You don't need to be a fixer to read a Gautam Gambhir sixer. Not if you had tracked him on Twitter, as he fired his saffron salvos with copious glee. Cheered on by a wah-wah crowd, he knew exactly where to place those shots and which gallery to play for.
So, on Friday, as Gambhir finally, formally wore the saffron jersey, eyebrows stayed firmly in place. The surprise was only about: What took him this long! Much before Pulwama, Gambhir had perfected the surgical strikes, volleying sixers across borders and boundaries with ease.
But expectations will now soar. His sixers will have to hit the target and shut mouths that clamour for proof. Two hundred, 300 or 400, Gambhir will deliver. Donning the battle gear, the icon with a name that starts with 'Gau' will surge ahead for a surgical strike like no other.
Seldom has Gambhir donned the Raat Ka Chowkidaar (Night Watchman) role on testy grounds. But from his home ground, in New Delhi, his deliverance of capital punishment is ought to be spectacular. Ask his chest-thumping fans for proof.
Yet, he better watch his shots, lest it hit the man of the moment, Nirav Modi, being brought back to India in seven phases, from April 11 to May 19. Killing the golden goose, he should know, could be suicidal. Beyond this, Gambhir's every nationalist shot will be cheered with patriotic fervour.
Our man had pulled up his cricketing socks for years to eventually hang up his cricketing boots. But before the irony of it all could sink in, comes the call to put his foot firmly down on the political ground. The crease is new, but the pitch is high.
On a serious, Gambhir note, insiders always knew the pitch was high and the temper short. The combative exterior had turned combustible as our man eye-balled Afridi, fought with Kohli and gave Shane Watson the rough shoulder. But these attributes ought to help him fight the impending pitched battles of the near future.
Timing is his forte. Captaining Delhi Daredevils, Gambhir had stepped down after a disastrous start to last year’s IPL season. ‘What a great sacrifice!’ his fans had gushed in absolute awe. But the tongues had always wagged in tandem. ‘If he hadn’t resigned, he would’ve been sacked,’ murmured a brave soul, far out of his reach.
But politics loves such rare perfections of timing. Ask the legendary survivors. They would tell you a million ways how and when to switch sides, down to the nano second. Learn from Gambhir. Just before the seat selection, just when the patriotic fever hit its latest peak, Gambhir has announced he is ready to be picked.
With a million Robins behind him, the Batman will now make New Delhi his own Gowtham City. Watch out! The Dark Knight has returned.