Saturday, March 28, 2015

Deja Vous: So near and yet so far -The End of India’s World Cup Campaign

At the start of the ICC World Cup, Indian cricket fans were extremely skeptical of India’s world cup chances as they had been badly thrashed by Australia in the Test and One Day series. We knew that it would be virtually impossible back then and most of us were happy when we thrashed Pakistan in the first match. But then Team India did a complete U-Turn à la Modi Sarkar and started winning one match after another – including against strong cricketing teams like South Africa and the West Indies. And then they raised the hopes of even the non-cricket lovers and it was as if were at war against the other nations. Yes, many people who told me that they would not be following the cricket world cup as they hated the game watched the entire semi-final in which Australia trashed us badly.

These folks declared that Virat Kohli was the villain of the piece for dropping a sitter and then making just 1 run in 13 deliveries. There were dirty abuses hurled at Anuskha Sharma, the Bollywood Superstar, for just being present at the ground. They didn’t bother to ask why Raina didn’t bowl in the Australian innings, why Dhawan and Rohit Sharma frittered away a perfect start, why Raina did not fire and why no batsman except Dhoni could stand up to the might of the Aussie pace attack. Because they had their villains – Kohli and Anushka, and they need not look any further.

Yes, the memory of these folks is short. It was Kohli who had been the most consistent batsman in the 2011 world cup which we had won. It was Kohli who had single-handledly taken on the Aussies the whole summer. It was Kohli who has been declared our batsman in the past few years. The expectations were high and Kohli failed to deliver. That was all. Let us not blame Anushka for it. Mistakes happen, especially against the Aussies who have probably the best side in the world and are playing with home advantages. They knew the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) well. They have the fastest bowlers in the world in Starc and Johnson, who were deadly accurate as well. They had eight proper batsmen in their lineup.

It was Deja Vous for India. It was a replay of that awful 2003 world cup final. Australia batted first the too and had made a few runs more, and our best batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, got our cheaply at the start. The pressure got to both Indian teams in a big world cup match . And now it’s time to enjoy the finals with the Kiwis possibly getting clobbered tomorrow. That’s my prediction. What is yours?

1 comment :

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