Virender Sehwag's bat at the nets. "Did you notice with which bat Gauti is batting. He's so superstitious. He is playing with my bat. He hopes it will get him runs," Sehwag had told Rohit Sharma on the sidelines.Gambhir eventually made 82 and bagged the Man of the Match award. There have been times when Gambhir places Sehwag's bat behind his stumps just to gain confidence. However, Gambhir is not the odd-man out. Tillakaratne Dilshan scored his first Test century playing with a bat presented to him by Sanath Jayasuriya, while Umar Amin, the young Pakistan batsman, is in Dambulla with Sachin Tendulkar's bat, one gifted to him by Shoaib Akhtar. Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi hit the fastest ODI hundred with a bat borrowed from Waqar Younis.That piece of willow was once owned by Tendulkar. Harbhajan Singh also loves using the batting maestro's willow, while some of Yuvraj Singh's best knocks have come while playing with bats given to him by Sourav Ganguly. Zaheer Khan, probably in an attempt to develop supple wrists, asked VVS Laxman for a bat. Sehwag is a popular choice when it comes to lending bats. Most players in the Delhi side use a bat that was once Sehwag's property. During the IPL Sehwag gifted his bat to Kedar Jadhav, the Maharashtra batsman, who won the Man of the Match award.Pakistan and India trained simultaneously in Dambulla on Thursday. Virat Kohli was soon caught eyeing Kamran Akmal's bat. "Paaji ek bat chahiye aisa hi," he said."No problem yaar, I will give it to you," Akmal replied.Today's match: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh on Neo Cricket from 2.30 pm

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