With that heady feeling of victory still bubbling all over me, I dug deeper into each of India’s matches and analyzed their secret of success – and now want to give the just due (and probably some of BCCI’s reward booty) to the people behind the success.
India’s mental conditioning coach* drilled into Sehwag’s head that he should play Tests like ODIs and ODIs like Tests. Sehwag duly executed the strategy in the first match. But promptly forgot it in all the next matches – ending up playing ODIs like 20/20s. Sehwag’s mother should have fed him soaked almonds along with his daily glass of milk.
*a psychiatrist by any other name will still shrink the same
This match had all the portents of the geopolitical Great Game, with England was playing for the pride of all colonists and India was playing for all independent nations. Post-colonial undercurrents bubbled over in this match with the ex-ruler and ex-ruled refusing to concede defeat. With no one taking the initiative to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, spirits of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Mountbatten were called on to intervene, and they settled on a tie as a face-saver for both sides.
The game was briefly jolted from its stupor, when Ian Bell mistakenly dropped some jellybeans on the pitch, bringing a lethargic Zaheer Khan to life.
Johan Cruyff as the new Sports Minister has implemented the concept of ‘Total Football’ in cricket – where each player is supposed to play in each position*. Sadly, the batsman only reached the bowling standard of their bowlers and the bowlers only reached the batting standards of their batsman – which isn’t saying much.
*Wait, didn’t Greg Chappell also try this?
As the ICC is desperate to promote new countries as test playing nations – Zimbabwe stuck in a political morass and Bangladesh STILL not improving – Sharad Pawar as the President of ICC directed BCCI and the Indian team to build up the case of Ireland’s promotion. With India’s track record against minnows, it wasn’t a hard task for the Men in Blue to make it a hard task!
Vs South Africa
“Imitation is the best form of flattery”: To best learn from their closest rivals and absorb the professionalism of South African team, what better strategy than to choke on the chokers. So the Indian batsman and the bowlers went out of their way to perfect the art of the choke. Even the captain got into the swing of things on choking on his captaincy in the last over.
Vs West Indies
On being dazed & confused when stoned, Chrys Gayle and Shivnarain Chanderpaul felt that the safest place in a stadium was inside the hut. Better safe than sorry. [In the QF against Pakistan, they had all the reasons to get their fill of sorry]
BCCI filed a case against Cricket Australia at the Monopolies and Restricted Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC). Though MRTPC has been defunct for 10 years, it was revived in ‘public interest’. Overcoming the usual government bureaucracy and lethargy, MRTPC gave a swift ruling that Australia needs to cease and desist from prolonging its global domination. Ponting & Co being honor-bound gentlemen and follower-of-the-straight-and-narrow duly complied and handed over their throne & crown, throwing in a captaincy for the sake of fair play.
As a cost-cutting measure, PCB had made Kamran Akmal their fielding coach. Kamran’s “Lull-into-Complacency” strategy was to fool batsmen into believing that Pakistanis cannot catch, until the batsmen start hitting straight at the fielders who instead of dropping suddenly start pocketing them. Sadly, the page 2 of the memo (that they have to ultimately actually catch them) never left Afridi’s desk – who probably used the back of the page to draft his latest resignation letter.
Vs Sri Lanka
BCCI, that most visionary and far-sighted sports authority in the world, saw this coming clearly. To best prepare the Indian team for all the tricks in the Sri Lankan arsenal, BCCI ensured India and Sri Lanka played at least 35 times on the last 2 years. To counter Sri Lanka having learned all about India too, Dhoni played his trump card by including Sreeshant in the playing XI. Sri Lankans were so bamboozled by this perplexing selection that they couldn’t move for the first 10 overs.
One of my friend posted after the win: “Cloud 9 must be crowded with 1 billion people”. The victory podium should have been crowded with a cast of hundreds.