October 9, 2007

Indian Cricket

Ponting's Point

Mukul Kesavan

"Ricky Ponting has accused India's early-series attitude of being "fake" after their behaviour turnaround during the third ODI on Friday. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain, publicly complained about "harsh words" from some of the Australians during the 47-run loss, but Ponting claimed Chris Broad, the match referee, congratulated him for the way his side approached the game." (report in Cricinfo).

Ricky Ponting and Mahendra Singh Dhoni unveil the Future Cup, Bangalore, September 28, 2007
 © AFP
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To raise useful levels of friction You need to sledge with conviction A quality that's wanting, In Indians, said Ponting.

To snarl one match and snitch the next Is to stray from sledging's sacred text: Which bids you: Go mano a mano (If you can-o).

To drag the ump into private chat… What kind of manliness is that? Turning it on and off like a gizmo? That's not machismo!

Real men don't need to start jumping To get their testosterone pumping. These Sreesanths and Dhonis: They're just phonies.

A history of transportation Explains our gift for confrontation, And our knack for raising hell, Also why we travel well.

That doesn't mean we're less than good We bear ourselves as sportsmen should Unlike the excited oriental Who tends to look mental.

While Dhoni sneaked and Bhajji raved, The referee said we were well-behaved Only losers think I'm a baddy: I have a reference from Daddy.

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by babu on (November 21, 2007, 7:48 GMT)

However, the

need to mix it up a bit with naked aggro and smiling taunts thrown in equal measure! Why don't you lend them your poem, each stanza being muttered within earshot of each Aussie batsman by earmarked fielders, when they settle into their stance at the wicket!

Posted by Abhinav on (November 18, 2007, 22:29 GMT)

Well written Mukul. Thank god our media is finally getting over its pseudo-intellectual attitude and reasoning things, rather than blindly finding faults with themselves. I really feel sorry for people, who inspite of being Indians, cant let go off their praise for anything that is western. So cheap. Especally that guy who is an Indian staying in Asutralia. Its better you are there only. India doesnt need losers like you . And have you forgotten so soon what happened to Khaleed Mohammed. It would be interesting to see that if something like that happened with you, would you be singing aussie praises in the aussie jails :).

Posted by Abhinav on (November 18, 2007, 22:22 GMT)

Well written Mukul. Thank god our media is finally getting over its pseudo-intellectual attitude and reasoning things, rather than blindly finding faults with themselves. I really feel sorry for people, who inspite of being Indians, cant let go off their praise for anything that is western. So cheap. Especally that guy who is an Indian staying in Asutralia. Its better you are there only. India doesnt need losers like you . And have you forgotten so soon what happened to Khaleed Mohammed. It would be interesting to see that if something like that happened with you, would you be singing aussie praises in the aussie jails :).

Posted by Neo-Aussie on (November 17, 2007, 11:53 GMT)

Given the way the Sri Lankans are geting creamed down under.It will be most interesting to see the Indian team walk the talk next month.

Posted by Aus female on (November 2, 2007, 2:51 GMT)

Well I love Sreesanth and Andre Nel to me they make a game so much more exciting. Forget the monkey incident after all if you dish it out then be prepared to take it, if you can't then just don't dish it out. Simple.

Posted by V Gupta on (October 20, 2007, 10:05 GMT)

We all know that our ancestors were monkey. So, why should I be shameful for being called a monkey?

In a contrasting view, why should somebody feel unhappy about monkey chants, if he thinks that he is not the one?

Finally, the behavior of both the teams was shamful. Is this what the young generation is going to learn from their idols?

Posted by AC on (October 19, 2007, 14:43 GMT)

Mr. Kesavan will not get a poetry prize but the post brings to focus the scourge of sledging in cricket, supposedly the most refined of games. Sledging is not sporting, whatever the apologists say. The Aussies made it into a vile hammer, part of their shameless 'winning strategy', and sadly the other teams have copied --- even the naturally courteous Asian teams. The recent ructions in India, and Aussie whingeing, point to the true nature of sledging, which is bullying. Like all bullies, the Aussies cannot take it when the '98-lb. weaklings' occasionally throws sand back in their eyes. Either Ponting and his bullies terminate their nonsense or the other teams should blast the hell out of them. It will be interesting to see how the self-righteous Chris Broad adjudicates an Australia-India sledging issue.

Posted by Murph of Adelaide on (October 17, 2007, 8:11 GMT)

When Australia sledges we are criticised strongly and publicly (by complaining players, the complaining media and by complaining spectators/bloggers).

When Australian players are sledged and they complain (like other nations, especially India and Sri Lanka have been doing for years) we are criticised for not being able to handle it (and for past indiscretions).

Where is the balance in that argument.

Face it - there is no nation better than any other at sledging. They all do it! There is however a nation better than others at the noble game of cricket. Admit it. Laud them. They deserve it.

Now to the racism issue - people in glass houses should not throw stones. What occured in India certainly seemed to be racism on the coverage I saw in Australia (pay TV). Why deny it? Just fix it! Australia was criticised strongly by the South Africans when they last toured. The nation was roundly condemned for the indiscrete actions of a few non-representative yobbo's. Again - we all have racists in our midst - we must simply deal with their lack of knowledge and understanding.

For what it is worth

Posted by Chris on (October 14, 2007, 13:32 GMT)

Every time I come into this forum I am more and more amazed by how pathetic some sub continental cricket fans are. Chetan is a perfect example. Whinging, whineing, petty person who keeps a list of every time he thinks India has been wronged. It's so much easier than admitting that Australia are just a better team isn't it? It's all a big conspiracy.. You're a joke.

Living in Australia most Asian cricket fans I come across are gracious in victory and defeat and don't have a seige mentality they hide behind to get them through wallopings from Australia.

Keep up the convict stereotypes Mukul. Great journalism.

Posted by David on (October 13, 2007, 14:00 GMT)

And coming to 'a history of transportation,' let's do it the Barmy Army style...

‘We’re the right side, we’re the right side, we’re the right side over here. We’re the left side, we’re the left side, we’re the left side over here. We’re the middle, we’re the middle, we’re the middle over here. You’re the convicts, You’re the convicts, you’re the convicts over there.’

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Indians
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mukul Kesavan
Mukul Kesavan teaches social history for a living and writes fiction when he can - he is the author of a novel, Looking Through Glass. He's keen on the game but in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on a spectatorial axiom: distance brings perspective. Kesavan's book of cricket - Men in Whitewas published in 2007.

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