Kushal Malla is a force


Kushal Malla is a force

Kushal Malla is a force. I borrowed it from Jarrod Kimber, who described Brendon McCullum as a force in 2015 when Bazball was a Kiwi thing minus the unbeatable British (social) media. I needed help because I couldn’t find a suitable metric or even an adjective to describe what a 19-year-old has been doing with a bat in his hand.

A 59-ball 100, your fastest, your team’s fastest, your cricket history’s fastest, in the same match your team scored the first runs only after 28 balls.

The score was 4-72 in the 21st over when Malla walked in. He smashed 10 sixes in the match, 6 more than any other Nepali player ever. Nepal went on to post its first 300+ score in ODI cricket batting first. It came against a settled and successful bowling attack of Oman.

Though it is not about factual notations. It is about celebrating what Kushal Malla achieved, nonchalantly. Moments after his century he was seen in the pavilion with body language suggesting to us that nothing has happened.

As Jarrod used to write, every ball is a must-watch when Brendon McCullum bats. I guess, Malla is in that territory now.

Oman bowled full at him, and he dispatched it straight. Oman tried short stuff, he was happy to make room and pull/cut it as long as he was not bored. At one moment, spinner Ayaan Khan didn’t want to bowl at all drifting away from the wide line twice until he had to. The result was six straight down the ground.

He may not be the best batter in Nepal, but surely, he is the best entertainer when it comes to the crowd and cricket’s casual relationship. They come to see the boundaries, Malla delivers. He is the Shawn Michaels of Nepali cricket. He is cute. He is sexy. He drives the crowd wild. He got the moves. He sends chills. Up and down our spine.

I am not done. A showstopper. A heart-break kid.

Remember, Malla is a force. His first intuition is to send the ball as far as possible. He isn’t an aggressive batter. The theory of aggressor or accumulator doesn’t apply here. He is a natural batter. The swing of the bat is naturally associated with him. That is his front foot prod. Hence, there will be days he will struggle. Like in the past. It will get frustrating. He will be held out at long on or long off. He will top edge a short-ball inside the circle. But that is him.

He will not defend his way out of any situation. He will not retreat. He will hold his guard, He will attack. Like Aragorn in the Battle of the Black Gate (Lord of the Rings) or Jon Snow in the Battle of the Bastards (Game of Thrones). Why fantasy movies? Well, his batting is no less than a fantasy.

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