Jelly Beans And The Fab Four

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The British lions vicious intimidatory tactics backfired on them spectacularly as insulted by their throwing of jelly beans at him while he was batting, Zaheer Khan ripped through the English line up with the second new ball.

Yes you heard me right. The English fielders (and Pietersen was the prime suspect) threw jelly beans at Zaheer Khan in a display of mature gamesmanship, though why the throwing of jelly beans touched a raw nerve in Zaheer I cannot say except that maybe he thought they were referring to a certain part of his anatomy.

India’s Zaheer Khan has claimed that the prank played by England’s fielders inspired his five-wicket haul in the second npower test at Trent Bridge.

Zaheer was batting on Sunday when a number of jelly beans were thrown onto the wicket – an action he described as “insulting”.

An angry Zaheer was then seen brandishing his bat in the direction of Kevin Pietersen at gully, with match umpires Simon Taufel and Ian Howell subsequently speaking to England captain Michael Vaughan about the incident.

But the left-arm seamer had the last laugh on Monday, Zaheer taking five wickets for 74 as England were dismissed for 355.

Of course, it could also be that the jelly beans referred to “crack cocaine” (one of whose street name is jelly beans) and from the looks of the umpiring (possibly the worst seen in recent times) with consistently outrageous decisions, one could be forgiven in thinking that the umpires were under the influence of strong hallucinogenic substances and were the ones responsible for the presence of the jelly beans in the playing arena.

However all’s well that ends well and it was spectacularly gratifying to see a strong opening partnership on foreign soil and in adverse batting conditions setting up the game for India. Not to mention the nostalgia-tinged joy of seeing the much maligned Sachin and the even more monstrously maligned Sourav Ganguly, in the twilight of their glorious careers, push back the years and anchor a victory. Of course the joy was tempered with the realization that with the Fab Four in the last lap of their careers , an yawning gap will soon be left in the Indian middle order and that the man who will have to bear the baton is cooling his heels in the dressing room, possibly eating jelly beans, losing in the process the most productive years of his career and the chance to ease himself into a responsibility that will inevitably be his.

The solution is a tough though simple one. By the end of the series, one of the Fab Four will have to be put to pasture—possibly migrating to the cash-lined green fields for the aged and infirm (also known as the India Cricket League) —leaving a permanent spot for Yuvraj Singh.

But which jelly bean shall it be?

[Totally unrelated update: Sachin Tendulkar reveals the secret of good, tension-free partnerships with Sourav Ganguly here.

He (Sachin) singled out Sourav Ganguly’s innings of 79 as solid and described the player as “terrific”.

“He looked very solid. To me he is a terrific player. It is a treat to watch him. So many times I talk to him in Bengali which takes pressure off us,” he said.

]

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53 thoughts on “Jelly Beans And The Fab Four

  1. In my humble opinion, it’ll have to be the maratha amongst the fab 4 that’ll have to be the jelly bean that goes…I say this inspite of his innings at the trent, coz even a layman can tell you that his time seems up.

  2. you had problems when our kiran more was trying to do the same… in all his good faith…

    but seriously, if this has to be the case, then I guess it will be Laxman, simply because his supporters are least vocal…

  3. how about all four?

    whoa….no.. waitaminute!

    <great-idea>
    how about all of them? so that we can spend some good money on domestic cricket?
    </great-idea>

  4. I guess its gotta be Tendulkar. Without taking away the credit from his Trentbridge innings, one needs to remember how he was gettin beaten by evry third delivery from Sidebottom. His occasional flashes of brilliance does not quite make up for the overall scratchiness of his batting of late – guess we gotta be mentally prepared to bid adieu to the master sooner than later. Though I can’t quite imagine Indian cricket without him – frm the time I have started watching cricket, Tendulkar adjusting his guard has been a constant image….i guess, all good things come to an end (sigh)

    GB,on a different note, wats ur take (if any) on Sanjay Dutt’s sentence?

  5. Hope the media doesn’t go overboard with this victory

    Zaheer & Saurav – excellent
    Kaarthik, Laxman, Jaffer,RP Singh – good
    Sachin, Dravid, Kumble – avg
    Dhoni – ok
    Sreeshanth – needs a haircut & head examined & feet too!

  6. Difficult to imagine an Indian team without Tendulkar. Nope. He has cricket left in him. Couple of years more, at the least.

    There – I have said it. Out with the bricks and bats.

  7. Hold on folks, India is still very capable of spilling the beans, there is another test to go. Me thinks, the victory at Mumbai court room was bigger then the victory at cricket field. Keeping and delivering a sane verdict under so much pressure from the “enlightened media”, that is the real stuff.

