Pulling Down the Bermudas

67 Comments

As 270 pounds of quivering man meat flung itself through the space-time continuum, defying Newton’s assertion that gravitational force is proportional to mass, in the process giving us glimpses into the crazy world of sub-atomic particles, and plucked a catch out of thin air while the first time wicket-taker Malachi Jones weeped copiously out of disbelief or what Govinda would say “abhe yeh to zyada emotional ho gya” , the only thought that passed through my head was that God was punishing India for its sins—like exposing the world to Rakhi Sawant’s bouncers, selecting Agarkar for no rhyme or reason and for letting Rahul Gandhi get anywhere near a microphone.

But I was wrong. Within a few hours, cosmic equilibrium had been restored by a balancing disturbance in the force —another event not seen in light-years eons: Virender Sehwag scoring a century. And soon all the Indian batsmen joined in, thrashing one of the only true minnows in the competition to pulp, creating world records and displaying to all and sundry the awesome power of the greatest batting lineup in the world till the Bermundans looked as crumpled as a paper cup would be if Leverock jumped on top of it. But then it gave a flat bowling performance letting Bermuda accumulate runs and saw away at the score differential, which might given India’s precarious position come back to haunt us later.

Lest I be misunderstood, I am not trivializing India’s performance against Bermuda: they may be minnows and may have often looked like our Jadavpur University Computer Science department team but scoring 413 runs against anyone, even the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering team (which was worse than us of course) is no small matter. And India was under pressure and they have responded admirably to that: as a long-time Team Blue sufferer I can recall countless instances in the past where our boys in the same situation had just lost it.

So now the match against Sri Lanka. For those of us reminiscing fondly about the drubbing we handed to the Lankans a month ago, erase it from thy mind. The Lankans now have Chaminda Vaas whose record against India is stellar and the all-time-great Murali. We have seen the pitches in West Indies being pace-friendly, especially with a 9:30 start and Malinga, Vaas and Maharoof form one of the best seam attacks in the tournament —making Sri Lanka the favourites for this match. Sehwag’s performance in the Bermuda game will make him a certainty at the top: whether that will be a winning move, I leave for you to judge. Incidentally, in the Sri Lanka’s batting lineup, the man to watch out for is Chamara Silva, who reminds so many of the great Aravinda.

And so we wait for Friday, waiting for a subversion of a law of physics or two, hoping that while God may not care for all the injustice in the world, even He cannot ignore the crores of rupees corporations will lose as a result of India being eliminated.

Kuch karishma dikha do baba but kareena mat dikhao.

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67 thoughts on “Pulling Down the Bermudas

  1. I am really concerned about the ability of Indian bowlers. India needs to win the match against Sri Lanka even if its not by a big margin. Even if the batsmen post a great total, will the bowlers be able to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen? Or if India fields first, how much pressure will a high score put on the Indian batsmen?

    I think not able to defend 191 against Bangladesh & letting Bermuda score 150 (Hemp no 76, scoring rate 72) clearly shows the weakness in the bowling department.

  2. Greta post Arnabda, and a great title as well! 🙂

    Even after scoring so many runs the Indians were not safe and at a point I was scared that rain may ruin it all. And as you pointed out, the bowling left a lot to be desired, and that should be the team management’s main concern before the Lanka match. The batting looked perfect, and all we can hope for is a repeat of the India Sri-Lanka match of the 1999 World Cup at Taunton.
    The catch by Leverock was a beauty, and would put some of our “fit” players to shame any day.

  3. heeheee
    that Paras tomar dude is so Gay!!!

    I guess thats why hotties like Rakhi sawant dont mind showing thier bouncers to him.

  4. I caught the last 15 overs of India’s batting when I got back home last night. I noticed that Yuvraj hits all his shots in the arc between square leg & long on. Powerful as they may be (Queens Park Oval is a big ground), it does make me wonder if a side with better bowling will work him out easily.

    In the meantime, I am all set to go to Barbados in couple of weeks for the Super 8’s. By Friday I will know how much of India’s cricket I will get to see 🙂

  5. “hoping that while God may not care for all the injustice in the world, even He cannot ignore the crores of rupees corporations will lose as a result of India being eliminated.”

