I welcome you all to the commentary from the Melbourne Cricket Ground on this gloomy Sunday. Eh, what was that? So what if it’s bright and sunny, people can get glum even on bright sunny days, can’t they? You come to Delhi when it’s 45 degrees in the shade and you’ll know sunny days are a pain.
Somebody’s won the toss. Was it because India lost the toss that we gave away the game at Sydney? That’s a great mystery. Sure, South Africa won the toss at Eden Park, batted first and lost the match, but India winning the toss would have been different. Makes you reflect on the utter meaninglessness of life, doesn’t it?
Some folks say we’re having the World Cup ODI finals here today. I beg to differ. Today’s match is actually the post-final. ‘Post’ as in ‘after’, you know. This is, in many respects, a post-apocalyptic, posthumous match. I mean no disrespect to the two local teams from Down Under who’re playing here today, but it’s an obvious fact the final happened in Sydney last Thursday. Oh wait, the match seems to have started. What a poor six. Remember Sachin’s sixes against Shane Warne — now those were real sixes.
Ok, so there’s a lot of running around on the field and the runs are piling up. I think this would have been just the right pitch for Rohit Sharma, he would have done so much better than these guys. If India were playing today a billion people would be glued to their TV screens, screaming their approval of every run, every wicket and every leg-bye. Instead, a mere 23 million Aussies and a piffling four million Kiwis will be shouting for the Cup. That’s like a match between Haryana and Surat, just to respectfully put things in perspective. After all, the World Cup final without India is, for a billion of us, like the Ramayana without Sita.
Here’s an interesting fact — the player standing at midwicket has a profile that looks a lot like Jadeja’s, viewed from a certain angle. Remember when he kept on getting Michael Clarke out and everybody said Clarke was his bunny? That was a riot.
Shami would have got a real zip out of this pitch too. Oh just look at that beautiful placement between gully and short third man, Shikhar Dhawan did that a lot against Ireland. That really was an innings for the ages. Not at all like what these guys are playing.
The last World Cup final was so much better. Not because India won, of course, just the quality of the game. We’re not bothered about winning or losing, we believe in Nishkama Karma, right actions without worrying about results. But Dhoni was outstanding in that match. Today’s game, on the other hand, is much like ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.
On a brighter note, IPL season is coming up and I’ll be on TV commenting on the matches. Oh, somebody got run out just now. A very ordinary run out, nothing compared to the brilliant run out Vinoo Mankad got in 1947.
That reminds me, I have a flight to catch, I need to be back in Mumbai for the pre-IPL talk shows. What did you say? Who’s batting and what’s the score? No, there’s absolutely no point telling folks the score. Who cares?
(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal.)