  8. Hey if jelly bean is the solution than lets give all the english players all kind of beans they want eg. jelly, backed, masala , cheeze.
    and let them throw it to every Indian player.

    Then India will storm the English team.

    Thanks,
    Tarzan

  9. I don’t think any of the big 3 should retire. They have proven again and again that when the chips are down, India can only depend on them. A waning Tendulkar, Ganguly, and Dravid are still better than all the alternatives that have been paraded before us during Greg Chappell’s era as likely replacements. The only exciting new find is Karthik. But there too, I have no doubt that Sehwag is a better opener in tests – regardless of his loss of form. I cannot see Karthik (and certainly not Jaffer) turn a match on its head like Sehwag can.

    As for Sachin and Sourav, did it escape everyone’s notice that they were the highest scorers in the match for India? And that most of our score in the first innings was based on the opening partnership and the way the these two oldies batted. Granted Sachin had a torrid time against Sidebottom, but he did not get out, and that is what is important. Sourav was majestic – solid and confident, without any discernible weaknesses.

    How do you replace these guys?

  10. Uh, why does Yuvraj warranty a place in the team? He has not demonstrated any competency against swing and pace bowling so far. I wouldn’t mind all four being put out to pasture, with Manoj Tiwary and co being thrust in their place though.

    On the jellybean thing, the most likely culprit was Alastair Cook, who was fielding at forward short leg… rather stupid prank to play and I’m glad they got their heart ripped out by Zaheer. Only wish he’d taken Pietersen too, but RP bowled those two beauties for KP and Prior.

    Anyway, time to silence the poms for good now. Bring on the Oval!

    PS: Tendlya talking in Bengali? I’m impressed! Dada should learn a bit of Marathi now, and I get the feeling a few opponents will start to beg for mercy!

  11. I don’t think it will be one of Saurav, Sachin and Dravid. They have huge contracts with sponsors (personal and team) and no sponsor would like to loose any of them through retirement and neither the players would like to loose huge sums of money. I guess we will see lot more of them may be, for couple more years. Sorry VVS!

  12. BTW, anyone notice that even after the sledges and jellybeans, and the England coach agreeing that his players’ conduct “got out of hand”, and the match referee and umpires “taking notice” of England’s actions, the only one against whom action was taken was Sreesanth?

    Some things never change. I was expecting action against Sourav as well, given his expression after being screwed by Taufel, but I suppose now that he’s not captain, he’s not that juicy a target. Of course if it was Steve Bucknor, it would be another story.

  13. Ah,Arnabda…. a cricket article at last … I infact came in to your blogsite to request one for the Sreeshant’s seamer beamers …. jelly beans however seems to be the darling of the Brit tabloids …. I wonder what will happen if Indian players start throwing lumps of Dabur Chawanprash at Michael Vaughan in the next test !
    That guys Sreesanth needs to cool down though ….he apparently is from the same town in Kerala as my wife and I can totally see where he gets his violent side from …. that chap needs to chill with some Chilly beef fry and a bottle of Chivas Regal duly bought from Dubai airport duty free !

  14. My perfect Indian cricket-11 would be:

    Rahul Dravid (captain)
    VVS Laxman (VC)
    Anil Kumble
    Sreesanth
    Robin Uthappa
    Dinesh Karthik (WC)
    AT Rayudu
    L. Balaji
    S. Badrinath
    S. Sriram
    Sourav Ganguly (for GB’s sake)

  15. Nitpicking here – but apparently Pietersen was blameless in this case since we was no where close to the pitch. Cook had the best chance to scatter them beans. Perhaps Zaheer was playing a mind-game of his own by targeting Pietersen πŸ˜‰
    But overall, the aggression shown by the English has been really silly and childish (India’s too in response). If England think they can pull it off against the Aussies, they have another thing coming to them.

    Curiously no one has mentioned whether placing foreign objects on the pitch can be construed as pitch tampering ?

  16. Maybe they meant to distribute jalebis to celebrate the inevitable Indian victory, & mispronounced it to jelly beans.

    Anyway, the British press, or at least The Guardian, has been very snarky about the Indian team in it’s reporting. I lost a lot of respect for them.

  17. all’s well that ends well
    This is a particularly historical moment in the 75 glorious years of Indian cricket – this the fifth test win in England. That is more than what we’ve won anywhere else in the world (except at home)

    cash-lined green fields for the aged and infirm (also known as the India Cricket League)

    It certainly looks that way now! When this thing was announced I was hoping this thing turns out to be something like club football, but Subhash Chandra seems to be having a tough time “convincing” BCCI

  18. The insult behind the jelly beans lies in the fact that they are used in county cricket by fast bowlers to help retain the shine on one side or make one side of the ball heavier than the other and thus achieve more pronounced swing. Remember Dravid was reprimanded once by ICC for using spit on the ball when he was chewing lozenges?

