World Cup 2011 February 20, 2011

Two breathtaking days in Dhaka

Day two of my Asian cricket watching career
51

Day two of my Asian cricket watching career. A stunning and joyous occasion for fans of cricket, Bangladesh, and the sound of 35,000 people hitting major decibel levels like Glenn McGrath used to hit a good length. But a slightly disappointing match. Bangladesh never looked likely to win from the moment that Virender Sehwag’s eyes fell deeply in love with a loosener by Shafiul Islam, and instructed Sehwag’s bat to tell the loosener the full extent of their affections by obliterating it for four.

Despite the long-inevitable Indian victory, the crowd treated cricket to an almost unbroken eight-hour noise marathon. In the early stages, they were cheering rudimentary pieces of ground fielding as if Nelson Mandela had just ridden into the ground on a unicorn, discovered a cure for all known diseases live on stage, and then breakdanced on his head to the tune of a Beethoven’s piano sonata.

The early fever was quelled by India’s two great openers, who were given the chance to dictate the match by Shakib Al Hasan’s decision to bowl first. It looked like it would take something special to remove Tendulkar, and it did. Unfortunately, that something special was not a devastating piece of bowling, but a piece of sub-schoolboy running between the wickets. Sehwag appeared to be preoccupied – maybe he was checking his emails on his Blackberry, or trying to remember a recipe for Crepes Suzette, or thinking about whether table tennis has any rules. Whatever it was, he was not paying attention, the TV replay showed Sachin Tendulkar narrowly short of his ground by approximately 19.8 yards, and the dismissal uncorked a Jeroboam of bedlam in the stands.

When asked afterwards if he felt he had done anything wrong, Sehwag replied “not much”. Perhaps the impression watching from the roof of the press box was misleading – perhaps it was Tendulkar’s own fault. Sehwag explained further: “He was calling and I was not listening. And I was looking at the ball.” This man is a hero – if that constitutes doing “not much” wrong in a needless run-out, let us all hope he really, genuinely messes up a single at some point in the tournament. It could be spectacular.

Other than that little glitch, cricket’s greatest cavalier was almost perfect. If you can score 175 off 140 balls, even on a flat pitch, and then have learned sages in the press box comment that you have played “with uncharacteristic restraint”, then you are, certifiably, supernaturally good at batting. His innings, well supported by Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, force-jammed that cork firmly back into the Jeroboam bottle.

The build-up to this game had a sense of a new beginning for cricket. The match itself was a decisive reassertion of the status quo. From Sehwag’s first-ball clonking of Shafiul to the cover boundary, India’s powerhouse batting issued a strong-worded press release to the other teams in the tournament, but it was never tested, and their bowling was mostly competent without fully allaying any fears that it might be vulnerable somewhere along the way. Bangladesh’s batsmen scored enough runs to ensure this comprehensive defeat was not the statistical and psychological drubbing into which it could easily have turned. The expectancy balloon may have been punctured, but at least it wasn’t stamped on, javelined or fed to a bear.

So, the festival is underway. For me, Dhaka and Bangladesh have been a captivating delight. The atmosphere in the stadiums on the two days so far was unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Admittedly, I have not witnessed especially many things in my very British life, but these have been two breathtaking days. When that over by Sreesanth went for 24, it felt as if the stadium was about to blast off into space (where zero gravity might have nullified some of India’s advantage). For the second consecutive World Cup match in Asia featuring India, the stadium was aflame. Metaphorically here, literally in 1996. More on this in the first World Cup podcast, coming up on Monday, including a “Guess What Happened On This Ball Based On The Noise The Crowd Was Making” quiz.

Now begins the more testing part for the tournament – the elongated group phase, with some potential mismatches looming and the perennial problem of the neutral match. It will be fascinating to chart its progress. The schedule and format leaves this World Cup vulnerable to a serious loss of momentum. Will the fans elsewhere embrace it with Dhaka’s mesmeric, untainted enthusiasm? Can the Bangladesh team keep that enthusiasm burning? Can the Canada v Kenya match-up enthuse the people of Delhi sufficiently to ensure a 48,000 sell-out in March?

