We Won

Sometimes it all comes down to one decision, just one knife-edge of a moment at which the past and the present fulcrum.

Should I say “I love you”?

Should I jump this stop sign?

Should I peek into my neighbor’s answer-sheet?

Should I attempt an Ashraful shot and seal the game?

Misbah-ul-Haq, after half an hour of near perfect batting, arrives at such a fork in the space-time continuum as Jogiya Khali-bali Sharma’s gentle offering comes down the pitch. He waits, judges the bounce and the pace perfectly and makes his choice. As the ball loops up taking the hearts of millions with it and settles down into pyscho Sreenath’s hands, one realizes that two weeks of frenetic cricket of the highest order, climaxing in a classic punch-counterpunch, nerve-knotting sporting spectacle between two teams neither of whom deserved to lose, has finally been settled and history created.

All because of one wrong decision taken in a split second.

And yet that cute shout could so very well have been the deciding blow. Which is where the monumental tragedy from the point of view of Pakistan lies—so deservingly near and yet so far.

But what the F am I talking about? Who cares about deliberations on how fragile the line between defeat and victory, happiness and sadness, sin and redemption is—screw it all… WE WON !

For today it’s simply “Chak de India” (and there was even a ghoulish-looking Shahrukh Khan to cheer us) . For today it’s sweet revenge for decades of Friday drubbings at Sharjah. Paraphrasing Chacha Nehru, there comes a time which comes rarely in history when India wins an international tournament, when the souls of fans, long suppressed by first round defeats and “the bad day in office” and “this is an young learning side” excuses, finally find utterance.

Which is why today I am going to scream. Jump about like a little girl on whose nose a flying cockroach has alighted. And give a shout out to anybody who will listen.

Dear Shoaib Malik. Firstly you are a very good captain and your English is better than your predecessor’s. But dude, you seriously need to understand that the Pakistani team does not represent all the Muslims of the world, as you so sagaciously pointed out in your presentation speech.

“First of all I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world.”


I understand the pan-Islamic sentiment that has been fed into your brain but here’s the deal. Look around. See the smiling Pathan brothers there—-one of whom strangled your team’s progress in the middle overs and the other led a rousing charge on your opening bowler. Tell you what, they also belong to the “Muslims of the world” and yet are deliriously happy at your defeat . Why wouldn’t they be ? They caused it.

Just as happy as many Indian Muslims are today all over the world at India’s victory.

Which is why it should be brought to your notice that Pakistan’s fan base does not cover Irfan Pathan, Yousuf Pathan and many other “Muslims all over the world” and so there is no need to “thank them” for their supposed “support”.

Let me say dear sir, Pakistan has always been my favorite team after India ever since I started watching the game. Though the way you guys wear your religion on your sleeve has often left me a bit queasy, your statement today just crossed the line, more so because it is soundbytes like these that are often twisted to imply that “Muslims in India cheer for Pakistan ” which as a generalization is about as screwed up as Michael Jackson’s sexuality. So kindly excuse my outburst —it indeed is a shame to have to bring all this divisive stuff into the mix on such a nice day. But you started it.

Dear Flintoff. Sledging and displays of aggression may be considered to be kosher in today’s game. However “I will smash your face, you wait” (which is what you told Yuvraj Singh) is simply a threat of violence which shows you up for what you are—a thug without an iota of subtleness (ability is another matter) who can keep doing what you do because the match referees do not mind such things as long as it does not come from subcontinental teams.

Of course, your behavior is a perfect fit for an English team of whiners, cribbers and jellybean throwers—-nothing amused me more than to read that one of the reasons England’s Twenty20 specialist side flopped so badly was because some of the top players like Collingwood had been away from their families for so long (which explains his escapades in a strip club perhaps). No Mr. Flintoff. The reason you lost was because you had Snape in your team instead of a certain Mr. Potter—-I would find that that easier to digest than the “away from home/too much cricket” justification.

Dear Aussies. Face it. You guys, for once, were outclassed. I know you are still the best but let’s do away with the “We do not take the format seriously” subtext of all your post-match press conferences—I am sure if you had won, you would not have been saying this.

Dear Kiwis. Am I the only one who feels that your entire batting order consists of clones who not only look like each other but bat exactly the same?

Dear South Africans. In a movie called “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” Madhuri Dixit wore an ornament which looked great on her. Its called a choker. It will look good on you too.

Dear Sri Lankans, What’s with the change in uniform? Why the light blue Team India-type look? Do get back to the deep blue uniform cause maybe this time God, who doesn’t see as good as he used to any more from way up high, got confused and thought you were India—which explains why you did not make the semis.

And finally Dear Team India. Thank you thank you thank you. For playing like an unit with each one covering for the other, for being fearless, smart and able.

And to you Mr. Dhoni—a bow of appreciation from a fan. You have been nothing short of inspirational (The two non-cricketing moments I shall remember from the final being Dhoni handing over his jersey to a young fan and helping him wear it and Irfan Pathan, perched on the shoulders of elder brother Yousuf Pathan—their faces glowing with pride)

Mr Dhoni we understand. It is not easy wicket keeping, strategizing, blasting deliveries to all corners of the park, praying that Joginder Sharma does not get hit for a six , hoping that Sreesanth does not slice a batsman with a pocket knife, while all the time carrying on your shoulders the weight of a million expectations.

But you have done it. And how.

I do not have $2 million dollars to give you nor a Porsche 911 (Yuvraj beware: Lalit Modi may try to pass off Kevin Pietersen’s used Porsche as your “gift” —to be fair he never said you would get a new one) as a gesture of my gratitude.

But my humble self can only dedicate a song to you—from the Bhojpuri Spice Girls. The lyrics of the song go thus :” Aare re nimbua kasam se gol gol, taneek kholke dekh raja” I have no idea what the song means or rather what the nimbua refers to ; it is just that the lines “ball-wa dabaiba to bara maaja aawe” seemed very appropriate for the country’s debt of gratitude for you.

Thank you again dear sir. Kasam se…. bara maaja aaye.

[Picture courtesy Cricinfo]

163 thoughts on “We Won

  1. Congrats Team India.

    Glad to be the first commenter

  2. Nice going, you called it.

  3. but what made them chose Afridi as Man of tournament?
    Aussies are not invincibles anymore, not once once but thrice they lost.

  4. I knew there would be a post from you – and lo and behold! here it is! And I think I have the honor to be the first commentator for this wonderful post, which is no mean feat, given your loyal band of followers! You’ve beautifully put into words what every Indian, no matter where they are geographically, have been feeling. Glorious moments like these are very few and far between – so let’s all celebrate!! 🙂

  5. Nice post. Throughly enjoyed. Thanks!!!

  6. Greatbong,

    A perfect tribute for the perfect win!

    Chak De India!

  7. Chak de GB! Reading this post was the perfect end to a day spent reloading and googling “live cricket streaming” as site after site gave up with 503 errors, emails and IMs flying think-and-fast, browsing tens of youtube clips that were uploaded seemingly minutes after the match ended, and savoring the phrase WORLD CHAMPIONS INDIA after 22 years.

    Snape turned out to be on the side of the angels, btw 🙂

  8. Now that they have done their duty, its our turn.

    Just mow down ur celebration a bit. Give them the feeling that they are supposed to be world beaters and this is not a flash in the pan. I pray God that the indian media does not forget other sports as this nasha will take atleast a decade to subdue.

    I am happy that cricket has evolved into more athletic sports and more closer to what we play in the streets.

  9. Very nice post. I still cant believe it. WE WON.

    I am amazed at Dhoni’s captaincy and the decisions that he took. Especially the decision to bowl Harbajhan, RP, Jogindar in the last three overs against Australia and the decision to bowl Jogindar instead of Harbhajan in the last over against Pakistan.

    Also what I enjoyed was the never show die spirit of the Indians, which was sorely lacking in the past. There were periods in all matches when we were down. But we came back with force.

  10. a memorable win indeed.
    hey… I have a namesake..Hi Rishi

  11. Great post under tremendous pressure to deliver. You’d be a shoo-in for number six in blogger twenty world-cup (but not quite a world cup) team….Truly enjoyable!

  12. Shoaib Malik’s thanks to Muslims all over the world – that was a stupid one!

  13. @ Giri
    that was instinct 🙂

  14. Hi Rishi khujur.

  15. typo: psycho sreenath -> psycho sreesanth

  16. Can’t savour the win. Ground floor of our our house in Lake Town, Kolkata is a yard deep in water. All of us are now closeted in the first floor. No, water, pump set in under water.
    Waiting for God to drop us drinking water sachets on the terrace.

    What a day to win the T20 World Cup!!

    Aby the Original

  17. Hey wait….why is SRK ghoulsih looking? I guess the straight male eye will not really comprehend SRK’s sexuality, a pity. Am glad we won though, was he in the field cheering our team..ooh la la

  18. Hi,

    I always read your messages, but this is my first comment. I think you were the only guy who mentioned that these guys might just bring back the cup after 83. How true it was 🙂

  19. @ GB da:

    Incredible post. you covered it all. unbelievable piece of writing.

    The difference between 1983 and 2007 in Kolkata was that even though the city was flooded (some things never change) there was no power cut (somethings do).