    And that in itself is enough to ensure that such an injustice will not happen. Look at the good fortune of these corporations so far. In the normal course of events, no one would have paid much attention India-Bermuda match. But thanks to India’s loss to Bangladesh, not only did that match become very crucial for net run rate, now even Sri Lanka-Bangladesh and Bangladesh-Bermuda matches have become vital for India’s chances and hence will be keenly watched by millions of fans. Three bonus matches thanks to one loss! Amazing or what. This same good luck will also carry India through to not only Super 8 but even to semis.

  6. We should have sent Bermuda packing for a 110-odd score; but Indian bowlers – who incidentally (with 27 extras) were the second highest contributors in Bermuda’s 156 runs – didn’t do their job properly. Wonder how they can stop better batting line-ups..

  7. Regarding your Agarkar comments Greatbong, here’s what his stats say:
    Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4 5 10
    ODIs 182 9022 7573 275 6/42 6/42 27.53 5.03 32.80 9 2 0

    For comparison, Zak’s average is 27.48 and Pathan’s is 25.91. Kapil Dev’s is 27.45 and Srinath’s 28.08.
    So that’s a pretty good ODI bowling record (not great, but India aren’t renowned for depth in bowling talent anyway), and forgetting all previous hype about him being Kapil’s successor in terms of all-round ability, etc., I think he merits selection on his bowling alone. He doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the test arena though.

  8. A clever title. Rakhi’s bouncers looked much like beamers – headed straight at the viewer – fabulous stuff! Thanks, GB.

  9. Me thinks, allowing bermuda to add 50 odd runs after 110/8 is going to comeback and bite us later.
    Anyway.

    Unless SA choke, the stage is already set for Aus-SA final; irrespective of whoever reaches super 8. And i think this finale is long due.

  10. Agarkar after 4 overs had given away only 12 runs.
    Good economy since zaheer had also given away the same number of runs.

    But agarkar might have made the batsman play something like 6-7 balls?

    Criminal waste of the new ball

  11. “Lest I be misunderstood, I am not trivializing India’s performance against Bermuda: they may be minnows and may have often looked like our Jadavpur University Computer Science department team but scoring 413 runs against anyone, even the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering team (which was worse than us of course) is no small matter.”
    Thats vintage GB.

    On a serious note, personally I think the selection of the playing 11 is going to require a huge leap of faith from the selectors large due to their own doing. Sehwag’s spot is up for grabs(I don’t think we should read too much into this century) but his replacement , someone like dinesh karthik, has had no match practice so far. Similarly in the bowling department- agarkar’s place is also up for grabs but both pathan and sreesanth have not played any “real” match. Depending on the result either decision will be labeled as intuitive brilliance or total stupidity.

  12. I am confused as to why Bermuda decided to field first after having won the toss !! They knew that doing so is inviting the Indians to pull down their Bermudas, as the title suggests ? :-). This world cup seems to be full of strange sinister events.

  13. Much as I like ganguly, his scoring rate was criminally bad, he gave away a maiden to Bermuda. What the hell. We could have scored 50 runs more if he hadn’t given so many dot balls away. It was seriously infruriating.

    And then he dropped a skyer, and thanks to some rubbish field placement, we gave away an extra 40-50 runs. At both ends we lost out for nothing.

    Agarkar was slammed for sixes by a pedestrian Bermuda team. I shudder to think what will happen when the likes of Australia or South Africa get a go at him. It will end his career, the way Manoj prabhakar’s chapter was closed.

    As for the Net Run Rate speculation, the only way India can guarantee a place in the super 8 is to squash Sri Lanka. They’re the only target that India can definitively play at, since the Friday match will be the last match for the both of us. Bangladesh will have a clear target, and are surely in because they’re playing with a bunch of amateurs with no real threat.

    Today’s match is extremely crucial for all three teams in contention.

  14. Yourfan writes:
    @GB: The frequency with which you are writing on cricket posts is awe inspiring indeed! I pray for India’s sake specially for crazy fans like you that India wins so that we can read more of superb one liners like Pulling Down the Bermudas!!!!

  15. Dear GB, on display of his captaincy skills so far in this world cup, Dravid is doubtlessly the worse captain ever India has. His field placements and player selection show the worst kind of decision making. I really pity Indian team now. Hope Dravid also steps down after the world cup.

  16. SEHWAG’s SON: Mummy mummy!! dekho papa six pe six mar rahe hain (Mom, Dad is hitting one sixer after another)

    .

    ….

    …

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    .

    .

