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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Googlies: Uthappa, Ganguly, Tendulkar and Five sixes off Yuvraj.

He was almost caught, but our kid Piyush went over the rope. Then the ball went higher and higher and higher and in a span of five balls Yuvraj had conceded five sixes. Thankfully, it was the last over of England Innings. Dravid could have opted for Agarkar, but no sir, he had more faith in Yuvraj. Since Yuvraj is a part time bowler, so I guess we will forgive him. The fact of the matter is that Dimitri could have scaled any bowler. So I guess Agarkar will be all smiles tonight for escaping unscathed, as a mere spectator. Sometimes I worry that Agarkar will unleash a self everyone expects from him, and then we will all watch shamefaced. After all, he hold the record for getting to fastest fifty wickets and one of the fastest fifties as well. He is among the top five wicket takers in Indian One Day history, and yet, we cannot ever seem to trust the dude.

Uthappa is the obvious talk point for the day. But wait. We must remember that Ganguly reached his 11th half century of 2007 today. Lets hold grudges against him, for we know he is capable of scoring at faster pace, and he could have converted at least some of his half efforts into three figure scores. Lets throw all the mud we have got at him, for we would have done that if we had lost the game. Or maybe, for once, lets just thank the bloke for batting sensibly enough, and bringing the ship close to the shore. Tendulkar got the man of the match, cramps, another missed hundred (he has 41 already, so what?) and universal cheer. Even though his name is Gambhir, no one takes the guy seriously. Second time this week, he came and batted wisely and nicely. But then came the great Indian collapse and chaos. Unbelievable it was, when India won the match, and how!

Enter Uthappa. Asking rate rising. Wickets falling. Dhoni goes. Left with Agarkar, Powar, Zaheer and Piyush. Uthappa's first match of the series. A failure here means more bench time. India watching. Most have given up hope already. Only die hard fans and diseased optimists hoping for a miracle. Most certain that their prayers will be wasted. One run out. Thank God Uthappa survived. Another run out. This was cruel. Zaheer was just doing the right thing, had run out of the crease a little and ball hit by Uthappa went straight to the bowler. Two more batsmen left. When Uthappa walked across, and guided the ball to the boundary rope, scooping the ball as if with a spade, and throwing it back, to the boundary rope, a hundred million smiles flashed. Maybe more. Then came the next ball, but after some talk between the bowler and England Captain. Each second exploded like a tense wire of the nerves across the nation. Finally the bowler starts running. Uthappa strikes the ball clean. A fielder dives. Ball escapes. Boundary. Win. Uthappa, only 21, jumps and so does the nation overjoyed!

Cricket, on days like this, is nerve racking, intense, exhilarating. Making it 3-3 after India was 3-1 down was sweet. Doing it with this style: Priceless.

Hail Uthappa! Hail Ganguly and Tendulkar! Hail Cricket!

4 comments:

Vivek Sharma विवेक शर्मा said...

from desicritics.org

#1
nisha
URL
September 6, 2007
03:27 AM

nice write-up, btw!

#2
bd
September 6, 2007
04:58 AM

my fingernails are looking like they have spent 2 days locked inside a cage filled with feral hungry rats. what a cliff hanger! Nice writeup, Vivek.

#3
Vivek
URL
September 6, 2007
10:33 AM

it was enthralling, wasn't it?
better entertainment than any recent Bollywood flick;)

We are so starved for heroes, that a cameo from Uthappa can make him into a God. Hope the kid can repeat his heroics many times more...

Vivek Sharma विवेक शर्मा said...

from sulekha.com

asuph comments: on 6 Sep 07 01:54:00 AM
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:). I asked my office mess guys: what? you're not serving utthappa today? Shame on you. They gave me a weird look.
Vivek Sharma comments: on 6 Sep 07 01:48:00 AM
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Sure we praise the cricketers when they win matches: and we ought to.
Sure we criticize the cricketers when they concede matches, and we must.

