Sunday, October 30, 2005


India won the first two matches of the seven match series against Sri Lanka. The media hype surrounding the victory has been shameful; it makes someone feel as if we just won the World Cup. Perhaps, the last couple of months have been so tumultous that we can excuse the media for all the gloating and the shouting.

There are a couple of things that are sure to cause some pain the true lovers of the game and its players. Let me start with the praise that the television commentators had for Murali Kartik during the first match. Here we have a former left-arm spinner raising his eyebrows over the 'harsh' treatment meted out to the Railways spinner despite his 'good' show in international matches. If only, Kartik would have displayed some spine and provided the necesary support to Kumble, then we could have won the test match at Sydney and the series on the last tour down under. The same Kartik was belted all over the park in a one-dayer at Vijayawada by the Windies. It is too early to call him a world class performer on the basis of one good performance. One swallow does not make a summer.

The second one also concerns Kartik. The same left -arm spinner of yesteryears praised Rahul Dravid for his 'imaginative' use of Kartik. There was also a hint that Saurav Ganguly conspired against Kartik. If at all Ganguly erred in the choice of spinners, it was the rather unwarranted backing of Harbhajan at the expense of Kumble.

The cake goes for the suggestion that Dravid is a better captain than what Ganguly was. It is too early to make any statements on the basis of two wins against a team that is not known to win many matches abroad.


Thanks to the Videocon Cup, it is time to watch cricket on Doordarshan. It took me to the days when there were more advertisements than cricket on the state owned broadcaster. There was this one-dayer between India and England. As is the case now, every fall of a wicket was followed by the ubiquitous ad. Sometimes, the fifth ball of an over and/or the first ball of the next over was taken over by the ads. By the time, the ad was stopped and play resumed on the telly, India lost another wicket and the ads resumed. It took quite a while to figure out the identity of the batsman who came out to bat and went back to the pavilion all in the space of a few ads. By the way, the batsman was Ajay Sharma. I presumed that he got ditracted by the ads and thus his stay at the wicket was very short.

Now, the babus at Doordarshan and the producers of the show have decided to take the bull by its horns and have replaced the aspiring actors and models with the former captain of the Indian women cricket team.

By the way, the word Doordarshan became part of the lexicon with Sanjay giving an account of the war (live)between the Pandavas and the Kauravas to the Dhritarashtra. Of course, we are not blind like the king .

Friday, October 07, 2005


The much awaited clash between Australia and the rest did not take off to the expected heights. The Aussies won with ease with the rest looking miserable with the bat. The stars including the likes of Lara, Dravid and Kallis could not simply get their act together. Maybe, the closed environs of the Telstra dome played havoc with their brains just as a mountaineer feels due to the lack of oxygen.

The rest of the world could contain Australia to just over 250. It was a combination of good bowling by the spinners and the scratchy Aussie batting that made the total look reasonable rather than unsurmountable. The batting woes continue for the Aussies with many of them not looking convincing. However, the great McGrath found his rhythm and returned to his familiar miserly ways while Watson made the best of the opportunity.

Sehwag looked out of sorts as has been the story in recent times, especially in the shorter version of the game. Dravid has not been his confident self ever since Ganguly took back the captaincy. Lara looked to be in a hurry to catch a flight back home and the Aussie fielders did catch one. Kallis has always been a suspect against top quality bowling and it showed. It is too early to talk about Pietersen's failure and Flintoff showed a glimpse of his batting ability although he was not successful with the bat. The super-sub Shahid Afridi did not add to his tally of sixers.

There was some anxiety over the damage to the roof that could result from the hits from Gilchrist and Pietersen. There was no such damage. The audience presence was not encouraging.

Hope to have a good match the second time round with the rest of the world pulling one back to maintain interest in the series. Personally, I am looking forward as my brother is going to be there inside the dome.