Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What makes you sicker?

[Warning: No humor, only rant. Read at your own risk.]

India's pre-mature exit from the World Cup? Or the thousands of post-mortem analyses written by nincompoops with access to a keyboard?

For me, it is the latter and in this post, I shall strive to join the abovesaid thousand idiots, but not by posting a why-I-think-India-lost. As an engineer, I know the fallacies in making a judgement from a handful of data (two losses). And frankly speaking, I watch cricket with the naivety of a three year old child. I have no idea what a green grassy pitch implies. I have no clue how reverse swing works (although I have read about it a couple of times, and I keep forgetting), and frankly I do not break any sweat over my ignorance of the technical aspects of the game. There! I said it.

What I do not understand is this: When India lost a series each to Sri Lanka and West Indies, and badly I might add, there were no such inane analyses. India lost four out of five games against West Indies, there is a lot you can say about the teams and their shortcomings based on this data. Now India lost one game apiece to two different teams, and suddenly every self-appointed know-it-all jerk in the nation seems to have a rock solid theory about what exactly the pain points were, based on only two games.

I am no fan of the Indian coach, or that idiot who has overstayed his welcome in the team (Sachin), but calling for their heads is totally uncalled for, based on these two games. We played, and we were outplayed on both the occasions. Get over it already! Why do we find it so hard to accept that one side has to lose, and unless we are not careful, that side will be ours. Thats all there is to it. Atleast for me, that seems to be simplest explanation.


Mudra said...

But the point is, this is the World Cup. So even if our team has been performing badly at the various series all over the world, it has to show some miraculous improvement in form and win the World Cup! And if it doesn't, the nation is in shock.

Intelligent rant, anyway.

The Golden Silence said...

this is called "being noticed"

for example: there are several melas all over the country where people get lost... but kumbh mela has its own charm...

I guess the same thing has happened to the cricket team. all of a sudden the cricket fan in everyone felt the dissapointment much more when the team crashed out of the world cup :)

Vandana said...

I do feel bad for the cricket fans.. and pretty bad for the cricketers too who have to play for a country like ours where we worship them one moment and the very next moment burn their effigies..
But don't forget the humor part of it.. especially for those suckers who bought the tickets for the "supposed" match between India and Pakistan.. and who are flying down to the Caribbean to watch the exciting game between Bangladesh and Ireland.. I can't wait to see the crowd.. Whiskey and jhaal muri anyone? :-)
Nice post btw.. you're probably the only guy I know who has admitted that he has no idea about the technical aspects of the game... applause!! :-D

Asterix said...

@mudra: Going by the past few series, it was no surprise that India was knocked out so early in the tournament. The nation feels that the players owe everything to the country and that even a slight slip-up will not be tolerated.

@goldensilence: I sincerely hope that Bangladesh turns into another Sri Lanka over the next few years, so that the Indians will have no other option but to be on their toes in any major tournament.

@vandana: Yeah the Carribean tourism industry has taken a minor hit in their revenues. And I am not alone in my ignorance of the technical aspects of the game. There are plenty of others too, they are just not man enough to admit it :-)

Tweety said...

Cricket (to me means): Played by 11 fools and watched by 11 hundred million of them!
My prayer to the Lord remains the same every night: "O Almighty, if there is to be cricket in heaven, please also make sure there is rain!"

shruti said...

hey nice take . I truely agree that such analyses by people all over are not justified. We should be able to accept the fact that the shortcomign lies in us as a nation . Why? Because the nation as a whole is at fault .
It is us who have made this sport and everythign associated with it larger than life and hence put immense pressure on anyone who represents the country .
Again it might be so that we are not talented enough then we need to accept this and chose people who can and are ready toa ccpet this and work hard.
And if we are truely talented ( as I do believe I have seen every corner of calcutta being infested with youth playing this sport and the passion for it in India ) then there is a fault in the selection of the right talent migled with the killer instinct to perform at the peak and the onus rests on the nation as a whole for this corruption which reflects in every walk in India.
Instead of blaming a few unfortunate enough to represent this country we should look inside us and improve ourselves and the country . There is no way that we will not excel in any field we chose to .

Asterix said...

@tweety: I think most of the cricketers won't make it to heaven :) Thanks for the obligatory anti-cricket rant by the way.

