Thursday, October 25, 2007

PLAYING FIRE WITH FIRE?

During the series against Australia and also during the T20 World Cup, the Indian players displayed aggression in the form of shouting at the opponents and showing unnecessary emotions. For a long time, the average Indian fan felt unhappy because the Indian players were at the receiving end of verbal bashing from the opponents, especially the Aussies. Any gesture or a verbal was misconstrued as an insult to India and Indians. So the newfound aggression got a lot of support. The win in South Africa added to the tall tale. It is not for nothing that George Orwell called sport ‘war minus the shooting’.

The Australians are past masters in the game of verbal volleys. Ponting and his team have taken the art of ‘mental disintegration’ to a new level. The Aussies do not like to lose and the loss in South Africa only added to the decibels.

With cameras everywhere, players like Sreesanth and Harbhajan did their best to keep the spectators interested. Even Robin Uthappa talked about ‘playing fire with fire’. Sreesanth’s behaviour was boorish. The Aussies succeeded in their ploy and the Indians concentrated more on verbal aggression and lost the one-day series.

The media that projected the new found show of aggression with a lot of enthusiasm suddenly did a volte-face after the racist allegations leveled by Symonds. Suddenly, the Indian players were advised to show restraint.

A win in the T20 World Cup is not sufficient to give bragging rights forever. The Indian team surely deserves the adulation since it is in a long while that the Aussies have ended up on the losing side four times in a space of two months to India.

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