The Indian team, in the 3rd Test, accepted a tame draw instead of grasping a victory within reach.
Much has been said and written about the Indian batting line-up’s unwillingness to take up the challenge of scoring 180 runs in 47 overs.
Not much has been made of the Indian bowling’s lack of incisiveness and penetration when they should have gone for the kill. The last five West Indian wickets added 121 runs between them.
The Indian and international press have unflinchingly condemned the No.1 team’s tactics.
Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle, Chris Gayle.
It’s all about the West Indian opening bat.
Will he ever play for the Windies again?
The solution to this riddle may lie with Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The heads of government opted to resurrect the prime ministerial sub-committee on cricket to resolve the dispute.
For uninterested outsiders, it becomes harder and harder to sympathise with the Jamaican player. Not because the decision taken by the West Indian Cricket Board is fair, but because it seems he’s crying himself hoarse despite being richer to the tune of $265,000 plus his RCB fee of $400,000. Being a free agent has its perks when you’re Chris Gayle.
Dr. Ernest Hilaire and Dinanath Ramnarine are the other high-profile faces of the warring sides in this drama. The man in the centre of the storm is Ottis Gibson, the West Indian coach.
Gibson is a former player from Barbados who played a couple of Tests snaring three big wickets in Alec Stewart, Darren Gough and Jacques Kallis. Gayle appears to have more than a few issues with the current coach, a common thread repeated by Shivnarine Chanderpaul among others. A resolution to the crisis can only happen if Gibson is shown the door. Every predicament has a scapegoat.
If the Indian cricket team had selected Baba Ramdev as the team physio, then the men in blue could have been as flexible on the field as the sadhu himself. However, his insidious influence would rub off on them and at the first signs of terror from pace bowlers, bruised batsmen would migrate to women’s cricket.
If Barack Obama were to lose the 2012 Presidential elections, he could always consider coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. “Yes, we can” would resonate with Lakers fans, too. “It’s not the economy, stupid” could do just as well.
That the Indian team was given a replica instead of the Real trophy was good enough reason to cobble together a band of experts for an hour-long discussion on the Times Of India news channel—at prime time.
It didn’t matter that the replica was a genuine one, albeit usually unveiled for promotional purposes.
The much awaited, much hyped, Mother Of All Games between sub-continental giants—India and Pakistan—is finally behind us.
India won, Pakistan lost.
Indian fans will celebrate.
Pakistani fans will mourn.
Another sub-continental giant—Sri Lanka—await the men in blue on Saturday, the 2nd of April, 2011 in Mumbai.
Despite it sounding like a cliché on a stuck record, can Team India do it for Sachin Tendulkar?
A few random thoughts before the World Cup semi-finals:
The high octane clash between the two South East Asian neighbours—India and Pakistan—is the most eagerly awaited game of this tournament.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gary Kirsten managed to keep a lid on the pressure of expectations and beat Australia with a sangfroid not expected from usually jittery Indian sides. It will be nothing short of a minor miracle if they can continue in the same vein at Mohali especially in front of Messrs Dr. Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani.
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Woes with the bowling attack has led to critics lending suggestions as to how the men in blue can overcome their travails.
There is, however, no need to make a mountain of a molehill.
There is less to be concerned about than other teams like South Africa, England,Pakistan or Sri Lanka. Australia and the West Indies are notable , even surprising, exceptions. Maybe playing to your strengths even in alien conditions has its merits.
India have not exhibited their best but have continued their winning ways. It has not been great watching but it’s been effective.
At the end of the day, it’s about getting the job done. Winning ugly is still winning.
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The Indian cricket team laboured its way to a facile victory over the Netherlands at the Ferozeshah Kotla on the 9th of March, 2011. It was Ash Wednesday; the men in blue seemed to be aware of this.Indian fans had little to celebrate.
Though a quarter-final spot is now virtually assured, question-marks about India’s bowling attack persist.
It was expected that the pitches in this World Cup, especially the ones at home, would be batsman-friendly. That the very same dead pitches would draw the fangs of the Indian bowlers and render them venomless, even toothless, was probably not factored in by the Indian think-tank.