    The DTH provider Tata Sky (isko laga dala to life Jhingalala) stopped working. So i had to follow the match via cell phone internet (as BSNL broadband was also wiped away by the rain) and then watch the match on old cable (which i found out the cable-wallah had forgot to disconnect).

    thanks for pointing out shoaib malik’s (even i like him a lot) stupid pretension for being representative of muslims around the world. and also the fact that cricket has double standards when it comes to the code of conduct.

    and man.. you called it the first time in ‘twenty-twenty vision’. that’s 20-20 vision for you!

  20. Great Post! You said it all! Chak De India!!

  21. wonderful..on par with your 1983 post….and your pre t20 WC post turns out bang on mark…. are you spooked out ?:)

  22. What should I write… kono bhasa nei… really!

  23. Yes, it was a great win. For a nation starved of sporting achievements, this was a moment of ecstasy.

    Very good post. Enjoyed reading it. The last few lines were touching.

  24. What a win this was ….Eng – Saffers – Oz and the good old neighbours …..

    The fielding was crucial
    The bowling was great (we didn’t expect it to be)
    Gambhir had his basking time

    …too good I’m drunk and happy …Cheers India …bring on th Aussies home then ….

    Sept 29th Chinnaswamy ….

  25. You should have seen how Bangalore celebrated the victory. It felt like a Diwali night.

  26. For today it’s sweet revenge for decades of Friday drubbings at Sharjah.

    Not to mention that infamous six. But well done India !!!!

    Great summary on the all the teams. And I cant believe how whining the Aussies have become – you’d almost mistake them for the Poms. After India won the semis – the only report of the incident in The Australian was buried in the 5th or 6th page of the sports section under the headline ” Players strained by no rest day” !!!

  27. Great post, as usual… the classic GB style!
    Sorry to be nitpicking, but that last catch was taken by Sreesanth, not Sreenath. And Snape was a good guy, after all. Sorry again if it came as a spoiler for you… I don’t know whether you read Harry Potter.

  28. Very well written GB.:)
    Thank God there was a Sharma but there was no Miandad in the last ball!

    Btw, was SRK wearing a hairpiece ?!

  29. Just too happy !! Can’t stop smiling.


    Dada, we’re World Champions. Shuntei kemon bhaalo lagche na? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  30. Sreesanth will be a better bowler if he learns the lessons the hard way like Pathan and Zaheer did. I have a premonition that he will.
    Now that India has won, I can ask this question – Who on earth decided to play Y Pathan in such a high-stakes game, that too as an opener? Things could have gone horribly wrong for him even before facing the first ball.

  31. Shoiab Malik needs to get his head out of his ass, I am pretty sure that Muslims in Turkey or Indonesia, didn’t knew that a certain SM was fighting on their behalf.

    Btw, Congrats we did it. Phew!!!

  32. Nice post, GB. And superb achievement by the young cricketers.

  33. Very well written!!

    The way Pakistanis are going about being religious, thanking ‘all muslims of the world’ and ‘all Indian Nations’ (was Afridi trying to be funny?), soon they will have Talibans playing in their team 🙂

    And you didn’t mention Ponting singing same old too-much-travel-too-less-gap-between-matches song! Why the hell these people accept that they were too rude to take a World Cup seriously!

    And last: Talk of luck. Talk of Joginder Sharma!

  34. Great performance by the Indian team. The fielding was great, batting courageous and bowling adequate. Joginder Sharma, given his limitations was much better than Agarkar in the death. And for those who said that he was lucky that Haq played the scoop shot rather than going downtown, he deserved it as he was terribly unlucky in the earlier matches.

    Give Malik the benefit of the doubt. His English is marginally better than Inzy. He had lost a close World Cup final against the arch rival and he was noticeably upset. He may have meant “all Pakistanis” and in his effort to sprout out legible English words blurted out “Muslims”. Most of the Indians have a good rapport with him. In fact Shreesanth had gone on record say that he looked forward to meet up with his former captain (Asia XI) “Malik Bhai”. You will not have such a good rapport with a temparamental guy like Shreesanth who is a non muslim if he were communal.

    In my earlier comment, I had expressed my concerns about this format. Now after two weeks I take back everything I had said then. Twenty twenty is here to stay and not just because India won. It is because it is such a viewer friendly format with entertainment all round.

  35. I think you meant Sreesanth instead of Sreenath in this “As the ball loops up taking the hearts of millions with it and settles down into pyscho Sreenath’s hands”.

    Loved the whole piece, first thing i had been waiting for ever since the ball DID land in psycho Sreesanth’s hands. Incidentally i have a bhojpuri friend who explained to me the meaning of the song, in detail when i forwarded him the link to your post. Apparently he had heard it a lot of times.

    I still remember reading your first post on vision 20 20 and smiling at your optimism for this team. But you were right all along.


  36. “Just as happy as many Indian Muslims are today all over the world at India’s victory.” How I wish this statement was “Just as happy as ALL Indian Muslims ….”. Sadly I am a witness to “Muslims in India cheer for Pakistan”. Maybe the next time India wins a world cup things would be better – another 23 years, maybe?

  37. Regarding the religiosity of the Pakistani players, have you noted that once “Daadhi mein Tinka” Inzamam left, lots of the players have just shaved their beards off? Earlier it was five prayers a day, observing the fast even on playing days (making batsmen cramp up because of hunger) and sidelining players who refused to get “preachy wid it”. At least they’ve become saner again! Cricket needs a great Pakistan team.

  38. Arnab, first of all, thanks for an emotionally charged post. For some of us, cricket is the only religion we know- the victory, then watching those visuals repeatedly and then your beautiful post – make a very a special package.

    I thought Malik was trying to preempt a possible ‘fatwa’ and/or a ‘nice’ reception at home when he mentioned that everyone in team gave their 100% 🙂

  39. Very nice post GB.

    The comment of Malik is really funny. I just can laugh in it.
    Congratulation Team India, Dil khus kar diya.

  40. hi
    gr8 piece…i hope someday u will write a blow by blow account like u did for the ’83 world cup …really enjoyed reading that too
    Malik’s comment is highly objectionable. I am glad u mentioned that.this is exactly the kind of coment that stirs up communalism. ofocurse the pathan brothers grinning away at pakistan’s defeat totally nullifies the implications of his comment.
    anyway jitechi etai anondo …HURRAY for India!!!

  41. Beautifully written dude …..

    Congrats team India and Thanks a lot for bringing such a moment in our lives ….

  42. Brought a smile back on everybody’s face,I guess!!
    All of us stupidly grinning away to glory in our office…
    Talk about productivity loss and they still grin…
    I guess noone really cant get over the shock WIN..

  43. Great post GB!

    Re. Shoaib Malik – what an ass! As someone pointed out in an earlier comment Inzy being the religious influence, I think it is more to do with Mushtaq Ahmed being a part of the team (as bowling coach, I guess).

    Anyway, fact is we won and won it in style.


  44. Arnab da,

    I am a big fan of yours even though I have hardly ever commented. But that is because the number of comments in your blog just overwhelms me…:)

    A muslim friend of mine was with me when the paki captain said those “and all muslim in world” bull shit, his first reaction was “what the F” which I am sure was more or less the reaction of a lot many Indian muslims. Thanks for pointing it out in such a humorous fashion!!!

    In the end who cares.. all that matters is WE WON!!!!!

  45. At the beginning of the tournament, you had written in your post under the title “Twenty Twenty vision” that this was one of the weakest Indian team to be sent to an International showcase event. On 11.9.2007, I chose to differ with you when I wrote that the team had a balanced look and had a good chance of winning the cup. I am glad that I said so. Please don’t misunderstand me – I don’t want to take a dig on you. All I want to say is that cricket is a team game, and not a medley of individualistic brilliance. If every member of the team comes forward to contribute his might without putting any conditions, the inadequacies of the lesser endowed players can be covered up. That is how, this bunch of fringe players could become the World Beaters while the more accomplished players have repeatedly failed to deliver. I do agree that luck played a big part in this triumph, as some may say “Allah Meherban to Gadha Pehelvan”. But let’s keep this analysis for some other day. This is the time to Rejoice.

    By the way, this post of yours is not exactly at par with your 1983 post. The 1983 post was like re-experiencing the history. It had recall value. So this time around I was expecting another “THE DAY WE WON THE OTHER CUP”. But this current post does not recount the thrills and spills of the game. Instead you have opted to tease the opposing teams. One is expected to display sportsmanship and be slightly more charitable towards the vanquished. And your take on Shoaib Malik for his apology to all the Muslims of the world is an open invitation to Hujur, Khujur, Har Har Bom Bom, Shaan, Tarzan, WTF, et al to hijack this cricketing post with their anti-Islam and Pro-Islam tirades.

    I understand that the joyous feeling has yet to sink in. But I am just dying to read your review on the actual match. You are an absolute treat, Sir. Kindly oblige.

    We are the World Champions. Congratulations to ALL.


  46. I thought Shoaib Malik’s intemperate Muslims all over the world comment would be forgotten in all the euphoria and Indo-Pak bhai bhai talk. Glad that you took it seriously enough to hand a rap in the knuckles.

  47. I dunno why the Pakis have the obsession of bringing the Muslim/Islamic angle to every game.. Shoaib well played but you can definitely do without your fuckall ball talks.

  48. OMG. Your post was amazing. It well and truly summed up everything I felt about the game although I am not an avid cricketer (please don’t hate me :P) but yes, pointlessly pulling things like religion into a field like sports is not only stupid but just plain detrimental. Religion is one thing and Sports quite another.

