January 23, 2008

Around the Cricketing world

Sachin for knighthood!
The idea is preposterous and reeks of swell headedness. Sachin is far too big for the Queen's honours, as is the Indian populace for its Colonial masters. The Commonwealth has become an antiquated concept and kids only read about it in their history books.
Sachin should rightly be made the President of India, or possibly the King of the sub-continent. His creaking speeches might make our diplomats cringe in their seats but India could do with a leader of his integrity and sure-footwork. Our official behemoth could learn from his decisive shot-selection, its near flawless execution and at times the audacity that it packs. The Indian billion has looked up to Sachin for close to two decades now, they are already used to his quiet diplomacy and his infectious passion. It would then only be natural progression. Our cricket teams could be coached by the National President, and he might as well be appointed Life President of the ICC. Sachin for Secretary-General anyone ? India would rule the world, I mean Sachin would.
What chance has Pratibha Patil ?

Kumble said today, "...There is definitely a lot of talent in India. It's about ensuring they get the confidence and probably 4-5 years from now, you'll have a good set of players to ensure India goes forward."
I wonder what he means by going forward. To me, right now looks like pretty much the top. I don't mean the rankings, I mean the quality. We could become Australia, but that is more about consistency than quality. I can't see the "forward" here. Maybe he means with the loss of the big five India would take several steps backwards and then move forward. That would make sense.
Or the game in whole - when I first started watching cricket in the early nineties, ODI cricket was just taking hold and Test were starting to become lively. From then, the game has definitely come a long long way forward. But I don't see a great deal of change in past five years. ODIs are now saturated, Tests are at their fashionable-most, and the T20s have been declared a hit. T20 might annihilate ODIs but that is a backward step. Where can cricket go from here ? I don't see. Not forward certainly. Has International cricket reached its pinnacle ? You think ? I think so too.
Fifty years from now, remember, I said it first.

It is amazing to see the number of quality opening batsmen Delhi has put up for National honours in recent times. There's Sehwag who, despite his middle-order background, looks very close now to re-establishing his position at the top of the Test pecking order. Performances in Perth and in the side game at Canberra wouldn't set tongues wagging yet but they conveyed a sense of corrected skills and renewed desire. Then there's the duo of Akash Chopra and Gautam Gambhir. One's considered a has-been and the other non-Test material, but both are raring to have a go at the top. With more than 1200 domestic runs this season between them and the trophy in Delhi's bare cupboard, they have just consolidated their cases.
Jaffer's recent non-exploits could mean one of them is just a selectors' temptation away.

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