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" A gift for India"

by Homer

That was Sanjay Manjrekar describing the Ricky Ponting run out. This was followed by " It was a good thing it was a direct hit, else the throw would have been awkward for the bowler".

This when Gautam Gambhir covered good distance in the outfield, fielded the ball with his wrong hand and then made a dead eye throw from 50 metres ( or more) to throw down the wickets at the non strikers end. Against one of the best judges of the run in the modern game, and one of its swiftest movers.

Any other team and Manjrekar would have jumped off his seat praising the accuracy and the speed of the throw along with the agility and the mobility of the fielder. Case in point  - when Hussey and Ponting were playing the short singles, Manjrekar was " the sharp single.. This is what Australia bring to the game".

And this has been the leitmotif of almost all cricketing discussion in India.

When India wins, we will find every possible reason to qualify our win. When we lose, we exaggerate every real or perceived fault.

We are the best ODI team in the world. So when we lose, it is the trigger for national mourning. However, the fact that we are the best team in the  world is qualified with Australia not being the force it was, England being ordinary, New Zealand not playing enough cricket. And look, India cannot sustain the number 1 ranking, so they dont deserve the ranking.

Just like India cannot play short pitched bowling. Never mind the fact that in the 2000s, we have the second best record ( after Australia) in winning overseas. And never mind the fact too that in this day and age, hardly anyone can play when the conditions are even so slightly off the norm. And never mind too that T20 is not ODI which is not Test Cricket, an argument that gets thrown up often every time an Indian, especially a youngster, performs.

Like, when a kid scores in the IPL, the first argument heard is that it is all fine and dandy to play the slam bang version of the game, but none of these kids can hold their own in Tests. However, when the same kids have problems scoring off the short ball in T20, the argument is that there is atechnical problem and how the future is bleak.. Conveniently forgetting that the T20 is the slam bang version of the game, unlike Tests, where the batsman can keep ducking under the ball till the cows come home!

And so on and so forth.

And this is from people who get paid to watch the game!

And then we berate "Match Ka Mujrim". I wonder why?


achettup said...

I've given up on Manjrekar to be honest. He seems to be one of the most piqued and almost jealous of the ex-players. A few things before I get to the main point:
"Against one of the best judges of the run in the modern game" Hehehehe... Cmon Homer, you and I have taken delight on so many occasions when he's been run out at the non-striker's end. A good runner, but a touch over confident at times.
"Never mind the fact that in the 2000s, we have the second best record ( after Australia) in winning overseas." Might be a few South Africans who don't agree completely with that, and maybe even a few English. Seriously! We had a few good tours and were especially strong when Dravid took over the captaincy, but certainly are ICC ranking never went higher than 3.
Back to the general point, the trouble is there are very few observers with a balanced point of view, and modern television broadcasts profit from that. I suspect Manjrekar actually thinks he's being neutral, given that commentators like Ian Healy, Botham and Gavaskar seem to bring their pom-poms to the matches.The trouble starts when the general public start treating their word as gospel truth, a fact not helped by the fact that sensationalist news channels hire even less competent morons whose primary goal is to agitate viewers to react, thus giving them two stories for the price of none.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

Hiya Homer,howdy ...India are not the best ODI side in the world. Why ? Because I am the best ODI side in the world. How ? Because I am my side , I support me and that's who I want to be the best ODI side in the world. QED.Simple innit.Cheers :-)

Gaurav Sethi said...

Homer, Sanj and Manj spending too much time with Chappell, Haysman and Morrison, eh?

Frankly, I don't mind Manjrekar, he's usually unafraid to speak his mind, brings an honesty that is rare in cricket commentary. He also brings out the best in Chappell and Rameez, tho the later is beyond it now.

If anything, his axis is more Sehwag than Sachin. And in Indian cricket, that is refreshing.

He's not as flash as Shastri, not as repetitive either.

Moving on from Manjrekar, don't think there has been a No. 1 side for a while - we're all No. 2, No.3.

Like yr take on the short ball man.

Homer said...


The ICC rankins take into consideration both the home and away record. Our win loss ratio overseas is second only to the Australians since the year 2000.

And I have no need for balance.. What I want is consistency in the argument. If Manjrekar wants to applaud a non-Indian's fielding acumen, he is welcome to. But the same argument equally applies when an Indian fields. You cannot tell me that there are two different yardsticks to measure the same/similar event, based on the color of your uniform.

Likewise, this whole nonsense of not playing the short ball...

And what really pisses me off is that these guys get paid to watch the game...


Homer said...

cheers Bhaskar :).. I stand educated :)

Homer said...


Is it too much to ask for consistency? I mean, thats what these guys ( print and tv commentators) keep asking of the Indian team, so why cant they start with the man/woman in the mirror?


Reverse Swing said...

exactly my point, why go so harsh on team after one or some defeats, they were pretty consistent recently right?

I put it like this here:

Mahek said...

Don't think there's a clear number one in world cricket right now. About India having the second best away record this decade, I'd say it depends on what yardstick you use. South Africa have a better win percentage than us while we have a better win-loss ratio. What this means is South Africa have played out less draws.

Homer said...

Reverse Swing,

Thye have won more than they have lost post the WC 2007 debacle.

I wonder how many people who complain about the losses today remember the 80s and the 90s!


Homer said...


We are #1 in the ICC rankings. If the rankings matter when we beat up on the beat, the rankings matter when they climb to the top.

The qualification of the #1 ranking is something I do not understand.

Either the rankings are humbug, in which case it should be applicable across the board or the rankings matter, in which case thye should be equally applied across the board.

The picking and choosing of when the rankings are relevant is neither here nor there.


Mahek said...

Jeez it's not like we've been number one for weeks, let alone months. The current flux at the top shows none of the teams can claim to be best. You're only a loss or two away from losing the top spot, and it's true for Australia as well as South Africa. There's a good chance that by the time this tournament is over Australia will be top of the pile again, which means if we beat them in the home series we can be the top side. See what I mean?