Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Racism in cricket, replacing the oldies, being aggressive: Indian cricket has questions but no answers

The one-day series between India and Australia is throwing up more questions than answers. The problem is that the questions that have been thrown up do not seem to have answers. Let me try and list the questions down.

1) Have the Indian media and fans realized that T20 is a different form of cricket than ODIs?

2) Have the young Indian cricketers understood that aggression does not mean snarling without substance and that the definition of an aggressive cricketer is not that of one with most theatric stunts?

3) Do some people know what racist taunts are?

Let me try to answer, rather introspect, these questions. A successful team in an abbreviated form of the game’s tournament is not the panacea for what ails Indian cricket. None of the T20 stars, and I mean NOBODY, has the wherewithal to challenge the place of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, for their places in the side. Apart from these two players, only Yuvraj Singh has scored 1,000 runs in 2007. So till some young players perform, let us stop speculating about the oldies’ future. If one were to look at recent performance, forget past records, these two cannot be touched. The ample proof came twice in this series. In the 4th ODI India won because these 2 put up 91, and in the 6th ODI, till these two were going it looked like India would chase down 318. On current form, there are only two match-winners for India in ODIs and both are in the autumn of their careers, if not winter.

The second question has bemused me more than other questions. Sachin Tendulkar is among the most aggressive players I have ever seen. And never have I seen him open his trap to talk needlessly to the other players. And that, despite having a record and performances to boast of. By acting like a bunch of theatrical drunks, and not backing it up with solid performances, is making the likes of S. Sreesanth look stupid. The person Sreesanth has picked on has responded in the most brilliant way. By performing. Andrew Symonds has been a joy to watch for a cricket lover. The prancing up and down idiotically only makes Sreesanth look like he is imitating a monkey.

Oops!! Oops!! Did I say ‘monkey’? Is that racism? Hell no! And that brings me down to the third point. If the crowds at Vadodra did indeed call Symonds a monkey, they were being blatantly stupid, but not racist. Either-ways, such people do not deserve to watch this noble game. But I must say, these people are neither cricket lovers, nor racists. I can say with a lot of conviction that monkey is not a racist remark in India. We, in India, worship the monkey-god Hanuman. The life-form that we worship cannot be a racist slur. This is a clear case of making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Looking at the form Symonds has had, be probably has had a divine hand that is making this wonderfully aggressive cricketer smash bowlers like seldom before. So, just lay it off. ICC, sections of the media, some of the cricketers.

India is in for a tough series against Pakistan in a month. And then, off to Australia. Thankfully, India can thank its lucky stars that it still has a few players who could make a match out of a few of the duels that would be played out. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and one Very Very Special player. The joke is that these people are the oldies who some sections of the media feel should give way to the likes of Suresh Raina, S. Badrinath, Venugoopal Rao, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir. Well, I did say in the very beginning, that there are questions but there are no answers.

1 comment:

Yoland said...

Great work.