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It all started on day one when Dav looked at him. He didn't say anything, didn't have to. All was written crisp and clear in his eyes. And at that moment, who else could have read better than the one just sit up in a hurry as if he has to go and go now? Clean up. Nobody likes it but some one, any one, got to do it. He knew. So he wasn't surprised when the call came in. Actually, he made up his mind few days ago and knew from the heart, he has plenty to be thankful of. He was pleasantly surprised to get the nod in the final cut, even more so after the surprise inclusion of Enam and Aftab in the squad. "Yes" he could only say to himself. How fast things can change! Dav was looking at him. "Clean up" that's all he meant.

Clean Up

Published: 23rd October, 2003

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It all started on day one when Dav looked at him. He didn't say anything, didn't have to. All was written crisp and clear in his eyes. And at that moment, who else could have read better than the one just sit up in a hurry as if he has to go and go now? Clean up. Nobody likes it but some one, any one, got to do it. He knew. So he wasn't surprised when the call came in. Actually, he made up his mind few days ago and knew from the heart, he has plenty to be thankful of. He was pleasantly surprised to get the nod in the final cut, even more so after the surprise inclusion of Enam and Aftab in the squad. "Yes" he could only say to himself. How fast things can change! Dav was looking at him. "Clean up" that's all he meant.

He has tremendous respect for this guy. "This gentleman put his faith on me yet again" he thought, "I must come up big". "Did I, did I do that?" Mushfiq was really unsure on his way back to the dressing room after he was adjusted lbw.

One doesn't have to be Bruce to learn clean up from the Almighty. Tigers are already good at that. Time and again, from against Sri Lanka to Pakistan, they showed their experience on that avenue. How much they were able to mop up is a matter of who the questioner represents, but their determination and resolve were never been the subject of any debate or doubt. And they showed it again yesterday.

But why the clean up thing came up in most of the innings in the first place? Is it a class thing or just a mind game? Who knew? But this time we might have an answer, at least we can take the hint for a safe shelter. That torrential deluge in a matter of minutes turned the winning toss into a huge booby trap for the tigers. And the top orders just marched into that trap, like the most obedient officers in a spectacular display of misfortune. Dav's look thus spelled everything out loud needed to stop that hemorrhage. And Bangladesh came back into the game in style.

Inspired, they all staged in concert impressive discipline with stealth determination spanning the most of the day two onwards in a match largely labeled mismatched yet again by the self proclaimed gurus. Whatever outcome awaits for the tigers in the end is no longer in the vicinity of a shockwave. Judging the game with mere win or loss like a sleep-deprived British statistician will do anything but justice. Tigers have earned respect already and already they showed willingness to keep it that way, at least, for a good while. Meanwhile, let's go back to the pavilion and watch them continue to clean up, clean up the Britons this hour.

 

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