They Blue It

As a customer who paid $200 to buy the World Cup package (which now looks like it has bought me only 3 India games), I would like to ask Rahul Dravid one question.

No it is not about his own batting failure in a big match or the catch that he dropped of Tamim Iqbal. I have nothing to say there.

My question is after winning the toss, why oh why did you decide to bat first on a pitch with a greenish tinge which, it stood to reason, would be the worst to bat on in the morning when it would be at its freshest? Was it because you wanted to give the batsmen some practice, the practice that they missed in the match against West Indies, since winning the match against Bangladesh was almost guaranteed either way?

The match was won and lost in India’s first twenty overs. With the ball seaming about and Mushrafe Mortaza and Syed Rasel bowling impeccably and Sourav, Uthappa and Sachin playing and missing continuously, facing imminent demise every ball they faced with the scoring rate reduced to a crawl, India batted themselves out of the game right there (and once again at the end when 5 wickets fell for 2 runs)

Please do notice that I do not mention the corpulent Sehwag in the above line because he did not play and miss, he played and chopped onto his stumps. I hope the next time I see him he is wearing a safari suit, chewing paan and standing outside the motor vehicles office facilitating the procurement of licenses for cash —-he does not look or perform like a sportsman.

Of course in the middle of all this ranting, let me not forget my manners and congratulate Mushrafe Mortaza for having emerged as a totally different bowler from what I had seen him last. Adding more than a few yards to his pace, and having done wonders to his control, Mushrafe was phenomenal. It seemed even more phenomenal to me, an India fan, as we only encounter players on a downward spiral —Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag and their ilk who lose their pace, their incoming deliveries and the ability to hit the ball with the bat (without chopping it onto stumps). Ajit Agarkar of course is an exception: he has flat-lined in his mediocrity for many years now and today he lived upto his reputation by not just bowling a rubbish of a spell but also having the dubious distinction of being dismissed twice for a duck in the same innings. (Our Bombay duck was plumb leg before first ball he faced, spared by the umpire, and then next ball was out again, this time leaving no scope for the umpire to rescue him.)

I should add that it is not only Mushrafe who has progressed by leaps and bounds (he was as far as I know the highest wicket-taker in 2006) but the entire Bangladeshi team. Their fielding was a revelation, if I had not seen them I would never have believed that fish-eating Bongs could dive like that and come up in one piece. In contrast, Dravid’s catch miss and Dhoni’s spectacular fumble with the ball, after all the talk about the process and the drills, seem even more pathetic.

Sachin Tendulkar, we are told, is looking forward to the 2011 World Cup. But what about 2007? What about that softest of dismissals, inside-edging onto the pads and getting caught out by the wicket-keeper to the bowling of, not surprisingly, yet another left arm spinner? And don’t let me get started with our Superstar Mahendrilocks whose performance today both in front and behind the stumps should give him ample reason to drive around in tinted glass cars for some time to come.

And Dada? Yes he was the top scorer. Yes his playing slowly was justified given the context of the match. Yes he did more for the innings than anyone except Yuvraj. But what rankled was the way he, time and again, did not come back for that extra run and because he was involved in almost all the Indian partnerships today, we lost a good 10 runs in missed singles/doubles/threes —-something that might be not be so critical in run-feasts but was telling in today’s game.

In conclusion, forgive me for being bitter and please keep the “it’s just a game” comments at bay. What hurts is not that India lost but the fact that they played like amateurs in the biggest cricketing carnival without passion or cohesion, a fact brought into sharper focus by their opponents who had ample amounts of everything that the Men in Blue so grievously lacked.

Hoo Haa India.

95 thoughts on “They Blue It

  1. I am humiliated, but pakistan’s exit more than makes up for it.

  2. Good rant!!!

    At least, I didn’t pay! :p

  3. Look at the brigher side. Pakis are out of world cup.
    Let’s look forward.

  4. The Indian team is looking forward to give the Pakis some company..after all indi-paki bhai-bhai..have no other words to describe the situation..

  5. India’s batting ,fielding, bowling….all below par.
    Compounded by bad decisionmaking on the part of Dravid…

  6. What a way to blow it! I just hope we make it to S8..

  7. Bangladesh should now declare 1 year of holidays to celebrate this victory. I can only hope that after this world cup there are no allegations of sleeping outside their hotel rooms on the Indian cricket team. What was worse that during the batting collapse Set Max was continuously showing that Pepsi ad where the team is projected as tigers of the field. Alas these tigers lost to the Bengal tigers!

  8. Two things combined in the Indian inning to finish our best in the WORLD batsmen. Moving fast ball in the start and left arm spinners. Veeru and Uthappa will remain weak links if ball moves around. And that will put huge pressure on SRT who doesnt really excel in those situations. I think RD and SRT should switch positions if we are 20/2.

    One mistake i feel management made was dropping the IP #3 batsman after failure in 3-4 games in WI last year. We should have kept that option open. IMO he is more equipped to face moving ball than VS(right now) and Uthappa.

  9. Chappell ?

  10. Thanks a lot GB for the prompt blog. I was hoping you would do that as a surrogate for the vent of thousands like me who are really seething today. Serves them to have people like Sehwag, Agarkar and Harbhajan on the team. And then there are the all time greats Chappell and Dravid who have screwed up Indian cricket. Bigtime. India is very soon going to take the flight back home, much like their counterparts across the LOC.

  11. Instead of attributing blame on Individual players/coach, strategies etc, why don’t you just accept that Indian cricket team’s ability is overhyped and it doesn’t matter whether player X was selected instead of player Y or whether X should have batted up before Y or whether we should have fielded first instead of batting etc.. Bottom line, they lost a match, which they should have won. Except for one or two players, this is arguably the “best” indian team which can be fielded, based on the talent that is known. Taking nothing away from Bangladesh, you can fret over the strategies and selection, if this was considered a “tight” contest before the match. Rather this was considered a foregone result by pundits and fans alike and on paper it definitely was.

