16 October 2006

God, I hope he's back.

I hope he's back, I really really do. Irfan Pathan lends such enviable balance to the team that to have him out of the team would have meant that either the batting or the bowling would be weakened terribly. And the danger of that happening was real, unbelievably so after his dream debut year when he would cut through the top order of most teams with the new ball. And then the long tour to the Caribbean happened, where his speed dipped, accuracy went beserk and his economy rate balooned - leading to unnecessary speculation about a loss of "confidence".

"I mean, its not like its a set of frikkin car keys now, is it?"

I am always wary of going to a pub to watch the match. Some of the lowest points of my life have been in pubs, drinking inspid beer and watching India get screwed, king-size on a big screen. One hot Bangalore afternoon, my friends and I were the first people in the pub, watching Mandira Bedi, Charu Sharma and Chika before the start of the match - lured by a big screen and unlimited beer for two hundred bucks. Once inside, we even painted our faces as well.

The pub soon resembled a microscopic view of infected tissue. Believe you me, there was hardly room to breathe when Zaheer ran in. Forget going to the bar to get yourself a beer, to go the loo would have required a struggle of Gandhian proportions. And then of course Messrs Hayden, Ponting and Martyn decide to rip the Indian bowling apart - with a smile. So there was no World Cup and no beer either.

Yesterday though was slightly different in that the cricket was incidental. Shanth wanted to drink. Ro too, and so we ended up on the most uncomfortable chairs in all of North India, in front of a big screen, listening to good music on a bad sound system. But the good part: Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan and some elctric fielding. Also, Ms Bedi's wardrobe. Of course, we didn't have to listen to her.