The High and The Mighty

Indian fan, in search of answers, asks the High and the Mighty.

Ravi the Shastri: Why did India lose? Well, the Australian bowlers, strong strapping lads all of them, got the balls in the right areas, were straight, pitched up and hit the deck. Hard. Real hard. The pitch had some juice, there was bounce and carry, and the cherry was hard. Hard.Real hard. It was an important match and the Australians brought their A game but the Indians, their body language was all wrong and soon the cat was among the pigeons. Then…. [Fat lady sings]….oh wait that’s my ringtone….need to take this call. “Oh hello, Mr. BCCI, that cheque you sent me, it was a competitive total, but it had Sunny’s name written all over it…YES don’t you understand? it was in his name…the lady at the bank didn’t agree when I said ‘It doesn’t matter how they come as long as they come”…So please send me MY cheque fast, yes…mail it to me as fast as a tracer bullet…” So yes, as I was saying…

Rahul the Dravid: Of course we know why India lost. Because I am old. Slip catches slip through my fingers. I cannot bend down fast enough to yorkers and in-dippers. Rather than laughing at my fate, you should be ashamed that a man as old has to put on my gear and face up at No 3 while younger men develop shifty injuries right after IPL and stay at home. What next? Expect A K Hangal to head Blackcat commandos?

VVS the Laxman: India lost to Australia? You are wrong. India won. I personally made 281. And I have been saying Aftab Shivdasani will be the next Shahrukh Khan. What?  Isn’t this 2001? Oh my God.I must have forgotten to take…

Tony The Greig: India humiliated in Australia? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…..

Harbhajan The Singh: That’s what happens when you send Virat the Kohli, a mere boy, to do a man’s job. In 2007, when I gave gaalis, I turned the team around.  These wannabes I tell you…

Sachin the Tendulkar: My 100th century. My 100th century. My 100th century. I think I will make myself available for ODIs to get it.

Virat The Kohli: Behen****, Teri maa ki *****, Yeh le mera *********

The Srini: When the Australians play in India, I assure you we WILL win. All right, all right, I will win. Chennai Super Kings will win. Compulsory hai.

Michael the Vaughan: India once again humiliated? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…

Virender the Sehwag: Lost? As far as I am concerned, I have won. Personally, this has been a very good season. Two of Delhi Daredevil’s most exciting young talents, the Delhibois—Warner and Yadav have shown fine form. We have also bought Kevin the Pietersen, a batsman we Indians personally back to form in England. Our Bramhasastra Ajit the Agarkar will be well-rested come March. And finally, my season has been perfect—-some light bowling, some light batting, so that my shoulder stays loose without locking up. The last thing I want to do is to miss IPL. Because IPL matters.

Mahendra the Dhoni (in Hawaiian shirt and cool shades): Ooooh…ooohh…spare me the drama.  First of all, let’s stop the  “Ooh Indian players dont care for Test matches” hand-wringing. Of course we don’t. We can play 5 ODIs and 20 T20s and make many many times the amount of money in the same time that we invest in a Test. So why should we care for them? Because “we are supposed to?” Because it’s somehow “great and noble and historic”? Why do you work for a private firm and not for the government? Why don’t you serve the nation? Rokhra. Same for you. Same for us.

You know what’s the bigger hypocrisy here? It’s not as if Indians even care for Test cricket. That’s why in India we play in front of a few thousand spectators, most of them school-kids bought there for free as outing from school.

What you DO care for is winning. That’s why you are upset. Because WE did not win. Because Agneepath became Agneephossh.  This “WE” of course is a funny concept. Cause actually only “we”, the eleven players, win—we win money, we win fame and we win groupies in hotel rooms. You people convince yourself that this “we” includes you, if only to cover the singular lack of wins in your personal and professional lives. Not that I am complaining, this “WE” concept is why you paint your faces with blue, watch the ads, buy the cellphones and drink the soda and why “WE”, the real “WE”, live it large.

