Another 4 years have passed, another world cup begins, another occasion to relive memories, hope, dream, debate, laugh, scream, shout, dance, (cry?). And of all these activities, one that is unmatched for the blend of fun and pseudo-intellectual rigor is predictions.
Everyone makes predictions. Some are better at it than others. Yours truly predicted that India would win when it started following on in THAT match. Of course, I also predicted India would win in every test match I have watched at every stage of the match, so maybe it doesn’t count.
But predicting winners and losers is too easy. There are only 3 possibilities after all. What I want to try this time around, is different.
I want to predict memories. As one thinks of the 2011 World Cup in 2020, what will you remember? Will someone hop like Javed Miandad? Bend (the ball) like Akram? Dive like that leviathan Leverock? Fly like Jonty? Go home like Warnie? Or really go home like poor Woolmer.
Here’s what I think. My big predictions for lasting memories
Sachin will cry. And so will a billion hearts. I know I will. My heart lurches, mind shudders as I think about it. But he will, as he leaves the field for his final match of this World Cup. It will be his last ODI as well
KP will invent a shot – probably the reverse DilScoop. He will get a new lease of life in the opener’s slot –at least until everyone forgets him again in 6 months. We will remember KP hitting a swinging low full toss over where first slip should be for six.
Bhajji/Harbie will play a memorable innings that will include a down the line forehand to a slower bouncer for six over log off. Pinch hitters will be back – led by England, followed by Australia, and eventually India. Bhajji will be our experiment.
Ponting will lose it. Not the cup, though he will, and not a match, though he will (many) as well. He will lose his cool on the field and create one ugly incident that will throw open his prejudiced soul on display. Abuses, spittle and caps will fly, a finger will wag. This time, he will be punished – at least for a match.
Canada will upset one country. It’s their turn. And they have one deadly batsman who’s going to play one deadly innings. Watch out for Rizwan Cheema. 14 ball 50, anyone?
There will be a UDRS controversy in the semis. Most likely involving India. Most likely India will lose out in that decision. Given our head in the sand view of the UDRS and the fact that it wont be used till the quarters, Dhoni and co will be caught napping.
Dhoni’s stumpings will get talked about Someone will give him the sobriquet of the best ‘stumper’. He will average one stumping per match for the first round – that will have the statisticians writhing in orgasmic pleasure for days
And yes, we will win. There, I said it.
(Image courtsey: http://www.cricoctopus.com)