    The greatest advantage which the current crop of players have is that there is probably around 60 ODI’s being played every year by India i.e almost one per week, which gives the core set of players enough opportunities to Fail consistently and then have some high scores in between to keep their fans happy and their places in the team. C;mon, even if you give me a chance to play all the ODI’s , i will come up with the odd century or Five’r and keep my place in the team 😉 Take Shewag for instance, he has failed numerous matches -> in case he scores a ton against Bermuda and then another sparkling 30 against SL, he will keep his place and a safety net to fail in 20 More ODI’s, before his next success. Not just picking on Sewhag, it’s pretty much the same with most of the “stars” in the team. All his failures are forgiven and forgotten. Tendulkar is one of the biggest failures in the past couple of years (or more) in terms of being consistently good in ODI’s. CONSISTENCY is no longer a criteria. No doubt, Kaif keeps whining that he is not selected, because he too expects to be in the team, even though he scores the useless 10’s and 20’s with the odd 50 and he feels cheated of being dropped !;-)

    Just enjoy the Fun. I loved both the “upsets” today. Justice will be done, if the team doesn’t make it to super8. But, since the Sponsors and advertisors have crores of money to lose, if India doesn’t make it to super8 (they lose all the TV time which the six India Super8 matches would provide), i am pretty sure there is going to be efforts underway to see India through to Super8, through other means (dubious).
    Look out for shocking results figuring Bangladesh, since they are the team that needs to go out to keep India in the Championship.

  12. Honestly though, aren’t you kind of happy they won? For the kind of fans they have and for the sheer determination they showed, I feel the deserved it. All’s not lost for us right. We still can win the next two and still make the super 8s. It’s nice to see more teams get competitive.

    And Sachin’s little blurb about playing in 2011, nice timing, na? Memories of Kapil Dev and his pursuit of Hadlee. 🙂

    What we need is a little Sreesanth Mojo !! 🙂

    And GB, at least you didn’t end up paying for a trip to the Windies, like half my friends from the east coast did.

  13. I never understood the schadenfreude logic of Indian fans still enjoying Pakistan’s loss., especially since this teams play almost regularly with each other. In the previous WC’s too, when India defeated Pakistan, the feeling was it doesn’t matter wheter the WC is won or not, since defeating Pakis was enough. This is a not a Ind-Pak Series!

    I would make one suggestion to the Paki Board. Immediately schedule a full five test and 10 ODI series with India, to get their team back in Form. Because who is more generous than the indian team in getting other teams/players into form, when they are rock bottom 😉

  14. Tamim Iqbal: he’s the dude – the way he played – with guts (something the Indian team could do with) – has made me love the game again…….

  15. Hi Greatbong:
    A few comments:
    1. They did this exactly in 1999. They choked bigtime in a match to Zimbabwe and let them into the S6. But they rallied against Sri Lanka and England and snuck into the S6 as well – but with no points and they wound up last in the S6.
    2. I had the feeling that the new format might lead to the situation in which some good teams leave early. Pakistan is already out and India is just hanging by a thread. The problem is: one of SL, India, or Bangladesh will exit and perhaps none of them will lose twice. It doesn’t seem right – a team should lose at least twice before being eliminated from the world cup.
    3. The thing that I found most surprising is the elimination from the 11 of Irfan Pathan. Sure people complain that he isn’t bowling as fast as he did and such but he still seems to be getting wickets. And he is a good bat as well. But any coach worth his salt would know what a player’s record is against other teams. Pathan totally destroys Bangladesh. His Test bowling average is 12 against that one team and he has 3 5 wicket hauls against them. He has done well in ODI’s against them as well. He might have made a big difference.
    4.Erin go bragh – Just unbelievable. I would hate to be Inzi or Woolmer tonight.

  16. gb dada:

    long ago, i had questioned ganguly’s place in the team. i continue to question it. at that time, i thought he was not up to the mark, now it appears that the team needs to catch up.

    ok, now that i have that thought out of the way, here’s my take on the situation. chappell came to coach india with power point presentations and the like. what he conveniently appears to have chosen to ignore is the indian mentality vis-a-vis the australian mentality. chappell thought that what works for australie would work in india too.

    australians (as is amply demonstrated by ponting vs. gavaskar) are a bunch of aggressive individuals, who don’t care whether they are right or wrong. they can take a bull by its horns. our desis – as a majority are more like lambs (as a cricinfo article says). winning the toss, australians would probably bat first to demonstrate their superiority. someone like a gilchrist or hayden who bludgeons the ball first up and completely psychs out the opposing opening bowlers.

    what was missing in the indians’ display was the authority, the in-your-face mentality that – in my opinion – only ganguly, sehwag and sreesanth possess. dravid tries to show it but does not have it in reality, and though sehwag has it, he’s going through a lean patch that only a good series of first class action (like zaheer khan and ganguly) will help him get out of.

    i only watched the first twenty overs of the match, right about when they showed that graphic of 100-something dot balls as opposed to 20 or so that were scored-off (which included that overthrow for four)! and yes, i agree, the match was won and lost by that time. isn’t it ironic that india plays only one spinner and loses to bangladesh who play three? i suggest that sehwag, uthappa and agarkar be replaced by pathan, karthik and sreesanth. would have loved to have ramesh powar available.

    bottom line is that chappell appears to have made an abhimanyu out of dravid – he instilled in him the art of batting first up, but conveniently forgot to complete the lesson as to how to bat. in my opinion, ganguly and tendulkar need to open, followed by dravid and karthik, or karthik and dravid, and we definitely need pathan in the team as a lower order batsman plus occasional bowler.

    that said, i think you can use your $200 to follow the progress of your fellow bengalis across the border :-). and you will not be disappointed. oh, and when does whatmore’s contract with bangladesh expire?

    – s.b.

    p.s.: a glance at the scorecard makes me wonder whether sehwag was picked as a bowler, a replacement for kumble, maybe? 😉

  17. “I would make one suggestion to the Paki Board. Immediately schedule a full five test and 10 ODI series with India, to get their team back in Form. Because who is more generous than the indian team in getting other teams/players into form, when they are rock bottom ”

    i not only second this, but propose that these matches be played in the usa. the proceeds should go to charity and to replace/repair all the houses and establishments that will be demolished in india and pakistan in the next few days! the matches should be shown free to those who paid $200 to purchase dish subscriptions to watch the world cup.

