Image courtesy: Neeraj Kathale
Image courtesy: Neeraj Kathale

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) logo features the profile illustration of a tiger’s face. The Bangladesh cricket team takes pride and call themselves Tigers. Sourav Ganguly, during his playing days, was called a Bengal Tiger. In other words, the otherwise timid-natured men who represent that part of the world possess an alternate ego — of a tiger. You hurt a tiger’s pride at your own peril. You may well have a bagful of fresh jokes on Ashok Dinda, but the Dinda has hunted down opponent batters like a tiger with incredible leap, trademark hair band and vicious deliveries. We will come to that.

Bengal qualified for a Ranji Trophy quarter-final berth on Tuesday after securing 3 points against Goa in the Group D round VII clash at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Bengal had to secure a first-innings lead to ensure the berth. And while Goa had been dismal throughout the season, they posed serious threat as Bengal’s party spoilers.

Goa elected to field and made use of the lively Eden track. Bengal were reduced to 20 for 3 with their stars Abhishek Raman, Sudip Chatterjee and skipper Manoj Tiwary back in the pavilion. Hundreds from Shreevats Goswami and Anustup Majumdar helped Bengal to 379.

The visitors fought hard but could put up only 310, courtesy Dinda’s five-for. His wickets included star opener Swapnil Asnodkar and in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Keenan Vaz. Bengal went through on basis of first innings lead.

A butt of several jokes and memes, Dinda has represented India sporadically between 2009 and 2013. He is the most successful pacer in this season’s Ranji Trophy. He already has 30 wickets at a mean 17.8. The top 10 highest wicket-takers include only two pacers, which speaks volumes of Dinda’s impact.

This isn’t the first time that Dinda has harboured Bengal to safe shores amidst strong currents. Year after year he has toiled the same way.

He may lack the charisma of a movie star but his machismo is no less. Truly, Tiger Dinda Hai (Dinda is Tiger). The Tiger Zinda Hai poster we think is an apt tribute to the Bengal stalwart. The horse complements it too. Remember these jumps? Who else can?

© AFP
© AFP

Thanks to Dinda, Bengal Zinda Hai, at least in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy.