The first thought of Damien Martyn for us Indians is as that other guy with Ricky Ponting who pummeled the Indian bowlers in the finals of the world cup 2003 and cost us the cup. Well it is not entirely your fault, he was always the underestimated batsmen in the star filled line-up of Australia. With players like Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist in the team, it is next to impossible to get noticed on the international scene. And those who have followed Australian cricket are witness that Damien Martyn did create a niche for himself.
Martyn probably had the easiest batting style in the world. It was subtle and pleasing to the eyes and add the sublime touch and timing of Damien Martyn and you have a batting masterclass at hand. Damien Martyn was considered the next big thing in Australian cricket when he made his international debut at a young age of 21 years in 1992. He was young and brash and sometimes played unnecessary risky strokes. One such false stroke in a test match against South Africa at a crucial juncture cost Australia the match and Damien Martyn, his place in the side.
The form is temporary while the class is permanent and this saying was undoubtedly invented for Damien Martyn. He came back in 1999-2000 in the hard to break into Australian side and made it count. He scored tons of runs in all formats of the game and made the number 4 position in the Australian batting lineup his own. In what could be called his greatest achievement in cricketing terms, he was adjudged the man of the series against India in 2004 and helped Australia beat India in a test series in India for the first time in 30 years.
He was a prolific and positive batsman in the limited overs formats as well and the final of world cup 2003 was the prime example of it. He scored runs all across the globe and was a very difficult batsman to bowl to because of his simple technique. He had no flaws in his batting and the only concern was his sometimes careless approach. He retired from international cricket in 2006.
And we would like to remember Damien Martyn as the silken touch batsman who was pleasing to the viewer’s eye and heart. And to be a part of the invincible Australian team of that era speaks volumes about his strength, skill and character.