Saturday, February 19, 2011

WORLD CUP 2011 - the Chinks and the Picks

Yes…I have been hearing the whispers for the past whole week. Fans of my cricket writing are puzzled over my non-indulgence in writing about the biggest cricketing event ever – the 2011 World Cup. I agree that it is the duty of a professional writer (in this case it would be me) to oblige the whims and fancies of his fans (Ha! Me again). So I have decided to give in.

WC 2011

Right from the time hype began for this world cup it has been obvious that this is going to be the most open world cup since the 1999 world cup when Herschelle Gibbs dropped Steve Waugh and Steve retorted with ‘You dropped the F**king world cup you slimy, butter-fingered Ba****d’ or something on similar lines.

  Australia are playing like the West Indies of late 1990s and the West Indies are playing like…well, the West Indies of late 1990s. South Africa are trying to add a touch of comedy to proceedings by openly declaring that they are the opposite of chokers now…yeah right! Then there is England going ‘Waa Waa Waa! I wanna go home! I am tired!’ after beating a third grade Australian team in the ashes. Amidst all this there are the sub continental favourties Sri Lanka and India who have played so continuously against each other that there are rumours abound that Sangakkara can now face Indian bowlers blindfolded and Harbhajan can take a backwards run up and release the ball from behind his back to the blindfolded Sangakkara. Of course we can never count out Pakistan and Daniel Vettori.

So, all in all, we are in for a cracker of a world cup unless Ireland and Bangladesh decide to throw a few surprises.

INDIA – Favourites?

The Indian media is going ga-ga over the co-host’s chances at the World Cup. Phrases like ‘Hot favourites’, ‘Strong Contenders’ and ‘most balanced’ have been doing incessant rounds as people who don’t know the C-R-I of Cricket have turned into television hosts and analysts (No offence to Charu Sharma, Boria Majumdar, Sonali Chander and Dean Jones). Before closing our eyes and declaring India as the most likely side to lift the coveted trophy let us try and analyse a few chinks in the Indian armour.

First Chink – Ashish Nehra.

I am astounded by the tag ‘death over specialist’ given to this weak, anemic left armer from Delhi. If India are to nurse any hopes of even a semi-final berth then Nehra should stop bowling consistent gentle dollies in the name of slow-bouncers and then hang his tongue out like the stray dog Subramani, who lives near our house, after being smashed for boundaries.

Second Chink – Yuvraj Singh

There was a time when Yuvraj’s form was bulging and stomach was flat. Ever since those two attributes swapped positions he has looked more and more like a Marwaadi pawn broker rather than a middle order batsman. The only reason he is in the team is because he can bowler more accurately, and at times faster, than Ashish Nehra.

Third Chink – Piyush Chawla

No particular cricketing reason, but I think he looks a bit Chinese!


THE LOGICAL FOURIndia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia.

THE WHACKY FOURBangladesh, West Indies, Ireland and Vettori.

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