As ODI cricket is still getting over its sibling jealosy phase - what with T20I getting all the attention - it was given a lesson in brotherly love by two different pairs of brothers on the same day. The fact that one pair did it while playing in an ODI and the other in a T20I just made the lesson that much more poignant, while the fact that the younger brother was making a comeback in both the formats must have made that lesson a bit confusing for ODI cricket.
Adelaide saw the more famous left-handed Mike Hussey join his right-handed younger brother, Dave, in a run chase of 245 @ 4.9 runs per over in an ODI, albeit the required rate was up at 5.65 by the time their partnership could begin. Some 5000 miles away and about 5 hours later, the better known south-paw kid brother, Irfan, punched gloves with his righty older brother Yusuf in another inflated run-chase, but this one was in a T20I in Colombo.
The former ended with a bludgeoning six over long on from the blade of Mike off Kyle Mill's release. The latter also ended with a flat pull over deep midwicket for six from Irfan's willow off Lasith Malinga's slingshot.
My good friend, Sriram Veera, who covered this match for Cricinfo, has this to say about some of the specifics of the Pathans' exploits:
It wasn't all just brute force, however. Yusuf showed that behind that
expressionless exterior, there was a smart brain clicking. After that
expensive over from Bandara, Dilshan didn't turn back to spin, and
Yusuf coolly picked singles to hand the strike over to his younger
brother. Responding to the pressure admirably, Irfan unfurled some gems
of his own against Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga. Irfan is a
better player of seam bowling and Yusuf can murder spin. It was a
That tango reminds me that the Husseys share a similar reputation as well, with the younger one preferring to face pace and the older one taking to skin spin. Their relative strike-rates are also not lost on this avid cricket blogger, "jrod" on cricketwithballs.com:
Anyone who has seen [David] Hussey play at domestic level, and even when he started for Australia, will know this isn’t his way.
He doesn’t scratch around like his brother, he usually hits his way
through an innings, it’s not unusual for him to not score for ten balls
for Victoria, and then hit two sixes.
And once he gets started, he usually only goes out from over attacking.
David Hussey plays spin like an angry seal clubber.
The Pathan prodigies further enhanced their team's claim of being the #1 T20I team in the world and the Hussey hunks reiterated that their own team's hitherto #1 ranking in ODIs was not without reason.
For a brief moment, though, they all came together, along with some even better known brothers, in the wonderful mind - and later tongue - of Sunny Gavaskar as he quipped during his commentary gig at the aforementioned T20I:
"The Pathan brothers need to do to the Sri Lankan bowlers what the Husseys just did to the Kiwis ... and the Lehman Brothers did to the world!"
Another 10,000 miles away, Test Cricket is raising a glass of pineapple rum to that
quote going "Yeah!! tell me about it ... my brothers have been doing
the same to me for a while now ..."
The Pathans and Husseys will also come together in a slightly different way in India in the 2009 edition of the IPL. This time, though, they will pretty much divide and rule: Irfan (North), David (East), Mike (South), and Yusuf (West).
Oh! brother, where art thou!