World Cup 2011 March 25, 2011

Why Kohli did not play a stupid shot

The first real quarter-final was a fantastic match, taut, poundingly tense and closely fought throughout, played with an enchanting cocktail of high-level skill and intermittent outbursts of cricketing crackpottery, and ultimately won by some
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The first real quarter-final was a fantastic match, taut, poundingly tense and closely fought throughout, played with an enchanting cocktail of high-level skill and intermittent outbursts of cricketing crackpottery, and ultimately won by some glorious batting by Yuvraj and Raina. Every over seemed to shift the likelihood of victory slightly one way or the other, before 27 runs from the 40th and 41st overs of India’s innings catapulted the game decisively into the blue corner.

Under the pressure of the match and tournament situation, of an Ahmedabad crowd who seemed to be attempting to break the world record for the largest recorded simultaneous nervous gulp, and of a nation unlikely to respond to defeat by patting them on the back and saying, “Don’t worry, it’s the taking part that counts,” the two left-hand batsmen mixed sound defence with clinical aggression against bowling of pulsating pace.

Yuvraj is one of those few fascinating cricketers who combine majesty with vulnerability. As a Test player, he has mostly disappointed, the average of 35 that you see in the record book at odds with the left-hand Wally Hammond that you see at the crease. That GraemeFowleresque, ShivSunderDasian figure of 35 is often used by atheists, when set alongside Graeme Smith’s equivalent of 49, as an aesthetic argument that proves the non-existence of god.

Even Yuvraj’s distinguished ODI career had taken a pronounced downturn over the preceding 18 months. This tournament, the visual splendour of his stroke play has been matched by its assurance and determination. 57 not outs rarely glow like beacons on scorecards, but in a match that was not merely spell-binding, but presented witchcraft’s top 20 recipes boxed up in a commemorative gold-plated folder, and that was played in the tightest margins between defeat and victory with big players on both sides exerting significant impacts on the drama, Yuvraj decisively broke the Australians.

Australia put up a creditable defence of their title, especially in the context of their Ashes debacle, but ultimately lacked form and power in the middle order, control and incision from their slow bowlers, and a Shaun Tait who was not a shadow of his fearsome 2007 World Cup incarnation.

Thus, cricket has a dream semi-final. A dream at least for cricket fans and for English comedians on their first cricket-writing trip to Asia who have never seen an India-Pakistan cricket clash at close quarters, if not for administrators, security forces, and those who like their sport untainted by hype. India’s batsmen now average 74 against Test-opposition spin in this World Cup. Pakistan’s spinners average 21 against Test-team batsmen. Mohali, for all its atmospheric fervour and media frenzy, will be a cricketing fascination.

EXTRAS

● In a game such as yesterday’s, you can look back at innumerable moments and passages of play that proved crucial to the ultimate outcome. The Australian middle order had another critical failure – Clarke, Hussey and White between them, from 110 for 2 in the 23rd over, scored 21 for 3 from 50 deliveries as India choked the innings with considerable skill.

During this phase of the game, with Australia having successfully attacked Munaf early on, Dhoni put on Tendulkar (twice) and Kohli (once) to bowl one-over spells – the 30th, 36th and 41st of the innings. Australia harvested just 15 runs from these three isolated overs by unexpected bowlers whom they would have been neither expecting nor preparing to confront. They had never faced Kohli, and Sachin, once a key part of India’s ODI attack, had bowled just 27 overs to Australia in all cricket since 2004, and only 5 balls in the last two-and-a-half years.

In Kohli’s case, the unfamiliarity would have been exacerbated by the confusion generated by his bowling action, an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt.

It was bold, enterprising and, as it transpired, brilliant captaincy, that contributed significantly to Australia’s failure to accelerate.

● If Kohli the bowler has put the MCC Coaching Manual through an industrial shredder, as a batsman he has style and poise. He had played with admirable assurance amidst grindingly oppressive tension for 24, before splatting a David Hussey full toss straight to midwicket. Splatting a David Hussey full toss straight to midwicket is seldom advisable. Most cricket sages would caution strongly against it. Particularly at a pivotal stage of a World Cup quarter-final with an entire nation thinking: “I tell you what I hope Virat Kohli does not to: splat a David Hussey fulltoss straight to midwicket”.

In the list of Iconic Wicket-Taking Deliveries Of Cricket History, alongside Waqar’s inswinging yorker, Murali’s doosra, Warne’s hard-spun legbreak, McGrath’s off-stump nagger, and the rest, few would include David Hussey’s full toss. It would probably rank just below Mike Atherton’s googly and just above Inzamam-ul-Haq’s bouncer.

Kohli was hammered in the TV commentary for playing “a stupid shot”. This criticism was erroneous. There was nothing stupid about it. It was a full toss onto which Hussey might as well have written in luminous ink: “Please hit me for 4”. In the circumstances, a “stupid” shot would have been a forward defensive. Kohli played a sensible shot. He just played it carelessly. Gambhir’s run out, on the other hand, was as stupid as a fossilised egg after a frying pan to the head.

● On my ZaltzCricket twitter feed, I was asked just before the start of play to predict what would happen. I thought I would attempt something more specific than the standard, “India/Australia will win”. So I foresaw Australia scoring 265 for 7, and India chasing successfully with 266 for 6. My phone lines are currently being tapped by the ICC. For today’s match, the following will 95% happen: if South Africa bat first, they will score 288 for 9. New Zealand will then be bowled out for 235. If New Zealand bat first, they will post 204 all out, which South Africa will chase for the loss of three wickets. You read it here first. (Please bear in mind that, despite yesterday’s success, my career predictive punditry rating is on a par with Phil Tufnell’s ICC Test batting rating.)

