Thursday, June 26, 2008

India-Pakistan cricket rivalry. Another run in Karachi.

By John Cheeran
In a few hours, India will play Pakistan at Karachi. Unlike in the past, neither India nor Pakistan is holding its collective breath over this preliminary Asia Cup game.
New Delhi is living through dramatic hours as the ruling UPA alliance is teetering on the brink of a nuclear meltdown occasioned by the intransigence of fundamentalist Marxists led by an incorruptible comrade Prakash Karat. Karat’s ideological stick has been hurting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a long time, and if India is going ahead with its nuclear deal with the great satan, the United States, the UPA government would collapse.
So cricket is being pushed aside for the moment with the MP-count becoming paramount in the game for survival as temperature shoots up in New Delhi.
A defeat to Pakistan today would not matter much, if the loser can win, and lift the Asia Cup, in the two more matches likely to follow between the neighbours as the tournament progresses.
That makes today’s skirmish in Karachi a low intensity sniping between two young sides, not yet scarred by cross-border cricket.
But if you are keeping count, India has already lost a final, Kitply Cup, to Pakistan. Though an inconsequential game, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows that a false step in Karachi will make the score 0-2.
With the nation regurgitating the 1983 World Cup triumph only the other day, onus will be on Dhoni, who has been described as a refurbished avatar of Kapil Dev, and his emerging devils.

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