Sunday, March 20, 2011

I wish India had lost yesterday to WI....

I know it sounds preposterous to even think in this manner. I know many people would think that our pride as a nation would be hurt by such thinking! But I really think that India facing Australia is a terrible terrible prospect. In fact, I am confident that we will lose that match. I am saying that based both on our current form and the general psychological inferiority we have against the Australians. In general, Australia has beaten India 3/4ths of the time we have played together. Even though our record has been a bit better of late, I feel it’s never about past is a game of psychological pressure and Australia always beats us in this department.

Now let me admit, I don’t know how we could have chosen to lose yesterday. I’m only saying it would have been better if we had lost. I also know that most commentators were saying that Sri Lanka is in better form and hence playing SL would have been worse for India. That match would have taken place in SL and that would have been a further disadvantage. The India-Aus match is in Abad and that should be a big advantage to India. But my own view is that an off-form Australia is worse than an in-form SL. Don’t ask me why; I just feel it in my bones!

Let me try this reasoning this out. To explain why I feel that India had a better chance against SL. We see them as being “fellow Asians”.....meaning genetically they are like us and are prone to pressure and other such pathetic weaknesses that all Asians suffer from! One can possibly imagine a scenario when they lose their last 7 wickets for 30 runs.....The Aussies on the other hand are the goras and are genetically stronger. They rarely succumb to pressure. In spite of their bad form, they would never crumble like we did against SA! Remember that match? It was the gora nature of the South Africans that did us in.....not the form that SA is in!

Look at the bowling line up of Australia. It’s really difficult to play Brett Lee even after we have had so much practice against him recently. Add to that, the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and what have you! And here’s the point I am trying to make....when a Brett Lee comes in to bowl, our batsmen are facing the combined strength of all past Australian pace maniacs.....Dennis Lilee, appears that all of them are coming in to bowl along with Lee! It’s a psychological thing. In contrast, Malinga is a far easier bowler to play, in spite of his weird action. And better form!

Now I know many people will think that my fears are unfounded. That under Indian conditions, the Aussies are not that strong. In fact, India did win the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2-0 just a few months back. But that was 5-day cricket. And if nothing else, the Aussies tend to simply “burn up” in the Indian heat. In a one-day match however, they can hold out against the weather much better. One of the innings is anyways played under flood lights. They remain ferocious throughout! It’s just their superior genes you see!

I guess somewhere the economic might of India over SL also must be a factor that helps us psychologically. Now I may sound facetious here.....but what I am saying is that when we play SL or Pakistan, we have the superiority of our stronger economy providing us the tail winds. When we play the Aussies, it’s the opposite. Those guys are genetically stronger and also economically. They are part of those who “ruled” us for 200 years (now I know this is not logically true.....but I’m just talking very practically here!). Even the way the Aussies exult; the way they make faces on field makes us nervous! I don’t know if Dhoni would ever break a TV set.....especially in Australia.....but that’s what Ponting just did. They terrorize us! Their people beat up our poor rich Indian students; but we can’t even think of doing that to them. Their Olympics team won most of the medals and then they threw a refrigerator down from the top floor of the building......who does that? Imagine the pressure of all that on our poor Indian team!

The real truth is that the ODI matches are never about form. They are always about relative psychological strength. The Aussies are much stronger than us. We’ll soon find out if my fears are right or wrong. But I am willing to wager on this one!

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