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

  • Chaitanya on March 27, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    A bow to the Zaltman !! Legendary !!

  • pub on March 26, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    a lot of people dont know that andy is a stand up comedian and hence his writing is funny

  • Anupam Kher on March 26, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Take a bow! Sounds as if P.G. Wodehouse has come back to life. Nicely done.

  • nidhi on March 26, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    andy you are the most witty cricket writer on cricinfo.hope you are enjoying an indian summer on your first visit.can't wait to read your article on the biggest match -the india-pak semi final!

  • Ruchi on March 26, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    Once again, brilliant and hillarious! Love your analysis in Bill Brysonesque style! But in hindsight, I can tell, at "predictive punditry", you are "on a par with Phil Tufnell's ICC Test batting rating." Love it, all in all!

  • nanda on March 26, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    zaltzie, really enjoyed article... couldn't have laughed more after i read your cynical description of kohli's bowling action...! guess you'll u've got to see kohli bowl more often now....

  • abhi 2.0 on March 26, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt."

    pure genius!

  • Chris Giffard on March 26, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Well you got the first three quarters of the New Zealand South Africa prediction right.

  • Mohan on March 26, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman you are right in saying Virat Kohli did not play a stupid shot but it was an irresponsible shot.By playing that shot he was dismissed four times in One Dayers.Moreover the pitches also did not suit his bottom-hand play.Playing with soft hands was the need of the hour.As far as Gautam Gambhir's run-out was concerned it was completely Yuvraj Singh's fault.The misunderstanding took place twice before the casualty and they could have sorted out by calming themselves.Instead when Gambhir called and straightaway ran before Yuvraj realised that he was not ready to run and Gambhir has to run all the way to the pavilion.But as seen from Yuvraj's attitude he was nervous and could not call loudly for a run.By the time he realised he knew that he should play out the quota and win the match.Otherwise it was an easy game.

  • jogesh99 on March 26, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    >> If New Zealand bat first, they will post 204 all out, which South Africa will chase for the loss of three wickets. You read it here first.

    Small price to pay Andy, for not having to watch Smith the village black-smith bat again.

  • Chaitanya on March 27, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    A bow to the Zaltman !! Legendary !!

  • pub on March 26, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    a lot of people dont know that andy is a stand up comedian and hence his writing is funny

  • Anupam Kher on March 26, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Take a bow! Sounds as if P.G. Wodehouse has come back to life. Nicely done.

  • nidhi on March 26, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    andy you are the most witty cricket writer on cricinfo.hope you are enjoying an indian summer on your first visit.can't wait to read your article on the biggest match -the india-pak semi final!

  • Ruchi on March 26, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    Once again, brilliant and hillarious! Love your analysis in Bill Brysonesque style! But in hindsight, I can tell, at "predictive punditry", you are "on a par with Phil Tufnell's ICC Test batting rating." Love it, all in all!

  • nanda on March 26, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    zaltzie, really enjoyed article... couldn't have laughed more after i read your cynical description of kohli's bowling action...! guess you'll u've got to see kohli bowl more often now....

  • abhi 2.0 on March 26, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt."

    pure genius!

  • Chris Giffard on March 26, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Well you got the first three quarters of the New Zealand South Africa prediction right.

  • Mohan on March 26, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman you are right in saying Virat Kohli did not play a stupid shot but it was an irresponsible shot.By playing that shot he was dismissed four times in One Dayers.Moreover the pitches also did not suit his bottom-hand play.Playing with soft hands was the need of the hour.As far as Gautam Gambhir's run-out was concerned it was completely Yuvraj Singh's fault.The misunderstanding took place twice before the casualty and they could have sorted out by calming themselves.Instead when Gambhir called and straightaway ran before Yuvraj realised that he was not ready to run and Gambhir has to run all the way to the pavilion.But as seen from Yuvraj's attitude he was nervous and could not call loudly for a run.By the time he realised he knew that he should play out the quota and win the match.Otherwise it was an easy game.

  • jogesh99 on March 26, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    >> If New Zealand bat first, they will post 204 all out, which South Africa will chase for the loss of three wickets. You read it here first.

    Small price to pay Andy, for not having to watch Smith the village black-smith bat again.

  • Raj on March 26, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Just brilliant! Keep it up, Mr Zaltzman! You remind me of writings by P G Wodehouse!

  • sujit on March 26, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    nice article. specially I like the sentence 'It would probably rank just below Mike Atherton’s googly and just above Inzamam-ul-Haq’s bouncer'. LMAO.

  • Sasi on March 26, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Mr.Zaltsman

    Your columns always crack me up. I never found cricket stories that funny before....keep up the true entertainment for the readers.

    I thought you would make more out of Gambhir's trials to raise pressue on Australian fielders, but you picked Kohli's shot.

  • haris on March 26, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Your prediction went completly wrong against newzealand southafrica game :D.That description of kohlis bowling action was realy funny "taking the shirts off"hahaha.

  • Sunny on March 26, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Very well said

  • Anup on March 26, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Nice Article. Prediction did not happen though :)

  • Puneet on March 26, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    congratulations...ICC has removed the wire tap after SA were thrashed - but it might be a consolation to you that it was a split decision because of NZ scoring runs that came periliously close to your prediction..

  • VJ on March 26, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    Great writing... this sentence had me

    In Kohli’s case, the unfamiliarity would have been exacerbated by the confusion generated by his bowling action, an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt.

