(Not) a Grimm TaleIf you were Hans Christian Andersen or among The Brothers Grimm and were writing a cricket fairytale, casting Brian Charles Lara as the main protagonist would be most appropriate. For to Lara happens the magical and the miraculous, the sublime and the ridiculous, the tragic and the revelatory.
Some of the most breathtaking fairy-tale moments of the last 15 years of cricket have happened to Lara. He hits the highest Test score and follows it up with the highest First class score. Then when he loses the former, he grabs it back as soon as he can play England at St. John's.
Or when he bumps voluntarily into McGrath's shoulder and gives him a mouthful and follows that up with a cracking drive that must have hurt Pigeon even more. All en route to making a 153* and taking the Windies to a sweet win over the Aussies all by himself. That he was dropped by Healy who made one of his rarest errors is just how you would expect fate to sometime step in and aid the cause of our hero, for fairy-tales aren't Ram Gopal Varma films.
And by making a splendid comeback a couple of days ago and slamming a ton, he added another issue in the series. That he fell 4 short of 200 shouldn't be construed as a failure on the part of the hard-working guardian angel, for Andre Nel's delivery was a ripe & golden peach, which no magic, even that of Lara's, could have warded off.
In fact, it was a perfect semi-colon in the annals mirabilis (to concoct a fake phrase) that has been Lara's career. So writers of febrile cricketing fantasy, note: when you're considering your characters, Brian Lara is your man whom we believe miracles will happen to. Not Sachin Tendulkar - he's more Sidney Carton and fit for a Dickensian world.