    But I love your posts about the different teams, esp. the one on England. Lol. Take that Freddy !!! 🙂

  49. “But I am just dying to read your review on the actual match”
    – especially since I missed the entire Indian innings as I got caught in the darned traffic.


  50. Whatever Shoaib Malik said doesn’t really come as a big shock to me, especially after considering the average level of education and quality of upbringing of the majority of Paki players.
    Gone are the days of educated players (like Imran Khan, Rameez Raja, Wasim Akram to name a few) from decent backgrounds and with good upbringing.
    Now young minds in Pakistan are nurtured in Madrasas where they are taught to refer to their country as ‘The Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. The lessons from the ‘Imam‘s , bullying of the Extremest groups and unlimited funding of oil, money as well as provocations from the ‘shelikh‘s have ensured that every person in Pakistan looks at ‘Kaafir’s with sheer contempt.
    However, the point is, in spite of all the hue and cry, they can clearly see they are lagging behind India in technology, economy, import-export, industry – just about everything. They seek consolation by making themselves believe that despite India’s rapid progress in various fields, the Muslims in India still cheer for Pakistan.
    Well, it is undeniable that to a large extent they are right in thinking so. Many of the Indian Muslims DO cheer for Pakistan from their hearts and more often than not they do it quite in the open. In many Indian cities crackers are burnt and Paki flag is hoisted is Pakistan beats India. (Some places like RT Nagar, Shivajinagar in North Bangalore and Park Cirus in Kokata are a few examples).
    But, having said that, what the Pakis miss to notice is, despite all that, we Indians are tolerating these things for the past 60 years and accepting everything sportingly.
    Imagine Pakistani Hindus (however few of them are still there) cheering for India in Pakistan!!! The thought itself makes me horrified.

    Above all, heartiest congratulations to Dhoni and his boys. Guys, you really deserved it !!!

  51. @Aditi:

    “I guess the straight male eye will not really comprehend SRK’s sexuality…”

    Yeah, I guess it takes a really twisted female eye to do so, that way he was looking yesterday.

    Sorry to rain a little bit on the parade, but this was NOT the official World Cup of 20-20. The official version will be held, as far as I know, end of next year in England. However it was fun all the same. But we are not the official World Champions.

    I have a feeling that by next year, when the official version comes along, Australia will respect it enough to win it.

    Also, let the overt, crowd pleasing aggression not hide the fact the Sreesanth is a pretty ordinary bowler most of the time, as shown by his strike and economy rates. I tend to agree with Ponting when he wrote that Sree got away with some pretty ordinary stuff. When he does bowl well, he bowls brilliantly, as he shows intermittently, but it is difficult to depend on him or predict his behavior. A captain cannot afford to always be on tenterhooks wrt the temperament of his bowler, and Sreesanth will have to tone the ax-murderer type histrionics down.

    At least Agarkar is always consistent. He will always try to give as many runs to the opposition as possible. If they get out sometimes it’s not his fault! 🙂

    The danger inherent in this excellent win, is this:

    The public, and the BCCI, seem to confuse between different forms of cricket very easily (as evinced in a couple of comments on this forum as well). Immidiately we have someone commenting how “sad” it was that some members of this team would have to “make way for the Big 3”. This is a juvenile, emotional reading of the situation. There is absolutely no guarantee that a 20-20 players will do well in the ODIs, or tests. Jettisoning proven performers in favor of the flavors of the month is foolishness.

    That is why we have to keep our sanity amidst all the OTT celebrations. Remember:

    1. This was a 20-20 tournament, nothing more.
    2. There are some players who will probably not fit any other, more testing, format e.g. Joginder, Yusuf Pathan
    3. Yuvraj still does not have a place in the test team, and he should not. He is not Indian cricket’s savior yet.
    4. Dhoni’s batting, since becoming captain has been distinctly ordinary, barring one instance. Someone should remind him what his USP is. All that talk of a “mature head oh his shoulders” should not get to him.
    5. Dinesh Karthik still can hold catches only when he is positioned behind the stumps (keeper, slips etc.) He drops everything else.
    6. Sreesanth will do himself injury one of these days. He looks like the type who would take a gun into a dressing room one day, shoot a few people before putting the barrel in his own mouth and pulling the trigger. He needs psychiatric help, fast!

    20-20 is over. Now let’s concentrate on the upcoming ODI series, where people actually have to think, and then the Aus tour, where they actually have to have cricketing nous (never thought I’d actually use that word – no thanks to you Prem Panicker) to play.

    Finally, please join me in retiring / banning the phrase “Chak De India” immediately. It has become the fastest, most irritating cliche for the inarticulate. Shall we all agree not to use it again on this forum?

    Thank you.

  52. I was waiting for our article since yesterday. You are too good. I love you (in a strictly platonic sense, of course)

  53. I rarely comment here, though I am a regular reader but I am really thrilled at India’s performance throughout the tournament. So “Chak de India” 🙂 (Sorry Shan, but I guess I am not articulate enough to ban this phrase and I love saying it…)
    First of all, this is the official world 20-20 championship, the one happpening in england in 2009 is also the same. If you check the ICC website, nowhere it says anything different. Also, I cant think of a reason as to why you were trying to make a point out of this. Even if it is believed that what you are saying is true, back-to-back victories against Eng, SA (the two exponents of 20-20), Aussies and Pakistan make it a world cup for me & most others, except for cynics like you I guess.
    I believe the rest of your comments are as stupid as the quote by shoaib mallik about “muslims around the world”. I really cant understand it, when we were thrown out of the world cup everyone was unanimous in criticizing the indian team be it the media, bloggers everyone. Why cant we be so generous in our praise for them? Has any indian team won any major tournament after 1985. No right… so it is justified that we savour the moment and celebrate it. All the analysis can come later.

  54. it was a gr8 match… i’m not a cricket fan and i for the first time saw a match till the end…
    ode to pakistani team they were fabulous…. we were well good!

    i hope we dont sing this victory for next twenty five years….

    lets have some more gr8 matches…

  55. ah! one more thing Misbah-ul-Haq made a fan for life (no maybe thats a too huge commitment)… i’ll surely follow his game… he was too good…. a real shark…..

  56. Screw even if it’s cliche. CHAK DE INDIA!!!

  57. @ Tapasivini

    “At the beginning of the tournament, you had written in your post under the title “Twenty Twenty vision” that this was one of the weakest Indian team to be sent to an International showcase event. On 11.9.2007, I chose to differ with you when I wrote that the team had a balanced look and had a good chance of winning the cup. I am glad that I said so. Please don’t misunderstand me – I don’t want to take a dig on you”

    What was that? A disguised ‘I told you so’ sweetened with an apologetic tone? It was not at all clear, ex ante, that the Indian team had a balanced look. If you happened to glance through any of the pre-tournament analysis, Sri Lanka, South Africa (& Australia) were considered the most balanced teams. It’s clear, only in hindsight that India played very well as a unit. Now if only hindsight becomes foresight 🙂

    @ Shan
    Well, that was a purist’s perspective that you have presented and I do agree with you on a lot of points you have made. But the emotional momentum this win had created may come in handy for us… on the other hand, the increased burden of expectations may prevent us from playing as fearlessly in the forthcoming series.


    Can you pls come up with a post on analysis of the three formats of the game, what strategies could work, relative importance of fielding, bowling and batting, should India specialize any of the three formats, does it make sense to specialize, etc etc.

  58. Pingback: Greatbong: We won
  59. Thanks for explaining to me why Sri Lanka lost so badly. Your explanation will stop me from blaming poor Jayasuriya.

    Anyhow…Chak de India…as my damn housemates were screaming all night

    Misbah..thank you for helping me retain some face…and Mr. Malik…this Catholic Sri Lankan…is prolly one of Pakistan’s biggest fans…so please…get a bloody translator man…

  60. Those who missed the match can watch a full replay by playing this link in Media Player:

    rtsp:// 2409_wc2020_Replay

  61. Nice one greatbong.

    This Twenty20 series has had many golden moments:

    1) Yuvraj’s 6×6 off Broad.
    2) Sreesanth punching the ground like Donkey Kong after taking Hayden’s wicket.3) Harbhajan’s york and nod to Dhoni against Australia.
    4) Rohit Sharma’s brilliant run-out of Kemp.
    5) Hilarious bowl-out with Pakistan.

    @Shan: Don’t be a party pooper. The Indian team is flawed, but somehow they kept their shit together and won this cup. They deserved it. THEY DESERVED IT.

    We beat England
    We beat South Africa.
    We beat Australia.
    We almost lost to Pakistan. But we won.

  62. Shourideb Bhattacharyya September 25, 2007 — 10:54 am

    All in all, this was not a cricket match. This was in true Paki style – QAYAMAT.

    Great post GB, and from a purely cricketing point of view -OF ALL THE SHOTS IN CRICKET WHY ON EARTH DID THAT DUDE HAVE TO TRY THAT ONE

    like the bermuda triangle and Attillas retreat a mystery for the ages

    Anyway hope paki bloggers will shut up for the next few months at least

  63. Hey!!! Snape was on the side of the Light all along! He has been redeemed in the final book!

    Great post, though! The world-wide Muslim comment had struck me too, but then it was washed away in the tide of euphoria.

  64. Dear Arnab,

    With regards to your comments on team Australia … you have missed a lot … Ricky Pontings column in Times of India on the day after the semifinal deserves the worst loser award. Comments include “Australia travelled the most amongst other teams having to move from Durban to Jo’burg to Cape town” ” Sreesanth’s figures seem much better than what he actually bowled”.