  • Pramod on March 26, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    Marvellous writing! But happy that your prediction about NZ-SA match turned out against... people would have lost fortunes!

  • Rakesh on March 26, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    ICC wont tap your phone now, after yesterday's result..btw, I completely agree with you, Kohli played the only possible shot to that delivery, just missed the mark..he will learn, has a long way to go, with the blessings of selectors and avoiding fame hitting his head

  • priuz on March 26, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    you are one awesome writer .. makes me laugh at ur enthusiasm and sharp portrayal of reality ! rock on

  • ne on March 26, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    "In Kohli’s case, the unfamiliarity would have been exacerbated by the confusion generated by his bowling action, an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt."

    Hahahaha

  • vinayak on March 26, 2011, 1:48 GMT

    wow andy ... u have a poetic style .. kep it up

  • Varun on March 26, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Andy, Can I please intern at the Zaltman Institute of Sarcasm!

  • Mike on March 26, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Dude, Andy, your prediction couldn;t have been more wrong :)

  • RogerR on March 26, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    These were classic! "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt." "Splatting a David Hussey full toss straight to midwicket is seldom advisable."

  • Jiah on March 25, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    It has been a pleasure reading your columns. Never enjoyed reading about of cricket so much before. Something about your writing reminds me of my favorite author, Wodehouse.

  • NJ on March 25, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    You got half your SA-NZ prediction right. You just forgot the C word. Good article though.

  • bhavin on March 25, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    Amazing man. I appreciate your punditry rating. Its amazing. It is more than my score in exams. !!!

  • Vijay on March 25, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    Oh dear.. Ur prediction failed miserably like Munaf in yesterday's match ;)

  • MAHESH THAKUR on March 25, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic...Looking forward to read more from you ....Great & thank you

  • Johny Gadar on March 25, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    hi i can't belive that india is facing pakistan in semi final but u explain in great details thanks a lot

  • Pagal Dewana on March 25, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    Great read. thank you

  • kari on March 25, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    wow looks like NZ won the game

  • Sujit on March 25, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Well, I like your thoughts on cricket. But, why the language of the column is made so convoluted deliberately? Its not easy to read the column and reader loses the grip because of unnecessary complex structure of the statement.

  • Atul on March 25, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    You punditry is taken off.. nz went on to win this upset. But it was fun.

  • Pradeep on March 25, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    I really like your articles...

  • Yogesh on March 25, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Well, not every day is a sunday .. your prediction about SA Vs NZ match has gone so wrong.. lolzzz

  • sam on March 25, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Please excuse me sir. your pridiction was 95% wrong. so please stop thinking that you r a gud predictor.

  • Deb on March 25, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    nice one. real fun filled.

  • namus on March 25, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    good stuff andy, "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt" will surely bring a smile on anyone.

  • Juggie on March 25, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    Very funny post...."Gambhir’s run out, on the other hand, was as stupid as a fossilised egg after a frying pan to the head." :D ....loved it!

  • ThinkZero on March 25, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Octopus Zaltz's prediction on NZ playing first and scoring near around 204 atleast was partially right....

  • Dinesh on March 25, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Oh Dear Andy,

    What happened to your fore cast this time? NZ batted first to score 221 (and not 204) but OK that wqas a close one. However what is not close one is SA chasing it down with only three wicket down. Instead they were bundled out for 176 or so. LOL BUt hey its OK to be wrong some time. Cheers

  • Krishna on March 25, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    You got this one right mate: "Please bear in mind that, despite yesterday’s success, my career predictive punditry rating is on a par with Phil Tufnell’s ICC Test batting rating"

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    You got this one right mate: "Please bear in mind that, despite yesterday’s success, my career predictive punditry rating is on a par with Phil Tufnell’s ICC Test batting rating"

  • Prakash on March 25, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    "the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt" ha ha ha

  • Happy Saffer on March 25, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    Yahoo! We won: Andy says so.

  • Ravi on March 25, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    GOOD prediction came TRUE for South Africa match. For all the blah blah predictions.

  • Robin on March 25, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    So predictions went horribly wrong with SA/NZ match.. :P

    Nevertheless a nice write up.. :)

  • sunil kumar on March 25, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    It is a beautiful article. i loved ur prediction about india and Australia match but failed about south africa and nuzlnd match. but over all comment on kohili' shot and hussys bolling was humorous.

  • Dan on March 25, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    Hahaha! Funny and articulate article. Thanks!

  • Nabil on March 25, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Good article over all!! Quite humourous. Brilliant refrence below, very elaborative and perky.

    "That GraemeFowleresque, ShivSunderDasian figure of 35 is often used by atheists, when set alongside Graeme Smith’s equivalent of 49, as an aesthetic argument that proves the non-existence of god."

    As a Pakistan fan I must say, just the thought of playing against India in a worldcup semifinal renders me sleepless and slightly nauseous. I have, as i am sure most indo-pak fans have, already thought of atleast 50 scenarios of how the match will happen. Just for a laugh and out of interest, I Would love to hear about your thoughts and predictions for the match Zaltz (Even though you failed in your ill-advised short career of "predicted punditry"). But i am sure you have realised that your readers are waiting for an article on the indo-pak clash before the clash. Dont keep us waiting please.

  • Raj Rajagopal on March 25, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    Great article. Really didn't know why Gambhir was desperate to get to the dressing room.

    BTW, you probably did it deliberately, you are off the ICC anti corruption radar with your predictions of the SA win. Clever thing, predicting the big "C" to win the game :).

