Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Riveting match or a fierce battle? India v/s Pakistan at world cup

For Indian television and print media, the world seemed to have ceased. Every TV channel is competing with another in screaming vociferously about India Pakistan Semi Final at Mohali. No Japan, Bahrain, Libya. Everything is match centric. Life will be standstill from 230pm. Where do I watch a match? In Pub or at home. I would rather do both. If India goes great guns, pub atmosphere is exhilarating. If the match is absorbing, home TV is the best.

India’s collective and individual happiness revolves around the outcome of Cricket Match. So far, India has not tasted defeat in the world cup from Pakistan. Would this trend continue? Greg Chapel – ex coach of India, was impatient in making changes in the team and the batting order while Gary Kirsten – is making change only if they have reasonable degree of success. Which way Dhoni would go? This is the only chance and any of his decision that back fires would be scrutinised, dissected and pilloried for rest of his life. During 1996, India Pakistan cricket match, I was travelling by road from Muscat to Dubai and kept on listening to score through radio. India was struggling to reach competitive score. But within two overs, Ajay Jadeja changed the course of the game by smashing Waqar Younis and getting psychological advantage. Amir Sohail’s batting was one of the best I have seen. Altercation between Prasad and him through fierce eye contact matched those at Wagha Border between Indian and Pakistan security forces. That was also the match, I felt sorry for Javed Miandad who was left at the other end but like an old tiger couldn’t do much except getting run out at the end. In his hay days, he could have carried the batting by nudging one and two’s with occasional boundary bringing Pakistan to threshold of victory. Would Dhoni wait for two – three over mayhem to make frontal and brutal attack on Pakistan? They would carefully choose the bowler and it could be done by Dhoni or Yousuf Pathan. But if Pathan were to be included, Viral Kohli may have to sit. It would be interesting to see the team composition today. In recent days, Pathan has emerged like phoenix when ruin was evident. What Afridi can do for Pakistan, Pathan could dovfor India. Ashish Nehra is another proven player for India. He was banished for poor one over spell against South Africa but his experience in crunch games would come handy. It may sound preposterous but uncouth and brusque attitude often prevail when these two teams get collided on world cup stage. This attitude is much bigger measure in North than in South India. Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer is packed with the venom they need to spit and rattle offenders. Demand for the inclusion of Shoaib Akhtar is for same reason.

Thought of Pakistan Sri Lanka final at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai unnerve me. Commercial interest and billion people’s aspirations would be hoping that this doesn’t happen but this is one success that will rejuvenate fragmented, and collapsed Pakistan.

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