Mark Greatbatch leaves a mark on 1992 World Cup and Wasim Akram

The ball pitched slightly short, Mark Greatbatch rocked on the backfoot and unleashed a square cut that saw the ball sail over point for a six.

Aggression at the top of the order was best exemplified and established by Mark Greatbatch.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

Many shots leave you in a trance. The short-arm pull by Clive Lloyd, executed in a flash, earning admiration from the fielding side, too.

Then there’s the nonchalant on-drive on the frontfoot to balls pitched outside off. Only Viv Richards could pull it off with such disdain. Bowlers, including Imran Khan, would dread bowling to Richards when he was in a punishing mood. Sunil Gavaskar's straight drive was a stroke as perfect as any played by any batsman. The square-drive from G. R. Viswanath was a gem to treasure.

As the game changed, batsmen adapted to the new challenges. Aggression at the top was best exemplified and established by Mark Greatbatch of New Zealand. He left a mark on the 1992 World Cup with some revolutionary shots that propelled New Zealand on a course that seemed to create a belief that the team was worthy of becoming the champion.

Greatbatch innovated and pulverised the bowlers into submission. Anything short was pounced upon and dismissed on either side of the wicket. The small grounds also encouraged Greatbatch to play some robust strokes square of the wicket. He would hit in front of the wicket too, and he did not spare the short balls.

In the semifinal in Auckland, Greatbatch produced a stunner in the fifth over. That it came against Wasim Akram added to the quality. To a slightly short delivery, Greatbatch rocked on the backfoot and unleashed a square cut that saw the ball sail over point for a six. The exasperated look on Akram’s face said it all.