  • Richard on March 25, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    Well, New Zealand scoring 204 wasn't too far off the beam. New Zealand is to the Cricket World Cup what France is to the rugby version.

  • mrgupta on March 25, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    Your prediction about Kiwi's scoring 204 when batting first came close, its the second part of that prediction which went like Kohli's Shot against David Hussey fulltoss!

  • SatyajitN. on March 25, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    "It would probably rank just below Mike Atherton’s googly and just above Inzamam-ul-Haq’s bouncer."....priceless. Thanks for the humour. And please, please keep it coming. Hope to see you cover more tournaments.

  • Sriram on March 25, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Well Well, New Zealand's eventual score of 220 was pretty close (to your precition of 204). But, alas, that was the closest your prediction could get. What happened to South Africa's "choke" yet again could not have been predicted, or... could we have, going by history? They are yet to win a SINGLE knock out match in world cup history! Good luck to them, next time.

  • Madhusudan on March 25, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    Brilliant as expected, of course. But it looks like your match-prediction model failed to take into account the South African penchant for choking - which, given how much they seem to like to do it over and over again, should henceforth be recognized as "autoerotic asphyxiation", as someone tweeted during the choke. Or was your prediction part of some scheme to get people to bet the wrong way so someone else could clean up?! Perhaps there's more the for ICC to tap into here! In any case, and more generally speaking, the ICC would do well to pay attention to your genius - the game would only benefit!

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    hahahaha....Phil Tuffnell's batting avg:)..LOL

  • venky on March 25, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    Andy, even your sub-consicious had failed to tell you, SA will choke in Knock outs. Take my help for predicting, NZ are next best chokers in Semi-finals.

  • JJudilson on March 25, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    Nice one there..but you have got it wrong this time.. SA lose

  • Raman on March 25, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Your prediction about SA was partly wrong! what would you say about that?

  • sapna on March 25, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    South Africa always found a way to lose in world cups same result even this time. Your prediction is wrong this time

  • hemant on March 25, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    On another note, your summary is correct. Your observation about the three overs that yielded only 15 runs is so spot-on and crucial.

    I was waiting to read what you had in store for Sreesanth who was cheering from the sidelines. As soon as I saw him in his gear, I thought he was begging for it.

    Either way, thanks for writing, Cricinfo should give you your own cricket themed show. The show can easily fill 45 minutes each week. (add 15 minutes of commercials for a one hour show.)

    (1) a mix of tourism: quirks of players, location, surroundings, trivia, and history.

    (2) your unique interview style and colorful commentary with a lot of Straussims thrown in (“It looks like he’s lost a bit of timber.” )

    (3) your own personal commentary on the matches going on and a bit of a blast from the past.

    How about that?

  • dharam on March 25, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    and somehow you are proved orthodox now. SA vs NZ is over and unexpected. :)

  • roger on March 25, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    NZ won mate!! wot do u hav to say?? :P

  • Ganesh on March 25, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Hilarious perspection of Kohli's bowling action "....biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt". Lol.

  • Subho on March 25, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Hilarious article...well done ANDY...keep writing and don't try to predict anything else....SA choked comprehensively today.

  • Uppaji on March 25, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Fantastic way to put things in perspective...you are from a different planet altogether when it comes to writing...Bravo!!! The comment about Kohli's bowling action made me LOL and am going to remember it for long time......looking forward for more such articles from you Andy!!! Cheers...Uppaji.

  • hemant on March 25, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    A few factors clearly stand out:

    (1) Bowler rotation and timing of rotation: not sure if it was luck or pure punditry, it worked. Dhoni managed to rotate the right bowler at the right time leading to a reduction in flow of runs.

    (2) You are very correct to have observed that the three overs by "surprise" bowlers Tendulkar and Kohli wherein they gave just 15 runs is pure genius. Intertia is such a powerful thing. When the proceedings are slow, and runs aren't flowing, bringing in a surprise bowler will do one of two things (1) keep the runs low as they were (2) make the batsman take risks and make a mistake. The former happened.

    (3) Fielding: if Indian players fielded like they always do, we would have lost 15 more runs at least. Add 15 more runs which we could have given with the three surprise overs by Tendya and Kohli - we could have easily lost the match.

    So, at the end of the day, the three surprise overs and fielding are as important as Zaheer's precision in bowling.

  • Arjun Paliwal on March 25, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Nevermind the predictions about today's match ... nobody could really predict this score lol

  • Ram on March 25, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Oh man...your comment "Kohli simultaneously bowl and change his shirt" and "It was a full toss onto which Hussey might as well have written in luminous ink: “Please hit me for 4”. was absolutely hilarious...i could not stop laughing. You are a genious Zaltz..look forward to many such indulging write ups!

  • Ankush on March 25, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    :) SA lost :P

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    First of all, i wants to thank cricinfo to give me this opportunity to write my thoughts. Yesterday match between Ind and Aus was a closely fought contest in that Yuvraj shown the real grit. He was not at his best but the kind of passion he played was really commendable.His first ball four and his passionate dive to save himself from a run-out are few examples of that grit. He also admitted after the match that winning against Aus is very-2 special for him. Raina also delivered under the odds when things were not going good for him. It now leaves only Dhoni to deliver. Beacause it is Dhoni's dissmisal who evened out the contest and asking rate went beyond 6. I would like to throw a question that if india would have lost yesterday by 20-30 runs. To whom you will blame most? Dhoni or Gambhir? And after sudden exit of SA from WC..which remains to be favourite to lift the cup..I think that ENG vs SL whoever wins..has best its best chance..looking for your response..

