Wednesday, April 9, 2014

World Cup T20 - Just Another Tournament

Was it the World Cup that just happened? It had about the same effect or even less that the Ranji season normally had on me. Somehow the cricketing bodies have managed to stuff so much cricket down our throats that it really does not matter anymore. It's a dangerous place for the game when fans and lovers do not care for it.

I watched parts of the first game, very little of a couple of games in between, and some part of the final, (despite being home). Nothing excited me, nothing seemed to make me feel the competition, make me feel the awe of yesteryear. I watched with a dull eye, the same people going through the same motions, the same people commentating, the same players playing. A stale, jaded game. Save the young Moeen Ali of England who struck the ball well in a most uncomplicated manner nothing impressed me, not even that Maxwell chap who played an awful shot and got out against India. Kohli stands out for his work ethic and commitment and that was all. Everything else, everyone else has a jaded look about it.

As for the final and the Yuvraj episode, these things do happen once in a while. Here's a team that is cruising along and a team that knows how to finish. Some of the best hitters of the ball are in the middle and some are waiting in the room. One expects things to happen automatically and before they realised what happened the crucial 10-15 balls have been bowled without Kohli getting the strike. Cannot help feeling that by the time they realised, it was all over.

Nothing emphasises the importance of good bowlers at the death than those few overs that choked a champion side like India so well. That is what good bowling can do in these shorter forms of the game. They can turn the game around on its head, make batsmen suddenly realise they cannot take things for granted. Obviously one cannot blame Yuvraj because he did try his best and just could not get the better of of the bowling. Somehow the two should have communicated and got Kohli on strike more often. Now that was something that did not happen.

What our fans did was normal. That is the general lumpen mindset of our society anyway. I look at the portals and they are constantly running polls - should we remove Dhoni, is India the most corrupt, should Yuvraj be dropped, should Kejriwal resign and god knows what. We are full of ourselves, our stupidity, or self righteousness, our sense of being the one's who have been wronged. Who are these people who get so offended, who want to drop players, pick players, change captains, change systems? Do they have a clue what they are talking about? No. They don't. So what gives them the right? The media. Why? Because we have a majority of such duds who wear their stupidity on their sleeves and do not mind making a spectacle of it.

Anyway less said of the whole affair the better. What's sad is that the game in its most exciting format has failed to excite. Too bad gentlemen. Time to think. You can't sex it up artificially. The game has to have real drama, real excitement, quality contests. You have to ensure that.

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