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    .

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    SEHWAG’s WIFE: beta theek se dekho, advertisement hoga (Sonny watch properly, it must be an ad)

    Lolzzzzzzzzzz 🙂 🙂

  17. No worries. India will make it to Super8. There is too much of money at stake here from the Corporations (and that includes the seedy ones in Dubai). Losing India would mean loss of huge viewership, intrest in India. Now that cannot happen. So, things will be “arranged” to ensure India makes it through super8, by influencing the other two matches, involving Bangladesh. But, ofcourse, the team has got itself into such a hole that, it still needs to win the game against SL (forget the margin – Just a win). I doubt SL would be influenced to give away that game.

  18. Too many people are banking on the money factor and on some kind of corruption in the hopes that India will get into the Super 8’s. What the fuck is this? WWE?

    I don’t have too many hopes for India. If we’re put into bat first, it’s going to be curtains. Ajit Agarkar will be sodomised by Jayasuriya. Even if we manage to get them out cheaply, stumps will rattle when Sri Lanka’s pace attack unleashes its fury, when the Slinga Malinga unleashes his yorkers.

    Plus, Bangladesh will know EXACTLY how much to score to make it into the Super 8s.

  19. and then you forgot to mention our beloved dada’s 130 ball 90 runs thingy against the truest of the minnows who can for sure qualify for the part-time wwf professionals 🙂 Forget the Karishma, dada, the GOD is in the mood to do a little O-o-N-g-L-y; jussssst for FUNNNNNNN!!!

  20. @slashgod:
    “Plus, Bangladesh will know EXACTLY how much to score to make it into the Super 8s.”

    How does that matter? If India beat Sri Lanka, then the only way Bangladesh can progress is by defeating Bermuda by a huge margin. If Bermuda bats first, then its impossible for Bangladesh because of the way NRR is calculated i.e. even if Bangladesh score 100 runs in 10 overs, the calculation for NRR will be for 50 overs.

    Does that cheer you up?

  21. @vuttaa:
    Hope you are not forgetting that Dada was playing the sheet anchor role. Yes his scoring rate was low but Uthappa was already back in the dressing room sipping lemon juice.

    What is required is someone to play through 30-35 overs. The batting department is a big concern but the real problem India will face is in its bowling. How many sixes did the ‘truest of minnows’ (as you call it) hit in Agarkars bowling?

    Irfan Pathan is a better option …atleast he can bat.

    Agarkar should be out & the extra bowlers load shared between Sachin, Sehwag & Ganguly.

  22. @asterix: That is not true. If BD scores 100 in 10 overs, then only 10 overs will be considered for NRR calculation. It is only when a side gets all out that it is considered as 50 overs. However, it *is* true that BD can’t improve the NRR by much by batting second against Bermuda. They will have to bat first like SL and India did.

    Anyway, all that is moot given the thrashing SL is giving them right now. There is no way they can catch up with India or SL’s net run rate. All that India needs to do is to beat SL on Friday and carry 2 points into Super 8.

  23. @slashgod:
    “Too many people are banking on the money factor and on some kind of corruption in the hopes that India will get into the Super 8’s. What the fuck is this? WWE?”

    No, it is cricket run by suits of corporations like Pepsi, LG, Hero Honda etc.

  24. Seems the idiotic Indian batsmen had given too much response to Bangladesh bowlers. Srilankank batsmen are playing them very easily and scoring at 7 runs per over. I sincerely pray that India crashes out in the first round itself so that we can get rid of rubbish players like Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag, and Agarkar.

  25. @Mohan:
    Thanks for the correction. Even if Bangladesh bat first, they can’t post a big score like Sri Lanka & India did. Ofcourse their NRR is taking a beating in the ongoing match against Sri Lanka. India just need to beat Sri Lanka to go to the next round. Million Dollar question is, will they?

    And you are so right in your reply to slashgod. Who would have thought Woolmer’s death to be suspicious.

  26. @Mohan: I am not clear. Why do you say that BD cannot improve NRR by batting second? What if Burmuda (batting first) score 100 runs in 50 overs or get all out, and BD make 101 in 10 overs (may be loosing 9 wickets)?

  27. Oh sorry I got it.. I confused because I thought that the NRRs are not individually added for each game but the total runs scored for and total runs against are computed for all teams together.
    If BD bats second they will have a target of a fixed score in very limited overs (which may not be practical). However if they bat first, they can play all 50 overs and score huge runs.

