The Insurance Peddler

‘Man, I’d better quote a big premium for these guys’.
If I were an insurance actuary, that’s what I’d be thinking if I were respond to a ‘Request For Proposal’ for selling insurance on the success of the Indian batting line-up.

Around 1 for 250-ish types. Tendulkar has waved his bat after yet another hundred. (Abacus or not, not easy counting the close to hundred international hundreds). Gambhir too waves his bat in accomplishment at a half century.  Both then decide to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at everything under the sun, moon and the milky way. And then, the rest of the team, as also probably the team management, also decides that heaving kitchen is the way to go.
Baffling. Baffling, Baffling, is what I thought to myself.

For sure, being aggressive has its place in this world, for the world belongs to those without fear in their hearts. But does that mean one follows one’s heart to the end of the world, and keeps the head in the ol’ freezer? That one goes hell for leather at every ball, good, bad or ugly, under the sun? Surely, there is a time, place and role for someone who plays the percentages? A role for a person who says, yep – all my colleagues at the other end are going for glory – trying to get 15 runs an over. Let me try and play a hedge fund manager – try to insure their risks, attempt to put a safety net to these high flyers. Let me try and get a 45 ball 45 innings – if my able and brave colleagues meet a valiant end, let me try and get us all home, nice and safe. If my colleagues get out pursuing 365 following their karma, let me at least give the team a safety net of 330.  But no. Nothing doing. Let’s bury these South Africans. Let’s shut the door on them and close this match. Let’s get 400 and leave these guys with a painful toe, if they even attempt to get their proverbial ‘toe in the door’. That seemed to be the mantra.

Of course it is important to keep one’s foot on the throat of an opponent who is down on the floor. Of course it was important that at one end, one went hell for leather at everything in an attempt to shut the opponents out of the match. But it is also important that in doing so, one does not lose the advantage that one has. One does not allow the opponent on the floor to get up and start swinging at you, right, left and lower hook to the jaw. Admirable my friends. Truly admirable that Team India tried to be ‘aggressive’. Without a bit of sarcasm, I mean so. While I would be the last person to ‘criticize’ aggression, I would much rather prefer ‘channeled aggression’.  Sorry, but blame it on the accountant in me.
And at the time of writing this, I think Nehra bowling the last over is a bad idea. Bad. Bad. Bad. God, let me be wrong. Please.

‘P.s.: Interviewer to Graeme Smitth : Fantastic match?’

Smith : Yes, great match. My middle finger to all those who were kind enough to call us ‘chokers’. Thanks to all of you ladies and gentlemen who supported and believed in us’.