    Wonderful post nonetheless

  65. I am now Shan’s fan. I doff my hat. And yes, please retire that phase and while at it the song too. It has come to represent banality and a celebration of mediocrity.

  66. GB,as i don’t feel like using cliches,i will just say “dhanyawaad” !!!

    I was at Connaught Place,New Delhi when Dhoni n co. did it and what ensued after the victory were the most joyous n unadulterated celebrations i have seen in my lifetime …
    the few things i remember are getting embraced n congratulated by people i don’t know, offered sweets n ethanol in assorted concentrations/colors/flavors(!!) by people i’ve never met.and of course shouting,leaping n doing impromptu jigs with hordes of people while crackers burst and threw sparks which seemed to compete with the brilliance of the elation around. With tricolors fluttering around in a multitude of hands,on 2 wheelers,autos n cars the atmosphere couldn’t get more electrifying and will definitely remain etched in my memory for life.but the greatest sight was the look of sheer joy in everyone’s eyes .And yes,this victory did a lot to erase some of the cynicism from people like me who have followed Indian Cricket throughout their lives.
    Congrats !!!

    p.s. as 4 Malik’s bullshit ,lets fk reality for some time and let the intelligentsia/”secularists”/”progressives”/the friendship brigade led by able homegrown “intellectuals” like Mahesh/Pooja Bhatt read “between” the lines and tell people how’s this statement just another logical result of the “dhokha” committed by the indians/and all people of this world who don’t subscribe to the “original religion of love”.

  67. “I have no idea what the song means or rather what the nimbua refers to”

    Naughty naughty.. 🙂

  68. What a win! Feels proud to be an indian, but we must never forget that tests are the real thing. Dhoni (Captain Cool) should be handed the test captaincy, but my suggestion woulb be that he should recuse himself from wicket-keeping duties, hand over the big gloves to the able Dinesh Kaarthick, and confine himself to strategising and blasting the living daylights out of all bowlers.Captaincy, wicket-keeping, and batting will be a huge burden for anybody, and i doubt if Dhoni would be able to withstand it in the long run. As for Shoaib Malik, “chhodo na yaar”; why let some stupid comment spoil such a day of euphoria?

  69. Well as an Indian Muslim, my point of view about the “Muslim support” crap is well said here – http://indianmuslims.in/hame-aapa-jee-jaan-nahi-chahiye/

  70. This was an awesome win;
    awesome game; shoaib malik and pakistanis can go back to sucking minadad’s cock;
    they should consider this victory India’s ramadan gift to pakistan 😉
    the pathan brothers exemplify what our muslim brothers in india are – patriots, winners
    and our equals in everything

    To the eternal menstruating cunts with fungal infection – Shan and Ivaturi
    Fuck you mother fuckers;

  71. Shan says, “This was a 20-20 tournament, nothing more.”

    You are mistaken. Twenty20 is the future of cricket. The first casualty will be ODIs, Tests will fade away a little later. This is the highest level of the game, and not a place for even the much vaunted “Aussie fitness” (who actually belong to the bottom drawer of fit Aussie sportsters – after Footy/League/Union).

  72. Fatafati 😀

  73. @ tapasvini:

    ‘And your take on Shoaib Malik for his apology to all the Muslims of the world is an open invitation to Hujur, Khujur, Har Har Bom Bom, Shaan, Tarzan, WTF, et al to hijack this cricketing post with their anti-Islam and Pro-Islam tirades.’

    see even the indian-muslims who cheer for pakistan are good because… just kidding..

    look. i know its really stupid to respond to those who abuse islam because it just spoils the comment threat for everyone but you have to remember that the holocaust happened because germans who disagreed with it didnt speak out.

    my sincere apologizes to those people who come here to get their mind off stuff.

    @ on ‘Chak de’:

    i saw Chak de India very late and thanks to ESPN-Star and its tie up with Yash Raj, the song will always be associated with the glorious images of India beating England in Tests in my head.

    Even im beginning to get irritated with it but around the 16th-17th over, the DJ was playing Chak De and the whole stadium was singing along with it. It made my hair stand on edge.

    According to a former Pakistani Wicket-keeper india won the match because of Chak De .. so.. i dont think this word is going to disappear from the lexicon of patriotism very soon. It’s going to be like the ‘Range De Basanti’ effect.

  74. @ Shan

    I think our friend –Vinay (of 1.36 pm comment fame) must have been conceived on the night of 83-world cup victory- in the throes of jingoistic passion 🙂

  75. I don’t know enough about cricket to state that Dhoni is a great captain and that this team is the sort of team that will consistently perform at all levels of the game. But I do know that I will relish those few hours of anguish, nervousness and finally ecstasy when Sreesanth took the last catch, for a very long time. The feeling of queasiness at being limited to 157, shrieks of delight at ever Pakistani wicket falling, groan at every 6 or 4 hit off of our bowling and finally experiencing the bliss that engulfed the entire nation, thanks to the hands of that crazy kid.

    But all of the joy cannot overshadow a news piece as disturbing as this.


    It is sad that often the masses who will deify cricketers will not hesitate in destroying them. If verbal abuse was not enough, in addition that that, the disgruntled fan will physically accost, burn effigies and damage property.

    I sincerely hope, that moments of pleasure and joy that the entire country felt after such an amazing contest and duly deserved win, are remembered even when the team does not perform as well. It is quite one thing to critique and criticize performance and but quite another to burn effigies and inflict damage.

    May we be a country of passionate cricket supporters who know how to handle defeat as well as we know how to celebrate victory.

  76. Hey, who’s calling Sreesanth a psycho, He is a real talented guy with an intelligent head on his shoulders and another great sporting star that Kerala has produced. His sheer presence and strong spirit instilled a new born courage in the Indian team, I think his presence made a huge diffirence

  77. The dummy is married to a girl from Andhra Pradesh. Obviously he thinks that means every muslim in the whole world is on his side. Despite the cricketing talent, the Paki cricketers seem to get dumber and dumber, kya karen.
    Anyway, wifey is supposedly a Vice Principal – she’s obviously the brains in the family. ha ha.

  78. It needs balls of titanium to play a debutant in the finals of a World Cup and then send him to open the innings. Mind you, he is not an opener. It also takes a lot of guts to throw the ball to Joginder to bowl the last over, not once but twice. Hats off, Dhoni. And yes, congratulations on a well deserved victory.

  79. @ Those who are upset by “all Muslim” comment.

    Arre bhai…why are ppl getting upset with Malik’s “all Muslims of the world” comment.
    He was just being a good Muslim and appealing to the omnipresent call of the Ummah.

  80. “I will smash your face, you wait”. i think he said “I will smash your face, you TEE DOUBLE-U AYE TEE”

  81. Kishor bhau .. where are thou ?

    Sreesanth is being called a psycho .. aaarrrgghhhhh.

  82. Nice enthusiasm from GB and everybody (eat lots of mishti).
    About time they won something.
    Is Sreesanth the Indian Shoaib ?

  83. The kids… stole the cup from Uncles Hayden, Gilchrist and Ponting and came running home with all the chocolate and ice cream on their cute faces…

    And for one night.. one billion people in the world became kids and shouted and screamed and danced…

    Well may be not one billion…may be a few did not enjoy that much…
    http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEO20070924184855&Page=O&Headline=Cricket fans attacked by assailants&Title=Thiruvananthapuram&Topic=0

    but who cares about those really sad few…
    ..we won.. and we bit Pakistan.. and even if we were lucky.. we will take this… as in past .. on more occasions than not “they” have been lucky…

  84. No intention to offend… just a small remark… “bara maaja aaye” – you wanted to tell “badha” or “bada”… i know in benagli there’s no difference between two ‘R’s.. but just looks odd to non-bong readers…thanks. the post is nice.

  85. “Dear Shoaib Malik. Firstly you are a very good captain and your English is better than your predecessor’s. But dude, you seriously need to understand that the Pakistani team does not represent all the Muslims of the world, as you so sagaciously pointed out in your presentation speech.”


    And a 140 million of them *here* respectfully would disagree, then kick your butt!

    If you saw the Pathan household and neighbourhood cheering…. as mad as the Sharma (Rohit, not Jogi) house in Mumbai!

  86. Excellent review and I guess a long awaited win made the whole nation euphoric. But I must admit, that your response to the Shoaib Malik’s moronic speech was just superb. I wish more and more people had your line of thinking. I feel that is what our attitude as a nation should always be.

  87. @ Shan: Is it necessary someone with a different opinion from GB, you and others are twisted? If twisted female mind loves SRK so be it…SRK ke liye sala kuch bhi karega!

    @ Last Commentator: There are two different ‘r’s in Bengali also. While expressing in English most of us are handicapped by lack of alphabets, and not really any of us can use diacritical marks to write online. However, lot of people do use the Harvard Kyoto transliteration to write Devnagiri words. So D in upper case is ‘BaDa’….and in lower case is d as ‘dukan’… I know these things really don’t matter but just the info

  88. What happened to the PCB rule that players would speak only in Urdu. They can use the otherwise useless Rameez Raja as a translator …

  89. Shoaid Malik did make a generalization, and doing so made a mistake. However, he is not entirely wrong – there are people who are in India but when India defeats Pakistan they are hurt and get violent. See this –

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=e044046a-5875-4167-8b29-2c92f4d52e6e&&Headline=Celebrations turn violent, 20 hurt

  90. Great Post GB….
    Really compliments the great Victory by our team.
    You must Find Kishore.. This comment place really misses him..

