December 6, 2013

Why India must fail in South Africa

Sidin Vadukut
The normal fan wants him to take the catch; the connoisseur wants him to trip and land on his chin, so it sends a message to the BCCI about the importance of having at least ten warm-up matches before the start of any series  © BCCI
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Enough of your Ashes brouhaha and hype and nonsense. Every single day when I log onto ESPNcricinfo it is Gabba this and WACA that and g'day mate and Vegemite… and what happens at the end of all that? Little more than batting collapses, profanity-shouting, individual and group urination, and recreational racism. Which other serious sport in the world, besides boxing, football, basketball, cycling, track and field, American football, field hockey, wrestling, badminton and Canadian local government would tolerate this level of dishonour, debauchery and decay?

Which is why many experts consider the 2013 Indian tour of South Africa the most important contest in cricket right now. The outcome of this tour will finally decide, beyond all doubt and speculation, the rightful owners of the title Best Cricketing Team In The World Right Now If You Ignore The Subcontinent Because Subcontinent Is Not Really Moan Whine Moan Fast Bowling Is The Best Everything Else Sucks Spin Bowling Is For Losers Nyah Nyah Moan Moan Oh My God A Bouncer I Got Excited And Now There Is A Steyn In My Pants.

Now many of you non-Indian readers of this website may be tempted to think that Indian fans are looking forward to a keen contest in South Africa that will hopefully culminate in a comprehensive victory for the Indian side.

Ha ha ha ha ha. A billion Indians laugh at your ignorance. Nothing, not even the moon landing, could be farther from the truth.

In fact, the millions of Indians who truly care for this sport and the quality of Indian cricket are eagerly hoping for a thumping Indian loss that ends in abject humiliation. Nothing less than wholesale loss of face will do for them.

Your mind is boggling? Let me explain.

There are two types of cricket fan in India. The first is the unsophisticated fan, or the mass-market enthusiast. These fans - many of them woefully illiterate about turn-of-the-century English cricket writing or the careers of long-dead cricketers such as Grace, Bedser, Pantilimon and Rachmaninoff - want India to win above everything else. For them the ends (trophy) are greater than the means (slog). They would love to see nothing more than India win every match on the South Africa tour comfortably and come back home to a rousing reception.

Then there is the second type of fan - the "real" fan or the cricket connoisseur. Nothing in the world breaks this fan's heart more than the sight of India actually winning a cricket match. This is because this fan has different priorities. The important thing for this fan is not the outcome but the honour of the effort, the morality of the methods, and fidelity to the central tenets of cricket etiquette.

Let me demystify this further by encapsulating typical responses by both types of fans to various types of Indian victories:

Scenario 1: India beats Pakistan in India
Normal fan: YAYAY!
Connoisseur: Pfft. Anybody can win in the subcontinent.

Scenario 2: India beats Sri Lanka in England
Normal fan: YAYAYAY!
Connoisseur: Pfft. How many times will India play Sri Lanka? So bored.

Scenario 3: India beats Australia in England
Normal fan: YAYAYAYAY!
Connoisseur: Pfft. This is only a testimony to how weak Australia has become in recent years.

Scenario 4: Due to the invention of a time-travel machine by engineers at IIT Delhi, India are able to go back in time and defeat Donald Bradman's invincible side in Australia
Normal fan: YAYAYAYAYAY! THIS IS THE GREATEST TEAM IN HISTORY!
Connoisseur: Pfft. Without full DRS technology this was a meaningless tour BCCI are criminals LULZ Dhawan was lbw at least seven times do you have black and white video of Keith Miller batting at GabbaWacaWacaThisTimeForAfrica?

Really. There is simply no possible scenario in which an Indian victory would be acceptable to the vast majority of committed Indian cricket fans. Only abject defeat will do. Only such a shameful capitulation, we all hope, will give Indian cricket the motivation to approach this sport correctly, in the moral way, with great honour and dignity, and play this sport with a perfectly balanced team and methods: i.e. four textbook batsmen, one calculated-risk batsman, one humble wicketkeeper, two enigmatic spinners, and the remaining being blazing fast bowlers with top fitness. And before every match the team members must burn one BCCI member alive for an auspicious start.

Therefore I, along with millions of other true cricket enthusiasts, look forward to a turbulent Indian tour of South Africa, full of batting howlers, terrible bowling, organisational disarray, crumbling morale, fearsome South African aggression, and copious all-round Indian defeat.

