DateLine: 19th February 2007
That such a classy player should now and then play well below par or have an ordinary series is one of the intriguing aspects of Damien Martynís game. When on song which thankfully is quite often Martyn is the picture of poise, elegance and class. His drives and cuts are straight out of the textbook and he caresses the bowling and charms the ball out of the fielderís reach. His batting can be termed as relaxed silkiness. Whereas most of the other Australian batsmen provide the punch and the power Martynís classical, relaxed, feathery touch comes as a whiff of fresh air. Nimble footed and very much from the traditional school Martyn plays pace and spin with equal felicity. He has been the quiet hero of the formidable Aussie line up though he has composed pristine hundreds that have either rescued his side or been instrumental in a victory. He has had three figure knocks on various surfaces in India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. But a rather horrendous run in England during the Ashes series in 2005 when he was reduced to 178 runs at an average of less than 20 raised question marks as to whether his career was over. He was dropped but when the selectors opted for experience for the tour of South Africa in the winter Martyn was back and responded with a splendid 101 that paved the way for victory in the final Test. You canít keep a good man down and Martyn obviously still has a lot to contribute to Australian cricket before he hangs up his gloves.