The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Combination of grace and finesse

In life like football there are moments you dread, but prepare for nonetheless. Krishanu Deyís passing away is one of those difficult ones, that hit you from nowhere, well before giving you a chance to defend.

Here was a bright young boy, sweet when he smiled, who would unbelievably transform into a deadly ballplayer from unusual points of a football field. Imaginative, sublime and often lethal was his crafty release and Krishanu was always a greater force in the company of a powerful and opportunistic striker.

Left-footers always make a pretty sight, following the same principle which makes Brian Lara or John McEnroe breathtaking in full flow. There hasnít been another of his kind after him, and even if one argues there had been a few superior to him earlier, there is no question that few combined calmness and finesse with grace in a grim game like football as Krishanu did.

KRISHANU: Imaginative and sublime

I had a dream, which will remain one. That was to get Krishanu to handle the departments of ball receiving, control and passing in an academy for sub-juniors. The youngsters would have learnt the trick and joy of making the ball follow certain commands.

I had the fortune of witnessing a left-footed teenager who was busy announcing his potential at an inter-railway tournament in Kharagpur in the early Eighties. It wasnít long before he burst onto the big league and remained a precious object there for over ten years.

It has been, Iím sorry it is no more, a long association since. Krishanu had often been the player around whom I planned my action during my coaching days. In one such ploy involving three players where the player releasing the final pass played the key role, Krishanu excelled like nobody did.

It was a pleasure watching Krishanu on song. Of his peers, he required minimum space and time to receive the ball, even on the run. He made it look natural and did so with such finesse that even the uninitiated would take notice and applaud. He supplemented his receiving with his quick control, with minimum touches.

The real joy of watching him was the telling passes that would follow. Just a glance around the pitch and Krishanu would know where exactly to deliver, at what pace, what height. His vision would prompt him to find angles one would rarely imagine, making it impossible to anticipate.

Even the defenders would appreciate the quality of those balls after recovering them from the back of the net. The fact that damage too can be inflicted in a crafty manner makes football a beautiful game and the likes of Krishanu are there to ensure the aesthetic element is not lost.

Like all players with artistic instincts and flair, Krishanu too was moody. He would be displeased if somebody delayed in releasing the ball or pass him at the wrong place. He would switch off for a while, but never utter a harsh word. This is one trait I have rarely seen among footballers. They are habitually rough and aggressive, not caring too much about etiquette and niceties. But Krishanu was of the rare kind, quite like the brand of football he produced.

The real pity is the fact that Krishanu didnít live long enough so that the next generation could learn from him. Goodbye Krishanu, rest in peace.

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