February 19, 2011

The Wait is over and the weight of expectations have begun!

After more than four lousy years the world cup is back. When it was announced a few years back that the sub-continent would be hosting the WC, i was in school telling my friends “No matter what happens, we should stay together and watch the world cup” The statement has become true to the extent that we are able to see the matches together on TV, thanks to the inflated ticket prices and food prices inside the stadium. We will get a spanking of our life if we asked for a 1000 from our parents for watching the match at Chepauk, added to the fact that i am supposed to be preparing for my IPCC exams in may, so that i wont be sitting jobless at home for another 6 months. Thank GOD! Me and one other friend were lucky enough to watch a lousy warm up match between SA vs ZIM, some dancing from Morkel and Ray Price blushing every time the crowd cheered his name :-D

   Within a few minutes the World Cup will be kicking off and I WILL have Goosebumps when the first ball is being bowled. World Cup gives me some fond memories. It was only in 2003 WC, I fell in love with the game and started playing it. I used to mimic “The Zaheer Khan jump”,  “The Shane Bond load up” and “The McGrath Approach to the wicket” That’s how i learnt the game.

  However, the next WC in the Caribbean in 2007 didnt quite live up to the standards SA had set in hosting the previous WC. It was not just that the Indians got kicked in the middle out of the first round but it produced some pretty boring matches and hell a lot of controversies. Damn! I hated watching the Aussies dominating every other team, not that WC 2003 was any different :-D

   Now that the tournament has finally comeback to the place where people know their cricket team captain and not their president, I hope it is a success :-P At the same time it is really disappointing and annoying to see Chepauk hosting no “important” matches and Why should it always have to be Mumbai that gets the cake! Why not a Feroz Shah Kotla? Why not an Eden Gardens? Or even the only ground SL play cricket in “The Premadasa” hahaha :-D

  As far as the team winning the title, I’ll tell where my money is not definitely with, Australia! They are only a shadow of themselves now. Goodness gracious me! They were trembling in front of the spinners. We witnessed something which was not new, Mr Punter complaining about the pitch or the saltless salad he had at dinner! If you are expecting the Aussies to comeback like they did last time when they lost 3-0 to NZ and dominated the WC 2007, it aint happening.

NZ, hmm what shall I say?! They’ve gone from “one of the worst” to “The worst”, talk about loosing 4-0 to Bangladesh. Their usual Semifinal exit looks like a villain’s chance to win over Rajni! They are not going beyond Quarters. WI have tough competition with Bangladesh and Ireland to make it to even the Quarters let alone winning the cup!

  Like every other WC, SA are once again favorites to lift the cup. One could light up a colony with tube lights with the number of “chokes” they’ve committed. Ghosh! They made me cry in 1999! Every time an ICC event happens they make their fans go into depression! 

The Teams I think, will have great a chance are India, Srilanka and England. I say India purely because of the talent they’ve got, the lesser the hype, the better they’ll perform; Srilanka because they won it when it was last held in the subcontinent. Let’s face it, they play all their cricket in a city which has 3 grounds, a ground near the beach and another somewhere in the middle of the jungle and score truck loads of runs. There would also be one lousy camera man showing us crows, which we see plenty here in Chennai and the same old places like they are showing it for the first time.  Personally I dont like the SL cricket team but I hate to admit that they have a nice chance this time! I would fall into an abyss of depression if they actually manage to win it. England are probably the most balanced side in the tournament and the last ICC event they played, they ended up taking the spoils.

  Oops! I almost forgot Pakistan. That has been the case for the past few years, hasn’t it? They can turn from paupers to prince and then back to paupers again in just a single innings. Winning or making it to the business end of the tournament would be nothing short of a miracle!

  I simply dont care who takes the title as long as it is not SL but it would be all the more special if India end up winning it because that would be the best retirement gift that the master blaster will ever get!


Vignesh said...

Beautiful analysis, in Venky style :) Keep going. Expecting more WC posts from you :)

The Venk said...

@vennesh: Thanks man :-D Surely for you Srini and other guys :-D

Anonymous said...

If not for the callously prejudiced - I know you know it too :D - stand against Sri Lanka, the piece was very well written. I liked some of the lines and images, especially the one regarding chokes and the lights that can be lit! :D. I won't talk of Sri Lanka.

Australia might be a spent force; they may have grumpy idiot who is a captain and who does not like playing in India; but I don't see Australia being stopped ahead of the last four (not that I am saying you do but I have a point to extend). Given the QF, SF and final format, rather than the super-sixes - or super-eights - anyone who gets to the last eight will fancy their chances. And Australia cannot be ruled out, not with the certainty you seem to rule them out with anyhow.

England on the other hand are my second favourites - that doesn't mean to win the cup, it just means among teams I WANT to win it. But England's consistency is a concern. Apart from the T20 WC recently, they have always messed up at the business end of tourneys. Let us hope they do not this time.

Pakistan, you're right - it will be a miracle if they are one of the two teams come the finals in Mumbai. But their unpredictability can work for or against them; too often against but in a tournament like this it just takes two inspiring performances to lift spirits. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if two of the four Asians are in the semis.

The Indians need to bowl well. I am not watching but if we let Bangladesh off to 64/1 - in 8.3 as I write - albeit the chase is huge, the better teams will make us pay. Frankly, sorry to follow my instinct and be candid about it, I do not see India winning.

My money is on South Africa. May be England (despite what I have had to say about them :D) I won't be surprised if it is Australia or Sri Lanka.

The Venk said...

@Srini First of all srini thanks for wonderfully analysed comment :-)

On the contrary, I didnt analyse anything to write this piece. It's just what i felt. Not that I am right or wrong, they are just the vibes i am getting! At the end of the tournament I might have a huge pie pasted on my wonderful face, who knows! :-D

You know I love to hate SL :-D

And I agree Indian bowling is looking pathetic!!!

Another thing, SA are going out in the semifinals :-P

Yuvika said...

Aah the cricket madness!