Knock-out blues for Men in Blue

Updated on Sep 20, 2004 11:33 AM IST

200 was never enough. Not even with the start Pathan gave. At best, it looked competitive. Then the inevitable happened, writes Avirook Sen.

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PTI | ByAvirook Sen, Edgbaston

On the morning of the game, it's like this. Tickets for 150 pounds. India shirts for 10. Whistles for a pound. Hooters for three. Temporary deafness: free.|

And above all that noise the umpire hears a nick to the keeper. Sourav Ganguly is out without scoring — and they haven't even come in, all of them.

Guys like Hetal and Mehul and Pratik. From Leicester and Manchester. Out here in Edgbaston so that the Pakistani supporters are outnumbered and outshouted.
"Don't get me wrong man, today I'm going to be a hooligan," says one of them.

Another one wants to live in India because in India, he says insightfully, "You get to see India all the time". Another one wants each of them to own a house near every major international venue: to avoid the parking problems they're facing at Edgbaston. In the morning, all of them are planning celebrations.

Ganguly's dismissal is a bit of a downer. Still, there's Laxman.

And now, there's no Laxman ---- pulling one from Rana to square leg. Sehwag flicks a half-volley to the same fielder. Kaif and Dravid steady things for a while, but at 73 for five there seems to be very little chance of any Indian celebrations.

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