  28. Jayasuriya has strained his ankle !!
    Is this what the corporations want or this this Kishor & his South Indian brigade praying 8)

  29. @Amit: exactly. Consider this simple example. Let’s say a team has a NRR of 0 after two matches having conceded and scored exactly 500 off 100 overs. Now, if they bat first against a team like Bermuda, they can easily score 400 and dismiss them for around 100 taking their nrr to 2.0 (900/150-600/150). However, if they bat second, there is no realistic way of taking the nrr from 0 to 2. If they dismiss Bermuda for 100, they will have to score the runs in 0 overs (yes!) for their overall NRR to be 2. If they dimiss Bermuda for 200, they will have to score the runs in 5 overs and so on!

    This is a flaw in the NRR in that it favours team batting first.

  30. Call me the eternal optimist, but I think that losing to Bangladesh was a good thing for this team. This was a wake-up call which was delivered at the right moment. India now needs to win against Sri Lanka (after today’s beating against SL, Bangladesh will need to win against Bermuda probably by a margin of 400 runs) in order to qualify for the super8 stage. True, its a must-win situation, which could have been avoided if India had won against Bangladesh. On the positive side, it will bring out the do-or-die attitude in the team, and unless they succumb to the nerves (which I am hoping they won’t), they should win this match and stay alive in the tournament. In the process they will carry crucial 2 points into the next stage by virtue of their win against SL, and bury the ghosts of the Bangladesh loss.

  31. Well at least now we have to simply defeat Sri Lanka. With the negative RR Bangladesh has, it will be indeed tough to beat India’s NRR. Now Sri Lanka vs India: simple win situation. As I said watch out for Chamara Silva.

  32. GB, it is interesting that you mention Chamara Silva. He to me looks like the best batsman to come out of Sri Lanka in a long time.I also think he shapes up to play shots in a manner reminiscent of Aravinda,although I feel that Aravinda was even more severe on short stuff.Also the cricket classic videos I have seen of Rohan Kanhai are somewhat similar(although Kanhai had a bigger flourish).Looking forward to Friday…..

  33. Yeah, dump Agarkar. For too long he’s been an alleged all-rounder only there because of his sigra daddy Sachin. back to Shivaji Park my friend…

  34. The way, India is bowling, I dont have much hopes in the game against SriLanka. Agarkar is uninspiring, and Pathan is out of form. Zaheer isnt so good a bowler and Munaf is inexperienced. ONly in Kumble, do we trust.

    The worst part is that Sehwag scored a century and he will now stay in the team. !! When in fact, even against slow medium pace Bermudan bowling, Sehwag was often beating outside the off stump. It seemed like he would soon edge or scoop a catch. It was just that Bermudans neither had experience nor skill to get him out. See how easily some other team gets him out…

  35. Me thinks it’s a Win-Win situation for both India and SL. SL bangega CrorePathi and India jayeega Ashtapathi. As for SL, they have nothing to lose and can beat India easily (instead of facing SA or Australia) in case they meet at the semi-finals. So maybe we can expect JayaSuriya to be ruled out of the match due to injury. BTW Malinga’s bowling action is dubious! I think India has to quibble over his bowling to the umpire.

  36. What is your opinion on this? Interesting that a MSNBC correspondent who has little or no knowledge about Cricket goes on to compare Basketball and Cricket, and how Cricket has hooliganism – but pray, March Madness does not :D. And I thought NBA was concerned about players killing each other, specatators and the likes just a few months back…

    S

  37. Attention GB!!
    Have you been reading your favourite authors in Cricinfo? Some samples –

    Anand Vasu
    Sourav Ganguly, who has rattled off one half-century after another since his comeback, must not be thinking about whether the end of India’s campaign might be a good time to gracefully leave the game. He should not be thinking of whether he can end this series on the top of India’s runscorers list. He has to be thinking of the fight he put into this Indian team, of the manner in which he has reinvented himself and forced his way back into the team. His is a career where he has made things happen. Now is as good a time as any to make something happen.

    Rahul Bhattacharya
    Hundreds of millions will spend a sleepless Friday night before their television sets as the team that could be dubbed ‘commercial favourites’ fights to stay alive in a World Cup that seems ages old but has in fact barely begun. “What happens to India if they lose?” Rahul Dravid was asked the day before. “We’re not even thinking about the possibility,” he replied. Much easier said than done.

