Saturday, March 31, 2007

Cricket World Cup 2007 - Oooh aaah ouuch

India's exit at the World Cup has given me 4 reasons to smile. To look back and say, it feels so good its over. 4 No-mores i am thankful for:

1) No More Illusions -
That we are the world's best team or can be one. We have a great Test team. Why? Because Test cricket is not about running hard between the wickets and diving in the field. Test cricket does not make every dot ball count as much as One-Day cricket does. In Test cricket, technique is still king. We need batsmen and we need bowlers. We dont need athletes. One-day cricket on the other hand is becoming more exciting and appealing than ever. The future belongs to the team that has players who can do three things really well ( besides batting and bowling, which are the obvious pre-requisites) One, dive on the field and stop the extra run, two, convert the twos into threes through excellent running between the wickets and three, hit a ball into the stands at will. This means, future one-day cricketers must be quick, athletic and strong. If India has to be a powerhouse in one-day cricket, this is the direction to mould the players into.

2) No more stupid fake advertisements -
Sunfeast's 'har ghar mein Sachin', Samsung's 'hamare team ka kaptaan banoge?', Pepsi's 'ooh aah India Aaya India' and needless more.. Finally they have realised the Indian cricket team is human. The dumbest thing though, is how infinitely stupid our cricketers are. If a cricketer gets paid to say "I am the god who never fails because i drink susu-cola" he will say it little realising that susu-cola is drawing the profits and he is raising the expectations of a population that seeks relief and an escape from the reality show called survival in cricket victories, cinematic illusions and copulation. Raising 1 billion hopes with some stupid 'Ladega toh Jeetega' wont help at all. 1 billion hopes can go to the dogs, but please don't let down the sponsors! Just try to hang in there. Money talks and rocks and walks. And also socks. India is 136/6. Sehwag, Sachin, Dhoni all back in the pavilion, and you have a Ooh-Aaa-India ad... WOW!! Timing is everything....

3) No more Greg Chappell (Hopefully) -
Never liked this guy. Not a single batsman specific strategy against Sri Lanka. No gameplan. Nothing. Just excuses. He started off with the whole big bad experimentation histrionics. Nothing came off. The whole gaffe flopped so badly, that the selectors had to send a team to the World Cup based on popular choice and least risk options. In Indian Summers, John Wright mentions the words of a South African who said something like "In India, if you win they will name a street after you but you lose and the same guys will chase you down the same street". Greg Chappell cant get away with a under-arm delivery this time. Face the music.

4) No more Mandira Bedi -
Is she in a cricket analysis show for what? her beauty? her fashion bloopers? her cricketing knowledge? her patriotic enthusiasm? Mandira Bedi could have been excused the last time at the 2003 World Cup, not now though, because you expect 4 years to be a long enough time to pick up on a little bit of cricketing jargon and atleast have the tendency to ask decent questions to the former cricketers. Mandira Bedi is a very good actress. I am not so sure about cricket though, just wonder if the money is really so much good, that she is so willing to make a complete fool of herself in a show about a sport she understands a fair bit but knows nothing of beyond the surface to be anchoring a cricket analysis programme. I had decided to sit through an entire session of Extraaaaa Innninnngggsss and note down all the questions and comments coming from Mandira before the match, during the break and after the match and post them here. But then figured its just not worth the effort. But i leave you with a gem that can only come from Mandira - After the first innings of the India v/s Bermuda match, India posted a total 413 for 5. Mandira came up with a question for Dean Jones "Was there any excuse for Ganguly for playing out a maiden over?" Is there no other good-looking and popular actress who follows cricket with genuine passion?


There is hope for India though. Get Manoj Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gaurav Dhiman and Suresh Raina please! Its a great time to throw the youngster into the ring. Adversity is a good mother, because the real champions are born out of her womb..


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