  • Tim on March 25, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    An excellent blend of analysis and comedy, well done. Though as a New Zealander, I am pretty damn thankful your predicting skills are not as consistent.

  • Redant on March 25, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Excellent!

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    hilarious

  • nitin on March 25, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt.".....OMG....An absolutely brilliant description of Kohli's bowling action...LMAO!! Can u now please describe paul adams bowling action...though i dont think u can top the famous "frog in a blender" label. Ur analysis of Dhoni using SRT and Kohli was spot-on...was indeed a captaincy masterstroke that all the regular cricket writers failed to pick up on...trust ur astute brain to jump on it. Keep up the superb work Andy!!!

  • Snehasis Biswas on March 25, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    So sorry that your prediction came wrong Andy. SA choked again :P

  • jeetendra Chauhan on March 25, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    OOPS NewZeland win the match

  • Chinna on March 25, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    Good One Zaltz. Id give anything to see an Inzi bouncer.

  • David S on March 25, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    I thought Athers had a decent googly, before the back 'went'

    Did he not take circa 50 First Class wickets in about 1989 ?

  • Ali Majid on March 25, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Dear Mr. Zaltman

    I read your blog on cricinfo with great enthusiasm but have to say that ama little disappointed with the way that you have started this particular literary masterpiece.

    The first real quarterfinal? Seriously? Do you honestly mean to say that the first quarterfinal between Pakistan and West Indies was not a real one?

    Sir, it was a real quarterfinal albeit an extremely one sided on. Perhaps the most one sided worldcup knockout match in history. But, going into the match no one could have predicted this and the general consensus was that it was going to be a very close affair. It was very dificult to predict a winner between the two sides and quite honestly the performance put in by the Pakistanis was remarkable. Do not do a disservice to cricket by making such statements such as the one that you have made. I find it quite strange looking at how people have started dismissing the first match as a given after the result. Indian hype, understandable. Bias, NO.

  • Nilima on March 25, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Hey Zaltman! Can you write a wonderful article on SA's choking tradition which they are so proud of. What Balngla's must be thinking to see this team which they are yet to beat lose to team they have given brownwash in test and odis. Feel sorry for them.

  • Nitish on March 25, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    awesome!! i still havent stopped laughing from ur descripton of kohli bowling action....sarcasm at its best !!

  • Balu on March 25, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman's posts are the most compelling reason for me to browse Cricinfo. He comes up with top draw humor more consistently than the Sun would rise in the East!

  • Rachit Sharma on March 25, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    New Zealand wronged you, sir!

  • Abe on March 25, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    your description of Kohli's bowling action is amazing.....Cant help but laugh out loud!!!

  • Kiran on March 25, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    For a change, first half of the article is sincere without any attempt of mockery!! Well written, especially at the end with that David Hussey saga...

    Keep on entertaining :)

  • Farhan on March 25, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Wrong prediction for 3rd Semi...

  • Abhinav on March 25, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Well, you can rest assured that ICC is not tapping your phones anymore after THAT south african performance ! Though, im still not sure if you knew all along that New zealand was going to pull of an upset and you were just confusing the ICC ;)

  • Sudhir on March 25, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Hey Andy..Good Article... Your prediction would have been right, if you had remembered that "South Africa" has a 'C' letter in it...

    I am eager to read your next blog ( I hope u predict a India Win)

  • Arun on March 25, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Shame on you Andy, your bold predictions were totally wrong. I have been telling everyone that would listen to me, that SA are going to choke. It will be either in the QF or the SF. They were never going to get to the Finals. And it came true.

  • Nosmo on March 25, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Oh dear, after your predictions for the NZ-SAF game, I hope the humble pie you are now eating does not taste too bitter. Then again, I hope it does.

  • Trapdaar on March 25, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Kohli didn't play it carelessly either. You know sometimes while playing, batsmen get a mindset where they find it very hard to hit a boundary. Both Gambhir and Kohli were tired and in shackles, and that's why Kohli mishit it. Some other day, some other time, it would have been a four.

  • Raja on March 25, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    "attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt"

    You too good man...

  • Dev on March 25, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    the newzealand match proves the nonsense

  • Woody on March 25, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Great Blog Mr Zaltsman, loved hearing you on tms, I hope you recorded your comedy adventure in Bangladesh and it becomes part of a future Bugle :) I updated the wikipedia entry for choking, under notable victims :) South Africa now included http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choking

  • Sam on March 25, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    New Zealand won, Nostradamus.

  • ANNU on March 25, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    Nice reading your article. Your prediction went wrong b/c you didn’t realize what a nelson target can do to its chaser. Here the chasers were S.F who are more comfortable to be called CHOKERS. Try to find previously what have been the results of nelson targets.

  • Nitish on March 25, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Man, your "career predictive punditry rating" is certainly lower than Ajit Agarkar's batting success rate...I'll tell you that.

  • vikram on March 25, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Zalt you should carry your enormous talent to stand up show and save the readers from your pseudo comedy.

  • Sohi on March 25, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    LOL Kohli @it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt.

  • Anil Sharma on March 25, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Well, this time you are bowled out...by New Zealand !!!

  • Joe on March 25, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Zazaman, quick there's still time, change the prediction, no one will notice.

  • Rani on March 25, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Loved it - wonderful change from the routine techy discussions, available everywhere! Been wondering why no ones writing this way! From quite sometime :)

  • Al on March 25, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    So much for guestimates.

  • Shiva on March 25, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Lol @ the mirpur prediction..