As Aristotle used to say, “The potato is out of the oven, but only the fork will tell us if it is cooked.” Admittedly, he used to say this when he was very old, a little confused, and living in a home for retired philosophers, and no one really knows what he was talking about (particularly as potatoes were unheard of in Europe at that time, even to a brainbox like Aristotle). They just used to pat him on his clever head and tell him he was right. But let us hope that by April, the jubilant fervour of Dhaka is not merely a hazy memory of what might have been for the World Cup and for cricket.

EXTRAS

Every time I go to see India play a World Cup match, someone scores exactly 175. At between 125 and 127 runs per 100 balls. It is starting to become tedious. First Kapil Dev spanks a century-and-three-quarters off 138 balls at Tunbridge Wells in 1983, now Sehwag plonks the same score off 140 deliveries in Mirpur in 2011. When will it end? They will be queuing up to bat against England in Bangalore.

I wrote in a recent blog about that legendary 1983 match, and being too scared to ask for Sunil Gavaskar’s autograph. Yesterday, 28 years later, my Cricinfo editor introduced me to him, and the great opener rectified that regretful outbreak of boyhood cowardice. It felt a bit odd asking for an autograph as a 36-year-old, but given that in essence it was merely the completion of a request that began internally when I was eight, so it’s fine.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Morshed on February 26, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Nice piece of writing. 'Crowd for Cricket' in Bangladesh is really overwhelming. It was more explosive when the home-team won against Ireland by defending such low score. Streets were jammed with flagged motorbikes, whistling kids, dancing gals, crackers and drums at 1am midnight!!!

  • NALINWIJ on February 24, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Congratulation on getting Sunil Gavaskar"s autograph which surpasses the autograph of Traicos you got the last time. I bet Traicos must have been looking for a young lad to be his next test victim and realising that you were unlikely he must have looked for a young lad from India. He did find a young lad called Tendulkar who became his next test victim and Sachin was not born when he got his previous wicket for South Africa.

  • sharfuddin alam on February 23, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    India's batting line-up will be tested by England and South Africa, only then we can tell that present Indian team is best of all time.

  • Sami Abedin on February 22, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Nice piece. Let's hope the players are not too nervous in Bangladesh's next match against Ireland! A loss there, God forbid, would totally deflate the team and send the whole nation into clinical depression!

  • Yuri on February 22, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    A 24 hour cricket day is not as dumb as it seems. People need to remember that people all round the world watch cricket, including us poor souls in the States who must get up at/stay up till 2 a.m. and watch a match that goes on till 10 a.m. Having 24 hour cricket will allow folks from around the world have to catch some cricket at reasonable times.

    I'm sure the problem will become painfully apparent the next time Australia hosts a world cup. Only South Africa and England offer decent viewing times for most fans (not sure about australia though).

    If they are smart about scheduling, you could even have it so Aus/NZ teams play their group matches early in the morning, Subcontinental/English/SA teams play in the day or day/nighters and West Indies/SA get day nighters so that all the fans have a decent time when they can watch their teams. Assuming the WC is in Subcontinent.

  • samir on February 21, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    Asif and Deshi, Please go to the ICC rankings web page and take a hard look. BTW, BD are a test playing nation and Ireland are not. :-)

  • Kahn on February 21, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Hoping to hear how you 21st watching went. I hope you did not spend all day on 21st February indoors or in Mirpur, that'd be a total waste. If you thought you saw festivities at the stadium on game day, you should have gone to the Dhaka University campus and Shaheed Minar today: it would have redefined "festivity" for you!

  • deshi on February 21, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    It is of not much credit to India to win against Bangladesh, a newbie still struggling to earn a place in the world cricket state with consistency of performance. Let's see how India does against the seasoned and powerful teams of Sri Lanka, Australia, England, Pakistan, even West Indies. And don't forget that Bangladesh beat India in the past or gave them serious jitters! For such a seasoned team, Bangladesh should not have been able to beat or give nerve wracking wins anytime...but they did. So, India don't take your eggs for granted....they can be cracked by any of these other teams!

  • Asif on February 21, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    @Mr Durai

    "They have not been sportive in admiring Sehwag."...Why BD ppl need to admire Sehwag?.....May be he is successful playing street cricket and unlike Sachin or Dravid he got no Grammar and he got no class either. Trust me if it was Saching ppl in BD would have gave him Standing Ovation.

