The more things change, the more they stay the same
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
If you could film India play one-day cricket in black and white, it would feel just right; occasionally arresting and charmingly dated. You can still enjoy Mughal-e-Azam or Shree 420, or marvel at Madhubala and weep with Dilip Kumar, but neither of those would challenge a Dil Chahta Hai for a contemporary cinema award. This Indian team would look good in the retrospective section of a film festival for there is still much to respect and admire.
But one-day cricket is about the business of winning cricket matches as modern cinema is about filling multiplexes. This team can still win, they have beaten South Africa and England in recent times, but increasingly they need too many things to be in their favour; there aren't too many degrees of freedom, if 'x' doesn't work there isn't another 'y' to step in. So the batting must outscore the opposition by a minimum of thirty runs and since only the top six score runs, they must outscore the opposition top six by at least fifty or sixty runs. You can't expect a movie to succeed if the hero can deliver only a certain kind of dialogue; it might, like with Sivaji, but it won't all the time.
And so Rahul Dravid knows what to do to win, but cannot always do it because individual players are quite excited by the idea of being dated as well. He is like a scientist who knows that a reaction will succeed at 250 degrees but is stuck with a burner that only provides 200 degrees. Fielding and athleticism are either individual passions or team diktats; where individual passion is absent, the directive must work. The problem is that if the directive is enforced, there aren't enough players to put on the park.
Look at fielding in the deep for example. You need quick legs and strong arms so the two can be kept down to one and the boundary down to three, even to two sometimes. Look around this squad and find five players who can do that. Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Kaarthick, Ajit Agarkar, Robin Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar, maybe Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla. Decent list? Okay, if all of them are playing but certainly not when four of those cannot find a place. And what if the captain wants Yuvraj inside the circle? Who goes out? Ganguly can't, Dravid can't, Zaheer can't, Powar can't and Munaf certainly can't. And what about RP Singh who, as a young man should be here, there and everywhere but isn't. That is about thirty runs gone straightaway, assuming no catches are dropped.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet