Saturday, October 30, 2004

More random thoughts post-Nagpur

Don’t have the patience to write anything very structured, so here are some ‘morning after’ musings:

- Completely expected reaction in morning papers. "Disgraceful" screams The Times of India in 60-point all-caps (a reference not to its own fucking around with every principle of news coverage in the past few years but to the Indian team). "Overpaid losers" weeps the Asian Age. The actual reports are brimful of the usual cliches: much-vaunted batting lineup, disgraceful capitulation, Final Frontier demolished (‘Final Frontier’ itself being an idiotic, misleading and over-used term that had its genesis in a jokey little statement Steve Waugh once made to some byte-seeking journos at a press conference, and which has been raped to death by every mediocre sports writer in the country in the years since).

- That old chestnut about how it wasn’t the fact of the Indians losing that hurt, it was how they, uh, capitulated. Call me thick, but this is a concept I’ve never understood. Oh sure, I understand it well enough when you’re contrasting say a 10-run defeat with a 342-run defeat. But in a situation like this, with a team needing 543 in the last innings, I personally don’t give a rat’s ass whether they make 20 all out or 400 all out. In fact, I’d probably prefer the former, it would give me some free time.

- I know this goes against the grain of all my Ozee-rah rah-ing but I think I can admit to being a fan of Virender Sehwag now. It’s been coming to this for awhile -- especially after that 195 in Melbourne last year -- but there’s no longer any need to hold back. A few weeks ago, Chuck Inn made a very good point about how Sehwag’s defence/technique as an opener is much better than people believe -- it’s just that one doesn’t get to see that tchnique too often because of the way he chooses to play. But anyone who’s followed Indian cricket in the last few years will note the disproportionately high number of times Sehwag has made a substantial score when everyone else has failed. (Something Tendu used to regularly do in the good old days.) Sure, that has to do with his devil-may-care attitude (balls to the match situation, quality of pitch, etc) but basic technique has played a role in translating that attitude into a high success rate. Sehwag as an opener has been stupidly compared to Kris Srikkanth, who had the same attitude but wasn’t one-fifth as good a player. I think it’s re-evaluation time, so I’m sticking my neck out all the way and saying: think Gordon Greenidge, people.

Will probably add to this as and when I think of anything more...

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