    U r right BD did rate themselves very high but I GURANTEE you India will get knock out in QF or Semis(likely by PAK or SRI)....then I we will have the right to say its not BD but India who is is nurtuting megalomaniacla cricket talent(- Sachin)

    Go bless you.

  • niaz on February 21, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Andy, you will be known as one of the greatest sportswriters of our time. Gavaskar. Andy you brought back my memories when I loved this man. Shewag is a dangerous man. He can hit the good ones,and bangladeshi quicks were not doing a good job. I will have to pick Aus, SA, Ind and Sri as the favorites[in that order]. Pak or Eng can shock us. Then again..England is not country which produces world cup wins,it produces the great writers like you, great commentators like Boycott.

  • Morshed on February 26, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Nice piece of writing. 'Crowd for Cricket' in Bangladesh is really overwhelming. It was more explosive when the home-team won against Ireland by defending such low score. Streets were jammed with flagged motorbikes, whistling kids, dancing gals, crackers and drums at 1am midnight!!!

  • NALINWIJ on February 24, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Congratulation on getting Sunil Gavaskar"s autograph which surpasses the autograph of Traicos you got the last time. I bet Traicos must have been looking for a young lad to be his next test victim and realising that you were unlikely he must have looked for a young lad from India. He did find a young lad called Tendulkar who became his next test victim and Sachin was not born when he got his previous wicket for South Africa.

  • sharfuddin alam on February 23, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    India's batting line-up will be tested by England and South Africa, only then we can tell that present Indian team is best of all time.

  • Sami Abedin on February 22, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Nice piece. Let's hope the players are not too nervous in Bangladesh's next match against Ireland! A loss there, God forbid, would totally deflate the team and send the whole nation into clinical depression!

  • Yuri on February 22, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    A 24 hour cricket day is not as dumb as it seems. People need to remember that people all round the world watch cricket, including us poor souls in the States who must get up at/stay up till 2 a.m. and watch a match that goes on till 10 a.m. Having 24 hour cricket will allow folks from around the world have to catch some cricket at reasonable times.

    I'm sure the problem will become painfully apparent the next time Australia hosts a world cup. Only South Africa and England offer decent viewing times for most fans (not sure about australia though).

    If they are smart about scheduling, you could even have it so Aus/NZ teams play their group matches early in the morning, Subcontinental/English/SA teams play in the day or day/nighters and West Indies/SA get day nighters so that all the fans have a decent time when they can watch their teams. Assuming the WC is in Subcontinent.

  • samir on February 21, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    Asif and Deshi, Please go to the ICC rankings web page and take a hard look. BTW, BD are a test playing nation and Ireland are not. :-)

  • Kahn on February 21, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Hoping to hear how you 21st watching went. I hope you did not spend all day on 21st February indoors or in Mirpur, that'd be a total waste. If you thought you saw festivities at the stadium on game day, you should have gone to the Dhaka University campus and Shaheed Minar today: it would have redefined "festivity" for you!

  • deshi on February 21, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    It is of not much credit to India to win against Bangladesh, a newbie still struggling to earn a place in the world cricket state with consistency of performance. Let's see how India does against the seasoned and powerful teams of Sri Lanka, Australia, England, Pakistan, even West Indies. And don't forget that Bangladesh beat India in the past or gave them serious jitters! For such a seasoned team, Bangladesh should not have been able to beat or give nerve wracking wins anytime...but they did. So, India don't take your eggs for granted....they can be cracked by any of these other teams!

  • Asif on February 21, 2011, 19:17 GMT

    @Mr Durai

    "They have not been sportive in admiring Sehwag."...Why BD ppl need to admire Sehwag?.....May be he is successful playing street cricket and unlike Sachin or Dravid he got no Grammar and he got no class either. Trust me if it was Saching ppl in BD would have gave him Standing Ovation.

    U r right BD did rate themselves very high but I GURANTEE you India will get knock out in QF or Semis(likely by PAK or SRI)....then I we will have the right to say its not BD but India who is is nurtuting megalomaniacla cricket talent(- Sachin)

    Go bless you.