And that’s the thing. (chomping into a banana). I am trying to make all of us win. That’s why I hinted at retiring so that I can concentrate on ODIs and T20s.

In case you haven’t cottoned onto this yet, me and my generation suck at this five-day grind. So realistically we won’t be winning Tests abroad. We won’t be crying over it either, too much effort for not that much money.  In ODIs and T20s, we have a decent chance of winning. And we really want to. It will make us more money with less effort. It will also make you, the paying public, happier because you have more wins to feel “proud” of.

How do I know we will win? Well not less than an year ago, I did win something big for you. Remember?

Understanding now no? Here… khayega kela?


51 thoughts on “The High and The Mighty

  1. Dhoni is Ibu Hatela. Then who is Bulla?

  2. sad, but true 😦

  3. You hit the nail on the head with the words you attributed to Dhoni.

  4. yawnn.. who watches test matches anyways in india..unless we’re winning 😉
    with all the veterans dravid, tendulkar, laxman …in fact kohli has probably performed the best amongst indian batsmen.

  5. ^
    they dropped Ashwin, so he doesnt become highest run scorer in this series

  6. I expected much better post about this series Arnab

  7. The surrender to the Aussie quicks by the Indian galacticos is very disappointing – especially for Indians in OZ!!

    5 day cricket is still the touch stone of cricket supremacy – unfortunately the lure of IPL has meant that Indian players have pretty much decided to close shop at any event not part of IPL! This bastard child will devour its parents!!

    At Perth, the only indian batsman who had any idea of where the ball was was Virat Kohli.

    and what happened to Dhoni’s so called cool management techiniques ? How many matches does India need to loose for the selectors to get their act together? They have to select the best squad based on present performance, not past laurels!

  8. Not that great. Was expecting a serious one. 😦

  9. Like the words attributed to Tony and Dhoni!

    I wish our team, would have earned respectability as well as support from all their fans if they could have said:

    ” We are not good enough to play Test cricket. Henceforth we will play only T20 and one dayers”!

  10. Wonder how did Indian fan didnt aske anything to dada??

  11. Watching sports has always been a form of vicarious living….real sports is going out yourself and playing it and not watching………

  12. Dhoni as Ibu Hatela!

  13. The team is going through a very bad phase, period. Attributing the losses to lack of interest in Tests, swinging the IPL-sword as per convenience, and outpouring of so much vitriol is seriously uncool, Arnab. And this goes to everyone who are happily writing the Team and Dhonis obiituaries. Some on guys, lambast the team for their poor performance, but don’t bring in ulterior motives and money and IPL into the picture.

  14. As long as oldies rule this country, nothing will change. Oldies in politics, oldies in cricket board. Businessmen and politicians are partly responsible for this mess. The remainder of the problem is our ‘Holy Cow’ mindset which considers it sacrilegious to axe players like Tendulkar. Even here some cows are more holy than others. ‘Experts’ are only hinting at phasing out Laxman, Dravid and Sehwag. Why is it such a blasphemy to question Sachin’s place in the team? Now i don’t care if he gets his 100th ton or not. It will be meaningless, something that will anyway come in the due course if he stays put for another 10 years.

    Sachin is doing himself a great disservice by clinging on. Comparisons will inevitably be made to Bradman who stuck to his retirement plans despite his average nearing 100. If Sachin has any respect left, he too should quit chasing this landmark. In the bigger picture 99 is as good as 100. He will not be dwarfed if he doesn’t achieve the milestone.

    By giving the logic that someone needs to stay in the team simply because he has served India for so long, or that younger players will benefit from his experience is only compounding the problem. By this stupid logic the team will always remain old.

    The only thing that becomes better with age is liquor. Everything else must make way for something younger. India with its conservative age worshiping mindset has lost the plot not just in cricket but in administration and governance too.

  15. What happened? Can’t put the blame on Greg Chappell this time? Wasn’t he supposed to be the anti-Midas, who would bring Aussies disaster by advising them? Not a word about Fletcher now? Under Greg, you had a big post about some test or ODI titled ‘Massacre’ or something. Chappell was right on about the oldies being the problem, that they had too much say in matters of selection, and their (Viru for example) attitude.

