Monday, March 12, 2007

Its time for samba,reggae and, yeah, cricket too.

The time has arrived when your testosterone levels are gonna be at an all time high but still the sexual life is gonna take a severe beating.This time that is more than just given because this thing is schdeuled at night time(IST).Its world cup guys. This is the time when movies dont get released politicians dont rule the headlines,attendance at offices get dwindled, students do the juggling act between their board exams and tv,every wicket becomes breaking news in those dime a dozen news channels,an india vs bermuda match would fetch more trp's than the live coverage of the marriage of ash and abhishek(which,incidentally,is on march 19th),acrimonious atmoshere is gonna prevail on the domestic front what with women who are surely going to miss kyunki saas.

Its that quadrennial event which is " a moveable feast" for all the soothsayers,tarot card readers and, ofcourse, all those obscure ranji trophy cricketers who hog the limelight for 45 days. A person like sunil valson- the guy who dint play a single match during the 1983 world cup- is almost deified and his emotions of being part of the winning team holds more sway than the hustings of the impending uttar pradesh elections among the billion viewers. If m.v.sridhar has tv9 to disclose his favourite for the world cup, i have the blog to rattle the mumbo jumbo about my "predictions" for the world cup.

The list below is in alphabetical order:

1) Australia:
It took less than two weeks for john buchanan to turn from jesus the savior to judas the betrayer. Courtesy: thrashing in the hands of england and new zealand. Even ferenc gyurcsany took three weeks. No smaller stage than world cup will suffice for him to redeem his lost glory. An injured lee, doubtful symondshis mind coupled with the inability of his bowlers- including the Pigeon- to defend leviathan scores will certainly be rankling in his mind. But, this australian side is too talented to discard them. Forget the predictions of viv richards and kevin pieterson who think the aussies are vulnerable. Remember what lou vincent had to say. "The aussies are a pack of dogs who pounce on you ferociously". Touche. After all, no one personifies the better side of bellicosity than the aussie side. And of course, george bush represents the other side.

Buoyed by the one day series win in australia and return of michael vaughan at the helm of affairs, english side looks complete. With collingwood holding the fort tightly in the middle, solidity from vaughan and the all round abilities of flintoff being hardly questioned in cricketing circles, england start off as wild card favourites. Who knows, the english side might just pull off a goran ivanisevic albeit the english side needs to serve (no pun intended) with the same intensity.

According to cricketing experts, "this is the best indian team to have ever appeared for a world cup". Is that so ? An iffy sehwag, rusty harbhajan, wayward pathan dont exactly paint a rosy picture. The indian team's cathexis with a nana patekar one liner in taxi no.9211 is far from over, which is, "sachin banne ka kaif nahi banne ka". With no raina and kaif in the squad, the onus is on yuvraj to spur up our fielding abilities. I am not discarding this indian side from holding aloft the world cup on april 28th at barbados. But the fact is that i will be very surprised if we can go all the way through.

4) New zealand:
They are called as the black caps. But am sure in the bookies lingo the new zealand side must have been rechristened as dark horses. A warm up loss to bangladesh would hardly dent their confidence( or should i say hubris) regained by the hatrick wins over their trans tasman rivals, that too by mammoth margins. This is the only team which always believed in the adage that "cricket is a team game". Stephen fleming is modern age martin crowe who surely must be having some aces up his sleeve. After all, opening the bowling with deepak patel and slogging from the blade of marrk greatbatch before the likes of jayasuriya have been dished out by the new zealand camp. You can surely expect the unexpected from this team.

I would not be as stupefied if congress wins the UP elections as i would be, should, pakistan make it to last four. A depleted bowling attack coupled with the lack of all round capabilities of abdul razzaq means that bob woolmer's experience of coaching three world cup teams(preceding pakistan) matters a zilch.

6)South africa:
It took six nominations for martin scorsese to win an academy award. By this same analogy, its high time the proteas laid their hands on world cup. Duckworth and lewis proved to be their nemesis during 1992, lara's rampage costed them in 96, donald's mindless skedaddling and boucher's inept ability in mathematics depleted them of the cup in 99 and 2003 editions. Hopefully, this world cup happens to be a befitting swansong for that old warhorse known as shaun pollock.

7)Sri lanka:
Apart from arjuna ranatunga, not many are willing to place their money on the sri lankan side. I concur with the rest of them. The average age of this side is in its early thirties which does not augur well for any cricketing side(those australians evolved from a different planet altogether, so lets not discuss about them). On the flipside, loads of experience might keep them stay afloat. I am not too optimistic of their chances though.

