Aug 26, 2002

Cricketing conversations
Obviously the hottest topic in Indian sport today was the awesome victory at Headingley. It's time when it pays off to be a staunch Indian cricket suppporter. Unlike the fair-weather fan that floats in and out depending how well the team does, the loyal sticks on from weathering a cold storm in Hove to beating the heat at Galle. And he has reason to exult and ask the doubters to line up in front of him and bend over: Who was that who said Dravid should be dropped? And who said Sachin scores tons only to lose? and will the Kumble-overseas-baiter stop hiding behind the Agarkar-criticizer, please? One by one, no jostling.
I don't support this team simply because they're Indians, but because many of them are so obviously talented. Yes, they don't always play to their potential, but when they do, they're a treat to watch and give the spectator quite a thrill. All i say is: savour the moments they give us, and think of those times when the team gets hammered. It would be a grave injustice to blast a team that has given us memorable days, days that we'd be telling our grandchildren about: how they chased 314 in Dhaka, how Sachin got Warney with a googly at Eden Gardens, how Harbhajan leaped in the air at Chennai, how special was Very Very Special, how Kaif rushed for a second at Lord's, how Akram was caught by Laxman to give Kumble a perfect score. How we won Tests in five different locations abroad (Yes, we didn't win series', but we did better than in the earlier decade). Be thankful that we've seen balls lost at Taunton and the ball disappearing over Warney's head at Sharjah.
Listening to commentary on Friday and Saturday, I was interested in noting how Sunil Gavaskar got stuck into the England team: pooh-poohing Hussain's "cerebral captaincy" in the Test, reminding viewers that Flintoff, was giving a man who now had 9 tons (and 2 scores of 99) a mouthful, had only 1 Test century, and was quite justifying Ganguly's lazy form for Lancs, a couple of years ago. And he also yelled at Laxman for walking, pointing out how three Englishmen had been let off by the inherently astigmatic third eye, when they refused to budge. The Indians are easily the gentlemen of world cricket, IMHO, despite efforts by Saurav to seem tough. They can be tough by performance, could be a lesson from Leeds. Let Sunny do the lambasting, from the safety of the commentary booth.

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