    Zaheer having spent time in the counties obviously knows the significance of jelly beans and the insinuation therein. No wonder it got his goat!

  19. I guess Karthik is commendable. Surprisingly for his age, he seems to know his limitations. That he is not the next big thing who makes women weak on their knees like Yuvraj, Irfan or Dhoni used to be also helps. No matter how he well performs, the poor boy seems to be always a couple of bad performances away from oblivion. That sort of knife-over-your-head setup seems to work well. I guess India’s success depends on finding 10 such knives for the other 10. Or rather 11 faceless team players.

  20. @ Rohit:
    err…Sachin is not a Maratha. He is Maharashtrian. Maratha is a caste. Caste-wise, SAchin’s a GSB (Gaud Saraswat Brahmin), like Gavaskar and Vengsarkar.

    @ GB: It would be interesting to see who goes first. I have a feeling it might be VVS, because he is out of the one day team anyway, it may be easier to ‘phase him out’. Sad, but there it is…

    Yuvraj has consistently flattered to deceive. Just when you feel like anointing him as the next best thing, he will loop a shot to point.
    But with Greg Chappell looking at grooming youngsters, Indian cricket is in safe hands…heh.

  21. Sadly, yes, one of the fab four , maybe 2 need to go now.VVS is sure to go soon.Sad but true. I will not be surprised if he announces retirement after this series like Martyn did.
    But Yuvraj Singh is certainly not the answer – look at Karthik, and the attitude to learn he brings. Yuvraj is just coasting on talent – and what monstrous talent he has – but not making efforts to bring the best out of himself.Goes ith the territory. With thaose looks, and the associated opportunities, you can hardly expect him to work on his game and be the next Dravid when he can simply afford to perform just enough and spend time on fun.
    Karthik, in my opinion, has it in him to be the next Ravi Shastri, if not Dravid or atleast the elder Waugh. But for that we need to be forgiving of a mid-career slump – that is to say, we should allow him to fail in a whole series ands till not drop him once – but sadly, he will be dumped after the first time he goes without a 50 in 2 consecutive tests. While Yuvraj will continue to enthrall with outstanding centuries once in 20 matches and useless cameos in others.

  22. @Tipu –

    Half of the Brits themselves don’t have much respect for the Grauniad (which is what they call it since it is riddled with spelling errors!). For them it is one step above the Daily Mail, which is not saying much…

    @Sriram –

    We need 11 ugly players then! πŸ˜€

    @Everyone Else –

    Also, in the spirit of Kaho Naa Massacre Hai by GB himself, I’ve set the events of the Trent Bridge test to the tune of Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation. Anyone who wants to take a look can head to my blog (shameless self promotion, yes). πŸ™‚

  23. As long as anyone is contributing he should be retained. If all fab fours are not doing well then all of them should be ‘sehwag-ed’ at once. Or at least one by one. As long as we don’t have confidence and guys to replace them they will continue.

    Fab 4 that we are talking about are I guess Sachin, sourav, rahul and laxman. Then what about Anilbhai? Actually speaking we have found out the right replacement as Piyush chawla.

  24. @Raj:

    “Karthik, in my opinion, has it in him to be the next Ravi Shastri, if not Dravid or atleast the elder Waugh.”

    At least the elder Waugh? Are you insinuating that Ravi Shastri was better than the elder Waugh? That’s an astonishing statement to make, really.

    Karthik becoming a Ravi Shastri? God I hope not!

  25. Aditya –

    @Sriram –

    We need 11 ugly players then! πŸ˜€

    Not exactly. We already have them. The media and us should stop promoting them as the hottest alpha males. Seriously, the ad agency that thought Dhoni should endorse fairness cream for men should be banished to hell. Alongwith the guys who shot the “aur me bangaya Dhoni” ad. Like this Blog’s masthead reads slaughtering the senses.

  26. Shan, the atleast is in relation to Dravid, not Shastri. If you parse the statement, I have said that he is almost sure to rise up to the level of Shastri, and the ‘if not’ implies Dravid levels are achievable, though a long shote. The atleast, following as it does the if not implies that even reaching Waugh level is difficult. So, if you remove the Dravid part , it reads “he is sure to reach Shastri level, and with dififculty can reach Waygh level” which means obviously, I didnt say that Shastri>Waugh πŸ™‚

    I thought Waugh

  27. that the man who will have to bear the baton is cooling his heels in the dressing room, possibly eating jelly beans

    Who is this? Yuvraj or Sehwag?

