The evergreen waltz of Imran Tahir

Even at the fag end of his career, the passionate leg-spinner is enjoying his combats, soaking in every moment.

Imran Tahir’s cricket is as much about his craft as a leg-spinner as his heart and passion.   -  M. Prabhu

The flight of the condor. An aerial dance of joy after swooping down on its prey. A celebration that is both visceral and beautiful. Each time Imran Tahir scores a kill, the South African, his arms spread wide, his visage breaking into a radiant smile, his legs making light of his 40 years of age, sprints to the other end of the ground in delight.

In his mind, Tahir could be just 20 and soaring in the skies.

Tahir’s cricket is as much about his craft as a leg-spinner as his heart and passion. His cricket is high on emotions and higher on commitment. This season, the man with a potent googly has been in prime form for Chennai Super Kings.

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His spell of three for nine on a surface assisting spin at Chepauk against Royal Challengers Bangalore was followed by an influential two for 23 that altered the course of the game against Rajasthan Royals at home. After a jaunty journey that took him across continents and countless clubs, and years and years of cricket, Tahir’s bowling still retains its fizz.

A joy to watch

It’s a joy to watch him bowl. The pace variations, the ability to turn the ball both ways with disguise, and the flipper that hurries on to the bat...they are all there. He can defeat the batsmen in the air — drift is not uncommon when he is operating — and several batsmen have departed caught and bowled.

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Tahir’s bowling has flight, turn and bounce. Indeed, he is an attacking option for M. S. Dhoni, someone who can fetch Super Kings wickets in the middle-overs. And he has the control to check the flow of runs as well.

Even at the fag end of his career, he is enjoying his combats, soaking in every moment. The great Tahir waltz continues!

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