25 December 2011

Australia!

Cricket’s back to IST+, which means early morning consciousness. Or in my case, very very late night consciousness. Cricket is the only human activity I can voluntarily be awake for at 7 AM. As a largely crepuscular creature, to bed at 6 AM is a normal late-night for me. 8 AM is an irritating but acceptable start to the day. Awake at 7 AM! Only for cricket.

There is nothing on the cricket calendar quite like the boxing day tests, and we have been lucky to play them two years in a row. The fact that it is boxing day adds some intangible bit to the excitement surrounding an always anticipated series.

Watching cricket in Australia is a real joy, some bit of it captured in one of Laxman’s recent interviews, and this nice piece by Monga. You just need a look at the pitch to know where the cricket is happening. It is really distinctive.

Like I did for the England series, I feel we have a chance here. I’m not quite sure what happened there. I think we will better understand in time, but it should not have been a bad as it was. My gut feel is that most of the team didn’t care enough since we had just won a world cup. I hope that it was that, combined with injuries and an opposition that was very skillful in its home conditions. None of it is excusable of course.

For a life-long Dravid fan-boy, England 2011 was a wet-dream ensconced in a nightmare. Everything was exactly as I pictured it when I drifted off to sleep every night. Except that it turned into a FUCKING NIGHTMARE!

That tour has made me a little reluctant to make predictions, including ones of competitiveness. But for most of our stalwarts, wining a series in Australia is pretty high on the list of priorities. Since we have never done it before, it might be the highest for some. Motivation should not be an issue here.

For us, I am looking forward to Ashwin, Yadav, and Kohli. This will be a proper test for the three of them and an opportunity to earn real respect. I think we will miss PK, and the selectors might have missed out on a trick by not picking Irfan when Aaron pulled out.

And of course, as always, I am looking forward to our creaking terminators.

For them, I am looking forward to Warner, Cowan and Pattinson. I don’t want any of them to do well, but if any of them are going to (as I’m sure they are), it would be nice if it was these three.

So merry Christmas to one and all, here’s to a great series.

And oh yeah, fuck you Ponting.

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