  16. The Last Line is EPIC!!

    The entire article is nice and reflects the true picture of these guys!! Sad but true!! Time to grow some young talent if at all they have any patience and determination left for test cricket after IPL and CLs.

  17. Deep3rdMan,

    When Greg said it, it was not true. Because the Indian team’s greatest performance in Tests came *after* he had left with the same seniors he wanted out being in the team. But now in 2012, the seniors are a liability. They were not in 2007. Is that too much for you to understand or was the fact that he wanted Ganguly out worthy enough to still keep creaming in your pants at the sound of Greg, so many years after he had left?

  18. Seriously? I came here expecting something serious… But all you have on offer is the same old supposedly humorous but actually sick, boring blah blah blah… And ya – the overdone Gunda joke.

    The Ravi Shastri part was funny though, coz. you weren’t really trying to be serious.

    But then getting into righteous mode, putting the blame for everything on IPL and trying to prove that these cricketers don’t really care and they care only for money is lame.

    Every one who’s played even a good competetive game of galli cricket knows that people hate to lose and hate to lose on a stretch, money or no money. I cannot really believe that the team cannot be concerned about this.

    These guys have batted for a long long time, almost 15 years and by this, they have batted an entire generation of No. 3 to No. 5 batsmen out of their careers.

    On a different note, there is something that has been good – the bowling, the emergence of Yadav whose average speed is 142. Now that is a first 🙂 Hope it lasts though.

  19. Rakesh,

    I came here expecting good comments and yet I see moronic ones like yours. GB made the point that the reason Dhoni and the rest are not concerned about Tests is because they cannot win there consistently. Professional pride would entail Dhoni playing till he wins again, not say “I will retire to concentrate on 2015 World Cup”. You can of course swallow the soft-soap but anyone who has seen a senior players crying off playing Test cricket because of a shoulder injury that stays fine during every IPL would know exactly what the motivations are.

  20. @Deep3rdMan: Stop being idiotic. Greg Chappel had been talking about the SAME set of people, but 6 years ago when they still had a lot to give to the team. Obviously after 6 years, people will lose form – that doesn’t mean any asinine views that Chappell had in the past is proven correct. Chappell was a vicious, vindictive, lying, turd. And even the Aussie team had to sack him from team interactions after he started insulting them in the dressing room. Only retards defend Chappell now.

    @Arnab: Leaving aside all the frustration we feel, the practical solution would be really to (kind of) separate the teams for the shorter and longer formats, based on the twin parameters of ability and desire. Dhoni has made his apathy towards Tests amply clear, both in word and deed. It makes sense to relieve him of the chore of playing Test cricket and make him responsible for the T20 and ODI teams, where he has done spectacularly well.

    In fact, BCCI should actually ask players their format preferences and allot them formats accordingly. Of course the second parameter would kick in as well. For example, if someone like Dravid mentions T20s as preference, the BCCI can overrule him because he is obviously suited to the Test format more. Similarly someone like Suresh Raina would not be able to play Tests even if he wants because he is far more suited to the ODI format.

    This segregation will separate the real lovers of Tests from the pretenders. Face it, people would only want to play Tests if they really love it. Otherwise there is far more money and instant fame in the shorter formats. Also Tests being the most difficult format, some Test players would have the skills to play shorter formats, but not vice versa e.g. Gambhir and Sehwag.

    I think this would be an acceptable solution for everyone, including the IPL

    Once this segregation is done, the team rebuilding will begin. Of course Laxman and Dravid have to go – at least Laxman. Dravid can probably stay another season, given 2010 was one of his most successful years. [As an aside, I bet he’s thinking right now he should have retired on a high after 2010 instead of coming to Australia.] Sehwag will also probably not want to captain the team. So Gambhir, who genuinely loves playing Tests will become captain.

  21. @Anon: First up, calling a comment Moronic on a yucky blog post is like calling Inzamam – Alu; very childish.

