This may come as a sudden shock but Indian cricket is not powerful only because of its commercial clout. Of course, money counts but do not undervalue Indian cricket's priceless capacity to deliver drama.
The world's economy is presently caught in a frightening downward spiral. Cricket too is threatened by commercial carnage as it suffers meltdown due to T20 which could wipe out the established format.
But, strangely, none of this alarms India: its cricket is insured against losses. Vulnerable in other countries, Indian cricket — yes, even Test cricket — is prospering. This happy state is the result of the abundance of drama. Drama is the oxygen, the life support of all sport and, mercifully, in Indian cricket, there is no shortage of it.
Before the Bangalore Test, the drama centred round individual performers. Everyone speculated about our ageing stars, and wondered whether Ponting would continue to dance to Harbhajan's tunes. As if all this was not spice enough, Sourav Ganguly stepped in to add more masala. He slammed the previous selection committee for apmaan, which invited a quick response from ex-Chairman Dilip Vengsarkar who in filmi style promised, mooh tod jawab, in good time.
Ganguly made pointed references to a teammate who changed hairstyles but made no runs. Who was he talking about? Take one guess. Also on his radar/hit-list were unnamed Tom, Dick and Harrys who played for India, undeservingly, ahead of him. Two days after these remarks hit the headlines, Ganguly issued a denial. Then Bangalore produced on-field drama too. As long as Test cricket delivers these unanticipated twists, it will stay away from the ICU.