Only this will ultimately lead to Indian victory and glory. Jai Hind!.

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Sidin Vadukut is a columnist and editor with Mint, and the author of the Dork trilogy

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Posted by Y2SJ on (December 11, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

India has already lost the first 2 games. I sincerely hope they lose the third one too. Else Dhoni supporters will say that the margin was close. Anybody who saw the matches can say that the bowlers and batsmen were both clueless.

Posted by Y2SJ on (December 11, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

@Sidun I sincerely hope India gets this whitewashed in ODIs and Tests again. Atleast that would open your eyes that Dhonis is just a lucky captain and players like Rohit, Aswin, Vijay, Jadeja, Raina can perform only in the backyard. But if the whitewashes in England, Australia didnt open your eyes, probably this whitewash wont too.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

Once Again Dhoni Prvoved What a great captain ship...My dead Player Mr. Dhoni Everytime Luck can't go with you ...IF you you know SA is a bad Run-Chasers....!!!! U won the toss still you bowling first ...????

Once Again Indian Best young players Rohit, Virat, Yuvraj showed they only plays well in India...Responsibility who cares ...now we are permanent in Indian cricket team...

Posted by naveenk on (December 8, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

India need to prepare well for overseas matches, especially for southafrica tour. I dont think India can compete with southafrica for rest of the series ,if they dont win in the 2nd ODI.This is not Indian pitches buddys (Kohlis, Rohits...)

Posted by ansram on (December 8, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Haha, I am neither the unsophisticated man nor the "real" fan, I am in the middle. At times, I do like India to win. :))

Posted by Dhanno on (December 7, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Thank you Sidin for the eyeopener of an article. It is great to see you support the majority of fans who are with india when they play against SL and WI. I mean it shouldnt matter which nation we are playing ? As long as well play round the clock 12 months and win every game, it should be enough. But it is not for some fans. I am glad you dont see any ulterior motive in scheduling of games against few nations and reluctance to visit NZ and SA, true cricket is played in subcontinent conditions and indians sweat and win their. Thanks for great article

Posted by murali_88 on (December 7, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

I know (or at least I think) this article is meant to be jokey/sarcastic. But this is a fairly accurate representation of how i feel.

great article again!

Posted by WC96QF on (December 7, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

LOL !!! had the most fun reading this, absolutely ! Best on the site. Laughed out loud. First time reading u mr Vadukut.... Pls keep them coming. And a pox on the mass marketed Indian fan !

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

ha ha i am seeing all negative minded people, its just one game. there is a chance that india could recover. if india should fail miserably then we need to have full of miserable layers in the team. but still some quality players in the team. there are some things which are unfortunate:

1) the return of yuvi has weekened the team. we alrady have one out of form layr in the form of raina. 2) bhuvi not gettings as he got earlier. oh whats wrong with him. i wish he brings back into old form. 3) most dangerous- dhonis cataincy is overrated. he is doo defensive in the field. he is getting results due to brilliant individual performances. he does not know how to use bowlers. esp in last match shami was the case. he was taken away from spell in the crutial moments- when he got two wickets in powerplay- when de cock was out he should be given the ball to penetrate the opposition not the spinners.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

I suppose the point-its easier to adjust to lower bounce/slow pitches than higher bounce/fast pitches,hence success rate of visiting batters in subcontinent pitches has been better compared to players from subcontinent visiting Aus/NZ/SA..

Hence to completely write off India,just after 1 game is unfair.If you belong to 2nd category of fans-u will agree Md.Shami was the best bowler(until of course the last 10 overs),rest 4 bowlers could have matched his form,the story could have been different.India might had to chase 270.As Dhoni rightly said-he needed pace in the attack,so Yadav instead of Mohit is must [and Ishant(yea we need him in SA pitches) instead of Ashwin/Jadeja in Johannesburg test ]

So,I am still hoping for a cracker of contests in the remaining ODIs,Tests

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sidin Vadukut
Sidin Vadukut has been writing extensively about cricket since he started writing this column for ESPNcricinfo. He comes from a family of footballers, who all nurture virulent hate for cricket in general and Basit Ali in particular. Vadukut is the author of the Dork trilogy of office-culture humour novels. By day he is a columnist and editor with business daily Mint. At night, depending on when he gets off work, he goes home or fights crime. His favourite cricketer is Saeed Anwar. By which he means Sachin Tendulkar. Jai Hind.

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