Thursday, October 27, 2011

Badla: Revenge Only Half Done !

Cricket is inseparable from Indian culture. It runs in our arteries and Cricket bridges the gap between the nerves. Even when our national team is doing badly, we bide our time for that one moment that can turn things around. This optimism keeps us alive and helps us to forget and forgive Kalmadis, Rajas, Yeddis and a thousand scams. Here are some of the trivia from the “Badla” series !
Though Dhoni has brushed aside the talk of this being the “Badla” or “Pay Back” or “Revenge” series, there was steel in the Indian camp’s determination. They were thrashed in the Test Series and their luck crashed during the ODIs. But home pitches, a fitter team and a lame duck English side helped in achieving this complete reversal of fortunes.
Back from ‘Hell’ and back in the hunt is how we can describe Dhoni and his boys today, while we dedicate a song to the the visiting English team.
The youth brigade has turned the hunter into the hunted and India remains ‘Haunted’ for the World No. 1 Test Team !
Just One Day Match: On the flip side though, England hold an unenviable record of winning just one ‘One Day match’ against India in India in the recent past. That takes a little bit of sheen from an otherwise fabulous show by the young side. 
The turning point: The British did hold the advantage during the first 35 overs of the series. It was the determination shown by the much maligned Captain Dhoni finally sank the ship of Captain Cook and his motley bunch of  over-aggressive crew. 
Media Complex: Somehow, our print and visual media alike are stuck in a strange kind of inferiority complex. Team India bat well, bowl well and filed well in home conditions; we are flat track bullies and tigers at home. Other teams come cropper in India; our pitches are to be blamed. Our players can’t play on good pitches. Funnily, India have lost just one test series since the controversial 2008 tour down under. 
The barking Poms: On filed behavior of the English team has been pathetic at best. Andy Flower has been unapologetic about it. That team which wanted India to call Bell back, has not shown an iota of sporting gesture in return; neither in England nor in India. From Indian point of view, it should be fine. It gives more pleasure to bash an arrogant opponent than a down to earth one. But the average Indian is just a little curious to know how the British crowd, which booed Team India for the Bell run out would react to their own unsporting players. 
The plight of Kohli: Virat Kohli has impressed one and all with the maturity he has shown in ODI Cricket. But soon after his century on his home-ground, a tweetable tweet went thus: “Well played Kohli, that was sexy. But remember Dude, you aren’t even the second best batsman in your own town”. That is a Classic way of saluting the Champion Opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Viru the Sehwag ! 
India B Plus: Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuveraj, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan, Nehra, Munaf, Rohit, Sreesanth, Ishant, Pathan, Badrinath and Murali Vijay missing from the 14 member team means England are playing at best India B Plus team, not even India A. 
Suspended Animation: This thumping win against a team that had mauled team India just a month ago has forced the Indian fans to keep in suspended animation, the lingering thought of the Century number 100 of a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. 
Taken for granted: The fatigue to too much of Cricket showed in the thing attendance during the final two matches. Or was it because the crowd took the ‘White wash’ with Indian Blue for granted ? 
Mother of all collapses: England just wanted to get out of here, quite like Dhoni and his boys wanted to leave the Old Blighty only a few weeks ago. 129 without loss to 176 all out doesn’t need much elaboration. This was the mother, grandmother and even great grand aunt of all collapses ! 
Ra1 Factor: Going through a promotional overdrive for his latest Sci-Fi movie Ra-1, Shah Rukha Khan somehow forgot to show up during the post match presentation. Neither at Mumbai, his adopted home not at Kolkotta home to his KKR team. Surprising !
Return of the Jade-ja
His Highness Ravindra Singh Jadeja has been best remembered for his T-20 World Cup flop shows so far. Given a lifeline by Dhoni’s fondness and his equal dislike for Yusuf Pathan, Jadeja has grabbed his chances and done brilliantly during the series. His fielding has always been good. He is a decent fifth bowler in ODI Cricket. But this time, he batted well in given chances and has earned his place in the team to Australia. 
Pace the Music: Umesh Yadav and Varun Aron generating pace was music to the Indian ears. But we ought to be careful because Ishant, Munaf and many more began their careers as raw energy pacers only to be either sidelined by injuries or turn into line and length trundlers. The motto should be“Don’t Hype them till they are Ripe” ! 
Positive for the Poms:Samit Patel and Steve Finn were the only positives for the English side. World’s best spinner was taken to cleaners and he couldn’t hold on to the ball. They too missed Anderson, Broad, Strauss and the lack of experience showed !
Ab Dhoni ko kaun taal sakta hai ?
They just couldn’t get him out throughout the series. He played the waiting game, the blasting game, nudges and edges, helicopter shot and his trademark bludgeoning drives. Leading from the front was redefined !
Finally it was a fair and square blue wash for the Poms with Brand India Bleeding Blue ! Happy Diwali to all Indians !
The Poms will come back next year for the Test Series. They are way too far better a Test Team than their ODI credentials. A wash in white flannels is what a ‘Real White Wash‘ constitutes. Can Dhoni and Co achieve that ?
Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

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