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World Cup #25 – Sanath. A full house. And more Sanath. April 2, 2007

Posted by Anand Ramachandran in sports.
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Sat down to watch my first Super 8 game in full. A full house at last. The possibility of a true cracker.

But guess what? Sri Lanka hammers an abject West Indies side. Bo-ring.

However, there was the unusual treat of listening to Rameez Raja repeatedly refer to Sanath Jayasuriya as ‘Sanath’. ‘That’s a great shot by Sanath’. ‘Sanath is running extremely well between the wickets’. ‘I’ve always been a a big fan of Sanath’.  It’s not like this is his natural style – he didn’t show the same easy familiarity when talking about any of the other players. Weird guy. And he looks like Asad Rauf.

‘Sanath’, of course, provided the major part of the evening’s entertainment by taking his time to settle, and then gleefully tonking the West Indian bowlers wherever he mighty well pleased. A peach of a century from a cricketer of much might and fearsomeness.

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It’s now safe to say that there would probably have been no point in India making the Super 8s anyway. We’d have beaten Ireland (yeah, yeah, I know. Probably have beaten.), and might have had a fair chance against the West Indies. We’d have been soundly trashed by all the other teams. They’re better prepared, fitter, smarter – and playing an altogether better brand of cricket. We’re not in this league, I am truly saddened to concede.

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I’ve decided to watch as many of the upcoming heavyweight matches. Some teams are playing delicious cricket, and I get the feeling we haven’t seen the best of the World Cup yet.  More power to Lasith Malinga. To Scott Styris. To Paul Collingwood. To ‘Sanath’. To Ricky Pont . . no, wait . . .

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1. raj - April 5, 2007

I dont think you are correct about India. Even England ran SL close- and they are not even half-close to India’s preparedness, skills, powerplay abilities or bowling suited to the conditions. Fact is Bangla have improved their level and are capable of one upset in a bluemoon against top countries. REad that as one upset per year. In 2005, it was Aussies, 2006 was SL’s turn and this year’s quota has been done with India. Too bad it happened in the WC First round. Too much is being made of this and the Indian team ridiculed for that. I would have fancied India’s chances against all teams except A & SA in the Super 8. Thats how things stand today – A & SA are in a league of their own with SL and NZ closely behind. India vs NZ depends on conditions – we are not far behind NZ. That is to say, NZ are ahead of us because of their athleticisim, preparedness, and professionalism. We are not far behind simply because of the skill and talent factor – the chasm is huge and only NZ’s aforementioned 3 qualities bring a balance between NZ and India. This is not being acknowledged. India on their day , and that would be 50% against top opposition, are 1034 times more watchable than NZ, England put together. SA with their automaton bowling attack are also unattractive with Smith and Gibbs salvaging their batting attractiveness.
I’d say, Cricket would go the Hockey way soon if everyone is obsessed with professionalism and power play – we need the Laxmans, the Martyns, Younis Khans and the Jayawardanes for Cricket to maintain its status. We are falling in the trap of the “white man’s game is the best – follow him “. In the case of Hockey, it was trying to adapt to Turf which wasnt suitable for our artistry and never will be. In the case of Cricket, the obsession with fast bowlers and powerr batsman and atheltic fielders is threatening to reduce the sport into a robotic array of similar teams. India and Pakistan, ofcoruse,will never reach that levels. But soon, we will have a supremely fit Ireland locking horns with Australia and SA- India and P will wither to the second division and I bet that wouldnt make a pretty watch.


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