Khao Britain-nia 50-50 !

You know, definitely, it was like watching your mother-in-law driving off a cliff in your new Ferrari’.

Following an old forwarded joke, those could well have been words spoken by Dhoni in response to a question about how he felt.

I daresay, after being in the driver’s seat for most of the second innings, England might well have felt more ‘distraught’ than relieved, while the Indians would have felt more relieved than disappointed, as they seemed well on course for a stunning defeat, for most of the second half of the match.

If we arm-chair pundits are allowed to have our two bits to add, the reason for the Indians being in the place that they were, despite an imposing total, may well have been forgetting a basic principle of cricket, especially, one with limited overs.

By their very essence, limited over cricket, obviously has, well, err.. limited overs ! One of the most important leverages in that format, is the risk vs reward relationship. High risk, high rewards, anti-Marx and very capitalistic in nature! Translated, in simple words, if the batsmen want to make a move on, a high risk environment must be created for them. An environment of probably seven fielders or so in the circle, cutting off easy singles and weighing down the scoreboard. If in that environment, a batsman, in the pursuit of freedom, charges a fast bowler, or puts on his dancing shoes to a spinner, deposits one in the second tier of the Chinnaswamy stadium, so be it. Bravery must be applauded and celebrated. At the end of the day, isn’t sport all about seizing the moment and making it one’s own? Carpe diem?

But such bravery, by its very essence, involves an attempt to cheat the percentages. A chance that a spin bowler might beat the batsman in flight (like the apocryphal ‘the ball falling off the edge of the table!’), a possibility that the fast bowler might have taken the pace off the ball, and the charge by the batsman might only result in proving Newton’s law ! What goes up, must come down! A skier to mid-wicket!

The theory is that the Englanders played the percentages beautifully, and the Indians did not make life difficult for them, or at least, as difficult as should have been.

On a more off-beat note, maybe someone watched the 48th over, and England trying to pinch a quick single? Munaf fielding the ball off his own bowling, and trying to endorse a Feviquik ad, by pretending that the ball stuck on to his palms, and not enabling him to take a shy at the stumps when the both the batsmen were having a chat in between the wickets in the middle of taking the run? Nine times out of ten, Munaf would have had a shy at the stumps. Eight out of those would probably have resulted in overthrows, by missing the stumps big time. But one time, just that one time, the possibility exists that the ball may have crashed into middle stump ? Off all the times to be careful and ‘responsible’. Of all the times. Sigh. ‘Graeme Swann run out (Munaf), England nine down’. Umm.. what might have been?

Live by the sword, and die by it. Carpe diem guys, carpe diem.

Anyways, for all the attempts at innovation in the English Language by Andrew Strauss, I am not ‘distraught’ at the result.

An ‘advert’ for cricket, Strauss said. On the button.

(Images courtsey: and