Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Captain's corner - Take 11 : Nikhil Burri

For the next few posts, I shall hand over the blog to Sohail and let him talk about each WVUCC player (along with player ratings for the 2007 season). Here is Sohail, in his own words...

Nikhil Burri
Righ Arm Medium

(Even though it looks blank, do click on the video below, it will play)

I have seen few cricketers who possess such commitment for the game as Nikhil. He reminds me very much of Ashok in his early days. If there was an award for sincerity, commitment, and perseverance, I would have given it to Nikhil.

At first glance Nikhil seems to be a complete misfit for a game like cricket. He runs with difficulty and his bowling action is a mere walk to the stumps. He surprised me a lot of times with his athleticism on the field. It seems as if he is not going to make it but then somehow he always does. A very good fielder with safe hands is Nikhil's greatest technical strength. He played seven games for WVUCC in his very first season and that is a great achievement in itself. Playing with one of the most talented WVUCC team that I have ever witnessed, Nikhil was always pushing for a spot in the playing eleven. His commitment can be gauged by the number of times he volunteered to be the 12th man and travel with the team.

On the surface, it is the people who score a lot of runs or take a lot of wickets who emerge as the heroes of the team. It is people like Nikhil, standing in the background, who form the real strength of the team. Every team could have players who bat well or bowl with venom; few teams possess people like Nikhil who would be willing to support the team to any length and serve the team in any capacity. Standing for hours outside the leg-side boundaries and patrolling the dangerous borders of Edgebrook field is no easy job. Almost every time someone was needed for this difficult proposition, Nikhil was the one to stand up. Not only did he volunteer for these uneasy jobs in the team but he did it with a smile on his face. I salute him for his selfless struggles which went a long way in making this team a winning combination. He performed the scoring duties in many games and was always ready with a bottle of water for our tiring batsmen or panting fast bowlers. He was with the team in every battlefield with his moral support and gentle care.

Technical Evaluation:
In my humble opinion, Nikhil is a better batsman than a bowler. I don't think that he himself quite realizes it and if he spends more time and energy in improving his batting, I see him to be a very stable batsman in the future. His biggest asset as a batsman is his straight bat and solid defense. I always say this, 'If you can defend your stumps as a batsman, you can do anything.' His stroke range is limited but that will come with time. We have examples of people like Manish and Ashok in our team who always used to have a very good defense and now they are great stroke-makers. All you need is commitment and Nikhil has plenty of that.

As a bowler Nikhil can improve if he works on his run-up. The reality is that he has no run-up. He just walks in a hurried manner to the stumps and his eyes are glued to the bowling crease. This causes his head position to be wayward and his bowling arm to be inconsistent. He has reasonable pace and if he is able to correct some of these technical problems, he can be a very good all rounder.

Mental Analysis:
Since Nikhil suffers from a few technical problems in his bowling, he is inconsistent. This inconsistency takes away the confidence from him and he feels a lot of pressure when bowling to a good batsman in a real match situation. I think he will improve mentally once he figures out the fine details in his bowling action. As a batsman I think Nikhil is very stable and I saw him become better over the season batting in the practice sessions. If given more opportunities, he is bound to improve. I see him contributing more with his bat in the coming seasons for WVUCC.

What Else:
Nikhil is a great guy to have in the car while driving to and fro from the games. He constantly talks and keeps you up, especially if you are driving. He likes to talk about nearly any subject on Earth. He is a bit sarcastic at times, which I think is enjoyable. Like his fellow team mates he is a captain's dream since he is willing to fit in any role the captain has for him. I also think that Nikhil has a good cricketing brain and he understands what happens on the field pretty well. At the end if we all were to have even half the commitment Nikhil has for cricket and the team, no team would be ever able to challenge us. Keep it up guys!

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