October 24, 2010

Australia in India 2010

Cricket and consolation

Akhila Ranganna

Walking towards the government headquarters in Bangalore, to catch a glimpse of the unfolding political drama, Ramachandra Guha instead chose to go to the Chinnaswamy stadium to watch, as he writes in the Telegraph another, and indubitably more appealing, drama about to unfold.

In the first over of the third day, Tendulkar played two late leg-glances to get to his half-century. Then he hit two lusty pulls off Mitchell Johnson, Australia’s fastest bowler, and a man reckless enough to announce before the series began that the Indians were suspect against the short ball

I learnt from the next day’s papers that the last stages of his innings had been watched by, among others, the leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka state assembly, the Congress politician, A. Siddaramiah. That morning, Siddaramiah had gone to work hoping that the BJP government would be voted out, and that he would stake a claim to be chief minister. The plan was foiled when, with the aid of the police, the speaker enforced his decision to disqualify the defecting legislators.The thwarted leader now chose to leave for the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where, since Tendulkar was still at the crease, he knew he would find pleasure — and consolation.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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