Saturday, October 08, 2005

Super Series? Super Dud?!

The most eagerly awaited clash of the decade they said! The only chance to beat the Aussies! Eleven of the best players in the world, in a format that just requires 'one' good day as opposed to testing test match conditions.

And the result? 2-0, big margin defeats, return to form of the players in a 'slump' -Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist (strange that they call it a slump even when he keeps brilliantly and manages to average around 30). In short, the Aussies pulverize the Rest of the World.

And here I was, trying to juggle my schedule, driving my team half-crazy trying to work around the matches, getting labeled a social recluse because I had planned to spend Sunday (the day the final was to be played) at home, away from all distractions.

Wow...what happened? Why are Sehwag, Kallis and Lara not firing? Why are Murali and Akhtar returning with a wicket apiece?

I pondered this long and hard. The only reason I could come up with, was that the Rest of the World is really just that! Rest of the world...not the Best of the world!

No Tendulkar, no Inzy, no Jayasuriya. No Vaas, no Harmison, no Sami.

No, this was not a collection of the best players...this was a collection of the best of the rest, after the best had dropped out either due to injury or non-selection.

Simple question to anyone who cares to debate this. Pollock as captain? Even his own team does not have the gumption to play him consistently (leave alone make him captain).

It is so sad that despite having a really exciting idea, the execution has completely killed the possible magic of a lifetime. Like my uncles talk of the famous Rest of the World vs. Aussies match of their times - 1974 was it?. When Sobers scored that brilliant double century and Lilee took 12 wickets for less than a 100? I have heard so much about it that I feel like I was part of that era. Today, when I have a chance of being part of history again, snatching a story that I can tell my kids, faulty selection and bad planning play a wet blanket.

Was it wise to hold this so soon after the Ashes with Flintoff and Pietersen so tired that they perhaps don't really care? Was it wise to have a match practice lacking Akhtar play? Was it wise to not ask one of the nominees for the Player of the Year (Inzy) to play?

I don't know. All I know is that 'yeh dil maange more'. Maybe the tests will be a different affair. I'll keep my fingers crossed and this time round - no planning! I'll go to work and see if I can sneak into the conference room and watch the match in office :)

Boss bhi khush, team bhi khush, and I manage my own expectations too!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are biased. That's the problem with Indians. Just can't accept that someone (in this case the Aussies) is actually so good that even the best in the world can't do a damn thing to change that. The first step to success is to acknowledge your weaknesses and the opponent's strengths and the sooner all the other teams recognise this the better.
You too.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous tara said...

Dear Anonymous,
For starters it would be nice to know your name given that you have such a passionate take on the post.

You do realize that the Aussies almost lost a home series to India (that's right, a team comprising INDIANS) and more recently, even the Ashes?!

The issues that plague this Super Series go beyond a team trying to beat the Aussies. They range from faulty selection, to poor timing and inadequate match practice prior to the series.

I was not trying to undermine the strengths of the Aussies in any way. Obviously they are very close to being the best in the world right now. That's why the World XI is playing them and not another team right?

What i am rueing is the lack of a contest here. And that in my opinion is not because of the weaknesses of the opposing team. After all, the same stars have (on innumerable occasions) taken the Aussie attack to the cleaners.

All i am asking for is a show of 'spine' in the World XI effort. And that can only come from feeling an intense desire to do well and an inbuilt chemistry in the team. Both are sadly lacking for various reasons.

If one were to take what you say seriously ('all the other teams recognise the might of the Aussies') then why have the World Cup? Why not just hand it over year after year to the Aussies on a platter? For that matter the Ashes too. Maybe that would have allowed them to avoid the ignominy of being the first Aussie team in what, 40 years or so to lose the Ashes?!

8:26 AM  
Blogger jive said...

hmm..both points of view are valid in different perspectives...!

6:44 AM  

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