World Cup

Mediocre fare on the field and in print

Honestly, I can’t recollect if Indian cricket has ever had it so easy in any form or format internationally. This is not to belittle the team’s comfortable passage into the semis of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. But the streak of seven wins begs an earnest query: Is it the same team which looked bereft of direction just before the World Cup?

Admittedly, the lads have brought about a transformation hitherto unseen. Full credit to the ‘Men in Blue’ on the field of play at a time when the BCCI’s politicking came in for pretty rough exposure. So how did the providential help come, and where from?

It is a matter of deep concern also that the jingoistic Indian cricket follower is reluctant to appreciate the virtues of the opposition. Ditto the Indian media, I daresay!

Seriously, the qualitative aspect of cricket on the field and in print during the World Cup has been pretty mediocre. While I feel cricket is not an inherently mediocre sport — it is a highly technical and intellectual activity which involves battle of wits just about all the time — it amazes me no end to discover that we are concerned only about figures and statistics!

In my opinion, we’ll never again see the likes of a Sir Don Bradman or a Sir Gary Sobers. But, surely, the writing can, and must, improve!

As much as I admire former cricketers jumping into journalistic pool, I suspect ‘ghosts’ abound, and do not exactly lend credibility to what appears in print — again, a very personal view.

Anyway, we are now into the semis, and all four teams are capable of grabbing the World Cup. Surely then, we can anticipate better from the three games left, can’t we?

When Sachin Tendulkar cracked a double ton in an ODI it was considered such a novelty. Not anymore! And that means the ICC is left with the task of levelling the playing field for batters and bowlers. If targets between 300 and 400 is the future of the ODI, then I’m afraid the consignation of cricket to mediocrity will be full and final.

How can the murder of the bowler in broad daylight be a source of entertainment?


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 8:25:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/mediocre-fare-on-the-field-and-in-print/article7023086.ece

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