    Professional pride would entail either trying your best or accepting the fact that you’re not good enough and making way for another suitable player. I guess, that is exactly what Dhoni hinted at.

    And if you are aware, Dhoni is one of the players who keeps complaining about the heavy work load and keeps excusing himself from International tours time and again.

    Why does he not excuse himself from IPL? Obviously because the cash is good. But this doesn’t mean that if he or any other cricketer plays 1 month in a year for himself, he should pay the remaining 11 months for the country. He does have the right to manage work load. It isn’t like these guys are playing IPL for 6 or 8 months in a year.

    They players should have the right to choose. IPL should not be in the discussion at all. Selection in the national team should be on current performance and committment of the player.

    We are a country of a billion. Why can we not have a pool of players big enough to play all the cricket that people want to watch?

  22. @rakesh…chillax…that anon was GB himself 😉

  23. i think we need bouncy pitches in India more than anything else. period

  24. Can one of the well informed folks on this forum tell me whether it is something about the soil quality or some such that we cannot have fast pitches in India even if we wanted to? I can’t see any other reason why we persist with flat pitches for test cricket (limited overs I can understand — crowd comes to see runs).

  25. oh the fucking stupid gunda jokes again. and you wonder why srk never tires of his stretched arms pose?

    you must be under the terribly wrong impression that you’re funny. i long for the day you die so that i can write your eulogy using gunda dialogues. please die.

  26. @skeptic – honestly, I don’t see any reason why the entire world should have same type of pitches.

  27. I am very disappointed with Dravid’s performance too.

    But he should be blamed only for the performance in Australia. Why have people got so less memory. He did superbly in England. You yourself wrote a laudatory article on him named the Wall.

    I am not saying that he should not retire. But he is a lesser culprit than Virendra Sehwag, MS Dhoni and to some extent Gautam Gambhir.

    Why blame the seniors when the youngsters(other than Kohli) aren’t doing any good ???

    Dravid was last year’s highest scorer in International Test cricket. His best performance after 2002.
    (;id=2011;type=year )

    Blame him as much as you want for poor performance in this series , but at the same time give him respect for his performance in 2011, which included 3 centuries against a very similarly lethal English attack.

  28. The reason india is losing in overseas tests is because the seniors are not playing well as they used to,during previous tours despite its shortcomings india played well because the batsmen used to score big runs in at least one test,that and the failure of gambhir,viru and dhoni made matters worse.Maybe age is catching up with them. Dhoni’s defensive fields,batting collapses after the fall 5th wicket we can go on and on.But why is the media going gaga over this as this is a national tragedy,even on a festival day all they show is this series loss.

  29. Want a post from you Mr Bong by giving a list of Commentators cliches. Little more serious than the one drafted for Shastri here. These idiots just commentate for living, they are no experts of the game by any stretch. Except for Ian Chappel, Richie Bernaud, Bill Lawry and few folks from Sky including Mike Holding or probably Boycott rest are all idiots. Ok thats not the matter in discussion anyway.. but a bit rude on VVS for a man well aware of cricket as you are, the making of VVS is not his 163 at Sydney in 2000 or 281 at Kolkatta in 2001, it’s the series of innings after that where he saved matches, won matches saved follow-ons sometimes by even missing personal landmarks.

    Always felt RD should be the first one to quit but hez an absolute legend after Sunny and Sachin or on par.Hope they pull off a salvaging win in Adelaide, which should not be a surprise.

  30. Thanks Rakesh, totally agree to both your comments. Arnab, I’ve seen better posts from you. Somehow your own state is similar to that of Sachin- difficulty in living up to the high expectations people set on you, based on your past performance.

    Anyway, does any one else also feel that our guys are playing too much cricket, with little time for real preparation. I know that Dhoni and co. were rested for the last series, but that wasn’t part of preparing for the tests as a team. That was merely a much needed break. Preparing for a difficult tour like Australia would entail a couple of months of practise on a fast pitches etc. – I remember how Ganguli prepared for his comeback tour, with rich dividends. Something vigorous like that.