  • ARSJ on March 25, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    Andy my man, I was rooting for your prediction to come true aswell, so that we could have had a SA/India final. Too bad, so now I guess you can get back to being Funny & insightful. Thanks.

  • Vishal on March 25, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Andy.. I hope you write your next post on how there were no UDR used in the SA/NZ match today. There has to be something going on which caused this upset

  • Vishal on March 25, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    You might be right about India/Aus match, but NZ trashed SA! I predicted they were underdogs going into WC because they were so down that the only way was up.

  • cricman on March 25, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    well predictions are bad for health and happiness either way, it just spoiled a good article

  • Pitchfly on March 25, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    After a MoM performance yesterday,this was a slight dip. Just goes to show the amount of expectation you've built up in us.Come on Andy, We need you in your whimsical satirical best for the final matches.

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    man!!! andy!!! being in our part of the cup playing world has taken your writing another lvl higher... :P super article!!

  • sudha on March 25, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    With todays prediction and watching the progress of the game...I can judge your punditry :) ! But very nice guess with India and Aus... Now please do the same for India Vs Pak.

  • Pralhad Goggi on March 25, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Love this: "it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt". Btw, your NZ prediction of 204 all out was pretty close to 221/8. SA look to prove you wrong, now at 121/4, dare I say the c word.

  • Prashanth on March 25, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    the next cricket astrologer is here...

  • Milind Jadhav on March 25, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Nah! Quite nice all right but just not does not have the legs to be up there with the rest of your stuff...they don't serve ale in India not in Ahmadabad anyway...so is this what too much of old monk and coke does to wits? You have spoilt us with rip roaring stuff and we will settle for nothing less! Thanks you nonetheless...

  • IndianGuy on March 25, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Wow Man..Nice Predictions. Can you predict the Semi Final between India-Pak?

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Alistair Cook had already ended the era of Australian dominance. People mostly felt sorrow for Ponting, Lee and co. yesterday

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    great article!!!!

  • Satish on March 25, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Andy you are the best writer I have read on cricinfo.. and and i was really furious when ian chapell said that "Indians had to do something GIGANTICALLY STUPID FROM NOW ON TO LOOSE THE MATCH" and gigantically stupid was a word to describe kohlis shot". Ian should have shoved his frustration on the aussies under his own chair seat rather than on kohli.

  • Rajesh S Rathore on March 25, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Well written, Actually brilliantly written, enjoyed reading it.

  • Abhishek on March 25, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    Hey Andy you're still on target- midway through the match!

  • Mohit on March 25, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Hey Andy, give me some advice for fantasy league or I will tape your phones...

  • Don123456 on March 25, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    You are wrong Zaltz! 221/8 is NZ score :D

  • vakibs on March 25, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    LOL at the Kohli Gambhir debacles.. LOL again :)

  • njr1330 on March 25, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    '...bowling while simultaneously changing his shirt...' Marvellous!

    By the way...what has happened to S.S. Das? He seems to have disappeared.

  • Jatin Thakkar on March 25, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Hilarious :D

  • vish on March 25, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Genius .. !!

  • Jai on March 25, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt." - ROFL :-) You're really a funny man, Andy! Keep it up mate.

  • Brat on March 25, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    Nice one Zaltz. Totally agree with you on Kohli thing. Just that NZ will score slight more than 204.

  • Sameer on March 25, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    Great post, Andy Zaltzman! "an enchanting cocktail of high-level skill and intermittent outbursts of cricketing crackpottery" and "Yuvraj decisively broke the Australians" more or less sum up the India-Australia match. Andy follows up with an insightful statistic "India’s batsmen now average 74 against Test-opposition spin in this World Cup. Pakistan’s spinners average 21 against Test-team batsmen". Behind all the Britsh comedian Tom foolery, lies an astute cricket analyst. The India-Pakistan match is indeed a mouth-watering prospect, sort of like Tandoori Chicken and Chival Regal on the rocks. May the better team win! (On merit, most professionals are likely to judge India as the better team.)

  • Prasad on March 25, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Someone ought to give you an award! "an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt"... I almost fell off my chair laughing! You're a treat Andy

  • Michael on March 25, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Damn you Zaltzman and your reverse-voodoo knitware. Keep your offending WG away from Australian captains' opposite numbers in future...or else. I blame you for this result. There will be a rekoning. Somewhere, sometime. Speaking of which, are you doing anything next Thursday? I'm busy Wednesday but Friday's ok if it's not too much trouble. Let me know. I'm flexible. How good was that Irish Rugby team win over their grand slam oponents. Who were they? I forget. You can tell me next Thursday. I'll make some cucumber sandwiches for you. Every man deserves a scrummy last supper and I hear this is the type of rubbish your lot eat. A disappointed Australian (well won India)

  • star fishery on March 25, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    awesome read! kohli's bowling action description is simple mind blowing :) Though I think you should have paid fair attention to Gambhir's hard work, running between wickets. HE did try to enough for dedicated Zaltman article :P

  • ankitv on March 25, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    great job, Andy!!! once again... The article's as fantastic as your hair....!

  • sarwar on March 25, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    i assure you,once michael yardy reads this,he will be alright again!and if shaun tait mistakenly recalls one of your hilariously-carved masterpieces while bowling a yorker,he will spray the ball straight to leg slip.simply awesome!keep it up.and sorry,but your predictions for todays match may go horribly wrong.

  • Ali Khan on March 25, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Your predictions seem in order, what do you predict for the Semi between India and Pakistan ... I promise not to run to the nearest turf accountant with a fiver if you revert

  • Noah on March 25, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Great article! Any thoughts on India vs Pakistan match?