    No match in the first round of this tournament has been invested with this much significance. Not even death puts things into perspective for the Indian fan or the media. Besides, the financial viability of the tournament for a huge range of enterprises rides on Indian success, a point the players are not allowed to forget for a moment. The pressure on Dravid’s team is much more than merely that of their increasingly well-oiled opponents.

    and the mother of all pieces by Sambit Bal
    Yes, India not making past the first round would be a huge setback. But it would be accorded the status of a national calamity. It will be discussed in Parliament. Television channels will conduct inquests. Effigies will be burnt, cricketers’ homes will be attacked, and these will be gleefully publicised. A couple of months ago, Greg Chappell was slapped on the back by a man in Bhubaneswar seeking his fifteen seconds of fame. He was obliged. It could get worse. Someone could get killed. Perhaps someone has already been killed.

    As an Indian, I would like India to win the World Cup. But it might not be such a bad thing for cricket if they were to be knocked out in the first round. Cricket needs a reality check. It has an unhealthy, and unsustainable, business model that relies primarily on an increasingly delusional and one-dimensional fan-base. The bubble has to burst for a semblance of sanity to be restored. We must learn to once again enjoy cricket as a game.

    I think the Cricinfo brigade is sensitising the reader for a possible Indian exit because all this is only a game. My foot. If GB’s 11 play my 11 in some park in Maryland and the losing team treats the winning team for beer, then its a game. Not when you are paid to play the game. Not when I pay to watch the game.
    We Indian fans are murderous lot, envying the cricketers because they have posh bungalows, drive sexy cars and sleep with the most desirable women. We are crass and crude and dont understand the game and its finer points. We are waiting with bludgeons to strike down their houses. Yeah! right! Let me develop a taste for the “the ball was not coming on to the bat” line much like the way I developed a taste for bitter tasting beer and the pungent scotch.

    Consider this Arnab, your blog’s content is free, nobody pays you to read the blog, perhaps you shell out money from your pocket to pay the hosting site. Yet you take criticisms. But our boys in blue are so tender, they play just a game, get paid to do(?) it and are beyond question. If questioned, the fault is on the fan – idiotic, bigoted, green with envy and not appreciative of finer points. As long as you have Cricinfo and people saying “its just a game”, the ninnyhammers in blue are going to be walloped and the worst part is, it will be glossed over. Afterall it is just a game. What a sham. What was that talk about being professional like the Aussies?

  38. @Suyog

    I do not understand why Tim Dahlberg is compelled to announce to the world his ignorance of cricket, politics and other things.

    “cricket is taken so seriously in Pakistan that members of the Pakistan Cricket Board report directly to the country’s president.”

    Now that is not a function of the importance of the game of cricket in Pakistan. Rather an outcome of Pakistan’s political status. In a dictatorship, everybody reports to the supremo!

  39. Hurray, India lost…….but hey wait, now the fools are talking about India going to the next round if Bermuds beats Bangladesh. You can fool the Indian Cricket fans all of the time it seems.

    Enjoy the World Cup 😀

  40. @Sriram,

    “…If GB’s 11 play my 11 in some park in Maryland and the losing team treats the winning team for beer, then its a game. Not when you are paid to play the game. Not when I pay to watch the game.” Very well put boss.

    @GB,
    Let’s have a rant soon. One last time…

  41. Three more farewells:

    1. Greg Chappell

    2. Captaincy of Rahul Dravid

    3. Fighting spirit of Team India gained during 2002-4

  42. @Stone
    I beg to differ. If Bermuda wins (high hopes!!!), they also will have 2 points alongwith India and B’desh. Then the team with better NRR will go to the next round.

  43. GB! Posting this after the pathetic performance of India. Agree with Anirban & Sriram. Wonder which DeBono hat Guru Greg is wearing now!!!!!!!

  44. @ Sriram: all this is retrospective reaction to Woolmer’s death. It is best if the fans treated this as a game. Criticisms I believe would be welcome to the players, yes, but not physical harm. The players being professionals and fans taking this as a game are two different things.

  45. @Sriram,
    Criticism is one thing, and breaking people’s houses and burning their effigies is completely another. You want Indian players to emulate the Australians’ professionalism – well how about you try to emulate the Australian fan? Just because some morons in Jharkand drank Pepsi and thus “paid to watch” the cricketers (note: your taxes do NOT pay them) does not give them the right to attack Dhoni’s house.

