Bangalore: It's hard to say where the phrase 'bat for your life' originated, but like many cricket clichés, it skirts the thin line between mirth and nonsense. Seriously, how stupid would you have to be to leave your fate in the hands of someone tackling a projectile hurled at speed with just a piece of willow that can't be more than 38 inches long and 4.25 inches wide?
Once you lose the hyperbole though, the sentiment behind the expression is clear. Just who would you trust to bail you out in a crisis? Who can keep a calm head when those around him are flustered? Whose composure gives less confident teammates the belief to hang around?
In the three decades that I've watched the sport, there have been quite a few who seemed to save their best for the most arduous situations. The mistake we often make is to try and analyse purely on the basis of numbers, figures that often reveal nothing of the match situation.