  • DEE on March 25, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    ROFL...awesome one Andy!

  • Ankur Aggarwal on March 25, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    In Kohli’s case, the unfamiliarity would have been exacerbated by the confusion generated by his bowling action, an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt......lmfao

  • Anoop on March 25, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Great post !! Nicely written

  • Manick on March 25, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    Wowww mann.. I'm still in splits reading your blog and trust me, i haven't read a cricket article involving India to be this humorous.

    Kohli's biomechanical surrealism to your phone lines being tapped by ICC to your career predictive punditry.. I'm still laughing.

    Hats off - it was an excellent article!

  • Mohan on March 25, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman you are right in saying Virat Kohli did not play a stupid shot but it was an irresponsible shot.By playing that shot he was dismissed four times in One Dayers.Moreover the pitches also did not suit his bottom-hand play.Playing with soft hands was the need of the hour.As far as Gautam Gambhir's run-out was concerned it was completely Yuvraj Singh's fault.The misunderstanding took place twice before the casualty and they could have sorted out by calming themselves.Instead when Gambhir called and straightaway ran before Yuvraj realised that he was not ready to run and Gambhir has to run all the way to the pavilion.But as seen from Yuvraj's attitude he was nervous and could not call loudly for a run.By the time he realised he knew that he should play out the quota and win the match.Otherwise it was an easy game.

  • indiaman on March 25, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    I think u have a head which can be rated somewhere near to Bradman's batting average

  • M.Islam on March 25, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    NZ is batting and they may score 204 but SA will have to loose more than 3 wickets to reach that. I would say 4-5.

  • DeepakG on March 25, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    I like your predictions. One of the most pragmatic predictions that you can make. Instead of 204 all out, I would say: 232 all out or 232/8

  • sp on March 25, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Finally India exorcised the ghosts, if any had remained, of WC final 2003. That it was done at the land of the Mahatma, is befitting and more fulfilling. We all watched the decimation in 2003 and many of us would have been compelled to stop supporting India. Now, after 8 years, the vision of Sourav, Sachin and Dravid has come closer to achievement. Sachin can now hold his head high that the young brigade in the team has imbibed the pride of the Fab Four. Team India not only hastened the decline of Australian test match dominance, but has also now shut out the one day champions from the Cup that counts!

    India has dislodged Australia from the top - remember the tri-series win downunder - with combination of tenacity, skill and chutzpah. Now, Mumbai waits to clear its throat on April 2nd !

  • Sumit on March 25, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    This guy is simply awesome! The wizardry of his prose is enthralling. The Hussey-Kohli narrative is pure genius!

  • Amit Goel on March 25, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    I was touched by the loving reference to Wally Hammond.He, alongwith the Don and Lindsay Hassett hoisted Australian cricket to where it was. Another fav- this time a Brit- is Sir Jack Hobbs, Lets hope someone salvages his reputation tomorrow...

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Its a good article but where is the humour in it

  • Dionysus on March 25, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    You shoot a lot of unsuspecting flying pigs, Mr. Woody Allen of Cricket! Haven't laughed so much in a long time.

  • Sathish T on March 25, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Too good Andy!!

    Kohli's bowling action description had me laughing out so loud like all my worries were gone for a minute

  • RAJIV BALA on March 25, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    hi andy

    can u find out the number of indian wickets that have fallen evertime sanjay manjrekar comes on to do commentary on TV.

    u seem to be the only one who can get such data and trust to have yr support.

    warm regards rajiv bala

  • Yash on March 25, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Epic. EPIC!

  • sri on March 25, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Loved the humour, especially the last paragraph. Which seems to be the only conclusion about a NZ/RSA match, unless Ross Taylor gives us yet another taste of unbridled mayhem against the other powerful, multifarious, multi-faceted, beautifully varied, ultra-luminous bowling attack!

  • Ersatzid on March 25, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    That ant managed to reach the deepest crevice within, and finding it dark and claustrophobic, decided to bite the walls with impunity. Now there lay the rub. Gambhir knew the only salvation for his extreme discomfort lay in the dressing room upstairs. There was no way he could retire hurt, not at that juncture. Nor would asking for a runner help. He did what any politician would do. Display your earnestness (to get runs) to the entire nation, attack the weakest link (Yuvi’s girth sure is no steroid when it comes to running), create a scenario that can be replayed on TV over and over again for the whole nation to start empathising with you and blame the outcome on the other fella. That’s what Gambhir did.

    The orgasmic scream that came out of the dressing room once he reached there is till being investigated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the clueless Motera Police.

  • Ersatzid on March 25, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Gambhir’s run out, on the other hand, was as stupid as a fossilised egg after a frying pan to the head.

    While you and others in future will think of even more convoluted metaphors and far more twisting alliterations, let me tell you the real story. It is a lesson to westerners, particularly to those Brits suffering from an identity crisis between P.G. Wodehouse, Vir Das and a cricket expert thrown in, for good measure.

    This is what happened: A few overs before, Gambhir had to dive to reach his crease that was rapidly deteriorating into a "dust bowl" as commentators were not getting tired of repeating. In the process, he waylaid an army of ants who were trudging valiantly to explore some liquid nourishment, even if it be the sweat dropping from helmets of the batsmen. One particularly niggardly ant, got lost in teh seam of Gambhir's trousers. The rest continues in the next post

  • Vipul on March 25, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    "world record for the largest recorded simultaneous nervous gulp..!!!" ha ha ha... hilarious..