  • niaz on February 21, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Andy, you will be known as one of the greatest sportswriters of our time. Gavaskar. Andy you brought back my memories when I loved this man. Shewag is a dangerous man. He can hit the good ones,and bangladeshi quicks were not doing a good job. I will have to pick Aus, SA, Ind and Sri as the favorites[in that order]. Pak or Eng can shock us. Then again..England is not country which produces world cup wins,it produces the great writers like you, great commentators like Boycott.

  • Ashish Shukla on February 21, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Hey Andy, probably you're the most entertaining of all the writers in the entire cricketing history that i've come across, keep up the good work.

  • joshmon on February 21, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    We want your WORLD CRICKET PODCAST back !!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Mahfooz_Dhaka on February 21, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Bravo! Very English, mildly ironic with a touch of self-deprecation, all spiced up with just the right bit of mustard (English, not French) and served artfully on a warm platter! But the analogies of ‘Aristotle and The Hot Potato’ (historically off by only about 2000 yrs), cooking ‘Crepes Suzette’ and 'a Beethoven’s piano sonata' (the apostrophe and 's' are collectively redundant here, as my English tutor would have told me 50 years ago) all would appear quirky to most South Asian readers. Just like Aristotle's now famous potato, the test of writing is in reading - by the presumed readers.

    All said and done, you write a mean piece, Gora Sahib! More of the same are most welcome, as welcome as bowling of WC 2011 Official Clown, Sreesanth.

    And welcome to noisy, chaotic, rebellious, over-populated, unhygienic Dhaka, coming as you are from suave, frigid, orderly, deathly sanitary and overly boring London. But as you know already, we just love it here,the home of living cricket.

  • Rajesh Chary on February 21, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    "Not much"?! India should have a runner just to wake up Sehwag when he goes off to sleep at the other end.

  • krickatack on February 20, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    one thing i dont get is why these indians are so proud of winning against an inexperienced young side such as BANGLADESH who had to forcefully rest their key fast bowling all rounder mortaza due to his injury.

    The indian side have players of age 30-40 who have played cricket for a very long time.

    LET US REMEMBER WHO RATTLED THE INDIAN BATTING LINE UP IN THE 2007 CRICKET WORLD CUP>>>>>Mashrafee bin Mortaza.

    and for the bangladeshis they have five more matches remaining lets see what happens

  • mk49 on February 20, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    Well done Andy. Great line that one about Sehwag - If you can score 175 off 140 balls, even on a flat pitch, and then have learned sages in the press box comment that you have played “with uncharacteristic restraint”....sums him up well.

  • ameya on February 20, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    wonderful, andy! your world cup blog is off to a great start as well.. maybe not an 'uncharacteristically restrained' 175, but a run-a-ball 85? :-) .. hv a wonderful time in south asia, and i look forward to the rest of your posts through what promises to be an excellent world cup!

  • Safdar on February 20, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    It seems most of the Indians putting in their comments are yet to get over from their hangover of 2007 world cup. It is only a game of cricket where every new game brings victory for some and defeat for some.

  • CrickcrazySharful on February 20, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    What can I say ! amazing ! keep going........

  • Devadatta on February 20, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    unicorn.. he he.. let's hope the Dutch team didn't see it.. paardenworst anyone?

  • af on February 20, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    "like McGrath used to hit a good length"....great words......Fantastic reporting Andy well,to somone whom i'm tryin to say this,why do you think Bangladesh rate themselves very high and they are nurtuting megalomaniacla cricket talent?first of all it is a very young team with some amazing talents and secondly if ur from subcontinent u may know the emotion of people about cricket.so..stay calm. im sure slowly but surely you may watch them burning.

  • debojit on February 20, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Andy.. welcome to the sub-continent, and specially India.. have been following your blog for aeons now... glad to have you here.. btw.. just as an academic question... u are fond of wodehouse's golden bat collection now.. arent you ??? :D have fun and hope you enjoy all the matches, and they enjoy you.. ;D

  • Shridhar Jaju on February 20, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Can you predict which Indian will make the next 175? It will immeasurably help my FANTASY TEAM!

  • Fuad_BD on February 20, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Hello, Andy! I have been reading your HILARIOUS blogs for about six months! Nice article as always! Keep it up. And hopefully, Bangladesh will make it to Quarters.

