When did Ks become cooler than Cs. We blame Kris Kross, even though they aren’t closely associated with ‘cool’ ordinarily.
Yesterday, Kraigg Brathwaite (an extra G and a missing I as well as that K) got a lot of the attention. Today, a man with a more authentically West Indian name has had the biggest influence. Stand up, Carlton Baugh. Stand up to the stumps.
We all pay a lot of attention to bowling figures, yet wicketkeepers don’t seem to get much credit. That’s how we end up with so many pan-handed buffoons behind the sticks, because it’s easier to assign value to runs scored.
Evaluating a keeper
It’s hard to rate keepers, because it’s not so much about what they do as how consistently they do it. We can all spot the crap ones, but who watches a keeper closely enough for an entire cricket match that they can pick out the great from the good?
That said, they can catch the eye from time to time. Carlton Baugh caught R Ashwin down the leg side today, but it was his stumping of Sehwag that was most striking and most influential.
Sehwag went back in his crease to work a ball to leg, missed it and somehow got stumped when his right foot became airborne for a fraction of a second. This was significant in two ways.
Firstly, and most immediately, Sehwag was on 55 off 46 balls. It changed the match such that India then slumped to 154-7. Secondly, any batsman who takes guard with Carlton Baugh standing behind him from now on will be rather more aware of his back leg than he should be. Never mind coming down the pitch, they’ll have to concentrate on precisely how they stay in their crease as well.
It was a devious, sly dog of a dismissal and we’ll bet it’s exactly the kind that wicketkeepers pride themselves on. So well played Carlton and thanks for spurning Ks as well – although Indians might find a different C comes to mind when they think of you.