..can concentrate on the Ashes now

..can concentrate on the Ashes now

Kumar Sangakkara ensured that the Ozzies weren’t advancing to the Super 8s.  How the mighty have fallen!  I almost feel a tinge of sympathy for Ponting – “almost”.  While there is still an undeniable pleasure in relishing in Aussie misery, it has to be said that the tournament lacks a bit of lustre without them; sort of  like watching a movie expecting it to be a great action flick only to see that the villain is killed in the first 20 mins and you are actually witnessing a family drama instead.  Not as much fun.  Well, we will have to entertain ourself with a classic Ricky pose.

..with his boom-boom days behind him, he has to be taken seriously as a bowler

..with his boom-boom days behind him, he has to be taken seriously as a bowler

Pakistan managed to play well enough to beat the Netherlands with a wide enough margin, thanks to Shahid Afridi’s bowling.  Afridi himself is convinced that he is now a bowler who can bat a bit on occassion, but his “boom-boom” reputation seems to precede him evoking harsh criticism from the  likes of Ian Chappell, who said “Afridi is clearly living on his reputation” during the game against England.  While that might be true about his batting, it is a bit unfair when you look at how good a bowler he has made himself to be in the limited overs version, especially in T20s.  Pak batting is still very suspect, but their bowling will trouble the rest of the teams in the next round.

..pissed at the Indian media

..pissed at the Indian media

Finally, the bizarre story/non-story of Sehwag ended with him leaving the tournament with an injury, only raising more questions than answers about why it had to be guarded with such secrecy, especially in the wake of such exemplary disclosures from certain Cricket boards (Pakistan) about certain players (Shoaib Aktar) and their famous inuries (genital warts!) .  Without getting side-tracked here, this story started with the success of Rohit Sharma as an opener, media suggestions of potentially Viru being displaced out of the opening slot into the middle order, followed by more media speculation of a rift between Viru and Dhoni, followed by the awkward spectacle of the entire Indian team demonstrating their “unity” at a press conference, followed by the revelation that Sehwag is actually injured to the point of unavailability for the entire tournament, followed by a visibly pissed Dhoni blaming the media of fabricating baseless stories.. ah yes.. never a dull moment with the soap opera that is India Cricket!  While I am a firm believer in the no-smoke-without-fire adage, to actually take the Cricket coverage from the Indian media seriously is like mistaking a movie “based on a true story” to its actual historic anecdote.  Just like many of those movies, the Indian media does a great job of never letting the truth come in the way of a good story.

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