Plays of the day April 18, 2008

Where's the anthem?

Cricinfo staff

Old rivalries have been shelved for the moment (file photo) © Getty Images

Where's the anthem?
It's all very well having pop stars belting out hits at inaugural functions, but if the teams are serious about building up a fanatical following along the lines of English football or American football's legendary Cheeseheads, a team anthem would go a long way. The PA system blaring out Chak De India gets tiresome after a while, and it's a hockey song anyway. Hire a decent songwriter, or appropriate a suitable song. A stirring rendition of Glory, glory, Man United or Fields of Anfield Road can send shivers down the spine.

Not made to measure
While Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid walk out for the toss, Zaheer Khan assesses his run-up with the help of a tape measure. But after more than three months out of the game, the calculations aren't quite what they should be. Brendon McCullum takes him for 18 in his first over, with three heaves over midwicket and an edged six over third man. Ashley Noffke replaces him right away, and concedes 23 in his first over. Hmmm.

George Lucas, where are you?
With their golden helmets, the Knight Riders look like they've just stepped off a Star Wars set. Just imagine R2D2 in black clothes, and you get the idea. Mind you, as an Australian journalist watching from London said: "You've got to love those golden pads." No worries with a team song for this lot. Spaceman, which was a massive hit in the mid-90s for Babylon Zoo, whose lead singer, Jas Mann, has roots in the Punjab.

New day, new team
Ishant Sharma's status as the most expensive bowler in the IPL owed everything to that remarkable spell he bowled to Ricky Ponting at the WACA in January. Three months on, after an over when the batsmen couldn't put bat to ball, Ponting ran up and patted Ishant, his Knight Riders team-mate, on the back. Old rivalries have been shelved for the moment.

The Duck and the Rocket
He may never live down that nickname of Bombay Duck, but there's much more to Ajit Agarkar than those seven noughts on the trot in Tests against Australia. A superb spell of 3 for 25 would have pleased anyone, but there was also a tremendous throw from deep square leg to send back Ashley Noffke.

Lack of force
Next to the sightscreen at the BEML end, you could see a Force India Formula One car. The team that Vijay Mallya owns has made a poor start to the racing season, and tonight he saw his cricket team lapped in a metaphorical sense. Some would say that they even forgot to turn on the ignition.