Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Tale of Two Pictures

The Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup is almost here. We are just hours from start. To fill the time, lets look at the captain’s pictures. If pictures can talk, these two will give a true perspective of the extent of cricket and its different formats
Pic 1 – Captains lounging around
When the teacher is not around, the boys lounge around, one of them even has the audacity to sit with feet on the sofa. The picture of the cool relaxed T20 atmosphere.

Pic 2 – All in formals, meeting the Queen. The new Queensguard!
Looks like a formal class photo with everyone looking prim and proper. The very picture of the Gentleman’s Game i.e. Test cricket, embodying the “game’s spirit” as well.

Some random thoughts on the pictures.
  • Her Majesty, the Queen is the only one from England & Wales in the picture! 
  • All the World Cups have been held under Queen Elizabeth’s reign. In fact she was the Queen even before the limited overs game actually started. Fun fact, if the picture was taken at the start of her reign, Bangladesh did not exist as a country & Afghanistan wasn’t playing cricket at all. Talk about longevity!
  • Nice to see Sarfaraz Ahmed drop the tie and Faf du Plessis bring a scarf for the picture, bringing their own national identities to the fore. Would have liked to see all captains do the same. Probably next time around in India.
Photos done. Now lets play

The Indian World Cup Moments

The biggest cricketing show on the planet is about to start. The players and viewers have warmed up with two games each amongst them, sorting out their lineups, giving finishing touches to their strategies, using DRS, even getting a taste of the fickle English weather with games getting washed off. Only M/s Duckworth-Lewis didn't make an appearance.

While we wait for the actual tournament to start, its time for a nostalgia trip. So here we go presenting Slipstream Cricket’s favorite memories of the Indian World Cup campaigns starting from 1992 onwards (I have barely any recollection of 1983 & 1987 editions and wasn’t around for the first two). Instead of whole games, I have selected passages of play. So here we go Slipstream Cricket’s favorite Indian World Cup Moments (in no particular order).

1. The Toss (2011) – Kumara Sangakkara forgetting (or pretending to) what he called in the Toss in the 2011 Final!. Referee didn’t/couldn’t hear the call over the crowds and they had to do the toss again leaving a bemused Dhoni! (Somehow, seems very fishy in hindsight).

2. The Winning Moment (2011) – Dhoni smashing Kulasekara for 6 as India lifted the World Cup for a second time ending a 28-year wait. Will we see an encore? Hope so. 

3. The Response (1996) – Venkatesh Prasad to Aamer Sohail. Hit for a boundary, sledged by the batsman and then sends his stumps cart-wheeling the very next ball. The perfect response.

4. The Opening Salvo (2003) – Tendulkar upper-cutting Akhtar for 6 as India set to chase down Pakistan’s 274 run target.

5. The Tumbling Catch (1992) – Ajay Jadeja running in from the boundary to catch Allan Border
The Smash (2003) – Tendulkar smashing Caddick out of the ground.

6. The Banana (2003) – In the same game Ashish Nehra swung the ball like a banana to scythe through the English Line-up and then proceeeded to puke out one.

7. The Earthquake (2007) – Dwayne Leverock diving at 1st Slip to catch out Uthappa.

8. The Fight (1992) – Kiran More vs Javed Miandad. Whatever More’s sledge was, Miandad started jumping up and down in kangaroo land.

9. The Tango (1999) – at Taunton. Ganguly-Dravid scoring 300+ between themselves.

10. The Blazing end (1996) – Ajay Jadeja smashing Waqar Younis’s last 2 overs in Bangalore with a little help from Kumble and Srinath.

11. The Quote (2011) – Everyone except Sreesanth played well – by the one and only Virender Sehwag

12. The Promo Campaign (2015) – Mauka Mauka run by Star Sports as Pakistan still chase that elusive World Cup victory over India! Will they be 7th time lucky. Hope not! Funnily I couldn't recall off-hand anything else from the 2015 World Cup. 

And now that we are sufficiently warmed up, Let the Games begin!