Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Helicopter Shot

MS Dhoni's helicopter shot
The helicopter made a return to the cricket field on Friday as MS Dhoni gave the full treatment to Steve Finn on his way to 87 - and 215 not out in his last 3 ODI matches against England.  England had no answer and were sliced up in the rotor blades.

The helicopter shot is Dhoni's trademark and was used by Pepsi as part of an advert during the World Cup.  It is so called because so fast is the bat speed as he smacks the ball over mid wicket, that Dhoni has to follow through with a double rotation as his bottom hand whips through at something approximating the speed of sound.  Fantasy Bob is sure that if he tried this shot the Dhoni way, he would break his wrists.  The only use for the helicopter would be to ferry him to hospital for a couple of months with both arms in plaster.

Leonardo da Vinci's helicopter shot
Helicopter shots were of course first imagined by Leonardo da Vinci who may or may not have inspired MS Dhoni.  FB has a different set of shots in his armory - and as with Dhoni many of which have been compared similarly to modes of transport.  Broken-down clapped-out buses for the most part.  Few of these shots could be considered to be inspired by Leonardo.

While FB has not had to be air lifted with broken wrists, he has flown in a helicopter once - and a fine trip it was too, taking off from Glasgow airport, up Loch Lomond and along Glencoe, close enough to touch the mountains, out across the Minch to Harris and back to Inverness.  FB is embarrassed that such a trip counted as work even though there was a serious purpose to the jaunt. 

When the day came for the trip FB was well prepared.  He was helicopter literate.  In the 1960s there was a TV series called Whirlybirds which FB remembers with affection but a complete lack of clarity.  It was based on a couple of chaps in helicopters who went to the aid of all sorts of emergencies with all American earnestness and toothy grins.  Apparently there were exactly 111 episodes of Whirlybirds and then Nelson strick.  Uncanny.  But as far as FB's researches can establish, Nelson is not believed ever to have flown in a helicopter.

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