  • Badri on March 25, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    Very entertaining read!! I agree with you that that was the only shot Kohli could have attempted, only that he didnt middle it with his bat. Tom Moody in his commentry repeatedly pointed out that India will have to do something monumentally wrong to hand Australia a victory. At that time when Kohli got out off a David Hussey full toss followed by Gambhir's downfall displaying a commedy of errors it seemed like Moody's prognostications may just come true! Thankfully Yuvraj and Raina held their nerves and saw India through. India Vs Pakistan Now! There will be frenzy, uproar, battles within battle, redemption and peace!! One gets a feeling this World cup may just go down the annals of history as the most entertaining and timely one ever to be played. When there are questions being raised about the continuance of the 50-over game format this World Cup tournament coontinues to answer all its ctitiques with nailbiters after another.

  • A Rolex Ranjith on March 25, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    "it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt" - Wow.. lol

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Hilarious! I remembered the predicted score once Aus finished their innings and clung to your prediction of the result when Kohli & Gambhir were losing their heads (& wickets!) Can't wait for the next installment - keep them coming!!

  • Indranil Sinha on March 25, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Hats off one more time to Andy for another exceptional desccription of the Ind / Aus quarter final. Special applause for describing "In the list of Iconic Wicket-Taking Deliveries Of Cricket History, alongside Waqar’s inswinging yorker, Murali’s doosra, Warne’s hard-spun legbreak, McGrath’s off-stump nagger, and the rest, few would include David Hussey’s full toss. It would probably rank just below Mike Atherton’s googly and just above Inzamam-ul-Haq’s bouncer."

  • BHASKAR BANERJI on March 25, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    WELL WRITTEN ! However , what difference between " stupid shot " or " careless shot " we lost a wicket at a vital stage !! BTW for me MOM was Shaun Tait !! GOI should seriously consider him for the Padma Shree for next years list !! Time for Sehwag to deliver - maybe against Gul/Afridi ! We need a start in 7-8 overs as an insurance !

  • Nitin Nagaraja on March 25, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Loved the part about Kohli simultaneously bowling and changing his shirt :D

  • Bernard Stacey on March 25, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    "...an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt."

    I think you should be more respectful of South African cricketer Paul Adams. These are ill-paid, hard-working professionals we are talking about here and many of your readers will not wish to see them being denigrated in such a light-hearted manner.

  • Srini on March 25, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    "it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt"- Awesome and utter fun!! Go Andy Go!

  • Ankesh Alankar on March 25, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Hey Andy, You doing an Octopussy! Beware! you know as well as any what happened to Paul the predictor post WC!Just kidding man! God forbid, I am the last person to allow that any harm comes to you.

  • Manoj Kumar on March 25, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Great Read!Good Stuff! The "Particularly at a pivotal stage of a World Cup quarter-final with an entire nation thinking: “I tell you what I hope Virat Kohli does not to: splat a David Hussey fulltoss straight to midwicket”. and "Gambhir’s run out, on the other hand, was as stupid as a fossilised egg after a frying pan to the head." Brilliant!

  • angad on March 25, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    bloody brilliant!! :D

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  • angad on March 25, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    bloody brilliant!! :D

  • Manoj Kumar on March 25, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Great Read!Good Stuff! The "Particularly at a pivotal stage of a World Cup quarter-final with an entire nation thinking: “I tell you what I hope Virat Kohli does not to: splat a David Hussey fulltoss straight to midwicket”. and "Gambhir’s run out, on the other hand, was as stupid as a fossilised egg after a frying pan to the head." Brilliant!

  • Ankesh Alankar on March 25, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Hey Andy, You doing an Octopussy! Beware! you know as well as any what happened to Paul the predictor post WC!Just kidding man! God forbid, I am the last person to allow that any harm comes to you.

  • Srini on March 25, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    "it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt"- Awesome and utter fun!! Go Andy Go!

  • Bernard Stacey on March 25, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    "...an indecipherable flail of biomechanical surrealism in which it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt."

    I think you should be more respectful of South African cricketer Paul Adams. These are ill-paid, hard-working professionals we are talking about here and many of your readers will not wish to see them being denigrated in such a light-hearted manner.

  • Nitin Nagaraja on March 25, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Loved the part about Kohli simultaneously bowling and changing his shirt :D

  • BHASKAR BANERJI on March 25, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    WELL WRITTEN ! However , what difference between " stupid shot " or " careless shot " we lost a wicket at a vital stage !! BTW for me MOM was Shaun Tait !! GOI should seriously consider him for the Padma Shree for next years list !! Time for Sehwag to deliver - maybe against Gul/Afridi ! We need a start in 7-8 overs as an insurance !

  • Indranil Sinha on March 25, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Hats off one more time to Andy for another exceptional desccription of the Ind / Aus quarter final. Special applause for describing "In the list of Iconic Wicket-Taking Deliveries Of Cricket History, alongside Waqar’s inswinging yorker, Murali’s doosra, Warne’s hard-spun legbreak, McGrath’s off-stump nagger, and the rest, few would include David Hussey’s full toss. It would probably rank just below Mike Atherton’s googly and just above Inzamam-ul-Haq’s bouncer."

  • Anonymous on March 25, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Hilarious! I remembered the predicted score once Aus finished their innings and clung to your prediction of the result when Kohli & Gambhir were losing their heads (& wickets!) Can't wait for the next installment - keep them coming!!

  • A Rolex Ranjith on March 25, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    "it appears that the young man is attempting to simultaneously bowl and change his shirt" - Wow.. lol