    – s.b.

  18. @browser:

    “..But, since the Sponsors and advertisors have crores of money to lose, if India doesn’t make it to super8 (they lose all the TV time which the six India Super8 matches would provide), i am pretty sure there is going to be efforts underway to see India through to Super8, through other means (dubious).”

    Excellent point methinks.

  19. Glad didn’t pay a penny on this(I almost did it today morning). Crashing out(hoping) of WC is probably the best thing that happened to indian cricket. Chappell will go, so will sehwag, SRT and dravid. Ganguly to be made captain again 😉

  20. Shock and Awe

    i dont have anything else to say.

    for god’s sake pls dont put the blame on chappell.all tv channels have started their rants against him for this loss.

  21. Why the hell wud anyone persist with Agarkar? he’s crap. They shud have taken the pace off the ball and got Sehwag and Sachin earlier. My dad lost his voice demanding Sehwag and Sachin. Bad batting. To me it seemed like Bangladesh was the hungrier team. Pakistan’s loss doesn’t make up for our loss. The days of India Pakistan cricket rivalry are over for me at least. I had thought Indian cricket has risen over that and now rivals with Australia. damn!
    But probably the loss will bring clarity to the team. the hunger wud be back and we’l win. what’s the harm in believing.

  22. I would say watching Sehwag’s consistent performance was priceless which word can not describe. A brilliant 2 run inning is what legends are made of.

  23. One of the good comments i read on TV; those SMS ones that come on NDTV/IBN marquee .

    “India should create a team of Bangladeshi immigrants. Atleast we will be ensured of super 8”


    How sad is one of that comments that Pakistan loosing is our saving grace. The team that boasts of Sachin,Sehwag,Dravid,Ganguly… et al.. needing Pak to loose to save face..

    Hope the 24X7 hype on *Team India* comes to a halt; atleast momentorarily.

    🙂 How about banning all the products endorsed by cricketers… the over-paid vazirs of India…

  24. I was waiting for your blog 🙂
    I have match ticket for India -Sri Lanka match as well, saddest part will be after the match, they will declare that India is out of WC.
    BTW which stand are you in 🙂

    191 was not a bad score, lets put it straight, Dravid as captain is not only a disaster it is a disgrace to the word “CAPATAIN”.

    Sehwag: Being overweight -non sporting does not matter, I am supremely talented.

    Ganguly: No pressure on me, so what if no one after me bats, slog it !

    Sachin: I am not opening ! I don’t know how to bat !

    Uttapama: Nice exposure, surely will get few endorsements.

    Dravid: If I did not perform, how can I command others. I am treated as Step-Captain !

    Dhoni: I am safe in the team, WC or no WC.

    Yuvraj: Waiting for the match to get over, will meet few more NRI chicks ! Life is a party…

    Agarkar: Why they still select me, whats so special in me.

    Harbanjan: Am I “straight” medium pace or spin bowler, I am little confused, Mr. Coach can you please help out.

    Zaheer: Is York-er a county in England !

    Munaf: Why Agarkar is in team !

    Mr. Coach, please please please tell me, Indians have done what wrong with you, your family etc. ….Kuan se janam ka badla le raha hai ….

    Where the hell is Bejan Daruwalla and his clan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Who the hell cares any more? I might stay up to watch Lara and Ponting. Is there anybody in the Indian team who can light up a match by himself?


  26. Greatbong, it is just a game. Err! Oops!!
    Atleast the Indian players thought so.

  27. Yeah, that $200 bucks sure is burning a hole in a lot of macaca pockets right now.

    2 years is more than enough for a comeback wouldn’t you saywog?

    I don’t even have a bad pun for the Dhoni fumble. Except that from now on I will lay claim to having coined the word “the Dhoni fumble”.

  28. Very well said. I was wondering if Munaf Patel has a mental block about opening the bowling or is it some process. He has been our economical bowler recently so why cant he start the bowling. Why Ajit Agarkar? The way that guy was bowling half volleys….damn.

  29. Well said. It’s not just the result, they never looked like a team that should win and against Bangladesh, that was unexpected. India aside, this is turning out to be an interesting world cup with NZ,SA and possibly SL having a decent chance of stopping the 3-peat. I am not regretting the dollars – and time – spent yet. Maybe I will change my mind if we lose to Sri Lanka as well.

  30. B’desh was quite brilliant; India somewhat idiotic from what I understand from the reports. Not worth more words, I guess. Thanks for the analysis. So long.

  31. You are very true when you say that there was no passion, even in pakistan’s match against ireland. ok it must be fine for the players to think that.. oh we’re playing against such a weak team, obvisouly we’ll win. but look what happened?
    you should have thought about the ‘blue billion’ and all those people out there who are doing so much to support their team, all the big wigs who have spents bazillions on them for thier endorsements. personally, my conscious would kill me.

    At least the pakistanis were there to give moral support, and lost to ireland. Goes to show that even after all these long years india and pakistan are still sukh dukh ke saathi.

  32. Didn’t you know that color blue is not suitable for them?. Pundits(literally) at indiatimes suggest orange color for them Add saffron or yellow color trousers and they can be extras in a govinda song

  33. The biggest losers are those companies who forked out astronomical amounts to get the boys-in-blue to endorse their products/services.

    Or the TV programmes that were scheduled with the bat-and-ball theme.

    I’ve even lost interest in Mandira Bedi’s ensembles.

  34. wonderful analysis..In your usual style..
    But the fortune of Indian cricket team varies like a sine curve..

    The only thing is the amazing consistency with which India continues to churn out records-good or bad

  35. I for one, am hoping our “Boys In Blue”(overweight slobs in blue) get kicked out of the tournament very soon. Sabke advertising contracts ko bhi cancel kar dena chahiye and the companies should distribute the amounts to the starving masses.

    I didnt bother buying the cable package and am glad to see it was a wise decision.