  28. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the topic of Jelly bean being used as a Slang:

    “In United States slang in the 1910s and early 1920s a “Jelly bean” or “Jellybean” was a young man who made great effort to dress very stylishly (usually to attract women) but had little else to recommend him; similar to the older terms dandy and fop and the slightly later drugstore cowboy. However, the word was also used as a synonym for pimp.”

    Maybe, Zaheer had knowledge of the slang.

    On the other topic of our own jelly beans, the Fallible 4 or Fab 4, I would say that they looked like playing more for themselves than for the team apart from Dravid. The strike rates of our very own, ” Natural Stroke makers” speak for themselves. The media should be the one who are blamed, terming them ‘Natural Stroke Makers” when all they do is score 50 off 150 balls or 100 off 300 balls. Please dont mistake me for critising them πŸ™‚ but couldn’t help it. There are much better players in Australia & elsewhere who are never given their due place.

  29. Greatbong, its time for new mastheads in this site. I suggest one with Sreesanth and God.

    “Yes, I did write a letter to God before the fourth day of the Test. I wrote in that, ‘Tomorrow I will win the Test match for my country. I will be the one, God please help me.’ But it didn’t go that way. Well, maybe I didn’t write my name in the end and God thought it came from Zaheer bhai,”link

  30. @Vishwanathan — here are the scores for the first innings, in case you have not seen them.

    Ganguly – 79, Sachin – 91, Dravid – 37. Who do you think Dravid was playing for?

    It is not a ODI dude … it’s a test match, so comparing merely on the basis of run rate is stupidity.(I guess some day you would conclude the Boycott was the worst test batsman ever, because he was a slow player :)) While one understands your need to protect Dravid’s you-know-what … try something more substantial next time.

  31. Its so very interesting to observe that there is no TV footage of someone among the fielders throwing stuff on the pitch. Is the footage there and not being shown or is the footage not there at all?

    Why is the match referee quite on this issue of pitch tampering. If there is foreign stuff on the pitch, strewn by the players of either side, it should definitely be an incident of pitch tampering. Isnt it?

    Furthermore the English coach is asking for something even more drastic!!
    http://cricket.indiatimes.com/Moore_wants_stump_microphones_switched_off/articleshow/2250609.cms

    “England coach Peter Moores has called for stump microphones to be switched off to prevent the on-field sledging reaching the audience and sulleying the cricketers’ image.”

    Really??

  32. Today, on Ten Sports I watched this old match against Zimbabwe at Sharjah where Sachin and Saurav put on 197* for the first wicket to win the final – Sachin 124(92) and Dada 60-odd. The way they played in that game shows that they’ve aged today.

    For this Test Match, perhaps, dropping Dhoni (yes, he scored a half century in the first test, but so’s the rest of the batting order) and picking Yuvraj instead and Karthik keeping would be a good idea. That way, all the beans are intact, and the new bean gets a go.

  33. @ viswanathan

    Was wondering about this sentence in your comments .. “Please dont mistake me for critising them but couldn’t help it” .. errr.. what does it mean ?

  34. greatbong,

    looking forward to a enthralling post on the whole Sreesanth circus. I am sure you have read about the *transitional meditation* and *letter to god* anecdotes.

  35. @Mrinal – Yeah that’s right ….what cheek these people have ….their basic demand is that : “Let us sledge in peace” ….. there is a saying in hindi “Chor ki dari mein tinka” …. apt for this situation.

