By Tejaswini Tirta
The World Cup has reached the knock-out stage where there are no second chances.
Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on which part of the world you’re in), there were no upsets this time around. A mere close call in Group B, if at all! As for Team India, we finally got to see Suresh Raina bat (and pick up a wicket) and Ravichandran Ashwin bowl (and smash a boundary).
So, here are a few points to ponder post intermission:
They say it’s an open World Cup. I say that’s open for debate
Of the four quarter-final matches scheduled this week, I’m only expecting two to go either way – India vs Austraia and, maybe, Sri Lanka vs England.
Shahid Afridi, for me, wins the Super Captain Award this season. I see Pakistan cruising into the semi-finals and eagerly waiting for India. As will South Africa, in all probabilities. I would like to go a step further and declare an India win - but that will be quickly followed by a silent prayer, like a billion others!
The way I see it, the semi-final line-up is quite predictable.
Let’s unleash the beast this Thursday.
I’m talking about our very own Shantakumaran Sreesanth. I really want Mahendra Singh Dhoni to play Sree in the clash against Australia. Just to irk Ricky Ponting and his men. Even if he’s not in the playing eleven, he can substitute one of the members when we take to field. I would love to see him bowl, curse a little, stare Ponting down, and celebrate excessively.
Which actually brings me to the question…
Ricky Ponting ko gussa kyon aata hai?
What’s with this guy anyway? His ‘I won’t walk’ declaration aside (which I don’t consider a big deal really; to each his own), he’s breaking our TV sets, showing his frustration on field, not scoring off the bat... If a Sreesanth were to do that, the captain would reprimand him and sit him out. If the captain himself loses it, how’s the team supposed to find it?
And speaking about losing it…
Let’s talk UDRS: the Un-Doubtedly Ridiculous System
I have no issues with the advent of technology that ensures a game is played in all its fairness. The Hawk-eyes, snickometers and the third umpires have all been introduced for this purpose. However, in case of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) it seems to me that technology is doing what it’s supposed to do, but needless human intervention is messing up its efficacy.
What’s worse is that the blunders are made in full public view and then justified with a technicality!
It’s a typical example of making simple things complicated, dear umpires. If you think it’s NOT OUT and technology says it’s OUT (2.5 mts/cms/kms, whatever!), humbly raise the finger. Better than raising a stinker, don’t you think?!
Apart from these, there are a few more concerns:
• Which team has cracked the Powerplay puzzle? Done it convincingly, I mean.
• While Dhoni complained about little “rest time” before the World Cup, Ponting’s complaining about little “test time” before the big event. What’s the right formula?
• If Sachin Tendulkar’s centuries “always” result in a loss, should we prepare ourselves to defend a total of, say, 197, from here on (this one’s for the cynics)? Because I think the 100th ton is not long way off.
• Last, but definitely not the least, why doesn’t Virat Kohli ever talk in any of his ads??
(Bangalore-based Tejaswini Tirtha spent the first eight years of her career in mainstream media, having worked with leading dailies like Times of India, The New Indian Express and Asian Age, tracking new trends in the film, fashion, theater and gaming industries. A couple of years ago, she was bitten by the corporate bug, but tried to keep the journalist in her alive by grabbing every writing opportunity that came her way. Her other interests include reading, music, watching movies, traveling, F1 racing and of course, cricket)