  36. Manu, the optimistic Indian fan March 18, 2007 — 9:11 am

    Look at it this way- the Law of averages. It can´t happen again in the next few (hopefully 10) matches that the top order fails and there is a dramatic collapse of the tail at the end. It could happen once in a while and it happened yesterday, not any more.

    So now its all exciting matches now- teach Bermuda a thing or two about cricket- Century from Sachin, fireworks from Uthappa, Yuvraj and also Mahendrilocks- if he gets to bat that is, and some cracko bowling from Patel and pathan.
    then its just about beating Sri Lanka by some margin (remember the home series)…

    Come on, we know it- there is nothing with our boys, – with some motivation, a bit of luck, and considering the fact that the tournament organizers can´t afford to have India eliminated before the S8, I am very sure that we have a bright chance this WC.

    So GB, worry not- thou shalt have your money´s worth. (though Pak bashing is sadly not to be had this WC). by the way, if you went for the famous $200 package on the net, just to let you know that there are scores of free sites on the net which telecast the matches just as well…

  37. @Footballnath and RichAndFamous,

    Just how does Pakis being out of the World Cup makes up for our nonsense?

    If them doing worse than us makes everything OK, then perhaps we should bomb each other and maybe we would have more people left at the end of it, and that would make everything tolerable I suppose. And better, we would never play cricket again and so no defeats either.

  38. GB,
    Good post.
    Its a really miracle how Ajit Agarkar still continues to be in the team .I remember at one time he used to be called, ‘Bharat ka durbhaag’…India’s misfortune !

    Dravid though a brilliant batsman sadly does not seem to have that special ability in him to be an effective leader of the team. He doesn’t seem to have any gameplan and definitely can’t read wickets .Ofcourse a captain can hardly do anything if his batsmen keep getting out on cheap scores.

    At the end of the day, a couple of teenagers outplayed and outclassed a bunch of overconfident oldies !

    @Manu,the optimistic Indian fan,

    Plz do let me know the names of the free sites on the net that telecast WC matches. I know a number of names come up on Google but none of them seem to work.

  39. Does Indian captaincy erode good sense ?

  40. Is it just a game!!!
    In India?
    “Never have so many placed so much faith in so few and been so shamefully let down.”

    Dravid once said some thing like :At the end of the day its just a game.
    That is sacrilege. With such a captain it would take a miracle to qualify after this pasting at the hands of Bangladesh.

  41. RasamOnTheRocks March 18, 2007 — 12:53 pm

    Hi GreatBong,

    My first comment on this site. Mithunism was your first post I read, and then I read all the rest from the history. Keep up the fantastic work.
    Just wanted to point a small statistic from the Indian innings – there were some 150 odd dot balls in our innings. Even if half of them were converted to only singles (not even 2s or more, only 1s) we would have at least 60-70 more runs. While B’desh did all the basics bang right, it was our gutless display that gave away the match. I still feel India will get back and win the other two matches and this group will end in a 3-way tie for qualifying into the Super-8s.


  42. Congratulations to the Bangladeshi team. I just hope that they had beaten a better team than their opponent who was out there. Those were not players but stars who can also play cricket.
    Maybe, this was just what these guys need. A kick in the back, to make them play better!

  43. GB, quoting from you Mandira Bedi post “Touting “Go India Go” as the slogan for this year’s corporate cheerleading (which may become “Come India Come” very soon).” And still you put in $200 – that is the problem, going “Hoo-Ha” about a downright mediocre product.

  44. Glad I haven’t paid the $200. Almost did and then thought I will let the first round go by and then re-evaluate. Now even if India makes it to the next round, I think I will just watch the Cricinfo page refresh…

    A friend of mine paid a bunch of money for the tickets/hotel to Caribbean. Now he is asking around if anybody has B’deshi/irish friends 🙂

  45. Chappell needs a chappall on his head. Dravid needs to hand back captaincy. More needs to be whipped in public for whatever experimentation drama he did. Sachin Tendulkar must be politely asked not to play anymore and save his sorry face (2011 it seems!). At this point, I think even the coolie association in Delhi railways will refuse a job for Sehwag.

    Jesus – god save this horrific team, and someone, someone please beat the crap out of chappell.


  46. Did you notice Crookinfo hardly mentioned Dravid’s dropping a catch? They mentioned the others plenty of times. At least they are loyal. Also lots of analysis, but hardly any criticism of the captaincy or the decision to bat first. In fact that decision was termed “a fair one.”

  47. Indian cricketers have forgotten how to play the game the way that it is meant to be played i.e. with passion.
    We might have the best sports analysts,the most advanced technical equipment,the best coach..but what we need is heart.
    This team, sadly,has none….the cricketers are just a bunch of fat cats.

    Another thing – this wasn’t an upset.BD won fair and square.The deliveries that flummoxed SRT and Dravid were really superb,their fielding was way better than ours and those kids upfront showed our so called “superstars” how to bat.

    In any case,only batting wont win any matches.It only gives you a third of a chance (the other being bowling , fielding,other intangibles).We some how concentrate on just that.We will never win with such a team or attitude.

  48. I echo same sentiments man .. shelled out $200 just before the game began ..and now am afraid, like you, that I will probably have only 2 more India games.. 😦

    You could see it from the Boys in Bangladesh team, the passion, the energy and the drive to win .. I didnt see that in the Indian Team ..

    But I know, its not over yet ..and I hope and wish that the Men in Blue come back stronger in the next 2 games ..


  49. India’s problem started long before this world cup. After Greg joined the Indian team, the ego of two individuals has completely destroyed the team. (the other individual can either be Ganguly or Wright)

  50. By the way, I did not get the title of this post first. hahahahahah. nice !!!

  51. My since condolences to Bob Woolmer’s family. Very sad such a great player/coach died under such circumstances.

  52. And now comments is asking WHY did Ganguly open the innings instead of Robin Uthappa? Why did Ganguly use 20 overs to score 65 runs (wasting 10 overs)? Why didn’t Ganguly bat up when he scored fifty?
    Hu Ha India, Go India Go

  53. Atleast Chappell would escape with his life….hopefully, I am convinced Woolmer has been done in by a crazed Pakistani nut.