  36. @Rohit: Hmm.
    @TechnicalDonkey: Yes he did. Thank goodness God confused up the letters. (ref: Sreesanth)
    @Gaurav: Kiran More had an axe to grind against one particular person. Just one. And his intention was to humiliate and spread canards—along with his “friend” in the team and the “friends” in the media. I am not advocating that.
    @Sanjana: All four? And rename our team as India A?
    @Anonymous: Sanjay Dutt…aha. While he did get what he deserved, there are others out having a ball who deserve much much more. Even Salman Khan–he is the one who actually killed someone.
    @JM: Yes Sreesanth needs a mental checkup.
    @Arun: We dont need geniuses. We need a few Jack Kallises.
    @Turrtle: No bricks/bats or jellybeans forthcoming.
    @Bhopale: Of course they are. How many times in recent years have we gone 1-up and squandered it later.
    @Tarzan: But what to do for Australia?
    @Shan: I will agree that the ones in the team, even with waning powers, are better than most of the people sitting in the wings. And that is a compelling reason to keep them in. However, we also need to consider the alternative—the catastrophe the team will plunge into when they all retire in quick succession.
    @Aditya: I think that of all the players waiting to make it in, Yuvraj has showed the most consistency and has demonstrated his matchwinning chops many times in ODIs against pace and swing. Indeed if he has a glaring weakness it is against spin.
    @GVenum: Hmm.
    @Shan: Absolutely. The bias towards “non-Asian” teams is just shocking.
    @Dibyo: “he apparently is from the same town in Kerala as my wife and I can totally see where he gets his violent side from”
    Awesome !!!!
    @Kishor: I presume this is the Indian team after a nuclear bomb wipes out North India just when Sourav Ganguly is in Chennai having coffee with Nagma.
    @Uday: Let’s see.
    @Anonymous: I think Zaheer was just furious. Methinks he also overreacted a bit—of course if it fired him up for his bowling then I am not complaining.
    @Tipu: Yes. And the samosas would have followed.
    @Anonymous: The ICL…dont see it being anything more than a circus freak show.
    @MP: Hmm.
    @Sriram: Agree. Just hope success does not get to his head.
    @Nandan: Yes it will be VVS. Its also true he never had a backing among powers-that-be and also never had a huge devoted fan-base.
    @Raj: I just hope he doesnt go the way of Kaif. When he was going great guns in 2002, this is exactly how he was contrasted with Yuvraj.
    @Abhijit: Chawla has a longggg longgg way to go before being even mentioned in the same sentence as Anil Kumble.
    @Anon: It is Yuvraj. Because Sehwag isnt in the dressing room.
    @Vishwanathan: The odds of Zaheer knowing this usage is about the same as the odds that Sreesanth is totally sane.
    @Sriram: Good idea….
    @Traveller: Lets hope so too.
    @Mrinal: So I see.
    @AandThirtyEights: Yes dropping Dhoni seems to be a viable option though I doubt thats going to happen.
    @Pinak: Heh. “Letter to God” of course—after all he does come from “God’s own country”.

  37. @GB .. Mightily surprised, that there was no debate when I said “Tendulkar has at least 2 years of cricket left in him” .. !

    hmm .. hmm .. hmm …

  38. Drop Dhoni? Are you insane? You dont want corporate India choking on its mutton chops, do you? What? You want India to win matches? What good is that? Why not drop Laxman instead? he doesnt have cola contracts, and nobody in hyderabad will miss their daily chai anyways. I dont think Naidu will bat for him nor will TDP raise it in the parliament. That way, we’ll have Yuvraj AND Dhoni in the team – wouldnt taht be a marketeer’s dream? Tahts the way to go man.
    P.S; We must find a way to drop that lazy, (commerically) unattractive Jaffer and get in Sehwag. Damn that feller – just when you can make a case for dropping him, he goes and makes a 50 or 100. If we can then replace RP with Irfan, we’d have a dream team, wouldnt we.

  39. @ Raj

    Actually the point of playing international cricket is to win matches. Not put out the “most commercially viable” team. In fact i think its time Dhoni was shown the boot. He’s bad against the swinging ball, fails in key crunch encounters and his keeping isnt the best either.

  40. Rohit, thanks for reframing what I said in more straight-forward terms. I would have preferred it, though, that you had not found the need to do so . Maybe my writing skills are not good enough!

  41. Gb, yeah, the Kaif comparison is valid. Thats why I said that I hope that they do not drop him after the first series he goes without a single half-century. We need to be clear what sort of opener we want – if you pick Sehwag, then be prepared for some outstanding innigns and a long spell of barren scores, and even when he is flying high, some shocking dismissals. If you are picking Karthik, thenn expect a Ravi Shastri, not Mathew Hayden. Sadly, our selectors will not be given a chance to – the media will start dangling Karthik’s sequence of scores the moment he goes, say , a sequence like “29, 0,31,18,12,44,2,12,47”. He will be dropped for the next match and we’ll pick another similar batsman, and hope that he is the next Sunil Gavaskar. Krish Srikanth had an average of 29.something and he was supposed to be one of the best post-Gavaskar openers. Today, Viru Sehwag with 52.something is not good enough. Something is wrong with the expectations of today’s India!

  42. @ Shan : Sachin did not have a ‘torrid’ time, as you say. against Sidearse, but it was an intriguing battle that had no losers. Sachin was brilliant in picking out the deliveries to play at, present the full face in defence, or to leave, and that’s an art which is right up there in the list of rigours test cricket demands of a batsman.

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