Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

India - Bangladesh ... better late than never

I watched the whole match, unfortunately!!! The thing that struck me most was - Bangladesh came out attacking like they were Australia ... and India looked like a team not knowing what to do on the big scene.

SRT got out to a left arm spinner again.... but the laws of cricket fanaticism say that we must not label him suspect against left arm spinners. Look at the many times he has NOT been out to left arm spinners ... :-) ... well, I would look at that but additionally stipulate "check only those cases when there were left arm spinners playing in the opposition team").

Ganguly played well but the need was to make a big hundred ... it is no use being one of the greatest ODI cricketers of all time if u go onto make a 60 odd when ur team is screwed, and then get out. The 60 isn't of much use then.

I know Sehwag is Dravid's favorite boy right now but my argument is not against that. See, I know the SRTs and the Dravids themselves did not make a mountain of runs, but the point of being an opener is to give a start ... batsmen at no. 4, 5, 6 are experts at batting at a certain point of time in the match ... when the ball is not so new and there is a decent cushion of runs on which they can base their innings. The problem is that when Sehwag fails, the middle order suddenly becomes the top order ... Yes, the problem is not with Sehwag alone but with all openers in all teams but when u see Sehwag wafting at the ball as he did against Bangladesh, u wonder - what is the reason for this huge confidence on this chap? He had done this tons of times before .... wafted / slashed at a ball outside off without really moving anything ... and touched it through. What is all the fuss about when it comes to talk of throwing him out of the team? I know he has scored a hundred against Bermuda ... and I am not belittling the knock coz runs are runs and everything counts ... but when one considers his career average of 31 odd, isn't it obvious that the man is not really a trailblazer in the ODIs as he is in the tests? Why do people call him a match winner?

Anyways, since the match is over, lets not spend too much time on it. One big difference between the two teams was the fielding. Bangladesh were electric ... and believe me, when people say "the men from the subcontinent are different ... their body structures are different ... their grounds are different ... they cannot fling themselves around like the South Africans and the Australians do ... blah blah blah", one needs to point out the Bangladesh team to them and say "Bangladesh .... subcontinent team ... ur argument sucks".

The Bangladeshi approach while chasing was beautiful ... they always went for the target ... in fact, they tried to get the target as soon as possible ... there was none of the hesitation of "heck, can we really get it and topple India" or "maybe we should approach this cautiously" ... the left handed opener Tamim constantly came down the wicket and hit our faster bowlers over the infield .... and the man is 17 years old or something like that. He may never grow to be a Tendulkar ... but he definitely has the heart of a young Tendulkar.

Dravid dropped a chance which might have brought India into the game ... the ball was travelling and he was at mid-off ... and he moved to his right and got both outstretched hands to it ... and the ball didn't stick. Make no mistake, the effort was there ... but if he had flung himself rather than stretching or reaching out, he would have made the ball with time to spare. Yes, I know .... he is not the youngest in the team ... and all that .... but look at the Pollocks and the McGraths and the Pontings fling themselves around. U will realize that the only thing stopping the Indian team from being a great fielding side is - no one really wants to take the trouble.

Anyways, guys .... Cheers ... I am glad India got this kick up their backside ... I hope we go through to the Super 8 by beating SL today coz I do enjoy watching the Indian cricket team .... but I also love it when India loses and I get to see all those hysterical reactions from fans on TV. They broke MS Dhoni's compound wall ... LOL ... too funny.

It is not funny, really! Recently in response to an article of mine on Rediff, people responded to me by email ... saying things like "u mother phucking so and so .... I hope you die soon" etc. I remarked then that it was a strange and scary situation where people wished u death coz ur thoughts of a cricketer are not the same as their own. That strange and scary situation is just getting scarier by the minute. Suddenly, I get the feeling that the millions the cricketers earn probably doesn't compensate for the mental stress of always wondering if ur home would be stoned, ur brother / father would be beaten up ... or muck thrown on ur sister / wife / mother ... coz ur team lost the previous match.

I think cricket is no longer a game. And we, the fans, can claim complete credit for that.


The Chuckster


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