  54. I hope India gets knocked out of the world cup. Its not the players , but the masses that have raised these pedestrian and low grade players to demigod levels. The result is not unexpected , this was long overdue.

  55. Bangladesh have arrived, but what went wrong for India?

    I present you three instances how India perceived Bangladesh cricket team before the match.

    1) SET Max channel airs a promo of their “Extraaa Innings” program starring panelists Mandira Bedi and Charu Sharma. They show 9 teams including the number ten in ODI ranking Zimbabwe but leaves out the number 9 Bangladesh.

    2) DD National channel airs “the Fourth Umpire”, a cricket analysis program. Their episode during the India-Bangladesh match contained Indian cricket legends like Chetan Sharma and Kris Srikanth among the panel. They were discussing how India will win this World Cup and which players will contribute to what extent. Then there was the public opinion section via telephone. An young Indian was asked “In last match Gibbs has hit six sixes an over. So what India will do today?” He said ” Dhoni will strike 7 sixes an over today.” How? “Bangladesh will produce a no ball which will be dispatched over the rope again.” Then the panelists were laughing at Bangladesh being a minnow and Srikkanth’s view seemed like they deserved the 7 sixes an over.

    Srikkanth dismissed any chance of Bangladesh causing an upset against this Bangladesh. Another panelist Anjum mentioned Bangladesh had beaten New Zealand in an warm up match. Srikkanth remarked all these are rubbish. There is a vast difference between India and Bangladesh so Bangladesh cannot win. India has come to win the world cup. If they loose today they should take the next flight home. Everybody was laughing. Chetan Sharma commented India should not take Bangladesh seriously. If India should respect Bangladesh then they should not have come to this World Cup.

    During the match break Srikkanth was upset with India’s paltry total of 191. After some discussions he commented that it was the Indian batsmen who gifted their wicket , the Bangladeshi bowlers had really did nothing special. Chetan Sharma thought that Bangladesh batting is not that strong. Srikkanth still thought that India should take the next flight home if they loose.

    After the end of the game as India lost to Bangladesh Chetan and Srikkanth were not there to comment. People were wondering whether they went to the travel agent to confirm the Indian team’s return ticket. Anjum, the another presenter thought that Bangladesh may cause another upset to beat Sri Lanka to provide a chance for India in the World Cup. Wow! what a complete turn around of assessment about Bangladesh.

    3) Bangladesh has toured every Test cricket nation except India. Because cricket is a business to them and having Bangladesh is commercially unprofitable. A tour with a said minnow is commercially unattractive for the media and advertisers. India last toured Bangladesh in 2004 December. Bangladesh has beaten India for the first time then. After that India cancelled their next scheduled tour to Bangladesh twice and did not play them in last couple of years. The reasons suspected was again commerce. So India chose to deffer it till May 2007. I am not sure whether they will come to Bangladesh or invite back Bangladesh as there will always be excuses available.

    So what can you say about the above instances? Simple arrogance and looking down on others has caused India this disgrace. As a saying goes “none are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves”. India has took their eyes off Bangladesh who progressed a lot in 2006. Their techniques got better and they are getting used to winning albeit most of the opponents were not from the super eight of Cricket.

    This simple arrogance also sieged the Indian cricket team who came to the field without in form Sreesanth and Kumble and decided to bat first probably with a score like 350 in mind. And the pressure on the players were immense as they found Bangladesh bowlers using the conditions and maintaining line and length. When Bangladesh was batting they just had no clue why these eighteen year olds were not respecting the paper tiger bowlers. While Bangladesh had a game plan they just had no plan “B” to tackle the surprise.

    Anand Vasu says in Cricinfo that:

    Bangladesh have slowly, steadily, doggedly worked at their cricket to the best of their ability for years now, and the fruit of that is this win. The point is that they have been around for a while now, it’s just that not too many have taken note.

    The Bangladeshi Newspaper Prothom Alo said this win is a reply to the Indian’s disrespect about Bangladesh. Bangladesh proved India that what is commerce to them is merely a game for them. The article concludes with the hope that India is put down on their feet with this shock. If they still cannot revise their opinion about Bangladesh they will be reminded in the coming tour.

    Now India will go nowhere with blaming players and the coach for this loss. Cricket is religion, passion and everything to Indians. Actually millions of Indian cricket fans deserves better from the Indian team. And this will happen when all the extra pressure of high expectations and influence of commerce in cricket are reduced. Let the Indian team play for themselves, not for the cup, but for the sheer pleasure of the game. India has enough good players to become a champion but now it may be too late for this World Cup.

  56. I knew it well before. It was written all over. I gave ‘them’ the remedy. Only the blind couldn’t read.

  57. bob woolmer couldn’t take it….how is Greg Chappell goin to take it?

  58. all the replies given above are wonderful…leaves one chuckling for quite some time.. so thanx to DRAVID n party ..for makin these replies possible…hahaha..n leaving no stone unturned in supporting Bangladesh to win the match… india supported once in 1971.. n history was Rahul n his guys were probably tryin to continue with the tradition n become HISTORIC figures.. n they hv fairly succeeded in that..

  59. Somehow this loss to Bangladesh reminds me on how Australia lost to Zimbabwe in the opening match of the 1983 WC . The aussies were too strong on paper.
    But the fact remains that that was a wet day in 1983 with a sluggish wicket and zim just had the right bowlers to whobble it around. The aussies didnt respect that n paid the price.

    We should have respected the fact that Bangladesh had 3 left arm spinners, so IMHO one of Sehwag or Uthappa should have been replaced by Irfan Pathan. After the match i can confidently say SEHWAG ! / IP plays spin well and the last time we were in SA , he scored many more runs that some other batters. and the wicket and the opposition were made to order for him. There was enuf swing and seam in the wicket all day, and all the bangladeshi players were using the stand n deliver approach ! The wicket was a 240 one , so Dravid should have been in at no. 3 once sehwag left and hez always better off anyways playing quickies before he plays spin. There was so much talk of flexibility n all , where did it all go ?

