Outshining Cricket

Outshining Cricket

It’s been a busy week for me including my ODI debut and being thrust into the media scrum that follows the Indian Cricket side. Thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoy this insight into my experiences.

Cricket is a funny game.

Occasionally funny ‘ha ha’, but more often than not, funny ‘strange’.

It wasn’t much more than a week ago I sat in the crowd at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and watched the Black Caps beat India on the last ball in the Twenty20 match. It was a tight game throughout and Brendon McCullum’s Man of the Match performance was an example of one of our stars outshining theirs. Within three days of heading home I’d received a phone call from the selectors to say I was required to be back in Wellington to keep, with Baz out through injury. Wow…

I was watching the first one-dayer on the television up in Whangarei while preparing for the Knights next four-day game when I saw him get hit on the thumb. I thought immediately that it looked pretty nasty but also knew how tough Baz was and didn’t think much more of it.

But then I got ‘that’ phone call.

So a week to the day, I returned to Westpac Stadium, not as a spectator but as a player, about to face some of the biggest names in world cricket.

As a Keeper it is an important skill to be able to filter out the batsman and to focus purely on the ball coming towards you. You can imagine how difficult this becomes when it is one of the best players ever, that is standing in front of you waving the willow.

Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Harbhajan, and Zaheer are legends of the game. I met and got a photo with Sachin 13 years ago, when I was a schoolboy touring the UK playing cricket, and have thoroughly enjoyed watching him play some of the most amazing innings ever seen. So it is fair to say, it was a thrilling experience having him say ‘Thanks Pete’ after the game and shaking his hand as an opponent, and not just a fan.

It has been a great experience and very humbling. To have the opportunity to compete against your heroes is something that most people dream of, and is one I will look back on with fond memories at the completion of the series.

Tendulkar’s innings in Christchurch was sublime and while the booming lofted drives were exciting, it was the deft touches of class that showed the little master at work and on top of his game.

Naturally, I was disappointed with missing a stumping to get Dhoni, but overall I was happy with my efforts on a difficult wicket that was a little up and down. It was pleasing to pick up three catches. I didn’t want to be remembered for ‘that’ missed chance.

It is so difficult in that regard as a wicketkeeper. A fielder can fumble a ball, it go through their legs, but be forgiven. A bowler can bowl a half volley and get smashed for 6, yet not be scalded. Keepers have some of the highest standards expected in sport where any error (regardless of magnitude), is regarded as a failure and defines your performance for the day.

Keepers just cannot make an error. They are expected to be almost superhuman, from another world.

Watching the Indian cricket team tour the country, from this close, has given me an insight into the other world they live in. These guys are treated like Gods, people camp outside the hotel to get a glimpse of them and the entourage of media is immense.

The paradox is they are human. They grew up playing in the backyard or street like the rest of us, they have two arms and two legs, they still make mistakes and as we saw the other night, can be put under pressure.

Christchurch gave us a lot of confidence as a unit. We knew we bowled poorly with limited resources, but we fought well with the bat and sent a message to the Indian side.

We will not roll over.

We will not be overawed.

And we will not settle for being the support act…
My Zimbio
KudoSurf Me!


Peter, I am really happy with your innings. I lost all the hopes of NZ scoring 260-270, until I saw you blasting Indian bowlers cleverly. I am an Indian but a die-hard NZ fan.

A question to you?

Where did you get that baseball helmet? It suits you well..

Comment by Raghav Suryadevara | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Congratulations on the debut, Peter!! Hopefully you will go on to have a long and fruitful career ahead. Who knows, McCullum may just decide to give a shot at being specialist bat.

I do think, for all the supposed difference in class between the sides, that you guys have just been unlucky to have had 2 or 3 days when almost everything went right for our guys and most things went wrong for your team. I do think NZ have potential to be among the top 3 or 4 in ODIs and give the other top teams an even contest anytime and anywhere!! All the very best to you and plz keep blogging as and when you find the time!!!

Comment by honestbharani | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Hey, awesome performance with the bat today! I see where your points about being creative come from.

It’s notable how so many wicket keepers, and bowling all-rounders too, have an aggressive style of batting. Do you feel that having another “string to your bow” as such gives you freedom to express yourself with the bat? Or does it just develop as a result of batting down the order a lot and needing to accelerate with the tail?

Comment by Quinners | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Good Show Peter, All the best for a wonderful career. Hope to see you doing well in the last ODI.

Comment by Premnath Alfred | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Yeah don’t give in!

Good stuff, I feel like becoming a Kiwi.

Comment by sean (australia) | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Great work again Peter. Firstly though congratulations on making that OD debut and brilliant 50 odd from you last night, was brilliant to watch. Surely will get another hitout even if McCullum comes back 100% fit after that knock.

Goodluck with the next game.

Comment by Hunterbhai | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Well done Pete on your debut and on the half ton last game.
Looking at the scores, it seems you might not have exactly had sore hands after the Indian innings last game…
Good luck and it would be great to see you playing more for NZ into the future.

Comment by Burgey | 12:00am GMT 11 March 2009

Another great blog entry Peter – I have enjoyed reading all three of your contributions on the site. And congrats on your half century in yesterday’s ODI!

Comment by Somerset | 12:00am GMT 12 March 2009

Congrats on your debut, Peter. I was watching the Twenty20 game live here in the States through the wonder that is the internet, only to have the web crash with two balls to go!

