May 7, 2003

I am always reminded a little of Mohammad Azharuddin when I see Mohammad Kaif (Harish would probably disagree vehemently). And not just because of the shared name. It's just that their temperaments seem to be similar: the stance is (though in the wristy-shots dept. Kaif is nowhere near the class of the former India captain) somewhat related, the fielding skills are good and the approach to batting is similar: not a slam-bang approach, but a carefully thought out strategy with the ability to pepper the boundaries when required.

And now that Kaif will be playing for Derbyshire as Azhar once did, the coincidences have got stronger. Kaif is defintely one of those who will be in the reckoning for a future India captain slot, having enjoyed success with the junior India side. In this respect, he would probably differ from Azhar, for Azhar was a compromise candidate who needed a Mian, Captain Banoge? invitation. Both started off in a small-town-world(Hyderabad could be classified as such 20 years ago), but Azhar definitely moved out much to, in my opinion, to his detriment into other social circles.

What will happen to Kaif, we shall see over the next few years: still, I don't think he'll say "The boys played very well" in every post-match presentation!

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