Sunday, January 6, 2008

India in Australia - Rats in Lion's den

In the last 15 years, how many times have I hoped that Indian cricket team would win those matches that is to be won. Or atleast those in the brink of winning. Or atleast stop the opponent team from winning. Or atleast for God's sake, make it difficult for the opponent to win the match. But all my hopes would invariably end up in vain. I can easily count the occassions, where India has won the match in an unexpected and a startling fashion by completely crushing the opponents(not considering the simple and easy wins). I just sit back and imagine how would it feel like, to be an Australian and supporting such a team, where winning is just a habit. They only try to taste victory in a better style than the previous time. They try to break their own record, for not many records from other teams are left to be broken.

And coming back to my hopes, I wasn't hoping that India would win the 2nd test in Australia. That too after the results of the first test, I reminded myself that Indians are nothing more than rats in Lion's den. And after the 1st innings mammoth score of 600+ by Aussies, I knew it for sure. But thanks to a "Greece-God" type of a century by Sachin, my hopes were kinda resurrected. And my hopes(a typical desi one) weren't to win this match, but atleast to draw this match. Just atleast to stop the Australians from equalling their own record. But Australians were so surefooted that Brett Lee said after the third day, in the press conference said that he was sure that Ponting would declare after the right juncture and give Indians a trying shot. And things turned as they expected with "yaa_he_hits_another" century by Hayden and "just_to_screw_the_hopes" century by Hussey. Australians declared for Indians to thrive for meagre 72 overs. And our guys screwed it up royally!

I keep wondering if a team of 11 international players can't just stay put and hang around for less than one day in a test match. They are not asked to score runs, not to take away this match. Just save the wickets for some 5 hours. Who to be blamed? Six players scoring less than 20 and four out of that, with just single digit scores. And one more person worth mentioning and who played a major role in this test match - Steve Bucknor. If an umpire makes a mistake once, the fact that"Human Beings are prone to mistakes" back them up. But if they keep doing the same mistake and that too in favour of one team, then it props up quite a few doubts. Ideally, as my friend Vijai said, Steve Bucknor should have been the "Man of the match" for he scored over 200 runs(thru Symonds) and took 3 wickets for Australia.

Why is there something not done by ICC about this kind of blunders? I would suggest just a camera with a sleek tripod in place of the umpires. And bowling team can pretty well appeal to the camera and it would give a Green Light or a Red light in reciprocation. The camera can pretty well take care of the dimissals - be it run-outs, caught behinds and even LBWs. An intelligent camera can surely give a counter of no of balls bowled, etc., Why do we need an umpire after all?? Can't we have a sensor to decide if it is a wide or a no-ball? The only reason an umpire maybe needed would be to handle sledging or hand-fighting among players(if at all). So, we can just have a single person(as the fourth umpire) on the field. Let the cameras and the computers do the umpiring job, for we would have fair results and ofcourse less cost. I guess it's time ICC does something of this sort.

Poor Indian cricket fans - all they could think of is to burn the effigy of Steve Bucknor(in Kolkata and Kanpur). How can they be blamed? When it comes to sports where India wins in the global arena, I could think of only Chess, Tennis, Hockey and Cricket. Vishwanath Anand has been a great chess player, but chess is not a game which can attract ardent fan groups. As far as Tennis is concerned, we spoilt ourselves(thanks to Paes and Bhupathi for their comradery, Sania - the lone star in the constellation). Coming to Hockey, we have never performed to catch the headlines in leading dailies atleast in the recent past(or atleast for as long as I have known). Other sports like Soccer(India never goes beyond the West Bengal tournament wins) and F1(only challenger is Narain) can't be expected to pull crowds. So, cricket is our only hope because of our more frequent wins. In spite of what happens to the results of matches that Indian cricketers play and irrespective of shameful loses that we come across, fans are always there for them. And to the extent that if not read in history subjects, Cricket would be thought of as India's National game by many youths. They simply wait and hope that India shines.

And I do too!


Pratosh Dwivedi said...

Well, I had almost the same thoughts when they lost the first test - another tour of shame and disgust.

But though they have lost the second one too, my faith in them have returned a bit. I agree the performance was dismal and there are no justifications whatsoever for not being able to stand their ground for 2/3rd of day, but still i have a feeling that they have started a fight back.

Well, the third test will clear everything up. Being a typical Indian cricket fan, I can't loose my hopes with the team so easily :P

Jam said...

Hold on to your hopes there Arun,

Yes I do agree that the Indian team probably did not apply themselves properly in the second innings especially when they batted, but then you need to remember that there was too much happening on the cricket field on this particular day.

What with Wasim Jaffer being bowled out off a No Ball, Rahul Dravid being given caught out when he didn't even touch the ball and that doubtful decision of Ganguly. All of this over and above the damn Bhajji hearing which was immediately after the match.

All in all, the match could've gone either way. I cannot remember of any other Indian team in the recent past which has taken the fight to the Australians like Kumble's boys have done in this particular test match.

So don't lose hope in the Indians, at least not now when the team needs the public support, the most.


PS: Am not a die-hard fan of Indian cricket myself, but I can recognise fighters when I see them, and this bunch of cricketers are some damn rugged fighters.

vijay said...

Firstly,thanks for your comment in my blog...

Now,let me just express my rage out here,because my orkut profile and my blog aren't that much of an place for the people.....
ur blog is really good(serious) so i guess some good hearted people would be reading this...

WTF is wrong with australian cricket team,Is winning the only motive of a game or is winning fairly with sportsmanship is the motive....i guess all would agree with with the latter,if so,go back,watch the australian game all the 5 days,were they first place PLAYING???
Maan,i could go on expressing my rage to the extent of demoralising australian families all together...

lemme just stop out here...but thanks again maan for your comments..

vijay said...

one more request,use FEEDBURNER for your feed subscription...mail subscriptions are outdated i guess,i use google ,just look into that

Arun Sundar said...

Indian cricket is still thriving coz of people like u and that too when u say something like "But though they have lost the second one too, my faith in them have returned a bit", it makes me wonder! And third not sure if it'll be any different from the first two. But i'll join u in the hopes :)

I agree that Bucknor blew this off, for the most part. But Bajji's issue can't be taken as a reason for India losing. And if the same match happened in sub-continent, we might say that India would have drawn this match. But at aussies soil, Aussies are just too good for India.

Giving australians a fight is of no use, as long as we don't win the match. We can as well face an innings defeat. For me, both look the same.

And yaa, the hope and the public support - that would never die, even if India loses to Kenya consecutively for 20 times.

I knew Australians did some "Jing-chak" works during the play. But the team is so talented that they think about only winning. I think winning is why any team plays.

And the Feedburner is setup. Thanks for u'r suggestion.

Guru said...

Nice Blog !! Subscribed to your feed.. And looks like you're pretty new to the blogosphere too ..

And thanks for dropping by my blog, it really helps to know people read the junk i write. More so if people who you don't invite(force?) come over and drop a comment ..

Great going ..

Cheers ..

Arun Sundar said...


Thanks. And I know it'd be pleasing when we know that some unknown(unexpected) person reads our blog and leaves a comment too!