    There was also disharmony in the 1983 WC aussie team. Denis Lilee , Rod Marsh and Jeff Thommo detested playing under Kim Hughes. Even though the Aussies managed to beat india by 162 runs , they just couldnt get their act together and ultimately that loss to zim cost them a semi final place.

    I hope that there is no discord in the indian team at the moment , but there are plenty of ingridients for the recepie. The inclusion of Sehwag being the biggest of all. But it needs no genius to figure from the body language of the indians on the field that they were just not there. not looking anything remotely as a team. Dhoni dropping that dolly off mushfiq ur , Yuvraj and Harbhajan were casually chatting with each other with Tamim Iqbal going bonkers. Next when sakibul hassan had cramps , one wud have expected to see the indians huddle and egg each other on they could still pull it off, none of that was seen, Disturbed the hell out of an indian fan, zaheer wilted under pressure just like that WC 2003 final , except at the other end was someone half of hayden’s age n size

  60. Bob Woolmer’s death is shocking..Hope there isn’t any foul play here..

  61. GB,

    A few points.

    1> If you remember, I told you GTalk that India will crash out of WC if they lose to Bangladesh. I am not entirely surprised by this result.

    2> Bangladesh deserved to win this match. One Day cricket is predominantly a young man’s game and bangladesh beat us fair and square in all 3 departments of the game.

    3> The decision with toss showed a lot of immaturity. Can you imagine the reaction on different blogs had Saurav been the captain and taken this decision? Already Cricinfo is out on a mission to defend their golden boy. The most stupendously stupid sonofabitch amonsgt their cabal of sonofabitch Indian writers , both past and present (exluding Rahul, Siddhartha and to an extent Dileep), Anand fucking Vasu, writes, “the knives that have been sharpened for Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid will be driven in and twisted, a feeding frenzy will begin in bloodthirsty quarters.”
    Of course you cunt. Forgot the days when you and company trashed SG, projecting him like Emmanuel Goldstein of ‘1984’, along with the daily ‘2 columns of hate’?

    No its wrong to question Dravid and Chappell’s methods. Even thinking about it is tantamount to thoughtcrime! You are an immature cricket lover if you think like that. Only if Ganguly was in the place of Dravid, you could have expected a lacerating and scathing article. And these fuckers make fun of Bengali newspapers! They think that they are the high priests of Indian cricket writing. Look at the puke they publish regularly.

    Mofo Vasu adds, “Dravid’s decision to bat, with the world’s best batting line-up – on paper at least – and with Bangladesh lacking a [Michael] Holding or a [Jeff] Thomson, was a fair call.”

    Sounds like shit,doesnt it? A lame effort to save the shining light of their business model model from criticism. Doesnt our team have a reputation of chasing well? Doesnt the history of ODIs in the Carribean show a predilection for victors to be second time batters? What does the last match of Eng vs NZl show? Doesnt our overhyped batters renowned for quacking in their boots on a dicey pitch, regardless of if its Mortaza or Holding? How much would have Bangadesh scored if they batted first? 250 max if they played out of their skins. Chasable? Of yeah.

    And yes Rahul Dravid’s catch miss. As usual, its not to be mentioned.

    4> Why was Dinesh Karthik left out? Hes been such a revelation recently. He even batted well in the practice match. Robin Utthappa is a flat track bully. His tendency to hit through the line will mean hes a sitting duck on wickets with a bit of movement. But even then hes worth the gamble for the dividend he pays even if he fires 5 outta 10 times. So why was Sehwag given a chance at the top? Did RD and GC think that he would hit his way into form at the top of the order. Maybe they thought that they would treat Bangladesh like Holland and score 350 and get a lot of batting practice. In that case, it was clearly underestimating the opposition. Bangladesh had beaten NZl in the practice match and Aus in 2005. Or maybe it was just one of the umpteen esoteric steps in Chappell’s process which the common man cannot fathom.

    5> This blind faith on Harbhajan Singh has just gotta end. Even Ganguly was guilty of this. Small teams often find bowlers like Kumble a tough customer to negotiate. Plus India should learn from Pakistan and Saqlain. Even he faded away. Harbhajan is dead, yet they want to show him as alive. Romesh Powar should justifiably consider himself as distinctly unlucky.

    6> Ajit Agrakar is the greatest allrounder whom Indian Cricket lovers have never seen. As I had said once, a player like Mark Waugh played 3 World Cups. This is Agarkar’s third WC too. 🙂 What does that reflect? Bareness of the seam bolwing cupboard? Mumbai- Kar? Some players are just more lucky than others? You be the judge. I would however not blame Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He has age on his side along with a wonderful attitude. In a country which has such a dearth of talent, its not worthwhile to be harsh on someone like Dhoni. Better kick the ass of Tendulkar.

    7> Sri Lanka wont lose to Bangladesh. They generally trash smaller teams very well. So they have 4 points, as would Bangladesh. India needs some luck, like say any other match getting washed out, and/or, 2 victories. They will win over Bermuda. What about SL? Even if they win, there will be this run rate thing.

    8> Pakistan’s debacle is not surprising too, albeit it was unexpected. Cricket watchers would remmeber how they had been humiliated time and time and time again in South Africa on seaming wickets. I remember a phase from 93-2000 where Pakistan were routinely humiliated in seaming conditions by SA. Even in the last series, they were raped by Pollock and company on the pitches that exposed them. This time it was not South Africa, but when it comes to technique, their batters are worse than ours.

    9> Imran Khan said during the 1999 World cup that Australia’s initial harships convinced him that they would win as it reminded him of pakistan’s situation in 1992. Now analogies by their very nature, can be constructed out of thin air, and should not be much read into. The type of cricket on display in this world cup and 1999 Wc is radically different from previous editions. It is tempting to dream on that India will be back from this and make the super 8s. But we should ask ourselves, do we deserve to win this world cup? I mean every teams seamers gain in pace. All Indian seamers, from Munaf to Irfan have dropped. Irfan bowled at 105 kms in the last match. What a shame. Even then, the bowling has generally delivered. In batting, by a strange quirk of fate, the best batsman on current form, is the much maligned Saurav Ganguly. Hah. What an irony! I also want to see how sachin Tendulkar performs in the match vs Sri Lanka, now that its do or die. 2011 World cup! GB,if Sachin Tendulkar plays in 2011 World Cup, then Indian cricket lovers should stop watching the game itself.

