24 June 2008

Significance of the Insignificant

So, yet another meaningless tournament arrives. There is a jaded disinterest as the Asia Cup kicks off in stormy Pakistan. With countless strifes and innumerable controversies adorning Pakistan cricket, the Asia Cup is just a mere sideshow.
However, atleast to this writer, the Asia Cup could answer a few questions
1) India : - Can the much vaunted youth brigade deliver on the big stage. As the Men In Blue seek to create the nucleus for World Cup 2011, the Asia Cup could answer whether we have the correct personnel for the big event. It could tell us whether Consistency and Sehwag can be used in the same sentence without an "in".
2) Sri Lanka : - Is there life after Jayasurya? Or more pertinently who will , get you the wickets and restrict the runs when Murali retires? Also, is Ajitha Mendis a magician in the making?
3) Bangladesh : - Are they finally ready to break into the big stage? They had a storming World Cup, but have done precious little since. In a way, they have had a delicious appetizer but the main course has been bland. But, some encouraging signs with an improved Ashraful suggest that there could be light at the end of the tunnel.
4) Pakistan : - For once, the question is not about Akthar or Asif. It is about Pakistan's ability to organize a big show. A trouble-free tournament could actually be the most important development for Pakistan cricket.
Maybe there is some significance to the insignificant

06 June 2008

Tim Ambrose Watch

Tim Ambrose seems to be doing one better than his predecessor. Not only is he playing bridesmaid to the top order quie nicely, he is not dropping too many either. Looks like he might last longer than Prior.

04 June 2008

Trekking back to Respectability

Chrab is leading the Windies to reattain the heights of Mt. Respectability, last occupied under courtney Walsh. Over the last couple of seasons, the Chrab has been one of the most prolific Test batsmen - with an average of 74, scoring in this period a fifth of his runs in a career that goes back to 1994. This period coincides with Lara's slow walk into the sunset, and there is no doubt that the man from Guyana has reignited the trek when his expedition looked destined to stay in the Dark Valley of Sad Bastards.

He has been ably assisted by the man who is now his captain, Ramnaresh Sarwan who is fit after a string of injuries that made him look like a Jellybean, and the loss of form that saw him sit out of the team in Pakistan. His last eight scores, dating back to late March when the Windies received the Lankans at home, read: 128, 65, 12, 7, 102, 57, 72, 80.

It has been repeated ad nauseum: the Windies cannot always depend on Chrab, Gayle and Sarwan to stay afloat. Disco Dwayne needs to become a better number 6 batsman. He is doing just about alright on these sleepy West Indian pitches, but his baby-soft dismissal yesterday when Sarwan had practically taken them all the way, left the door open for a sneaky Sydney-style re-entry. Smith and Runako need to do better, at least on these pitches - uneven or not. If they don't the musical chairs with Ganga will coninue.

I wont talk about the Windies bowling, not only because I am lazy, but also because we're talking mere respectability. Once those heights are attained, they can talk about the pace battery, and decent spinners and think about Mt. Compete.

03 June 2008

Asif does a Bidappa

Damn, the Drugs and Cricket file keeps getting bigger and bigger. We will need a new office soon.

Asif decided to get caught in the right country, if he had to get caught at all, with drugs in the Middle East. Listen to Prasad Bidappa, fashion designer and model-hunter based in Bangalore, afte his fairly quick release:

"The first week there was harrowing for me in terms of uncertainty, but I made many friends. Shabaan, a Pakistani inmate, helped me get clean sheets and toiletries. The warden, an Iranian, and Ismail, a guard, told me not to worry. I prayed, read, worked out and got ready each morning. I got the inmates to exercise too"

I imagine Asif will be similarly popular. Also, PCB is supposed to have great relations with UAE chappies. D J Aqeel was netted in Dubai too, with ecstasy, I think. Not sure.

02 June 2008

According to the grand design.

Miriam is Wonderwoman. Read her DLF scintillating over-by-over coverage of the final at Cricket With Balls.

Did MSD finally meet a captain even cooler than him in a final potboiling-pulfiction-blockbuster-cauldron?
Did MSD look wistfully at Joginder in the dugout? In all fairness though, Joginder had a shit day prior to that final over.
Chennai filded badly. Will Dhoni whine as much about fielding, even though bar-Murali, he only had young legs at his disposal?
What will Shane Warne do till the next seaon?
Will Watson have a upswing in fortunes at international cricket?