Monday, January 21, 2008

perth win-what it means to me

I start writing this at the start of last session of the fourth's day's play at Perth and I hope this gets published, for this is written as an ode to the Indian victory that will happen today. What does this victory means to me as an Indian cricket fan? To be the first nation from the subcontinent to defeat Aussies in Perth, is definitely a big thing, perhaps the greatest of the things. But to me it is the build up that was created into this test match, with all things going haywire at Sydney. Spirit of the game, umpiring errors, racist charge; many a things. And then there was Perth, considered to be the fastest and bounciest pitch in the world, and of course a fast dynamo named Shaun Tait considered being faster than the fastest of the pacers presently playing the game. Cometh the day, cometh the man, captain courageous calls it right and makes a brave decision. "We'll bat." It was really a brave decision, considering the fact that it could have been a natural tendency of anyone, who won the toss, to bowl first at the WACA. Anil Kumble just didn’t get carried away by Perth.

(Continuing the article on 21st) What happened after those 4 days of excellent cricket is now known to everyone? There are articles written about it on all the magazines and newspapers and on blogs too. To me, as a person who gets up early in the morning to watch the matches happening in Australia,this win is really special, for even I didn’t give India a chance of victory at Perth. I was not confident enough that the much famed Indian batting lineup, all
except Sachin Tendulkar playing on Perth for first time, could face the Aussies pace and Indian bowlers could take twenty Australian wickets. Not many of the Indians would have thought either. Our best chance came at Sydney, but that too had gone away, and my mind said it would be 3-0. On all these days I went at 10 AM to the office after seeing the match till lunch. And on the second day when Australia was 14/3, I said –“Now we have a chance”. And as Sunil Gavaskar put it, it was the old art of swing bowling that peeped into the Australian fort and rattled them. I must admit I underestimated the ability of the company of Irfan, RP and Ishant.

On the fourth day as India was chasing history, there was a contest between a young rookie and one of the best No 3 batsmen in the world now. For all you cricket fans out there who missed that, let me tell you it was really a MISS that you have done in your cricketing life. I am bit an old timer and even though I enjoy all forms of cricket, I love to watch Test Cricket, for it is there I believe there is scope for everyone and where one’s temperament is tested. The morning session contest between bat and ball, between Ishant and Ricky Ponting, was test cricket at its best.

There were inspirational bowling changes from Anil Kumble. He was a true leader there, even though the emotion he showed when he got Symonds might not suggest that. He erupted in joy like a child who got his toy back. But to ask Ishant, “Ek Aur Karega” and give the ball to him, and to give bring Sehwag on, noticing that there was turn for finger spinners, just before tea was truly inspirational. The run that Sehwag made into Kumble after castling Gilly just showed that it was Kumble’s idea to bring Viru on. It was just destiny that his 600th wicket has to fall in this epic match. Bravo Anil, Bravo!!

Australians are hurt, and they are sure to come back. But I guess they might have just realized the fact that, the replacements they thought will fit into Langer’s, McGrath’s, Warne’s shoes are not quite yet there. For many in the team, this is the first defeat. Hussey’s and Phil Jacques’s averages are coming down. And even though Ponting may not admit it, it was really the old art of swing bowling that did them in. Brett Lee bowled with heart, so did Stuart Clark. While Johnson disappointed, Shaun Tait, the pace bowling sensation who was to rip apart the Indian side, was a pity site to watch. The fact that he bowled lesser number of overs than the part time spinners underlined the fact that he was not at its best or is he just another hype from the Aussie media?

There was much written about Perth, Shaun Tait and how Indians will be handling them. Somebody named Geoff Marsh claimed Indians won’t win a single test in this series. At the end of it the Aussies where undone. Undone by the Indian bowling and batting; and a bit of their over confidence. If only we could script the Sydney Test in a different way, things would have been different. But past is past and India should now look forward to Adelaide and if a certain Rahul Dravid can repeat his last series feat, if a Laxman can repeat his consistency against the Aussies and if some one from the pace battery can step in and perform a “Agarkeresque” spell of bowling, we can make it 2-2.

Still Perth victory will go down in Indian Cricket History as one of the greatest, perhaps ‘the greatest’ Test Victory of India.

And to quote Bill Pullman, The President, from the movie Independence Day; Jan 19th 2008 will be the day, when we unanimously declared in one voice-

Wewill not go quietly into the night!
Wewill not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on!
We're going to survive!

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

And some where at a distance from Perth, in a stadium called Melbourne Park under the flashy lights of Rod Laver Arena, another world champion from a different sport was competing to survive against a la David. Roger Federer is his name. The Australians can definitely look at him to understand, what being a World Champion means. Tennis may be an altogether different game from cricket. Sure it is of individual brilliance. But a being a World Champion is almost the same in all sport. That’s what differentiates a Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, from a Vijay Singh and Andy Roddick. That’s what Australians have to learn that being a world champion in cricket is not about playing the cricket in a hard-nosed way. Its about the way you play the game confidently, about the ability to comeback at critical stages(which they have) and more importantly humility. Humbleness enough to appreciate the opposition’s capability to dethrone them. And quoting Anil Kumble, aggressiveness is not about abusing a batsmen’s family when he is on song, but it is about trying to take wickets every ball he bowls.

Australians will come back at us. But Go India, Go and achieve what others say is unachievable. I, Guru, Abhi and Kich will be there to get up early in the mornings and support you.

P.S: I started writing this at teatime on fourth day and as I was writing 8th wicket was down. But when Clark and Johnson started hitting I got worried and I thought I am getting over confident and stopped writing. I enjoyed the game and watched India’s win and then I saw Federer fighting it against Tipaservic. Later I remembered about this today morning and it took half a day for me to complete this. But I couldn’t have slept without publishing this. This is dedicated to people like Abhi,Guru, and Kich and me who wake up early in the mornings and support Indian Cricket. No matter how many times we lose, no matter who ever is dropped or selected, people like us just comeback in front of the Idiot box and watch this game which we love. And this is for those people who love the game of cricket and Indian Cricket. I may be a bit too emotional here, but can't help it. :)

P.P.S: Picture Courtesy,

1 comment:

Sree... said...

You did convert your imotions into word very well. I guess almost all the cricket-is-my-love-and-passion folks in India would have felt the same.
Line I like most is you mentioned what Anil Kumble has to say about aggressiveness. Kudos da. Couldnt agree to that more. Looks like oz cant perform well without sledging!!!

Wonderful blog da