Friday, March 20, 2009

Ryder century impresses cricket legends

Former internationals are struggling to remember a better maiden test century than the one posted by Jesse Ryder against India in Hamilton this week.
The most talked about New Zealand cricketer in the last decade almost played the perfect innings, curbing his natural aggressive instincts because his team was in a deep hole against a quality attack on a first day test pitch.
Ryder's 102 was his fourth successive 50-plus score in tests and came just 10 days after he posted his maiden one-day hundred in Christchurch.
Former Indian international Ravi Shastri marvelled at the way Ryder was able to adapt to his game to the match situation.
"I see him getting many more hundreds but at the end of it all he might just rate this as one of his best," Shastri said. "It was that good a hundred and for someone to get his maiden hundred in that fashion when the chips are down is terrific."
Martin Crowe was impressed by Ryder's defence, saying 80 per cent of a test match innings was normally about blocking the ball or choosing not to play it.
Ryder was content to see off offspinner Harbhajan Singh for the most part, but he drove, cut and pulled with immense power when the fast bowlers erred.
Crowe said Ryder looked like a person born to bat.
"He to me looks like a man who is comfortable out in the middle with a bat in his hand.
"That is his whole life. He has a few troubles off the field that he is working very hard at, but get him out in the park and he looks to have the temperament in which to maximise the great potential he has."
Each New Zealand player chooses a specialist coach who they work with on an occasional basis.
Ryder chose John Wright and his mentor was chuffed to see his pupil prosper.
"I've worked a little bit with Jesse but not a lot before the test," Wright said.
"I watched it all and couldn't help but be impressed.
"Everything is so natural about him and the big thing now is the thinking process and whether he can monitor that.
"Hopefully he will work out how he was thinking and what he did well.
"The thing that strikes me is that Jesse looks the most contented in his life when he is out in the middle." Wright rates Ryder as the bargain buy of the Indian Premier League, after Bangalore snapped him up for US$160,000 (NZ$295,000) on a two-year contract.
"You would have to say that now looks a tremendous buy for them and then you have the other bloke Martin Guptill sitting on the shelf, he is a marvellous hitter and prospect."
The man behind the scenes for Ryder is his manager Aaron Klee.
Klee was racing home from work in Wellington desperate to see Ryder reach three figures and he admits he just about drove off the road when the radio commentators described Iain O'Brien's dismissal when Ryder was on 98 leaving Chris Martin as his final partner.
Klee is pleased for Ryder, given his trials off the park and confirms Ryder has not had a drink since his lapse in Wellington on January 7.
Klee said Ryder was desperately keen to do well against India because of the disruptions earlier in the season through injury and ill discipline.
"He said to me at the start of the series that he was amped up, so he was in the right frame of mind," Klee said.
Ryder's batting exploits during the one-day series and now the first test against India are being written up very favourably by the touring Indian media. Ryder posted scores of 11, 105, 46 and 63 in the one-dayers.
Klee shrugs his shoulders and believes there will be significant spinoffs through endorsements in India for Ryder to get income in keeping with his peers.
"There will be opportunities for him if he keeps playing the way he is playing, but I do see he is now being talked about as the best buy in the IPL."

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