  • Asheem on February 20, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    Bangladesh lost only because of one man; Jamie Siddons. this man has done nothing for Bangladesh cricket. right from the word 'go', he set about dividing the team putting one against the other. The pace trio should have been Shadat rajib, syed rasel and of course the 200% fit Mashrafee. The batting should have included Ashraful, and Shahriar Nafees. Siddons had expressly told Ashraful and Nafees that they are only back-up players and will not be played. Once he taunted Ashraful saying he would get 0 after he got 50 plus. If this man is allowed to reign any longer Bangladesh will be the laughing stock of world cricket. He must be booted out of Bangladesh right now. This guy reminds me of Greg Chappell in India.

  • ashiq on February 20, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    dhaka was really awesome yesterday..n it goes without saying.being e bangladeshi,i find dis article kinda insulting one.but,i can make u confirm dat bangladesh will raise it's head up in near future.

  • rajib on February 20, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Great job Andy......Welcome to Bangladesh(though I am late)...Now u know how crazy of cricket Bangladeshi people are!We may not have Sehwag,Sachin.... but I bet one day these Tigers will take the World Cup trophy in their Home and that day isn't much away......

  • zaidi on February 20, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    andy is like candy

  • Rake on February 20, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    Nice one! make sure u see all the matches India is playing!! :))

  • Bikss on February 20, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    Its really charming reading your blogs. the word "breathtaking" really defines the passion and enthusiasm of dhaka which u experienced in the last 2 days. Its very unfortunate that u missed the magnificent opening ceremony live. You are always welcome to BANGLADESH. our country is small. but our heart is very big.

  • Rahat on February 20, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Thnx for coming. Hope, u've enjoyed our touch, we'll see u again, in Dhaka, or anywhere in Bangladesh.

  • ab on February 20, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    A friend and I once asked Mr Gavaskar for an autograph and a photograph. (I was thirty at the time and he had always been my hero!)

    His mobile rang just as we were posing - he turned off the phone without even looking at it.

    What a man, what a hero.....

  • sb on February 20, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    "Every time I go to see India play a World Cup match, someone scores exactly 175." hope it never ends :) and the next indian to score 175 is SRT ;) so, which is the next match on your itin - india vs england did you say?

    keep them coming, your blogs are hilarious!

  • mohak on February 20, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Keep pitching the 175 ball and i am sure there will be people willing to pay you obscenely more for watching the next India match than you are hetting to write about one .... And i dont know how you forget to make a crack about this one: You deserved the autograph for you have now scored in years what he scored in runs in his first world cup match

  • zaman on February 20, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Hi Andy ! Awaiting to see more interesting articles from you. Cheers !

  • veera mokkarala on February 20, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Mr Zaltzman,

    You are officially invited to attend all ICC 2011 WC India matches. Wish I had the money to sponsor you. Nice article once again. I remember your article about Kapil's 175 but I wont put you in a spot to decide which was better.

  • palash on February 20, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    well andy,that makes a gr8 couple!! you and viru,one throws caution out of the ground and the other out of the blog........

  • Andrew on February 20, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    In the time it has taken me to read this quality b(ul)log, New Zealand and Kenya have played a whole one day international. Or should that be a whole one half-day come in late and knocked off early international.

  • sohel on February 20, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    thank you for such a nice post in favor of Bangladesh in such time when people find it interesting to insult...

  • Tony on February 20, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Fantastic reporting Andy! Keep it up!

    Very very pleased to hear you got thay autograph. A wondering post script for you!

    ps.. I love the Aristotle piece!!!!

  • Rangarajan on February 20, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    "like McGrath used to hit a good length" - good one

  • Harsimran on February 20, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Have been reading your blogs for the past few months now and could comprehend your enthusiasm for covering the world cup. It will certainly be the highlights of your life! All the best for it and awesome that you are reintroducing your pod casts :) PS- Hope India reach semis, cant wait for my first world cup match at my home place!!

  • sourabh on February 20, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Awesome piece of writing ... I enjoyed it thoroughly :) ... this article should be somewhere between page-2 and front page of Cricinfo.