    In all of the Pak innings loved the Misbah-ul-haq gem..
    But in the end as ‘Karna’ he lost his mind and did what he didnt wanted to..

    T20 is here to stay now…

    Till now celebrating after ‘iftari’ everyday… 🙂


  91. Guys,

    Have a look at the indo Pak war going on here:


    I really believe people have gone so nuts that they have forgotten to celebrate thiss rare event and ranting about muslims and all bullshit. Shoib has been stupid and unfortunate. Clearly it was not his day. So lets cut him a slack..

    Lets enjoy…

    and overall yes as usual a great bong piece… Drank drank drank and still not sure whether i am celebrating it to the right extent or not…Our very own watford ( a pakistani den) had become a new india on monday night…all pubs and bars full with indians..and brits also enjoying in the same spirit…This was almost similar to seeing Italians celebrating after their 2006 wc win…I am really proud to support such a team who has fetched we all indians such a glory…

    Chak De…

  92. I hope the young bloods, “keyboard kricketers” of India don’t make asses of tehmselves on cricinfo. Pakistani commentators like Kamran Abbasi, have stayed far above the din of mania, just as veterans like Gavaskar, Akram, Intikhab Alam, or Kapil have. The game and championship are over. Now let’s get on with our lives.

  93. And in case someone thinks that Shoaib Malik talked like that because of religious influences within the team, stop for a moment and think of our own Yusuf and Irfan Pathan – brothers whose father has been a muezzin, a naazim, and have lived inside a masjid all their lives. In the Indian Armed forces you have religious leaders of several faiths, shastris, pastors, maulvis, bhikhus, and granthis. It’s not a question of where you are from.

  94. We Won – that’s true. but how much is this winning attributed to luck is probably a good question. Many “what ifs” are interesting to be pondered for e.g. what if India had to bat second, what if Joginder Sharma was faster bowler (the shot in the last ball could have been a six if the delivery had pace), what if Pakistan had won “bowl out” in the earlier match.
    Can India repeat this against Aussies?

  95. Hey!…
    Fantabulous… every word is wisely used and impacts deeply…
    keep writing..
    cheers! …

  96. GB, I guess ‘nimbua’ perhaps refers to the saint ?r? Nimb?rk?ch?rya — known for his Vaishnava theology of Dvaitadvaita version of vedanta. ‘Gol’ referes to the fact that Sri Nimbarka is believed to be the incarnation of Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra. Indeed Nimbarka’s highest regard for the Gopis’ self-surrendering style of devotion/bhakti is attempted – albeit tad bluntly – by the actress in the album.

  97. AWESOME victory and Nicely captured in your blog… i am writing this on the day, the team is coming back to a heroic welcome… but somehow, it is really hard to digest that the same people, same governments did nothing to salute the performance of the hockey team that won a tournament just a couple of weeks back…

    NDTV was showing a live telecast of the whole procession as if there was no other news happening in the country (don’t know about the other channels, may be they too did)… i wonder if there was even a formal reception for the hockey players…. the attitude of people towards the victorious cricket and hockey teams is so contrasting that i wonder what motivates the hockey guys to carry on…

    i am in no way trying to take away the performance of the cricket team or trying to ruin the good feeling prevalent in your blog and comments, but these were the feelings i had when i saw the tv today morning and one cannot but ignore the step-motherly attitude that we show to hockey….

    hope you will write something about it as well…

  98. Bhojpuri Spice Girls! Awesome! Jhakaas!

  99. relentless reverie September 26, 2007 — 8:26 am

    CHAK DE…..

    so great to finally win after 24 yrs…..cricket has suddenly united the whole of india…..

    to alter a quote i read a while back….its crcket an srk dat sell in india nt sex….

    jus too gud…..n great post der GB….

    intil dis match i used to think dat cricket is jus sum dumb game played by 22 fools and watchd by anoither 22 million…but today am in love wid cricket….


  100. Well put Arnab.

    And as the saying goes ‘ Nothing succeeds like success’. So forget everything else– just sit back and let the sheer joy of having won, sink in.

  101. @Sriram:
    Party pooper? No. I was just advising moderation. We have won a tournament where the difference between brilliance and mediocrity doesn’t matter as much. I am very happy for the win. But this does not indicate we have suddenly become a better cricketing team than SA or Aus.

    Ah, the last recourse of the illiterate and intellectually challenged – expletives and misogyny. (Menstruating cunts? Oh my what dirty things those are! Chee chee!) As for the gaalis, says more about you than about us.

    “Twenty20 is the future of cricket. The first casualty will be ODIs, Tests will fade away a little later.”

    And if that happens, we will all be poorer for it. If you don’t understand that, you are not really a cricket fan.

    @Ravi Ivaturi:
    That is provided Vinay has one set of parents. Looks more like a case of one-mother-many-fathers on that night in ’83… 🙂

    No indeed. I agree with you there. Everyone is entitled to her SRK fandom, even if he looks more and more like Michael Jackson everyday. 🙂

  102. Success requires no apologies, failure permits no alibis.
    -Indian Cricket Team

  103. If the Congress opts for polls in 2008, will the euphoria of this victory have played any part in that decision?

    That, and the calculated bumbling of the BJP over Rama-setu.

  104. Shoaib Malik or somebody similar from Pakistan team had commented that a win over India in the finals would be a Ramzan gift for their brethren, little they forget (if we folloow the same skewed logic of religion), we had Ganesh Chaturthi here, and with Siddhidaata by our side, it did not take much to realise why we won.

    I have always how Pakistani cricket team drop the name of Allah in every quote, is this how they speak in general?? Does Musharaff also invoke the name all the time? Inspite of the wrong doings he is upto?

    @ Greatbong – Just one addition, great moment was Irfan on Yusuf’s shoulder waving the India flag. Yusuf infact held on to the flag right till the end.

  105. @Anirban: Yes you are

    @Footballnath: Ahem…so I did.

    @Stone: I presume that they have this points system for the Man of the Series….because otherwise don’t see how he could have got it.

    @Mystic Margarita: Thanks..

    @Chinmay: Welcome..

    @JD: Thanks

    @Anurag: Yes I know that..:-)

    @Ram: Mow down our celebration? But why? :-). Since we are so bad at mowing down our disappointment and anger, shouldnt we at least be generous with our applause today?

    @Rishi: Yes Dhoni took some good decisions.

    @Rishi Khujur: Yes you do.

    @Dipen: Tremendous pressure to deliver? Now why would you think that?

    @Giri: It was.

    @Prasun: Yes duly noted. Thanks.

    @Aby The Original: Heard. Hope things are back to a semblance of normality now.

    @Aditi: “I guess the straight male eye will not really comprehend SRK’s sexuality”

    Perhaps a non-straight man will comprehend his sexuality. But I cannot. He looked like a vampire Michael Jackson cross.

    @Vijay: Thank you…

    @WTF : Thank you thank you…I feel like a seer….now if I only could see the stock market as well..

    @Anonymous: Chak de.

    @Sujan: No not spooked out. It stands to reason—-once there are no expectations to live up to, sportsmen can get the “fear” out of their minds. Which is when their true potential is realized. Indian and Pakistani teams both came with very low expectations and “pressure” which is why they played as per their merit.

    @Aniket: 🙂

    @Harish: Touching..hmm

    @Dibyo: Gambhir —yes he was sensational too though his performance kind of fell under the radar as compared to Yuvi.

    @Naman: Hmm

    @Anonymous: Yes forgot to mention that. No rest day…yeah right.

    @Surendra: 🙂

    @Anirban: Typo sir….I know that Srinath retired years ago..

    @Rima: Was he?

    @Shekhar: Yes sounds too good to be true.

    @Sriram: Well who else could have played? I think it was a brave decision to send him up at the very beginning….and I think he played well and gave us an initial momentum. I am doubtful if he could have hit that six at the end when Gul was bowling so brilliantly.

    @Spark: Yeah we did !

    @S.Pyne: Thanks

    @Abhishek: The Australians are really bad losers. I have posted about this before—they may be a great team but I hesitate to call them champions.

    @Dhananjay: Agarkar vs Joginder is like Mulayam vs Mayawati…not much to choose between them.

    @Saurabh: I do know what the song means…I think its fairly evident….I was just being “sarcastic”..

    @Bhopale: I am too. However the operative word is “some”.

    @Jerry: Who shaved off their beard? I think the player formerly known as Yousuf Yohanna still carries his beard…..

    @Ravi: I agree. Malik was trying to placate the home loonies …poor guy.

    @Pijush: Thanks

    @Paromita: The blow-by-blow account…maybe a few years hence when I can look back with the 2020 vision of hindsight.

    @Skp: Thanks

    @Kailas: Productivity loss….heres to many more days of such productivity losses.

    @TheCommutist: When you remember how Mushtaq was one of the suspected key agents of bookies in the Pakistan team as per the Qayyum report, you realize what a big put-on his supposed saintliness is.

    @Abraham: I am sure most Muslims in India felt exactly like your friend.

    @Tapasvini: Yes I still stand by my statement. It was the weakest team we had ever sent out. The team that went to WC07 was way stronger. Its weakness was in respect to other teams which had 1) experience in 2020 2) a clutch of proven all-rounders 3) had played together before.

