Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Looking at Indian cricket in wonder

By John Cheeran
Have you seen Woody Allen’s Matchpoint? If not, you should. It tells us how great a role luck plays in one’s fortunes. The movie begins with a shot of tennis ball caught in flight at the net chord, and it could go into rival’s court or bounce into yours. It all depends on which way the wind blows then.
May be you would tell me that it does not require a Woody Allen to tell this. Your own life might illustrate the point of luck much more harrowingly.
Or in case you need more proof, look at Rahul Dravid’s India. If only light and rain held out a little more, England could have hammered the final nail in India’s Test coffin by removing S Sreesanth from the crease. At nine for whatever, India stood no chance of saving the Test but for the rain intervention.
As Rahul Dravid made his famous statement “We broke out of the jail” everyone understood the meaning of cricket and may be to some sense that of life too.
Then came Trent Bridge.
India scored a creditable win over England at Trent Bridge. The victory in the second Test was no surprise, especially after India dominated the action throughout the five days.
What was surprising was the reaction to India’s Test win. It has been now taken that this bunch of players is capable of producing surprises such as this quite often. The celebrations were tempered by the terrible performance in World Cup and as what happened in South Africa, after India’s famous Sreesanth-inspired triumph in Durban Test.
India deserved to win at Trent Bridge. No wonder then it was a collective performance and a bit of luck. Winning the toss was important but the fact that for once Indians exploited the conditions to put Michael Vaughan’s England on the back foot. India put up an imposing first innings score though none scored a century. Many excelled with the bat starting from openers Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer. It was nothing but poetic justice that the record-hungry Sachin Tendulkar was denied another century and in the process India won. Take a look at the scoreboard. Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Dravid made some runs. Only MS Dhoni lost out. He might have been bloody tired after his gallant effort in the second innings to keep India alive on the ventilator.
What matters now is that India cannot lose the Test series from this position with only one Test remaining. And it shall matter if India just could play out a draw and win the series at the Oval in a week’s time.
And what does it all mean? Who is our coach? Where is he? And where is Greg Chappell.
The BCCI has showed that it anyone can be a coach, yes including Chandu Borde, and results – victories-- would still come home. It’s all about karma, mate.

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