    Mukul Kesavan wrote a great piece on lines similar to Sambit Bal’s: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/The_Desi_Fan/articleshow/1790380.cms

    “…… They’re different because India is a nation of losers: its teams win at nothing but cricket. Two, because cricket fans from outside the subcontinent have generally played some outdoor sport, they have some practical experience of how difficult competitive sport is….”
    Care to dispute this?

    Oh and yeah…that piece that you quoted from Anand Vasu’s article has similar paragraphs about Tendulkar and Dravid as well. If you want to knock Cricinfo’s bias, do quote the entire article, and not just a few lines that you perceive to be insulting to your hero

    I’m rooting for Ireland next….after I booze myself to sleep tonight. Oh, it hurts!

  46. I am as irritated by Greg as anyone else. But suggestions that Cricinfo is sensitizing Indians to cope iwth forthcoming defeat is ill-conceived. The idea seems to be leverage on reatbong’s previous criticism of Cricinfo as a Dravid-stooge. I dont think there is anything malicious in suggesting that Saurav played a bad shot yesterday and Sachin got a real good delivery.
    Saurav was, infact, right in going after Vaas and bad luck that Dav Whatmore had taunted Muraltiharan only the previous day “that he was too old to field in the circle”!
    It was a bad shot, yes, but that was necessitated by the situation. I dont think we should be looking at Cricinfo looking for dada-baiting incessantly. This is just fan-talk.

    It would be preposterous to suggest that Dada with his tactical genius could have inspired india to win in the same circumsatances( nobody has said that here yet but it is lurking somewhere between the lines). Dravid was tactically bad yes but his resources also let him down. Oh! how he must be wishing that he had a “just-below-peak-Sachin” and “at-his-peak-Dravid” under his command like Saurav-da did! Sometimes when able deputies rise to leadership positions, they fail because they dont have as able deputies as they were to their boss- that doesnt mean the boss was a superior boss and the erstwhile deputy is a bad boss – simply meanst hat Ganguly was lucky ot have an able and dedicated Dravid as VC while Dravid doesnt have a similar luxury. Dravid is not a great captain but to suggest that Saurav was better is to ignore Dravid’s contribution to that and also lack of appreciation for the latter’s honest toil.If RD had as able a deputy as SG had, RD would have been just as succesful. I dont think SG would have been as succeful without RD as VC.Basically, the SG-RD combo did it for India and it is bad luck that GC came and broke it down and all fell tumbling after…
    United we fall, divided…

  47. Ravi –
    I never justified attacking the cricketers’ houses. I was only pissed off with Cricinfo’s “I am right, you are wrong and if you dont agree to that you are idiotic and a person with loose morals” standard.
    Oh yeah, I read Mukul Kesavan’s armchair rant that India is a nation of losers. No, I dont care to dispute it.
    About Anand Vasu’s piece, I did not quote the entire article, but had given link to it. Lets consider similar damning pieces on the great Tendulkar and the ever right Dravid. It is taken for granted that the two are selfless and supremely talented and that their efforts go unappreciated in India. It only says that the two must overcome silly mental block and perform. But in Ganguly’s case, though he plays well, it somehow becomes that he is playing for his self and is considering retiring on a high note. Similar to the way Outlook covers politics – Congress’s mistakes are always tactical and can be attributed to political naïveté but BJP’s mistakes are due to idealogical bankruptcy and sinister plans.

  48. Ok, let me try to emulate the Australian Fan. Geoff Boycott writes in Outlook

    So this Australian team had better shape up. If they go home from the Caribbean even as honourable runners-up, there won’t be a soul to welcome them at the airport. And I am not even going to begin on the clobbering their media will hand out to the team. That is the nature of the beast—it is not interested in finishing second. Think back to when India made the final in 2003—and played their worst game of the tournament. They batted and bowled like lemons, and were feted as heroes at home because they had at least reached the final.

    Well, the Australians would rather play ugly and win rather than put up a marvellous fight and lose. Honourable losers? No one gives a toss!

  49. I posed this query on another blog – any idea how we got to be such a cricket obsessed nation? Why cricket and not lets say tennis or squash or something else? Also, who decides what our “national game” is? What makes a game a national game?

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