What he said:
“I can’t make speeches like Churchill and I’ll try to be as natural as I can.”
Graeme Swann—the comedian—takes over from Stuart Board as skipper of the English T20 squad for two matches against West Indies next week.
It’s a Twenty20 series with a lot of young lads so I’ll have to change the way I am from the Test side.
I’m very much the joker in the Test team, I’m there for a stupid quip at the end of the session. With this Twenty20 side, I’ll naturally have to be more grown up and mature about things.
But I don’t intend to be deadly serious and change too much. I believe a fairly high-spirited approach has made me the cricketer I am.
I’ll certainly look to keep that going within my own game and, if that’s infectious to others, then great.
What Swann really meant:
“I have games to win, not speeches to make.”
What Swann definitely didn’t:
“I’ll just get the Windians to fall over—laughing their guts out.”
What he said:
"I reckon you might [have had to] bat No.8 in this Indian team."
Michael Vaughan is convinced that Phil Tufnell could bat as high as No.8 in the current Indian Test team. Tufnell has a Test average of 5.10 and a highest score of 22.
What he really meant:
“It doesn’t matter what order the Indian tailenders turn up in, the end result would be the same.It might be a better idea to reverse the batting line-up. The bottom five might just last 20 overs with the new ball.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I wonder why Dhoni doesn’t do a Bedi and declare after the fall of the sixth wicket.”
Some random thoughts on India’s mesmerising loss to South Africa on a Saturday evening:
The word is mesmerising because that’s exactly what it was. Despite a feeling of deja vu—the Indian fan felt that it was the same old story—that it was the same old capitulation of a much-vaunted batting line-up in the face of disciplined bowling.
Yet, the South African attack was disciplined, not hostile.
My dog, Bolshoi The Boxer, wants me to buy him a plane ticket to South Africa.
Bolshoi is a huge cricket fan and the performance of the Indian cricket team in the first Test at the Centurion has him worried.
“How can the No. 1 Test team in the world stutter to 136-9? And none of the batsmen could score a fifty?”
“That’s easy to answer. They were Morkeled and Steyned.” I reply.
Image via Wikipedia
If this is the Final Frontier for India, is the run-up to the series the Final Countdown?
If Tendulkar scores his 50th ton in the first Test, will he be a centurion or a half-centurion at the Centurion?
To put it succinctly: India won a match they should have lost. Australia lost a game they should have won.
Neither team deserved to lose and it was a great advertisement for Test cricket. That’s what Test cricket is all about. It’s not over until it’s truly over!
The difference was that man VVS Laxman, who reserves his best for the kangaroos.
The Aussies kept digging into their marsupial pockets for ways to counter the Hyderabadi’s merry march to victory but there were just no tricks up their sleeves.
Ricky Ponting, unlike his predecessor, Steve Waugh, seems to ,more often than not, let the game drift and that was to be the case once more when the Aussies, by rights, should have gone in for the kayo.
No discredit to the fighting qualities exhibited by Laxman, Sharma and Ojha but Ponting needs a new thinking cap and soon!
In the end, it was yet another famous victory for the No. 1 Test team and Dhoni must thank his stars that he can call upon players of the calibre of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to do yeoman service without throwing any starry tantrums.