The only unhealthy practice is to go overboard with both praise and criticism. The only downside is that we expect a lot from cricketers playing under testing conditions and burden of expectation, which we let ourselves take things easy in real life.

I hope my opinion column on cricket will be fair in noting contributions and failings equally.

Thanks pradeep and debs... hope we have a grand finale!

Geometrix comments: on 6 Sep 07 01:32:00 AM
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At times it seems that Indian Cricket fans are like the English football hooligans, and the hooliganism is a colonial bequest, just like the language!

English media wanted a tennis star, came Henmann, and their media made him a make belief grand slam champion. Henmann was a fine tennis player, but then perhaps he could have blossomed to be a grand slam champion without all the pressure. We have similar media burnouts in India.

I think even Indian media has its contribution in fuelling the expectations!

Debs
pradeep24s comments: on 6 Sep 07 01:13:00 AM
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its funny how people shower praises on the team when they win and let them down totally when they need our support

i am sure if India loses next match, people start complaining that everybody should be sacked. Our people never had or will ever have the sense of gratifude towards antything.

i guess we have very poor memory

Vivek Sharma विवेक शर्मा said...

more from sulekha.com


Vivek Sharma comments: on 6 Sep 07 12:08:00 PM
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I can speculate Musings, for fun and for seeing myself proved wrong. Here are the guesses, and we will see how it goes:)

I am a pandit by birth, maybe a cricket pandit too, but when it comes to prediction I trust no one and myself the least.

Cricket is like women; the unexpected always happens.

If you had to predict, Who will win the last match... meaning who will win the series?

England....
Second choice India....

Draw is unlikely;)

If you had to predict, Who wil me the man of the match for the last one?
Dimitri or Broad maybe !

Unless Agarkar has a field day!

If you had to predict, Who will be man of the series?

Tendulkar
Bell is other option

If you had to predict, Who will the highest wicket taker in series?
Anderson or Broad


If you had to predict, Who will be the highest run maker in series?
Tendulkar or Bell
unless Ganguly or Yuvi fire a century.


If you had to predict, Who will be the highest in 'no. of catches held' for whole series?
Dhoni

MusingsFrom comments: on 6 Sep 07 08:54:00 AM
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Dude...
good post, as usual and expected on 'cricket'.

Now let me put the million dollar "guess question-s" --
If you had to predict, Who will win the last match... meaning who will win the series?
If you had to predict, Who wil me the man of the match for the last one?
If you had to predict, Who will be man of the series?
If you had to predict, Who will the highest wicket taker in series?
If you had to predict, Who will be the highest run maker in series?
If you had to predict, Who will be the highest in 'no. of catches held' for whole series?
Naked Cricket comments: on 6 Sep 07 03:29:00 AM
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Hey Vivek,

Uncomplicated, fun read - esp after a crazy win like yesterdays is always welcome.

Think it was Ian Chappell who talked about cricket being a simple sport that too many people are trying to complicate. It sucks bigtime when the whole world and its mother get unnecessarily complex about a straight forward game. On the flip side, when you have off days, it's almost therapeutic to let rip.

Cheers, naked cricket

Vivek Sharma विवेक शर्मा said...

some more from sulekha.com

« Back to Post
shrideshpande comments: on 6 Sep 07 16:09:00 PM
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jaffer Karthik and uthappa are cool customers
Vivek Sharma comments: on 6 Sep 07 15:43:00 PM
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http://ia.rediff.com/cricket/2007/sep/06mvp.htm

(Musings...
I just found the statistics....)

My memory served me right while making predictions...
but lets see what happens!

Vivek Sharma comments: on 6 Sep 07 12:13:00 PM
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asuph bhaiya, kya baat kahi hai:)
Uthappa is flavor of the moment.

NakedCricket sahib:
Cricket has the power to rouse the greatest emotions.
Especially on the days like yesterday. I nearly wrecked my heart and nerves with all the excitement!