    10> Finally, I should mention Bob Woolmer. When I first saw him a coach in 1996, there was a lot of stupid comments in the media about the fact that he was a laptop coach and what not! But what a coach he was! He taught South Africans how to use the sweep and play spin. He even made Pakistan better than what it was. Most importantly, unlike Chappell, he never indulged in favoritism. You had a feeling from reading his articles that he was a real thinker on the game, its microcosms, and nuances. He liked staying in the background and like the gentleman that he was, never reacted to the rants of Imran Khan against him. Most importantly, he was a radical and a revolutionary who questioned the existing rules, introspected and improvised. Maybe thats why he was a misfit in a team of inflexible individuals like Pakistan. I really wished that Woolmer was coach of India than Chappell. Cricket will be poorer without him. To be perfectly honest, even if India is knocked out, I will still watch the WC. After all I’ve missed very few games after the 1983 final. But somehow, I am not exactly as shocked by India’s loss to Bangladesh as I am by hearing that Bob Woolmer died. I salute him.

  62. Let me tell you – I’m very happy with India’s humiliating loss to Bangladesh, and I hope they exit the World Cup as well. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a proud Indian and still remember the night out celebrating India’s World Cup win what seems eons ago…but this crap has come to who sells what ad and who gets how much air time.

    Only with such an unprecedented (but not unexpected) first round loss will the Indian team be hauled and mauled by the junta, boycott the products they hawk, and force them shed the pounds of fat they have accumulated and start playing some cricket for a change.

  63. @yourfan

    Why do you have to use such language to get your point accross. In any of the match reports there is not a mention of sourav. plus when he was at the helm , he has had his bad moments, and he wasnt crticized each time , it was only when the faliures began to happen a lot too often, did he start getting castigated.

    why does all debate end up on a personal enimity kind of tone ? dravid vs ganguly , chappell vs ganguly , tendulkar is ENDulkar ? team india played bad and will be duly critisized. its not any individual performance that made us lose the game. the team as a whole just sucked ! how much is captaincy or coaching really going to matter if your top order score is 72-4 after 28 overs ? and your bowler keep bowling leg side ? and your spinner bowls 5 doosras and the batsem play him like they’d play a slow medium bowler ? Have we not scored better or bowled better before ?

    Woolmer would have done any different then what Chappell did , if you need proof, read his interview with Prem Panicker , one journalist who has a repuation of not manipulating or remixing any words uttered. Both Woolmer and Chappell emphasise on giving importance to form than repuation. Woolmer tried to do that with the pakistani team after he took over.

    But does our mentality really allow us to pick a squad purely on form and not reputation ?

  64. Arnab:

    I agree with you on most of your points except the following:

    1. The reading of the pitch. You saw the pitch on TV/Internet and concluded that since it had a tinge of green, Dravid should have chosen to bowl first. There’s more to pitch-reading than just the color. I’m sure Dravid has inspected pitches more than you, and yes he chose wrongly, but maybe you would have done the same too. You know what they say about hindsight.

    2. You forgot to mention the fact that all the batsmen (so-called superb players of spin) gave too much respect to the spinners. In my opinion, that’s where we lost the plot. The medium pacers did bowl superbly but the pitch also contributed. The spinners just bowled wicket-to-wicket, there was no appreciablr spin. Why didn’t the batsmen step out and try to unsettle the spinners?

  65. I just got drunk

  66. @Soumya: GB and other people do not need to be actually at the site of a cricket pitch to know that a green tinged pitch at a 9:30 start seaming a lot.The presence of the grass keeps the pitch from breaking up later in the day and so in the 2nd innings, there is not an increase in spin nor does the pitch become two-paced. Dravid may have inspected more pitches than us but that does not negate this bit of common cricketing knowledge. Incidentally, Dravid never denied that he did not think that there would be initially assistance for the seam bowlers . I agree with GB that inspite of knowing that, he went ahead with his plan as the thought of coming unstuck in front of Bangladesh was a possibility he did not consider.

    Too much respect to spinners? Dravid lost his wicket first ball to Rafique. Do you think he had time to respect his bowling? India were undone in the first twenty overs and without any momentum, it was impossible to go after the spinners. By your logic, the players have played more spin than you and when they did not up the scoring rate, there must have been some reason for that.

    @GB: Nice analysis. Horrible what happened to Bob Woolmer. If you have a chance, do listen to Mahatma More’s analysis of the India Bangladesh game. Idiocy has a human face. It is Kiran More.

  67. I really hope we are thrown out in Round 1.

    This team needs a catharsis – starting with the departure of Tendulkar who symbolizes reputation over form.

  68. Captain Haddock March 19, 2007 — 1:54 am

    Needed a forum to express my condolences to Bob Woolmer’s family for his untimely demise. Events like this puts cricket in perspective, that is, it’s just a game…….not as important as a person’s life


    Check this out. I have a feeling i know what your next post will be about! 🙂

  70. @yourfan,
    “…….The most stupendously stupid sonofabitch amonsgt their cabal of sonofabitch Indian writers , both past and present (exluding Rahul, Siddhartha and to an extent Dileep), Anand fucking Vasu, writes, “the knives that have been sharpened for Greg Chappell and Rahul Dravid will be driven in and twisted, a feeding frenzy will begin in bloodthirsty quarters.”
    Of course you cunt.”

    And more….”Mofo Vasu adds….”

    What’s with the language, Sir?

  71. Guys, while all the criticism of the team is justified, let’s not take anything away from the bangladeshis. It would be an understatement to say that they played out of their skins. The bowling was world class, especially the first 20 overs , their fielding electric, and attitude, absolutely fantastic. I doubt if more than 2-3 of the countries playing the cup would have tamed them on the day, especially batting first:)

    Though I do wonder if the new attention will be good for them in the long term. Bangladesh wanted desperately to be noticed by Indians as more than just illegal immigrants, and they have fulfilled their wish in the strongest possible way now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a new change, not necessarily for the better, in how we react to their minor ‘transgressions’ in the coming future…

  72. Dear Raj, no words are sufficient to abuse Dravid and his wise captaincy and his great team mates and whoever tries to support them. right now, I am searching english dictionary and google to find the most cussing words to describe about India’s performance.

