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.