    As to being humble after winning….no. Why should we 🙂 ! We never win—-we never get to rub our heels in–the Aussies gloat, the English whine and we stay silent losers. Well not today. Maybe the next time I get to take off my hypothetical shirt and wave it in the air will be after 24 years…..so its better I say everything I have meant to say for some time now.

    @Sriram: It was too much of a howler to be forgotten.

    @Satish: Well it is kind of a theocracy.

    @Kim: Thanks.

    @dEBoLiN: Hmm

    @Nags: Thanks

    @Shan: I didnt know this was not the official World Cup. It was marketed as such and the ICC website also said so…if I recall. While some of your points are well taken, it should be noted that noone is saying that India is the best team in the world. As a matter of fact, what makes the victory so thrilling that even though they are not, they can still beat the best based on their gelling as an unit and because of their spirit. I think most of the commenters here as well as myself are celebrating precisely that.

    @Anoop Saha: Platonic..aha 🙂

    @Rahul: Yes we are all thrilled….

    @V: Misbah is 33 (I may be wrong)…the poor man doesnt have many years ahead of him…

    @Nishit: Yeah it is the time for cliches.

    @Ravi: Good idea. Will do sometime.

    @Anthony: No no old Sanath was not to blame. He just had two “bad days in office”….and thats what happens when you wear those light blues.

    @Sriram: Thank you

    @Shourideb: Why? Well he thought that the scoop shot was perhaps the safest shot to play…ironically he was almost right. Except that the ball was just too slow for that shot….he had to give the full force himself which is why he didnt get the elevation he was expecting.

    @Tanushree: Yes thats why Snape in the English side has been helping the others win. Just like our man Ajit A.

    @Prasun: Yes I forgot about that “didnt have rest” crib.

    @Sriram: Awww…

    @Kunal: Yes that movie “Dhoka”….execrable stuff.

    @BSinha: 🙂

    @Pritam: Tests and Dhoni…well…I am not yet sure if he makes the Test team as a certainty with Kartik having an advantage in terms of being able to open. The problem is that with the oldies still shoo-ins for the test slots, having both Kartik and Dhoni keeps out Yuvi. I am not sure thats a good thing at all.

    @Nasir: Hmm

    @Vinay: Ok okay…no oral sex with Miandad images please..

    @Kaangeya: Hmm it might very well be.

    @Killerbee_qa: Thanks

    @Musing Monsoon: I think Dhoni’s parents will just have to come to terms with the fact that the path their son has chosen will bring them hysteria of both extremes and it would be good to enjoy the adulation while it lasts.

    @From Kerala: I am calling him a pyscho cause he is one. He may be talented but that doesnt still not make him borderline crazy.

    @deece38: Malik married to a girl from AP? Oh Kishor..wherefort are thou?

    @Dhananjay: Balls of Titanium…I like that !

    @Arun: Heh

    @Turrtle: 🙂

    @Satori: No he is not. Shoaib attacks his own team.

    @Kaunteya: Hmm

    @Last_commentator: Thank you for the funda. I am like this only.

    @Aditya: Right !

    @Suzi: Hmm

    @Dibyo: That was only for Inzi

    @The Kaleidoscope: J&K unfortunately isnt really India any longer.

    @ Sd: Thanks

    @Tarzan: Thanks

    @Ancient Mariner: You should look at the Pakistani cricket community on Orkut for more fun…

    @Kaangeya: We have lives?

    @the pay-C-mist: Well then we could also attribute our bad performances to bad luck also. Forget luck—good teams make their own luck.

    @Chandni: Thanks

    @S.Pyne: Using Occam’s razor, I think I will go with the explanation that some anatomical attribute is what the song is about.

    @Sim: I agree. The government should be even-handed in treating all sports. As to whether people get enthused by cricket than hockey or soccer, well that’s their choice.

    @Dealer: He has his Porsche 911

    @Akhil: 🙂

    @Relentless Reverie: Chak de back at you.

    @Anirban: Yep

    @Harshad: Hmm

    @Hara Hara Bom Bom: They need to call elections like right NOW, before the Aussies have a chance to spoil the party.

    @Random Inclusions: Yes right…the Indian flag I forgot to mention.

  106. I have been noticing a trend in certain media cautioning the Indian team not to go overboard with the 20 20 victory. I really cannot understand this. This kind of advice suits ex players and current players like say Tendulkar. Also, what would the media have said if we had indeed lost in this tournament? The youngsters played hard and deserved their success. People should actually be wary of money hungry administrators eg. insatiable cock sucking sluts like L. Modi et al. Due to their commercial attraction, Test matches have already taken a backseat to ODI’s. This has espcially affected the subcontinent teams who are reluctant to play any more than 3 Tests but will happily play 7 ODIs. Now with the success of 20 20, my concern is that the new way of rationing may be even more hurtful for Tests. So if now have bilateral series with 5 2020’s , 5 odis and 1 Test, it will be a regressive and retrograde step. I will however be less concerned if 2020 carve a niche for itself at the expense of ODIs.

    A classic example of the outcome of not taking Test matches seriously are the batsmen of Pakistan. Apart from Yousuf and Younis and Haq, all the flashy players like Nazir, Butt etc etc since 90s have displayed extremely weak techniques. Their cricket system seems to produce excellent and natural fast bowling talents but batsmen who are not solid. India however should continue to nurture young players in the Australian method with technique first and fiestiness later without trying to recast or remodel him in the textbook style, a folly which the English system commits again and again. The most heartening thing about Indian cricket however is the plethora of fast bowlers at our disposal.

    It seems that this form of cricket will surely make fitter and stronger players. Can you imagine someone like a Ravi Shastri batting or fielding in 2020? I have seen at least 3 subcontinent players who have transformed themselves into really good bowlers from promising ones by their ostentiable increase in strength and fitness – namely Asif, Gul and RP Singh. Fitter players make better fielders. Just see Robin Utthappa.

    The success of this tournament however goes beyond the achivement itself. If 1983 made us beleive that we were capable of ultimate success, this victory is bound to reassure the youth that there is nothing to fear and encourage them to take on the world with their heads held high. This tournament had ample moments of spark which will have an amplified effect on the psyche of the nation in general. And the fans in turn deserved such a performance from their national team for all their support.

  107. Hey man..very well written. I enjoyed reading this . Nice one.
    Would like to say just one thing “INDIA ROCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”

  108. Loved the way you wrote..”Jogiya Khali Bali” was extremely funny. BTW had Sreesanth dropped that catch im sure he would have faced the dancing(oops daunting) media infront of him. I still dont know what happens to him once he is on ground. He seems to be in different world.

  109. GB…..nicely written and congratulations are in order to the winning team members of the Indian team, I specifically say “team members” because there are going to be a lot of others who will jump on this bandwagon and hog the limelight.
    Sreesanth may be a psycho on the field, which sometimes is a good thing. If not anything it is going to fill the cheap seats :-). In my honest opinion he brings a kind of aggression which is needed these days in cricket. mind you it is not a gentleman’s game anymore… cucumber sandwiches and tea are replaced by products of sponsor’s choice. Off the field, he appears to be a level headed , god fearing young man who loves singing and dancing ;-).
    I say more power to him and the young Indian cricket team. But please don’t spoil them with money and expensive gifts. keep it real!! or else the mean hungry dogs are going to turn into lazy fat cats and you all know the rest of the story.

  110. It was a great win definitely… and as you point out, it’s that one critical moment that does it all…

    20-20 though has been an interesting format… check out a tangential take on that at http://bloguit.blogspot.com on the post “That’s just not cricket!”

  111. GB, Aha so if MJ and a vampire breed you get that result….I will start looking at them differently now. May be I will learn something about straight men’s perception of male sexuality.

  112. @ Aditi
    Actually, I saw Shahrukh after a long time…and he did look ghoulish.

  113. @Rishi..Men speaking on men. What do I do?

  114. What a match! We will remember for years to come. People will ask: Where were you when India won that cup? Hopefully it’s not the last one.

    Also what’s up with our politicians doling out cash for these cricketers. I can understand the BCCI doing that. C’mon taxpayers money is better spent elsehwere. What a waste!

  115. Nice article as always.

    I think this win must be taken in perspective though,seems to be the classic knee jerk action by the public and the board( case in point : niranjan shah giving the porsche to uv as if it came from his own pockets – how cheap and arrogant)…show some humility India..

    Spare a thought for our hockeu team.More skill,more stamina,very very less money….Most of them are not so well off….

    GB – If possible , please write an article on our hockey team.Your articles are read by so many people and published sometimes,it might just help.

  116. GB,

    Wonderful win, great read. But moi just a little PO-ed at the excessive charity work done by the state and central governments. That was completely unnecessary.

    Have a look at this : http://farkandfunk.wordpress.com/

    Twisting bollywood and cricket.

  117. SRK looked like a desi MJ. I LoL’d! Great game, I’m glad I watched it. Great post too!

  118. Great Post GB!

    I Just din’t like the mention of bhojpuri songs in the end, pls note that these songs don’t represent “Bhojpuri songs”, try listening to Singers Like Sharda sinha.

  119. A bit more…. Mumbai Mirror had a front page story (the final morning) of how Miyan Mush gave a pep talk to Malik and co. egging them to win the finals!!!.. :-)(his idea of diverting attention failed yet again, joy oh joys).

