Thursday, November 18

Round up

Not been writing too much have I?

20:15, IST
Time for some catching up. Between Diwali and Id, in the midst of the Diwali firecracker smoke and Kolkata haze, celebrating the Platinum jubilee of the Indian Cricket Board, and in a steaming cauldron of 90,000 people or thereabouts, Pakistan won. In fact, they not only won, but did so comprehensively. First thing in the morning there was speculation whether dew would play an part in the match. Well, it was Kolkata, it was Dada’s home ground, and he would know if it would be significant enough for him to not bat first. Or so they thought.

It was possibly the most sedate and withdrawn I have seen Sehwag bat. It was as if he was in a trance, struggling to break free from the spell and get back to getting on with it, as he does. At the other end, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar showed flashes of the SRT of old. I was tempted to pen my thoughts that at the very time, but had to settle for a later post.

Truth be told, once the second innings got underway, Pakistan never seemed like they were out of it. Much as the commentators tried, they could not convince (at least me) that there was a good chance Pakistan would not make it. In fact, there were times (even after the return of the young man who must find himself the Butt of many jokes) that they said things like "Pakistan still have a chance" and "Anything could happen here". Ya right. Thanks for the insight, Messrs Jackman and Manjrekar.
The latter had a pointless exchange with Rameez about the shawl gifted to him by the BCCI in the break as one of the former Pak captains- inane attempts at humour. Imran Khan continued on his "Inzamam is one of the best of his time" tangent. Grant him the consistency- it has been years he has maintained this.

The Zimbabwe rebels have given up. I don't suppose that is going to make any real difference, and anyway I doubt it has been done with that aim in mind. It is a tired, defeated, hopeless and possibly cost induced move that will do little to get Zim cricket anywhere near normal, but will serve to finally (unsatisfactorily) bury the whole issue. Oh, well.

Rashid-everyone is a cheat-Latif and Moin Khan are both pretty much out of international cricket now. Though you never know with Pakistani cricket, it is unlikely they shall return, and I think that is a good thing...

Australia v NZ is underway, and I haven't caught a ball of the action, even on the highlights package (I'm assuming there is one this part of the world?). I wonder why they say that Warne bowled in pain. I thought this was the fastest broken digit recovery in recent history- and if he hadn't recovered, then why is he playing? Kasper, almost routiney referred to as the Renaissance man, took another bunch of three crucial wickets. I really do not see Blee getting alook in some time soon, though it is worth a wonder how Kasper has, indeed, had such a late revival. But what a revival it has been, and in both forms of the game. While it shows amazing resilience and determination, it is symbolic also of a common trait in the Aussie side. The fight for places is so intense, the quality of domestic cricket so high, and the hunger for a Baggy green so acute, that every chance that is made available to fringe players is grabbed with all limbs available. As a result, a large number of the comebacks and debuts seen in the team are of an above-average quality. Hence you have the Clarke v Lehmann v Katich sort of situation. Grrrr, lucky them.

The chucking issue really has blown out big time, and while I have nothing freshor insightful to say about it, I must say it is appalling that the governing body of the game has such clout to be able to make the process of giving clarity such an ambiguous affair. Not only has no one seen the report, but the only worthwile revelation made from it (with no details) is a sensationalist one, possibly set to make things worse.

And then, the South Africans are here. Kanpur is round the bend, and hopefully so is a turn in Indian fortunes. They came precariously close to being embrassed by the Board Presidents XI, and despite the recent performance (or lack of it)India must go in as favourites. But, more on that later.
For now, it is good night.

And oh, I just started A Corner Of A Foreign Field, and am a little submerged in work again.

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