8) West indies:
Brian lara would like to be the captain who lead his team to be the first one in world cup history to win the world cup being the host nation. However, a decrepit side would hardly be heartening for lara's already sagging morale following the loss in india during the recent one day series. The batsmen would have to share the additional responsibility to cover up for the large chinks in west indian bowling armoury. The batsmen also are no better if the recent warm up match against india is to be taken as reference point.

Bangladesh, robert mugabe's "first world cup team", kenya, canada, netherlands, the gobtrotters, bermuda,scotland surely add up to the numbers. But expecting them to pull off the feat done by senegal during the 2002 football world cup would be purely wishful optimism. However, the minnows do need support and hopefully one or shocking upsets happen, for the betterment of the game.

My prediction:
I expect australia,south africa, india and new zealand to make up the last four. After that, as the cliche goes, "its anybody's game".
Happy viewing. Sadly its only viewing with mandira bedi providing the oomph, that is, when the game is not in progress. Expect the commentary to be banal without the likes of alan wilkins,harsha bhogle, ravi shastri.

This writer thinks that world cup is a misnomer when only a handful of countries participate. On the contrary, consider the football world cup where more than 200 countries participate. Except the winner every other team has to go through the rigmarole of playing the qualifiers. So this writer feels that when it comes to cricket, 'mini' world cup would suffice.

What robert altman is to overlapped dialogues, alejandro gonzalez inarittu is to taut screenplay. He is only three films old, but his death trilogy(amores perros,21 grams, babel) eulogises his amazing hyphenate abilities. What separates inarittu from other directors is the way he involves the viewer to set the jig saw puzzle until the denoument. He shows violence as pornography. You might get tired of it but in the very next moment you would want more of it. Here's hoping much more from this person who is an auteur in the true sense. No wonder then that sanjay gupta aspires to remake 21 grams.


At 1:11 AM, Blogger sowmitra said...

cricket- a word (in india) which rings as the only religion where all the caste barriers are forgotten and everybody gets united...realistically thinking i guess india can make up to the last four with the capabilities and calibre they happen to possess. but it wil do the world cup a lot of good if south africa pulls it off this time...they have been out of luck for too much of a time...hope it changes this time around.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Adwait Deshpande said...

this i suppose is ur first sports blog.good blog, but dont u think the level of coverage and the media attention , is in itself taking away the interest of the ppl from u said whenever we open any news channel, all we see is
" Ab toh jeetke aana hai"
" Sachi, jaate jaate world cup jeeta do"
"hum kisi se kam nahi"
seeing the ads itself is saturating me.
what ur take

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Saby said...

Okay,so u've chosen to write abt the WC.Is tht coz u dint have ny other topic to write abt??Bcos this sort of info can be got frm any source.
And if u say u wer giving ur opinion,it wasnt like ur perspective at all as in the end u have come where everyone else is lingering-india,nz,sa n aus..
And as far as ur 'mini'wc theory goes, how many teams do u think r qualified to play at the international level?We've already eliminated teams like bermuda,bangladesh,etc while making our list of predictions.Cricket hasnt got tht appeal football has got.
If this post was just to fill in the void space btw ur other posts,it is passable.

At 4:56 AM, Blogger garcia kafka said...

@adwait: If marriage itself is marketed as one big gala event then there is not much of a surprise if world cup falls prey to consumerism. More so in india where cricket is a "religion".

@saby:I admit to having regurgitating some of the info but lemme assure u, it was purely unintentional. Cant i agree with others when it comes to a semi final line up ? Even in football the odds are like 1500/1 for ivory coast n costa rica. Minnows exist every where. and if reports are to be believed, 20 20 version is a bigger hit in england than EPL.

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous saby said...

ofcourse u can agree wit others but wht i intended to say was tht u cud hav opted for a different view of WC presentation instead of the cliched 'super 4' version..
regarding 'mini cup'..i still hav some limitations..for eg,who will b interested to watch the WC which prolongs for 3 or 4 months(which wud b d case if many more countries add up).Many new teams dont even seem to hav the min std to play WC(for eg,the skipper of Bermuda was a school teacher before signing up for the tournament) such cases,cricket wud become borin n tiresome to watch as it is not just a 3hr game like football.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Adwait Deshpande said...

as u said, its right, but the promos and promotion , is going tooo further and granting Heavenly status to the cricketers.
one thing is sure,
media wale cricketers ko jitna upar chadaenge, woh utni hi zor se niche girenge

At 11:39 PM, Blogger utsav mamoria said...

well just one thing
seeing yesterdays results dont you think we should stop watching cricket altogether .. we are a nation of 1 biilion obsseseed with a sport of 11. i have already done that

nice analysis though

At 3:33 PM, Blogger StandbyMind said...

Well Ur prediction went wrong man..thanx to India;) lol

And yes a nice blog!


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