    Malik’s theory of world muslims actually comes from the the religious teaching which has been made a part of the team (as read in India times or Outlook mag), which infact was a root cause of troubles for late coach Bob.

    @ Aditi – Trust me! Shahrukh looked “augh!!!” With hair that looked like a taupe. Or done with bad hair spray (as used in the cheap beuty parlours in Kolkata during bridal makeup, horror of horrors). And after the victory, he looked like a fan who got to enter the field without being chased away by security.

    After thought!!
    Dhoni’s t-shirt scene was timed so perfectly. I was pleased that I did not have had to watch Shahrukh waving his, and showing off newly worked & waxed/shaved/prunned/whatever body with those glistening ‘6 packs’ to promote Om Shanti Om! (He meet the team afterwards and and gave them CDs of the same).

  120. How come no R.P. Singh? Is it becuase he is from U.P.?

  121. Pakistan loss explained via SMS

    ‘When Misbah had hit that last shot, he had forgotten that one can find a Mallu anywhere in the universe’ 🙂

  122. what really happened to SRK? he looks ghoulish even in the pepsi ad with John Abrahim. Something went dreadfully wrong.
    @Aditi: I normally disagree with GB on a host of issues, but gotto agree on this one about SRK.
    @GB:Maybe you could try and listen to the good Bhojpuri songs on youtube once in a while. Making sarcastic remarks on raunchy stuff and putting the ‘bhojpuri’ tag on them again and again is in bad taste. Its funny once in a while..but not always 🙂
    Nevertheless, writing strange things about different players/teams (SL chosing the indian color, jellybeans, flintoff, comments on the heroic SA team who were unlucky to be kicked out after losing 1 match) seems a bit uncharacteristic of you. I had a feeling you were the neutral blogger. Nothing wrong being heavily patriotic..but I expected a neutral comment from you.

    Regarding Shoaib Malik, cmon give him a break. Can you imagine the tension at that point of time? the pressure of the ‘muslim oriented’ team, the pressure back home, the condition of being overawed and stunned by losing by a whisker. I agree whatever he told was crappy, that too being a captain..but considering the circumstances, should we be that harsh on him?

    Furthermore, as we discussed earlier..the ‘private’ (ohh yes, I start it again) BCCI team comes after a well-deserved worldcup and the state governments come in with cash prizes. My tax money goes to the cricket team and the road in front of my house remains pot-holed since the last 10 years. I aint happy 😦

    @Shan: I agree, ‘chak de’ seems crappy. half of India wont even know what it means.

  123. @Mrinal Mukherjee:

    Precisely what I (and one or two others) was trying to convey regarding the excessive effusion of joy after the win.

    What we need is more moderation and less knee jerk (“We won the World Cup. We are the best. Throw Sourav, Sachin, Dravid out of all teams now. We don’t need them any more. This team is the greatest ever. Dhoni is the cat’s whiskers. Give them money. Give them cars. Build temples.”) kind of reactions. Unfortunately, we get compared to hypothetically infected feminine private parts when we do so.

    As if we are not happy with the win, just because we advise moderation. Smacks of George Bush’s “if you are (totally) with us, you are against us” philosophy. We HAVE to be ecstatic. Any reservations, and we are “party poopers!”

    Anyway, I totally and completely disagree with state governments giving cash grants/land/money to employees of a private organization that is not accountable to us. Because it’s MY money that is going into their pockets, and frankly, I’d rather have a smooth Andheri-Kurla road with that money than a 20-20 World Cup. If that sounds selfish, I am sorry, but I’m the one who everyday takes 40-60 minutes to get to an office that is 8 Kms away from home, not an already rich Yuvraj Singh, or the always dratted Agarkar.

    The BCCI can give them all the Porches and money that want to. I couldn’t care less.

    I also resent the fact that organizations like Railways, State Banks and oil corporations are giving their cricketer “employees” out of turn promotions. How does that make actual hardworking employees feel? What work do they do for the Railways anyway?

    These are purely populist measures by politicians meant to satisfy grateful “fans” who stupidly want their idols rewarded for some perceived value they have provided. If you ask the same fans to shell out 100 bucks from their pockets for them, they will demur. But when the government does it, it seems fine. Who’s the joke on, then?

  124. @random inclusions :
    ‘When Misbah had hit that last shot, he had forgotten that one can find a Mallu anywhere in the universe’ 🙂

    Rofl LMAO 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I heard that neil Armstrong found one Mallu on moon too when he reached there… 🙂


  125. @ Mrinal

    Your point about the Government going overboard with the tax-payers money is well-taken.
    But I don’t buy your argument that the ‘South African team was unlucky because they just lost one match and are kicked out’. Look, SA didn’t lose just ‘any’ match, they lost ‘the’ match that mattered most, or rather they made a ‘normal’ match into a ‘critical’ match by choking and playing like dumb asses. The way competitive sport is played, some points/games are clearly more important than the others. For example, in tennis, break-points are more important than normal points, mistakes made in a tie-breaker are more costly than the ones made in the games. Success depends not on superior performance on average, but peaking at the big points/games.

    Regarding Shoaib Malik- Well, at the highest level, nobody gives you a break; handling pressure is something you sign up for. You have got to get it right every single time or prepare to be flayed without mercy. That’s the name of the game.

  126. Out of context : Ponting is fuming already ….. I hope Zaheer does to Hayden what he did to Smith …..

    It will be the first time that Pak is playing at the Eden when I won’t be there to watch it …… watching an Eden test on willow.tv will make me really homesick ….(last time I got lathi charged by the cops for no fault of mine ….Shoaib Akhtar had pushed Sachin resulting in his run out) …Arnabda …..I think some day you should write a blog on the Eden Gardens ….

    Guys am I the only one who thinks that the obnoxiously greedy BCCI old men’s club is overworking the players just to earn money ???? I mean an Oz series RIGHT after the 20-20 WC ……not that I’m complaining as a fan ….but I am a little concerned about the fitness of players like RP Singh, Yuvi and MS …. those lads are taking the heat …

    Apologies once again for not speaking on the topic ….

  127. @Shan: So you are telling GB and the rest not to go overboard at this win? Funny that when India lost in the first round earlier this year, I recall your deeply critical comments about the team management and players which some might consider a sign of having been carried away.

    Let’s look at what you said then:

    > Tell the big three RIGHT NOW that regardless of their public support, there is no way ANY of them will be playing World Cup 2011, so that they gracefully retire by 2008 end, and

    This is what you say now:

    >What we need is more moderation and less knee jerk (”We won the World Cup. We are the best. Throw Sourav, Sachin, Dravid out of all teams now. We don’t need them any more. This team is the greatest ever. Dhoni is the cat’s whiskers. Give them money. Give them cars. Build temples.”) kind of reactions

    In fact, I do not blame you for your flip-flopping as this is exactly how “fans” react: in extremes. However when you try commenting with that wise-ass superior tone of yours about how all of us need to exercise moderation, I feel obliged to expose your duplicity.

    @Mrinal: GB is politically neutral but I dont think he ever said he was not a fan !

    @GB: Thanks for an excellent summary of what each of us fans felt that blessed Monday. Incidentally I was not surprised to see Amit Varma’s piece in Mint (http://indiauncut.com/iublog/article/the-twenty20-age-begins/) which I felt was nothing but a rehash of the two part post “Twenty Twenty Vision” that you wrote.

    The Bhojpuri Spice Girls is priceless. Ignore the Mrinals who seem to have an issue with whatever you write.

    @Aditi: One more person here who agrees 100% with GB about SRK.

  128. Not relevant to the post but our dear friend Mohammed Yousuf has decided he does not want to play in the ICL after all. It seems he did not read through the contract he signed. Yeah right !!!

  129. I hear you all…nice, and all voices are male.
    Anyway GB, even people who normally disagree, agree with you on SRK! That’s positive. I only wish I here more feminine voices like that, I will only be too glad to be singled out as the SRK fan. He will be all mine to love…

  130. as far as Sreesanth being “psycho”…. well, it is waaay overdue that we had a bowler with the in-your-face, devil-may-care-i’ll-kick-your-sorry-ass-off-the-field sort of aggressiveness. seriously, his intimidating attitude could be one of the reasons why the barbaric-to-mild-bowlers aussie batsmen like Gilchrist and Hayden were kept at bay… and for once, sledging by an Indian bowler was not answered with a 15-run first over… i would encourage him, and for all the “subcontinental bowler being a smart ass match fines” that he is charged, the BCCI should pay him the deficit!!

  131. It will be interesting to see how long the cricket team continues without a regular coach. I wonder if we would had as much success as we had in England and 2020 with an authoratarian figure like Greg Chappell at the helm. Youngsters should definitely be tried; but they should also be kicked out if they have not delivered after a fair run. Chappell however beleived in his own ‘vision’, that Suresh Raina and YV Rao were the future of the Indian middle order. This player fits. That one doesnt. Why? You have no right to ask or question. Its a divine ‘vision’. This kind of bullheadedness would have surely meant that guys like Rohit Sharma or Manoj Tiwari would never have made it to the team. If I remember correctly, he also said some extremely philosophical things to RP Singh when the youngster went upto him to ask why he was not in contention.

    I hope that this coachless phase continues provided it does not put an unduly heavy burden on Dhoni’s already burdened shoulders. Next time the wise men of BCCI sit down to pick a coach, if they pass it on to a white guy, they pick someone who is professional, competent, phlegmatic and remains behind the scenes; someone who does not try to be a ‘God’ amongst the ‘natives’.

