Yesterday I watched Lendl Simmons bat.
He hit his first boundary so far into his innings that everyone watching was asleep and missed it.
Then he was retired hurt for a while.
Before coming back and going out.
That was pretty much his day.
There are many reasons I shouldn’t like Lendl.
His technical flaws are quite obvious. He plays across the line for no good reason, and he reaches across like a desperate kid trying to get to the back of his dad’s special draw. To short of a length balls on off stump, his bat flies in from an gully and cuts across it to that his chance of middling the ball is limited.
He bats in two speeds, casual disaster and handbreak.
And yesterday he went off the ground retired hurt after getting hit in the pad.
The ball thudded into his knee roll and he went down like an assassinated politician in a spy film. He tried to bat on from this completely unforeseen ball hitting the pad incident, but he couldn’t and had to go off the field. He then didn’t come back onto the ground until the Windies were guaranteed a low total.
Yet, I still like him.
Even as he rolled around the pitch like he’d been kneecapped, his comedy bling necklace getting dirty and his slightly too big for his neck head thrashing against the turf, I still liked him.
I’m not sure why I really like him, I just do.
When his overly confident leg side flicks happen, I see them like a computer game, where his bat moves so quickly and in such a perfect arc that I can see the swoosh behind it. And as he stands upright with his bat pointing towards the sky I smile.
I don’t need to like him, or know why I like him, but Lendl is just one of those players that I get joy from and years from now when he is only brought up as nothing more than some callous bastards punchline, I’ll be upset.
You don’t choose the players you like, if you did, you may never pick the Lendls.