He is a livewire on the field and made the cover position his own prowling ground. He has led Uttar Pradesh with distinction to Ranji Trophy title this year. But, that's about it, for his run drought has taken the shape of a famine.
Mohammed Kaif's presence is felt all around the park, but for wrong reasons nowadays, as people boo at him as he walks in and out in a nonchalant manner.
But, he is not being rested from the Indian team management, for the fountain of run is just about to burst. Sounds weird, but that's how it works here. Against England in the sixth one-dayer, Kaif managed 15, saw a catch being dropped before playing across the line to be leg-before to a good length delivery.
Statistics do tell a tale and Kaif's has been one of utter failure. His scores in his last nine innings have been 8, 5 not out, 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 5, 15 and in his last 15 innings, Kaif has averaged 13.60. But, indications are that Kaif will stay on for the Indore one-dayer as well, with the only changes being Rahul Dravid in place of Ajit Agarkar and Dinesh Karthick for Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag echoed the team management's views on Kaif yesterday, saying, ''Kaif is a very good player and has done well in the past. We are backing him and hoping that he will do well soon.'' ''It's quite obvious that the Indian think-tank believes Kaif is an indispensable part of the side, so much so that it is willing to wait till eternity hoping he will come good with the bat one day. He has been sent in at three different positions, at number five in the first three one-dayers, number four at Kochi and number three today. The result, though, hasn't been different.
As if Kaif wasn't a worry enough, Sehwag has added to it with his woeful showing. He made four today, totalling just 78 in five innings in the series with scores of 7, 26, 15, 26, 4. Gautam Gambhir, who featured in the first two one-dayers, made 25 and 29, before being dropped.
Including Robin Uthappa has sounded Gambhir's death knell, at least for now, but Kaif continues to lead a charmed life.