Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE World Cup

The cricket world cup has taken the (cricket-playing) world by storm. It seems to be all that Indians can watch, think and talk about. No morning is complete without an update of the team standings etc. and of course no morning is complete without more on Bob Woolmer's death investigation.
This world cup seems to be like the cricket version of the Munich Olympics (albeit on a smaller scale) surrounded by death, scandal and inexplicible losses.
My interest in cricket can be described as moderate, at most. Being Indian one is generally swept away in the mood of things. I still remember a world cup match from the years past. The Indian team was playing in Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore and of course the top order had crashed (or had it?!). Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble (designated bowlers!!) were at the crease, they battled it out and won the game for India. The game ended after 10 pm and everyone went crazy! People were gathered on the streets, distributing sweets at traffic lights. No, it wasn't like India had won the world cup, we had merely won our way into the quarter finals (I think it was) but the Bengaluru boys had done us proud and we were going to make sure they knew it!
That is my most distinct cricket memory. Since then I have never felt such pride and triumph. After moving to New Zealand my interest in the game withered. Although, I was happy to stay up to date with current goings on and every so often got a chuckle out of listening to my friends bicker about the ODI rankings, I never really felt much for the game.
Cricket is India's national game and I will not let anyone convince me otherwise (Hockey?! you can't be serious!). Nothing else could explain the fanatical actions that follow a win or a loss. I have lived in Australia for over two years now. Australia is the undisputed champion of cricket (as far as I am concerned). They have exhibited skill, resolve and sheer determination to seal their position as the world's best. Yet, I have never seen the Australian people burn effigies of their players when they lost to Bangladesh. This fanatic streak, I have seen predominantly in the sub-continent (and maybe English soccor fans!).
However, I digress.
There was much speculation following India's loss to Bangladesh and from the snippets of information I gathered that India had.... wait for it... a bad day! A top-ranked, world class team is beaten by a team (Bangladesh) that played very well and everybody says India had a bad day. Alright, granted.
I do not discuss cricket with my friends anymore. They all are of the opinion that India is a great team with a lot of bad days. They pull out age-old statistics and are more than willing to sit me down for hours and explain to me, on the basis of statistics, that the Indian cricket team is a good cricket team and anyone that thinks otherwise does not know a thing about cricket.
I cannot argue, I do not know statistics, I do not carry match scores around in my head and I cannot rattle off Tendulkar's average per game or what-have-you. All I know is the opinion of a country, of course that is not good enough!
However, this world cup has changed all that. These 'ardent fans', these 'true fans', these people that know cricket, live and breathe it have been taught that one cannot expect much from somebody who is really without much potential. If we are good, they are better.
Actually, that is a fact of live. If you expect nothing, something is good enough. If you expect something, nothing is good enough.


OnCloud9 said...

while i agree that the indians suffered a terrible loss (one that they thoroughly deserved!)...i wouldnt say it was due to lack of potential.
if there is one thing they do have, it is potential.

the cause of the loss was their lack of drive, determination and focus.

Amrita said...

Im not sure what the Indian fans would prefer. Personally I think that one should always give something their best shot and if they fall short then its fine... they've tried their best. But a lack of drive, determination and focus means a lack of trying dont you think?

Vik said...

btw, the srinath kumble win at chinnaswamy wasn't a world cup game at all, was just a series against aus i think.

the indian cricket team is just not that....they're simply are bunch of individuals thrown together. we cannot imagine to begin comparing them to the aussies or zaffers(or even kiwis to an extent) who are not just cricketers, but are simply better athletes, i mean just look at matthew hayden!! in this day an age, this is more to the game than simply batting fielding and bowling, although it seems that we cannot even get those basics right. we lack the mental fortitude and tenacity to be successful and this means that we will never win any game when it goes down to the wire. just watching the aussie batting against windies yesterday left in me awe. i was then thankful that the indians didn't indeed make it to super 8s; it would have been a ruthless slaughterfest. The crisp and clean hitting, the sharp running...all add up to the fact that aussies have scored over 320 in their last 6 consecutive innings. anyway where was I...oh yes about india. They suck...

Amrita said...

Thanks Vik :-)
But my point is that on paper atleast Indian batting is the most skilled and the Indian 'team' is the 3-4th in the world!
So whats happening?! I mean is it just a cry to play as a 'team' and get fit?

Vik said...

well simply put, yes it is. theres no point trying to look 'deeper' into the problem and whatnot...its quite simple. harden up(physically and mentally), get fit, work harder than ever before, dnt take anything for granted. the indian team have totally destroyed the age old cliche "when the going gets tough, the tough get going". now its "when the going gets tough, who cares we're getting paid anyway". Mediocrity should not be tolerated.

Amrita said...

Amen to that!!

Rajeev said...

I was not surprised one bit. No wonder India lost against bangladesh. They deserved it. Their performance has come down a lot frm past many years. I dont see any sign of India Improving. I've neva been a fan of the Indian team and never will be one. Infact Im happy that they lost.

btw nice blog.

Peace & Love