Friday, January 13, 2006

And so it has begun

I am sounding like a character from Lord of the Rings. The amplitude of each battle is raised, the destiny of each skirmish worth being a legend. Where does my battle fall? To be precise, the one that I am witness to? As I sit here at 1.30 in the night witness to Younis Khan and Mohammad Yusuf completely dominate a lacklustre Indian bowling attack, I am feeling a mix of emotions.

Happiness: I finally am watching a cricket series in the comfort of my house on TV. Yes, there have been a couple of seasons where I have fought with the frustrating futility of streaming telecasts. But this is the first time since I bought a house and bought Dish TV that I am going to see an entire series live.

Puzzled: How do you expect to win a match with a bowling combination that reads Pathan, Agarkar, Kumble and Harbhajan? Your only hope is to win the toss and bat first. Your spinners will be largely effective only in the fourth innings and the medium pacers will hardly run through the batting lineup. Pathan needs some help from the pitch to be effective and Agarkar averages 46. And as Michael Holding wryly added, that's not in batting.

The shoulder shrug: Ganguly got picked. I don't know if he is going to open or someone else will be made to be a scapegoat. Somehow, I don't think this is going to impact the match enough. Its the bowling that we need to fix. Unless some genius decided to pick him as an all-rounder. I have felt before that his entire case has been badly handled. Now, you are in a situation that can't be salvaged. Let's see how he fares in this test.

Excited: I love watching cricket. Especially test cricket. Most people I meet prefer one-dayers, but I think there isn't enough excitement in watching one team pummell 350 and have the other team chase it. There is no contest, just a slog-fest. That's precisely the reason it would be difficult to enjoy 20-20. Perhaps I am anachronistic. Most people my age enjoy the instant gratification that one-day cricket provides. I am comfortable with enjoying the game and the intricacies and the battles for five days. The pleasure is in the journey, not just in the result.

Nostalgic: About the lengths to which I have gone to watch cricket in this country. I was remembering how we would stay up late in the night to watch the India-Australia series in 2001 in the SCC (student computing center) to get the free feed from That was a brilliant series and the webcast was brilliant too. What wasn't brilliant is how the other non-Indians in the lab would be troubled with sudden hurrahs that would emanate when Sachin imposed himself on the Aussies.

I don't know how the series will unfold. It seems to me that this will be much tougher for us to win that the last time we were there. On paper, I'd give our opponents the edge. Simply because their bowling seems stronger than ours. But stranger things have happened. As one really funny flight attendant advised us at the end of our flight to watch for displaced luggage contents in the containers, 'Shift Happens'


Graffiti Speak said...

Though I can't comment much on this, as I am not a cricket fan, I came to say a Hi! to my online buddy...:)

sd said...

Right now, very sleepy and slightly mad....cause watched most of the match - somehow the first day of a match is generally an indictor of how things are going to go......and they are going gr8.
@ Ganguly - I was hoping he would not figure in the 11. Now that he is --- I hope Dravid does not open - which would really suck, cause there are 2 openers waiting to be played.

RTD2 said...

Hey, you've been tagged. (And I will not accept cricket as an excuse!)

Geetanjali said...

*groan* another of your cricket posts?

;-) just kidding...have fun watching the matches dude...