Sunday, March 13, 2011

We deserve to lose

9/29? We deserve to be on the losing side
I decided to do something I have never done in my life today.
I watched a cricket match on a gigantic screen at a mall.
The experience was interesting and like many other cricket-crazy Indians, I was cheering for the wickets and dot balls and sighing every time we made a mess of things.
And then Ashish Nehra bowled the last over.
I swore at him like the rest of the fans when we lost.
But then rationality took over.
We lost 9 wickets for 23 runs.
Had the top order not clicked, we would have beaten Zimbabwe for the world's lowest total.
So I don't even feel bad that we lost the game. We probably deserved to anyway.
The experts in the studio will have their own post match analysis as to what went wrong, but I met a guy after the game, who told me where we went wrong and how we should have selected R Ashwin over Munaf Patel.
This expert happened to be my rickshaw driver, who had a very interesting point. He said, "The reason why they're not taking Ashwin is because he's another off-spinner and with Harbhajan in the side, it makes no sense to have another off-spinner."
Accurate analysis, my dear Watson, but Harbhajan keeps bowling the doosra, while Piyush Chawla, who wasn't in this game usually bowls googlies. This changes their role in the side.
But the rickshaw driver is one of a billion disheartened Indian fans, who wanted to see their side win and ended up in tears after Nehra bowled the last over. Suddenly poor Nehra's Facebook page has gone berserk, with people blaming him for the loss. The rick guy went on to add that Dhoni was probably paid to lose this match.
Speculations like these always arise. My father says that cricket is a whore that has money being shoved into its vagina, while other and colleagues friends say that they lost interest in the sport ever since the match fixing scandal broke out.
I think that we're just a bunch of poor losers.
I'm not talking about the team only. I'm talking about the general culture of the subcontinent. We can act in mobs. Otherwise we behave like pussies. The 1996 Calcutta semi-finals and the pelting of the West Indies bus at Dhaka are just two recent examples that I can think of. Ray Robinson's book 'The Wildest Tests' speaks of several mob outbreaks during the couse of a cricket game and many of them happened in India and Pakistan.
The sad thing is that when we taste success, we get drunk by it in an almost Macbeth-like way. And that's what's generally been the case of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I cannot comment on the Sri Lankans because I've not read any Sri Lankan paper criticising its players of letting success go into his head. Maybe I haven't read enough or maybe Sri Lankans are far more disciplined that her other South Asian counterparts.
Nehra suddenly became everyone's favourite whipping boy because of his
Chetan Sharma-like last over
I think what my auto rickshaw driver said at the end summed it up beautifully. He said, "Kya kare, boss. Hum log chutiye log hai aur players bhi hum logon ko chutiya banate hai.' (What can we do. We're a bunch of cunts. And the players use that to their advantage and make us feel like bigger cunts)
Maybe someday - and this is the optimist in me talking - we'll finally get to a space where we'll evolve as sportspersons, but that day sadly will be very far away.
But yes, losing 9/29. We don't deserve anything, but to lose.


  1. nice - except that 'ch...iye' does not translate as fools ;)

  2. haha. true. i should edit that :)

  3. I love that you edited that :)And you were right.... it was a very good post match piece. I am a bigger fan with each post :)

  4. Great perspective, very well (p)laid out piece :)