  • mahesh on February 20, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    hey Andy, great one again "Sehwag appeared to be preoccupied – maybe he was checking his emails on his Blackberry, or trying to remember a recipe for Crepes Suzette, or thinking about whether table tennis has any rules" LOL dude keep it up.....

  • Split Infinitive on February 20, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Andy: Welcome to the subcontinent. If you thought Dhaka was noisy (whilst Bangladesh was losing) - wait for Bangalore when India is winning - will blow your rainbow-hued socks off! Guaran-damn-teed! I look forward to seeing you at the stadium in Bangalore on the 27th!

  • Durai Murugan on February 20, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Bangladesh rate themselves very high. Not justifaibly. They have not been sportive in admiring Sehwag. Bangladesh stands no chance against mighty India. It is not for nothing India tamed South Africa in their own backyard

    Bangladesh is nurtuting megalomaniacla cricket talent. Sorry, one Sachin blooms once in a 100 years.

  • Manu on February 20, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Thanks for sharing! Its as much a joy reading your articles as watching Tendulkar play.

  • Slymacha on February 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Dude - good article. It seems though you are trying hard to write a masterpeiece. Take it easy and enjoy writing as much you might have enjoyed the game.

  • Sarang on February 20, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Thou, master art an awesome mixture of eloquence and love for thy game. Here's tipping a hat to you for the enjoyable reads with my morning brew!

  • Vikas on February 20, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    well.. welcome to asia Andy..! The beserk atmosphere in coming 40 odd days will convince u that Indian subcontinent is truly the 'home' of Cricket. As far as the 1st match is concerned, though it was a little boring at the end , bt at least u got to see another 175..! Plus autograph of sunny..! so i bet u'll never forget this match. Hope u njoy ur stay in India. :)

  • Keshav on February 20, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Great work Andy.. as always.. Lookin forward to more such entertaining writing throughout the World Cup..

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  • Keshav on February 20, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Great work Andy.. as always.. Lookin forward to more such entertaining writing throughout the World Cup..

  • Vikas on February 20, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    well.. welcome to asia Andy..! The beserk atmosphere in coming 40 odd days will convince u that Indian subcontinent is truly the 'home' of Cricket. As far as the 1st match is concerned, though it was a little boring at the end , bt at least u got to see another 175..! Plus autograph of sunny..! so i bet u'll never forget this match. Hope u njoy ur stay in India. :)

  • Sarang on February 20, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Thou, master art an awesome mixture of eloquence and love for thy game. Here's tipping a hat to you for the enjoyable reads with my morning brew!

  • Slymacha on February 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Dude - good article. It seems though you are trying hard to write a masterpeiece. Take it easy and enjoy writing as much you might have enjoyed the game.

  • Manu on February 20, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Thanks for sharing! Its as much a joy reading your articles as watching Tendulkar play.

  • Durai Murugan on February 20, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Bangladesh rate themselves very high. Not justifaibly. They have not been sportive in admiring Sehwag. Bangladesh stands no chance against mighty India. It is not for nothing India tamed South Africa in their own backyard

    Bangladesh is nurtuting megalomaniacla cricket talent. Sorry, one Sachin blooms once in a 100 years.

  • Split Infinitive on February 20, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Andy: Welcome to the subcontinent. If you thought Dhaka was noisy (whilst Bangladesh was losing) - wait for Bangalore when India is winning - will blow your rainbow-hued socks off! Guaran-damn-teed! I look forward to seeing you at the stadium in Bangalore on the 27th!

  • mahesh on February 20, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    hey Andy, great one again "Sehwag appeared to be preoccupied – maybe he was checking his emails on his Blackberry, or trying to remember a recipe for Crepes Suzette, or thinking about whether table tennis has any rules" LOL dude keep it up.....

  • sourabh on February 20, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Awesome piece of writing ... I enjoyed it thoroughly :) ... this article should be somewhere between page-2 and front page of Cricinfo.

  • Harsimran on February 20, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Have been reading your blogs for the past few months now and could comprehend your enthusiasm for covering the world cup. It will certainly be the highlights of your life! All the best for it and awesome that you are reintroducing your pod casts :) PS- Hope India reach semis, cant wait for my first world cup match at my home place!!