  73. Arnab, I too feel the pain of India losing out to Bangladesh & facing eleimination in round 1. But I am sincerely hoping (atleast now) that India crash out of the World Cup. That will teach the ‘Models’ to be Sportsmen.

    And while the ICC World Cup is going on, India can tour Pakistan & then Pakistan can tour India.

    PS : For all that Dravid is, I didn’t think he would be stupid.

  74. Just one point – your most unkind on Sehwag. Him in a safari suit, peddling cash for licence, etc. Hey, Sehwag doesn’t look that dissolute altho’ he periodically threatens to do so. He’s playing a great innings against brave Bermuda – hence my comment 🙂

  75. @karim :
    Yes Sehwag is playing the innings of his life [does it matter that its against Bermuda? 😉 ]. Must have had Uthapam for breakfast 😀

  76. @All,

    I just learnt a great secret. I believe that when Sehwag played and missed early on, he got an SMS. No it was not from his Maa. The message read –

    “Jis toofan mein dushmanon ke hosh ud jaate hain,
    Us toofan mein hum chaddi sukhaate hain.”

    Jai Prabhuji. May you guide India to the Super 8.

  77. “why did you opt to bat first yada yada?”
    Dear Greatbongji, for the same reason, perhaps, that our own dada took to field in the WC final in 2003?
    Or, perhaps, Rahul didnt consult dada who would ofcourse have steered him away from such a stupid decision.
    I am disappointed you didnt mention this. But then ofcourse, what are the yourfans and myfans there for?

  78. What is Agarkar’s secret? How does he manage to stay in the team series-after-series without ever threatening to go better than “below-average”? Why dont they pelt stones at his house when he is clearly a weak link that pulls down the group? I mean, Sreesanth or Kumble in his place and we might have even made a match of it to the doughty bangla tigers. And why is Ramesh Powar not there? In my opinion, this is the man we are going to miss the most in the latter stages. Bangla even stand a good chance of semis given their 3 left-arm spinners. I mean, imagine South Africa chasing even 200 , and Razzak comes in the 8th over. Then Rafique in the 20th and Saqib in the 22nd. 30 overs of quality spin. Mind boggles – ihope I havent jinxed it by thinking aloud. Likeise for England, NZ or Ireland. Add up and a Bangladesh in Semis sounds real to me.
    That is why we would miss a slow bowler like Powar. He is crafty too, so what if he is portly and looks like he cant field – he’d be better value for money as a awesome-bowler-in-the-conditions. I am sure India will regret not taking him in place of one of Agarkar/Kumble/Bhajan/Sreesanth.
    Another selection I thought we’ll regret was Laxman because this team is full of rash stroke makers who will not have it in them to build an innings except Dravid. But Dada reassures that he is there to take care of that. So, Powar will be the selection India regrets not making.

  79. Manu, the optimistic March 20, 2007 — 12:56 pm

    They cometh…

    Faith, my friends, is of essence.. have faith..

    and to Tendulkar, the God
    Others abide our question, thou art free…
    Take a bow.

  80. @slashgod , ALL : What’s your take on the margin on India’s win against Bermuda? I think the bowlers ar awful and should have been able to defend 191 againsat Bangladesh & not allow Bermuda to score 150 runs (with Hemp remainining not out on 76 with a scoring rate of 72). If Bangladesh beats Bermuda by 120 runs (BL 250 v BER 130) then Bangladesh gets 2.4 NRR. And since they play the last match, they will know the stats before the game begins.

  81. @All: Sorry for not being able to reply to individual comments here and on the Bob Woolmer post. Work and whatever time is away from work is being spent on cricket. Just a point, the net RR seems to be calculated as an average. For instance, yesterday India’s margin of victory was over 250. Divide it by 50 and you get 5. Against bangladesh, we got a negative NRR of 0.135. So our Net RR should have been 4.9-ish. However it is 2.5..something because we have played 2 matches. The reason I mention this is that if bangladesh defeats bermuda by 120 runs their net RR is not 2.5 ! but (2.5 plus 0.14 plus whatever their margin will be against Sri Lanka) divided by 3. I may be wrong, but this is how I think it works.

  82. You are right GB, that is what surprised me. The way it looks like (source Cricinfo) that the Net RR is calculated by subtracting the RR for / against.

    I am eagerly awaiting your post on India’s chances of progression. I think we all are !!

  83. Oops GB, in my haste to post I don’t think I got you.
    The way the NRR is calculated is simply subtarcting the RR for & against.

    Sri Lanka:
    For Against
    — ——-
    321 78
    50 50
    6.42 1.56
    NRR = 4.860 (6.42 – 1.56)

    India :
    For Against
    — ——-
    604 348
    100 98.5
    6.04 3.53
    NRR = 2.507 (6.04 – 3.53)

    And so on.

  84. Arnab, you are spot on with the NRR.

    Net Run Rate explained

  85. Sorry about the long comment, and somewhat the repetition of what GB and Asterix have already mentioned.

    Net run rate is just your overall runrate in all matches – overall runrate of ur oppositions…. (ur total runs in all matches/ur total overs in all matches- ur oppositions’ total runs / their total overs..)…

    or u can call it as weighted average of net rates in individual matches (weighted over no. of overs played in individual matches)…

    thats why NRR of SL is bound to decrease bcz it will get averaged in multiple matches….

    and thats why it was advantageous for ur to bat first in Bermuda match… had we bowled bermuda for 100 first and then chased it in 10 overs (@ runrate of 10)… it won’t be as beneficial to us (even though in this case the difference of runrates is 10 – 2 =8… but since we played only 10 overs, it wont have contributed much to our runrate, as opposed to the case when we scored 400 in 50 overs (@ runrate of 8))

  86. i wanted to write ( @ runrate of 8 ) …. and wordpress made that icon in the end because i missed the space between 8 and ‘)’

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