  132. @Yourfan2

    Wright was a pretty successfull coach. I think a coach’s role is to offer advise on strategy and tehnique, not drive the team as happens in football. Chapell tried to be an Alex Ferguson. Doesn’t work in cricket.

  133. Mr. GB,

    Awesome post and messages sent to every team are so appropriate.. .. and I always wonder how do u get hold of such unusual Bhojpuri videos from?.. :D.. Nice post in all.. and Chake de India…

    Hopefully ur next post wud be about how our hockey team’s Asian games victory was not applauded as the T20 victory.. Whats ur take on this?.. I am curious to know..:)

  134. @Rohan:

    Assuming you are moderately versed ion the English language, I will point out that there is NO contradiction between the two posts. But before pointing out your logical error, let me admit that I am great Sourav Ganguly fan (if that wasn’t evident already).

    Now coming back…

    I had said after the World Cup (as you quoted me), that none of the big three should play beyond 2008 end in ODIs. I still stand by that statement and mean it completely. And I fail to understand how my subsequent statement about people’s knee jerk reactions about dropping all the three contradicts the earlier one!?

    In case it is still not evident, let me make it clearer. This is what I said:

    “Tell the big three RIGHT NOW that regardless of their public support, there is no way ANY of them will be playing World Cup 2011, so that they gracefully retire by 2008 end…”

    The operative phrase and words are – “no way ANY of them will be playing World Cup 2011” and “2008 end”. Is that clear enough to you now?

    My subsequent statement:

    “What we need is more moderation and less knee jerk (”We won the World Cup. We are the best. Throw Sourav, Sachin, Dravid out of all teams now. We don’t need them any more. This team is the greatest ever. Dhoni is the cat’s whiskers. Give them money. Give them cars. Build temples.”) kind of reactions…”

    Operative words: “out of all teams now. We don’t need them any more.”

    May I posit that there is a temporal as well semantic difference between “now” and “2008” and “2011”? Thank you for understanding.

    Now let’s get to your statements about me:

    “However when you try commenting with that wise-ass superior tone of yours about how all of us need to exercise moderation, I feel obliged to expose your duplicity.”

    Actually again you expose your ignorance of tone and register in language. My earlier post did not have a “wise-ass superior” tone. If you felt that way, I’m afraid it was purely because of your inferiority complex.

    This post however, might be more culpable on that tonal front, and given your evidently limited abilities in comprehension and understanding of the language and its nuances, it seems rather justified.


  135. @Yourfan and Dibyo:

    Chappell is now the Rajasthan coach or something like that. I feel for the Rajasthan team. They will probably lose whatever status they had so far. 🙂

    I look forward to Rajasthan playing Bengal or Maharashtra now. 🙂

  136. @Rohan
    “The Bhojpuri Spice Girls is priceless. Ignore the Mrinals who seem to have an issue with whatever you write.”

    Really? For your info and for GB’s info..(if he cares to have a look at it), GB is quite a good writer having one of the best humor quotients i have ever come across. Thats the basic reason I visit this site regularly. Apart from that he raises up some political issues too quite regularly and even if I dont agree at times with what he comes up with, it usually helps me learn a lot about the different perspectives which come up in the comments section. Thanks to people like you for the same.
    I dont beleive in having fun at the expense of others or some other community. Once in a while is OK..not always. Bhojpuri music is something much more than ‘ischool key tem pey’ and bhopuri spice girls. Unfortunately the crappiest songs in this genre have been chosen to make its presence on India’s leading blog site. Its a pity. This is a beautiful language having quite a beautiful culture. Lets not tag it with crappy stuff again and again.
    PS: Im not related to the bhojpuri language in any way. Am a bengali 🙂
    @GB: After this long awaited post on cricket, would love to get your views on the Burma crisis and our role in it.

  137. awesome stufff….mann u jus made me think of dose winning moments aggain…n for da shoiab commment…really cool to point it outt…its cos of jerks like innocent guys r luk down upon…n yaa da aussie point was also ultimate..ddey cn never talke a loss sportinglyy…..
    welll all said n donee…india ne sabkii bandd baaja dii….jhandee gaad diye…ukhaaad ke rakhh diyaa…zasba dauda diyaa….in shhortt we kickkedd ass derr…chak de india..

  138. Hara hara bom bom September 28, 2007 — 3:26 pm

    Mrinal M/jee “@GB: After this long awaited post on cricket, would love to get your views on the Burma crisis and our role in it”.

    My take on your query to GB : It would be in USA’s interest to do something like this, because :

    1. USA needs a strong base in S.Asia. Burma is physically weak, with masses vehemently against the military. After so much suffering, the people can be assumed to be amenable to US dollars & pliable . Maintaining US military presence should be easy.

    2. They have to contain China’s influence in the region

    3. Presence on India’s border can help ‘oversee’ India’s activities (including nuclear espionage).

    4. They can check another Islamic terrorist base developing in Bangladesh.

    5. They can monitor Islamic terrorism in Malaysia

    6. They can stem the spreading red menace that has choked Nepal, and may spread to Burma with the blessing of the military (a junta need not necessarily be opposed to Communism .. see Zimbabwe).

    7. Oil & gas …. some gems too.

    India is likely to give the venture it’s partial blessings, but I doubt if India possesses the vision, guts, knowhow, resources and savviness to carry it out.

    After all, have you our Pranab Mukherjee? Could he devise somehting like this?

    Ha kapaal … at one time Mukherjee’s meant Bagha Jatin, Jayanta, Ashutosh & Shyamaprasad. Their indomitable might then waned, but they still distinguished themselves brilliantly in literature and arts (Prabhat, Hemanta, Sandhay, Dwijen, Arati).

    And now they are reduced to buffoons like Pranab Mukherjee & Subroto Mukherjee. “E ki doshaa thakur, kii poton?”

    Whoops, sorry. Exception definitely made for Mrinal Mukherjee !! 🙂 🙂

    Also, like you, am very keen to hear Arnabda’s views. This is a very good topic so I hope it gets discussed. Eta tolbaar jonyo ashesh dhonyobaad.

  139. Probably this is irrelevant and out of context, but it reminded me so much, not of 1983 so much, but of 1985 in Australia. Sadanand, Siva and Azhar were the 3 newcomers creating magic.

    Anyway, savoring the moment…

  140. gb,
    perhaps you can also do a post on the brazil women’s soccer team (specifically marta / christianne duo). If you did not already, do take a look at the 4th goal against usa on you tube. women’s soccer is starting to look like professional soccer (sorry, been in america too long; replace soccer with football in the above)

  141. Great game. Good format. Good thrills. Excellent performance.

    I wish the Aussies weren’t such sore losers though. Ponting’s column the next day blamed his defeat on the “constant traveling”. H

  142. …to continue where I left off…

    He also said Sreesanth didn’t deserve his wickets. Last i checked, a stump getting uprooted out of the ground indicated that the batsman didn’t hit the ball. It also indicated that the Indians were on the field with 11 players at the time and the umpire wasn’t in on it.

    Anyway, Ponting’s got more “flesh-pressing” matters to worry about now, what with overly huggy Indian fans accosting him in Bangalore and all. He should pray that Sreesanth doesn’t demand a hug for his comment.

  143. ‘nimbua’ refers to a lemon. ‘raja’ refers to a good boy. songs on lemon are traditional in folk culture, would have heard ‘nimbooda nimbooda nimbooda’ song of hum dil de chuke sanam movie … also fully COPIED from a folk song (article also came on DD news 🙂 )

  144. //Dear Sri Lankans, What’s with the change in uniform? Why the light blue Team India-type look? Do get back to the deep blue uniform cause maybe this time God, who doesn’t see as good as he used to any more from way up high, got confused and thought you were India—which explains why you did not make the semis.//

    Ultimate thoughts! Arnab, u rock!

    But y dint u mention abt Yuvi and his 6/6?

  145. @Hara hara bom bom
    what else do i say but grin like a moron

  146. Arnab,

    any comments abt Yuvi’s 36-out-of-6?

  147. @Anuradha: Nope nothing that I havent said already,in a general way.

  148. Sriram Venkitachalam September 30, 2007 — 3:51 pm

    irfan started with “masha allah”. i think that was in response to malik’s b.s. to show that dude there r more muslims here than there. great win. hilarious post as ever
    “hoping that Sreesanth does not slice a batsman with a pocket knife” – cracked me up

  149. nice post ! I enjoyed it ! Keep up the good work !

  150. thanks for the bhojpuri link 🙂

  151. Nice One dude..Its always good to read about INDIAs glories..Chak De india hoping this winning stream continues for years t ocome…

  152. Dear Sir,

    Respect!!! .

    What a piece of writing! I re-lived the celebrations of final. The match was an absolute delight even for an aurangzeb of cricket like me.

    What made it more wonderful was that I was watching it with some 100-odd shouting screaming spectators cramped in space for around 40 people. The crowd here entirely overlooked the fact that TV, a powerful medium though it is, can not take our cheering to the Indian team.

    What made it more wonderful (yes that was possible) was presence of 4 pakistani viewers in the crowd. Thankfully they had more sportsmanship in them than Shoaib Malik and Anglo-Ausi teams put together.

    But tell you what, I am hooked to your blog.


  153. this was in my opinion the greatest win for team India

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