The Guinness day at the Cricket World Cup

Unbelievable - Bangladesh beat India.
Unthinkable - Ireland knocked out Pakistan.

17 March 2007 was a bad a day for Indian cricket, a horror day for Pakistan.

Even a military intervention would not have stopped Pakistan from losing the game to Ireland; they played poor cricket.

Maybe this is some sort of a justice; Pakistan should have been fined/banned for not taking action against two of their players - drug cheats. That Pakistan considered playing the cheats at the World Cup, only to pull 'em out in the last minute (thanks to some miraculous injuries), is a good enough reason why they have been knocked out of the world cup. Cheating has no place in cricket.

India's pathetic performance against Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) must have cheered up the Pakistani fans. If India can manufacture a loss against Bermuda or Sri Lanka - this will be a new chapter in cricket diplomacy between the two nuke nations in the Sub-Continent.

That no one (other than Aussies) want Ponting's yellow brigade to win the world cup means... West Indies are the new popular favourites to win the World Cup.

Looking back at the game between India and Bangladesh; credit must be given to the Bangla boys. In Mohd Azharuddin's words: "They bowled well, fielded well, and batted well."

One Day cricket is not like Test cricket. Not six or seven batsmen score big...

TV channels have already started abusing India's performance. STAR News in particular has a serious issue; they hate the Indian team. Does that have anything to do with STAR Sports/Espn not winning the TV rights of Indian cricket?

After the loss to Bangladesh, all the analysts, gurus, pundits and policemen are of the opinion that the only person who can hold his head high - standing in the middle of the Indian cricket shambles - is Sourav Dada Ganguly.

If you were to ask Dada, he'd tell you the truth. If there is anyone who let India down so bad is him and then Yuvraj.

Unlike any other batsmen, both Dada and Yuvi got the start that matters - one got to his fifty and the other was getting close to it.

Putting together a partnership of 85 runs in 17.3 overs, Yuvraj threw his wicket away in the 42nd over with the India score at 157/4. Three balls and one run later, India was 157/6, when Ganguly played an atrocious and irresponsible pull shot. Once Yuvi got out like an idiot, Ganguly should have stayed on there till the end.

It is easy to blame Sehwag, Robin, Dravid, Tendulkar, Dhoni... for not scoring enough. The stroke Dhoni played was as if he is playing in a charity match.

In the 1983 World Cup, India lost five top batsmen with just 17 on the scorecard against Zimbabwe. Then we didn't find mistakes with the batsmen who got out. One batsman walked out to bat and started hitting the ball to all parts of the ground - in the end he made 175 glorious runs - which ensured an Indian victory. His name is Kapil Dev.

Ganguly and Yuvraj had a BIG opportunity yesterday. They were set batsmen who threw their wickets away.

I still think India will win the World Cup.


*This post is also available in Real Voice

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