  31. Ravi Shastri part is bang on target 🙂 Nevertheless, very disappointed about Aus tour, that we did not even have a single contest. Was not expecting disaster of this magnitude. Dhoni seems to have lost the hunger after the WC for he remains the only captain to achieve all 3 (Test, ODI and T20 championships).

  32. Sachin the Tendulkar: My 100th century. My 100th century. My 100th century. I think I will make myself available for ODIs to get it.

    Really??? Sad that you too think that sachin is playing for this.

  33. Post the world cup win, Dhoni has reached the Self-actualization level in Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory where Winning and loosing does not matter 😛

  34. @skeptic
    off course we can make bouncy pitches in india. it has nothing to do with local soil. pakistan used to have same problem but then they change some of the local pitches. thats why they are producing good pace bowlers. Anil kumble tried to do the same thing when he was working for BCCI. For his effort he had to quit his job! what a shame

  35. Far from your best.
    If you remember, Dravid was by far the best performer in the England series, so how come he suddenly attracts so much criticism? On Laxman, he has played some stellar innings even after his 281 and its only in recent times that his performances have slipped. And the focus on Tendulkar’s 100th 100 is more media hype than the man’s ambition, but for some reason, you still insist on harping on it. As far as performances go, he has topped batting averages for India in this tour (which is not saying a lot but you definitely doesnt warrant such criticism).
    Lastly, on your insinuation that Tendulkar is selfish because he plays for personal records, dont recall you ever having criticised ganguly for being selfish, inspite of the numerous instances where he deliberately slowed down in the final overs if he was nearing a personal landmark. Shows your parochial mindset and now all the bongs will start abusing me and defending ganguly.

  36. @JB…here is an example. Rahul dravid, yes Rahul Dravid was stopped from hitting sixes so that dada could get to his hundred –

  37. matki kyun phuti, urmila kyun tooti?

  38. Arnab,

    Nice post. One minor blemish . Dhoni would always his conversation with

    Well , Of Course ,…spare me the drama.


  39. This is unrealistic and unfair. The drop in form of Indian batsmen is of course worrying and inexplicable. But to accuse them of not being motivated enough because of the lack of money is unfair. I would have believed this if you were in the dressing room or had something other than mere cynicism to back it up.

    Of course, it is frustrating and tragic to see Rahul get bowled again and again. And absolutely enraging to see Laxman play similar shots and get out caught in slightly different positions with frightening regularity. But it would take a lot of bravado for me to say they are hangers-on, or Dhoni cares only for money. And as for the 100th 100, well, the guy goes out and keeps scoring, maybe slowly because of his age, and we keep cynically dismissing his efforts because he doesn’t get his 100? Guess that is a backhanded compliment.
    Come on, Arnab, that’s not cricket. Give them gaalis, I will join you. But don’t doubt their intentions.

  40. “a batsman we Indians personally back to form in England.”
    I guess you are missing a word there. try nursed back to form

  41. I guess insipid cricket inspires insipid prose. Maybe you also need home territory (movie reviews) to get back to form.

  42. I Love Test Cricket January 19, 2012 — 12:25 am

    Sorry GreatBong, this one’s not as humourous or biting as “The Wall”. That one just hit the nail on the head.

  43. lot of big guns from other countries fail to play well against spin bowling in India. this is just the same kind of scenario. now is d best time to make some good wickets in India so our batsman can play fast bowling on these tours. at the same time it will also produce some good bowlers who know how to bowl on these pitches.

  44. pathan could have bowl better than ishant and vinay kumar

  45. forget cricket… Jism 2. Sunny Leone is in it 😉

  46. ^
    she must be most searched pornstar on net this days

  47. It doesnt matter who wins or loses, ultimately the playaaas get enough footage to demand a greater sum at IPL-T20. Awesome saala!

  48. where is my ipod.
    ok now where is this sunday’s dump? 22nd

  49. very nyc article…!!

  50. a very nyc article…!!

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