White belts his way back to form
In control: Cameron White at the crease for the Deccan Chargers. Photo: AFP
"THERE is no doubt about it, the Bear has come out of hibernation."
While the significance of the Indian Premier League is incomparable to the 1986 US Masters golf tournament, when TV commentator Jim Nantz memorably described Jack Nicklaus' electrifying return to form, there are signs Cameron "Bear" White is extricating himself from his inexplicable mire of the past two seasons.
In the past week, the Victorian captain has hit more boundaries — 10 fours, nine sixes — for Deccan in the IPL than he hit in all of last summer in his 15 Big Bash League and domestic one-day Cup appearances — and almost as many runs too.
He began the period by belting six fours and five sixes in a 46-ball innings of 78 against Pune. While his next innings was a golden duck, succumbing to Twenty20 specialist Lasith Malinga, on Tuesday night he again excelled, as the lowly Chargers won their return match against Pune.
White hit 75 from 45 balls and combined with Kumar Sangakkara for a 157-run partnership, the third highest in IPL history.
In both half-centuries White had a scoring rate above 165, more than double his 2011-12 results in the BBL (average 7.86, scoring rate 73.34) and one-day Cup (average 16.29, scoring rate 69.94).
Even if White's belated return to form continues in England, where he will represent Northamptonshire in the domestic Twenty20 competition, he is still highly unlikely to force himself back into national-team consideration in time for the World Twenty20 tournament in September.
Australia captain Michael Clarke made his IPL debut for Pune, and impressed with 41 runs.
It was his first Twenty20 game since October 2010, and he showed little trouble adjusting to the short format as he hit seven boundaries off his 31 balls before being run out.