@shruti: Maybe its because we Indians suck so badly at everything we do, that we grasp at the only thing we are sort of good at -- cricket. Cricket generates our heroes, cricket incites the most basic feelings in us and leads to such reactions. If we were half as good at hockey and football, maybe them we would have realized that they are just sports, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

> If we were half as good at hockey

Should've read "if we were half as good at cricket as we are at hockey". India ranks around 6 in hockey out of about 100 hockey playing nations. India's hockey achievements are well known. Cricket...the talk about ranking itself is a joke and they've won a solitary world cup. Right now India stands somewhere around 8 in ICC rankings I guess (or will be soon).

So obviously being "good at" some sport doesn't make it popular here, otherwise we'd 've seen Vishwanathan Anand, who BTW is world no 1 now, (cricket again is a joke when you see how competitive chess is), P Gopichand et al all over the TV :). Well Sania comes here and there but nothing compared to cricketers.


praywin said...

I think it's just that we Indians tend to be on extremes when it comes to Cricket. France got kicked out of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in the first round, losing to Senegal in the opening match and didn't even manage one goal in the tournament. I don't live in France so I may not know what really happened but I didn't hear anyone burning effigies of players or calling for Zidane's head (the player who fit the bill of having overstayed his welcome then).
Oh well, that's the way I'm consoling myself.

Asterix said...

@ASJ: Come on man! Only 2-3 countries play baseball but yet, the americans watch it like crazy. The international popularity is not a factor, I think. Only the proficiency.

@praywin: Fans are terribly amnesic. Post world cup, if Sachin cracks a couple of match winning centuries, then all will be forgotten.

ankurindia said...

everyone is lil disappoined with cricket and your post shows a lot of anger

Anonymous said...

> The international popularity is not a >factor, I think. Only the proficiency.

Exactly my point. I never talked about international popularity. I talked about how pathetically competitive cricket is compared to chess, hockey, badminton, shooting etc where Indians have done (are doing) so well. And when it comes to proficiency, Indian cricket team which usually lies in the bottom half of the 10 ranked countries is obviously nowhere near other Indian players/teams. And it's not that Indians suck at other sports, it's just that Indians suck terribly at cricket which for some reason known only to God (unfortunately) happens to be hugely popular here :).


Asterix said...

@ankurindia: I am more disappointed with the exaggerated reactions of the Indian audience than with the Indian cricket team.

@ASJ: I don't think that Indians are doing well in hockey or badminton. Even in chess, Anand is more like an anomaly rather than a rule.
And I don't think India sucks so badly at cricket :) I am sure it will bounce back real soon. I have that much faith in our team.

Anonymous said...

> I don't think that Indians are doing well in hockey or badminton. Even in chess, Anand is more like an anomaly rather than a rule.

You clearly don't follow other sports, do you :) ? yes, of late they've kinda become lame, but still waaaaaay better than cricket (if you look at the ranking/total-teams ratio which I've said before doesn't make sense in cricket with just 10 teams). Badminton is really picking up after P G'chand's all england champion. How did I forget tennis, I've lost count of doubles grand slams won by Lee/Hash. And boy, how can you say that about chess...India is on fire with so many kids close to GM..every month seems to throw up a new prodigy....but then you'd say chess is not a sport as such, tennis doubles is easy to win et al :)...I'm not saying that Indians are doing fantastic in other sports per se, but compared to cricket they are way ahead on any day.

India may or may not bounce back, but will they match Aussies in ruthlessness, consistency ? (that's what you'd expect given the amount of money that goes into cricket here). Even though I wish they do, I can bet that won't happen in our life time :).

Anyway, I leave it at that.


Asterix said...

@ASJ: I agree with you on almost all points except for the one on hockey. That too is played by a handful of teams (more than cricket sure, but still handful) and a 10th or 12th rank in hockey doesn't mean anything. It has been ages since India beat any major teams decisively. With the World Cup in 2010, I only hope that we are not embarassed on home grounds.

About chess, sure India has potential, but the sport fails to capture the imagination of a common Indian.

Anonymous said...

ok, if u wur 2 take an indian an say dis stuff 2 him, u wud b bludi on da ground. i am prt indian an dis is offending 2 me.

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