Comment by Dave Wilson | 12:00am GMT 12 March 2009

Top column, good to hear from an international cricketer

Comment by Langeveldt | 12:00am GMT 12 March 2009

Hi all, Thanks again for your patience, has been manic week to say the least. Am really enjoying my writing and your feedback, so please, spread the word (and the link!!) to as many friends as possible who have an interest in cricket. Set up a feed so you don’t miss out.
Now for your questions, it is a mask that is specifically designed for wicketkeepers by a wicketkeeper, yours truly.
In respect to ur question Quinners, one of crickets strengths is that there is room for all individuals. Not all Keepers are aggressive, however the perception of such a trait is understandable, and Gilly has a lot to do with the shift in expectation placed on a Keepers skillsets. It is comforting to know that if u fail u have another way of contributing to the team but only each individual can answer how it changes their approach.
Glad you are all enjoying my section, as mentioned I hope you make it a regular occurrence to pop in.

Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 12 March 2009

Hey Peter,

Watched the games on my PC through the night here in Amsterdam. Great to see you playing. Napier Mens delivers again!


Comment by Mike Berry | 12:00am GMT 13 March 2009

I can understand your mental state Peter. Facing the greatest post WW2 batsman can be really overwhelming stuff.

That said, in the Hamilton ODI, your little cameo was splendid. IN fact as soon as you came into the field, I made a bet with my friend, that you will make a 50 at least. And thanks you didn’t let me down.

As they say, big names disappear once you start playing the ball and not the bowler. And same in case of bowlers.

All the best for your future.

Comment by Precambrian | 12:00am GMT 14 March 2009

Nice read. Great insight that. Thanks.

Comment by Xavier Rose | 12:00am GMT 14 March 2009

congratulations on your international debut peter! well done so far, all the best for your future career!

Comment by anil | 12:00am GMT 14 March 2009

Hey Peter, fantastic knock the other day.

I was wondering how you rated the worlds international wicket keepers on their keeping alone out of all the Test playing nations?

Comment by Athlai | 12:00am GMT 14 March 2009

Hey all, Thanks for all the well wishes, has been a crazy week which has opened my eyes to some amazing things and opportunities. Last nights rain interval allowed the two teams some time to chat and mingle in the corridor between changing rooms. I’ve become good friends with Dinesh Karthik as he is keen to use the AERO KPR Face in the IPL. After the game we exchanged signed playing shirts which was a big thrill. \’ve always looked on admiringly whenever visiting other players houses and seen their momentos from these sorts of series.
Got few days off so will be posting new Blog in next 36 hrs.
About rating the Keepers, I guess now I\’m in a difficult position as I may play against them hopefully this year at the T20 World Cup!!! I’ll have a think bout how I can handle that request diplomatically and get back to you… 🙂

Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 15 March 2009

Hey Peter, congrats on your fifty. Think you may have got yourself the gig at seven as a specialist finisher once McCullum comes back to keeping. Must admit I thought your clever style might be too clever for your own good but you blew my theory out of the water.

Out of interest, how big do you rate the step up to internationals from List A/FC and what about it makes it so dificult or easy? Sorry if thats already been asked.

Good luck for the future!

Comment by Flem274* | 12:00am GMT 15 March 2009

Hi Flem, Thanks for taking the time out to read my blog, my ‘clever game’, as you so well put it, has taken years and years of mastering at domestic level. To be totally honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work at international level either.
I’d been told to go out and do what I did for the Northern Knights, and after getting one that kept low in Chch I decided to just go for it. When I got that first paddle sweep out of the middle off Sharma I thought “Hey, this might actually work!”. From then on it became instinctive and, with it being my home ground, it became a familiar scenario that I had been in before during the State Shield and Twenty20 campaigns.
There is a big step up in intensity from Domestic to International level in each form and the biggest factor is how players handle the peripheral things off the field. The skills on the field are the same, (though the margin of error is obviously less) regardless of the format. The difficult thing for new players is all the other things you need to be able to cope with and most of those are mental skills issues. Anxiety, concentration, composure are all tested by the media attention, the reputation of the opponents and the mass of noise that hits you when you enter the arena. It was these issues I struggled with last time during my T20 debut, and is the area I feel I have most improved and learnt to cope with since returning to the team.
Keep reading my blogs to get more of an insight into what it was like and how crippling it can be.
Thanks 🙂

Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 16 March 2009

Hey Peter,
I’am a NZ fan.Do You play test’s or does B.McCullum play look go in baseball/cricket kepper helmet I saw a good 58* in Hamilton.Higest Score for nz at your home ground vs India.what a record.

Comment by Boston Hale | 12:00am GMT 20 March 2009

Hi Boston,
Sorry it’s taken a while to reply, as you’ll see in my next blog James is uploading I’ve been flat out over the last few days.
Brendon’s thumb has recovered so he is keeping in the Tests which you probably already know being an avid fan.
I’ve got my last Domestic 4day game this weekend before heading over to the UK to play for Bath Cricket Club.

Comment by Peter McGlashan | 12:00am GMT 25 March 2009

Hi Peter, I am an Indian. Good to know that people across the globe have a respect for Tendulkar. He is indeed a gem of a person and treated like god by Indians. Can you tell me which of his innings you enjoyed most ?

Thanks in advance and have a wonderful career ahead !!
Thanks and Warm Regards,

Comment by amit tripathi | 12:00am GMT 26 March 2009

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