If the film Alien Terminator has taught us anything, it’s that a nearly immortal organism capable of instant regeneration and with an insatiable appetite for living flesh is a motherfucker.
In that classic film, some kind of Petrie dish alien thing keeps using hosts to grow and then kills them and moves on. Or something.
Praveen Kumar is sort of like that.
There isn’t much to him, he’s not tall, he doesn’t hit the pitch hard, and he’s far from fast.
Yet, he somehow mutates himself and his appetite for human flesh means that he is always dangerous.
Not long ago Duncan Fletcher would have taken him out the back and shot him.
Some of it is based on his personality.
If it wasn’t for his impressive self confidence, amazing ability to think he bowls 15 miles quicker than he does and the best fast bowler’s face in the game, he might just be another under paced seam bowler.
There are a few Praveens around first class cricket.
They put it on the spot, nibble it around and generally nag at the batsman.
It usually doesn’t work at test cricket, the batsmen have seen it all before and you need to be able to move the ball at a more rapid rate than the Praveen’s do.
That’s why it’s amazing he has got this far, and even more amazing that he might make it.
There were times today when his deliveries seemed to be making up their own trajectory when they left his hand. If you do that at 70 miles an hour, it’s still hard to hit.
He has the ability to move the ball both ways, with seam and swing, and be able to repeat that skill whenever he needs to.
It’s not fast, but it is deadly.
Some batsmen will work him out, they’ll find a way to kill him, like a plucky scientist with fake breasts might.
You get the feeling that you can’t really kill Praveen completely, he might not be big or strong, but he will always find a way to regenerate himself, is insatiable for wickets and might end up proving to everyone that medium pace is nearly immortal.
Although the alien terminator does end up just being a dude in a shit costume, which might explain Praveen’s face at times.