Feb 28, 2011

The Incredible Game!

If receiving a few lathi hits on your bum could be auspicious enough to produce a game of such killing intensity, then I am sure the cricket fans of Bangalore won't mind much. The fiasco over ticket distribution prior to the match aside, the last night encounter between the self-proclaimed favorites India and my dark horses England was truly magical. It seemed so well-scripted (from heaven, no fixing angle please!), that it would have easily won a few awards for best story or screenplay!

The match was a classic example of fine batsmanship and great resolve. And here, I would rate Andrew Strauss ahead of the Master himself. To score 158 runs while chasing 339 against a side that is ranked next only to Australia in ODI table, is commendable. Strauss is not a terrific one-day cricketer, we all know that. But the way he geared his innings against a hapless Indian attack was truly remarkable. The English captain looks very fluent and in-form, and can easily be a thorn in flesh for other opponents in future.

Sachin Tendulkar, that old-young Batting Institution, did it again for India. But his effort was largely overshadowed by a spirited strauss and the eventual result of the match itself. A tie, in a sense, was a very suitable result for the match, as none of the side deserved to lose or let's say both the sides deserved to lose equally! England threw it away from a position of great strength, while India should have won by scoring these many runs at first place.

Now, both England and India find themselves in strikingly similar positions. Their batsmen are making merry while their bowlers are looking clueless. This tie is surely going to bring smiles to the faces of South Africans, who would now fancy their chances of topping the table in Group B, and face a possible encounter with lowly New Zealand in the Quarterfinals.

Also, this 'Incredible Game' settled quite a few myths. Sample these:
  • The World Cup 2011 is not going to be a lackluster affair as it was in 2007. There were a few mis-matches to begin with, but the cup is gaining steam, without doubt!
  • The ODI format is not perishing away, till, there are teams and matches like these. ODI is in good health, naysayers!
  • India are certainly not the Overwhelming or Firm Favorites, as media has made us believe in last fortnight or so. We have a very good chance, better than what we had in last edition. But, remember, this is the most 'open' world cup in cricketing history, with at least 6 teams having fair chances of lifting the trophy in Mumbai. Australia can NEVER be ruled out. Pakistan is resurgent and looking dangerous as a unit. England is inspired and has fighting ability. Sri Lanka can be devastating on their day. South Africa are favorites till they commit suicide.
I have a gut feeling that the last night proceedings at the Chinnaswamy stadium gave us an indication of how things will unfold in this world cup. It carried a message for Indians, gave hope to other teams. The eventual point sharing just might have sealed the fate of both the teams in the world cup.

There is a long week ahead for cricket lovers as minnows are slated to lock horns on most weekdays. We will have to wait for the weekend to get our dose of some real 'classic encounters'. I wonder why ICC only believes in Weekend Dhamaka!

P.S. : The writer is still in awe of the last night cliffhanger!


  1. I totally agree with all of the things you said except for the second para. You said Strauss was a step ahead of the Master yesterday, cuz he scored 158 chasing 339 against a very strong team. Sachin, last year only, scored 175 against Australia while chasing. I don't know whether I'm speaking in the same context as yours or not but, I did not like the second para.
    Third para was written exceptionally well. The gist of yesterday's match was explained wonderfully by you.
    "South Africa are favorites till they commit suicide." This line cracked me up!
    The bottom line is, you're an incredible writer!

  2. Thank u Naman..:) Rating Strauss' Innings ahead of Sachin's was mainly because of the way he paced the England Chase. His effort was relevant in the context of the game..

  3. the time i had last night.. i doubt i will experience ever in my life (running like a demented soul all over the Mughal Sarai railway station just to get an update)..

    That was some stunner in every way, India should have put at least 20-30 runs (i am sure every Indian citizen will be thinking the same) keeping in mind the kind of foundation Sachin gave but "hain to sab aadat se majboOr".... Indian bowling has always been ordinary but it never looked so helpless.

    b/w lovely expressions(write-up)upfront

  4. Incredible Game it was indeed bro..!!
    I completely agree with your analysis..
    Tendulkar was in vintage form..but there is a lot of difference between batting first and second..Strauss was most definitely the deserved MOM..!!
    Cheers to last night's encounter and may there be lots more like these in this World Cup..
    Long Live ODI's!!

  5. @ Ram--It Will be tough for India to win the cup with this kind of bowling attack..No doubt and yes, the middle order looks fragile to me..just a bit..!

  6. @ Gurman..ODIs will be in good health thanks to team like these..Hope the format maintains its aura..More such encounters needed..and BTW..happy birthday..:P:P

  7. Even being a non-cricketer, its oways a great pleasure reading ur stuff. I too loved the match n thought that the match was fixed (i didn't see the match but definitely herd the arguments & discussions and so made the conclusion :P) )

  8. Thank You Soumya..:)) And let me assure you that the match was NOT fixed..;):P

  9. One of the best matches i had ever seen! It was unbelievable. Had Indians made 20-30 runs more ( i second ram on that one) we would have had an upper hand.( we thought we always had, right? ) Indian's body language was pretty casual.Made me feel, that ours is certainly not the best team in this world cup.But nonetheless, I loved the way England played and Zak bowled. As you said, it was a world class stuff!

    I wish we witness such matches more often!

    Cheers! :D

    P.s- I love your blog. Better than Espn!!! :P

  10. @ Mihika..Welcome the true cricket lover on my blog..:) I am glad that you like the blog and I hope you will log into it for checking the scores rather than going to ESPN..;):P

    and yes, it was incredible game no doubt! We had one more (Eng Vs Ireland) day before..So the cup would serve you well..I promise..:))