Mauling: The fate suffered by Leonardo di Caprio at the hands (or should I say, paws) of a bear in The Revenant. Mauling, also the fate suffered by the Proteas at the hands of Ashwin and Jadeja.
I wish I had written this in the immediate aftermath of Nagpur. Back then, the emotions were stronger and the outrage purer. The result on a perfectly fine test match wicket at Kotla has complicated matters. I just can’t portray the Proteas as victims of a conspiracy with the same conviction anymore, not after Kotla. Cricinfo suggested they could be portrayed as suffering from PTSD and what happened in the 4th on a perfectly fine wicket as something that wouldn’t have happened if not for the memories of the previous tests. A remembrance of the pitches past. While I like that line of thought and it pretty much helps my narrative, I don’t want to take much umbrage in it. After all, aren’t professional cricketers supposed to forget what happened on the previous ball as they get ready to face the next?
Ashwin is like the biggest beneficiary of a state-sponsored doping ring. After picking up 12 wickets on a pitch where no batsman from either side was able to cross 40, he had the gall to say “batsmen with good defensive technique did alright.” South Africa definitely lost that test not because of their batsmen but because of their bowlers. There was no Dale Steyn and the ones who were there were either taking the pitch out of the equation by bowling full-tosses or were too busy doing an Adam Dale impression and forgetting to pick up wickets. “South African tweakers on this pitch are as useful as Boeta Dippenaar in a chase of 438,” I tweeted at that time. And I’m damn proud of that tweet. Clearly, one of my finer efforts.
Another cricket-related tweet of mine that I’m extremely fond of? “Eoin Morgan is a compulsive hooker scantily clad beneath a clear night sky.” I especially like it not because of the pun, but because of the Arctic Monkeys reference.
I seriously believe South African batsmen would’ve scored more runs against the South African bowlers than the Indians did. And Indian batsmen would’ve scored fewer runs against Ashwin and Jadeja than the South African batsmen did. The notion that Indians are better players of spin is complete hokum at this point of time, definitely not this test side. More than exploiting their inability to play spin, what Indians (unwittingly) did was exploit the Proteas’ inability to bowl spin.
Is it so that only capitalism can save test match cricket in India? Doesn’t BCCI market test matches as 5 days of cricket? Indians need to stop being so greedy and insecure. There’s no need for the pitch to offer uneven bounce and square turn right from day one. They can afford matches going into days 4 and 5, and god forbid, they can even tolerate a drawn match every now and then. What are the Indians so scared of? Is Ashwin like that bus in Speed whose bowling average has to be kept below 20 at all points of time?
This is where I abruptly end the post because I left my chair to pee, and I can’t be bothered to pick up where I left off.
There’s a reason why I used that image for this post. It’s my version of “Be Strong.”