Posts Tagged ‘india’
It seems that is now illegal to remark on Rahul Dravid‘s qualities as a batsmen without also voicing an additional comment about his good character. Everyone agrees that ‘the Wall’ is indeed a very nice wall. Nasser Hussain went as far to say gushingly that Dravid was a “sensational guy”, perhaps revealing a latent man-crush.
I have once encountered Dravid at close quarters. He was on Oxford St, standing outside Aldo. I can vouch that he appeared very courteous and humble while window-shopping for mid-priced loafers.
I can add Dravid to Shane Warne and Abdul Razzaq to the list of international cricketers that I have seen on Oxford St. It’s a rich seam, particularly when you consider I’ve only come across one footballer in that period. Jan-Aage Fjortoft. In HMV. True story.
I worry about Dravid. He looks a bit spoddy. I can’t help thinking that people might take advantage of his better nature.
We need a wicketkeeper. Rahul, put your pads and gloves on.
We need an opener. Rahul, put your pads and gloves on.
We need a wicketkeeper, and then opener immediately afterwards. Rahul, put your pads and gloves on and then put your other pads and gloves on.
Rahul, make us a brew.
Rahul, go get us some fags and a Toffee Crisp.
And so on.
Bet he makes a nice cup of tea.
Welcome to the first and last in a series of sportspeople that resemble celebrity pets. This week’s effort is a cover shot from Cosmopolitan of Kelly Osbourne cuddling something that looks a lot like Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
I genuinely don’t know what this animal is. Is it a cat? A dog? Or even a tiny bear? Maybe it is just Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
So the Harris Sportsthoughts Twenty20 World Cup preview grinds to an apologetic halt on the eve of the tournament. Group D, you’re up:
We are now able to add Twenty20 cricket to that tedious list of sports that England invented and are now a bit rubbish at. Built in the image of the national football team, England only perform as well as the opposition put in front of them. Hence last year, England were shamed by the Dutch, before defeating defending champions India and future ones Pakistan. If they could courageously exit in the semi-finals on penalties to Germany having had Kevin Pietersen sent off, then they surely would. Currently undergoing an operation to become fully South African, which means they are even more likely to plummet out of the tournament in hilarious style. Has anyone seen England and South Africa in the same room? Oh yes, today in Bridgetown.
The West Indies are the home team, which counted for not very much during the last World Cup in the region when most of its support was loitering ticketless outside the grounds trying to listen to what was going down. Might be amazing, might be awful. Which is an improvement on last year’s Champions Trophy, where a second string side were only going to be awful.
Ireland have recently made a habit of taking a scalp in the preliminary stages of major tournaments, before clogging up the second phase with their mediocrity. Quite capable of repeating the trick (see England above). Are destined to be forever plagued by strange men in synthetic orange beards.
Group C is the next in our increasingly tiresome preview of the Twenty20 World Cup, which has actually had the effect of diminishing my enthusiasm for the tournament.
South Africa have certainly been handed a raw deal with this ongoing player exchange programme with England. Apparently the scorer is English though. The squad still look pretty strong however, but if past performances are anything to go by then expect them to train on strongly in the early stages before bottling it in comic style somewhere around the semi-final. That said, it would be typical for the Proteas to finally bag a trophy at a time when everyone back in the homeland is too busy putting up the bunting for the World Cup to notice.
Playing India is like taking on your granny at backgammon. She gains an advantage because she plays a lot more than you, so your main hope is that she’ll get tired . She might also struggle against the short ball. The Indians will hope that Yuvraj Singh will have woken from his parlous IPL sulk, and are Sehwagless again, but with MS Dhoni at the tiller anything is achievable. Just ask a Chennai Superking.
Whatever happens to Afghanistan, I’m sure the film of their story has already been pitched somewhere. A sort of Cool Runnings conceived by Khaled Hosseini. If only John Candy was still alive.
Just to let you know that I’m being released into the community at large tomorrow. And then scooped up again and put back where I’m safest: locked in a room with a television showing cricket and computer that I can write rubbish on.
I’m providing a sort of live caption to the internet streaming of ITV’s IPL coverage. Which might be beyond someone whose average typing speed is around four words per minute, but I’m going to give it a crack anyway.
I could become the first person to develop the keyboard version of a stutter, or I could develop Tourettes, I could refer to silly twat mid-off or Shaun Bollock. So it might be a car crash. Or a computer crash at least.
It must be weird being a South African international cricketer right now. You’re just about to head off on a taxing tour to India and then virtually everyone ahead of you in the hierarchy either resigns or is sacked. It’s like heading into your final year of school, gearing up for your exams, only for your headmaster to walk out and take the entire teaching staff with him.
I can only hope for the Proteas’ sake that the new coach Corrie Van Zyl has a greater sense of authority than any of my supply teachers. They usually arrived on the first bus from teacher training college with the kind of pedagogical aspirations only gained from having watched Goodbye Mr Chips too many times. Which we were too glad to destroy in a shower of flicked elastic bands. I guess we thought we were performing some kind of service to these greenhorns: if you couldn’t survive a squadron of snot-faced shits in tweed blazers, then maybe this lark wasn’t for you.
So be warned, Corrie Van Zyl. Don’t try and be their friend. Don’t ask the dressing room if anyone watched Red Dwarf last night. Don’t ever end any sentence with the words ‘man’ or ‘dude’. Never turn your back on them, particularly if there are bunsen burners in the pavilion. And whatever you do, never ever and try to use a board-rubber to wipe off a pie-chart you’ve just projected onto a wall with a overhead-projector. Trust me, you’ll never hear the last of it.
***WARNING: This post may contain wanky historical references from the Simon Barnes school***
Watching India edge out Sri Lanka at Rajkot this morning was probably like looking down on the Charge of the Light Brigade. C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas le guerre. Or cricket.
You may consider that to fall short by three runs chasing 414 in a one-day international would be an achievement that would inspire a chorus of ‘jolly good effort’ on the Sri Lankan balcony, but captain Sangakkara looked like he was about to gouge his own eyes out. His team had manoeuvred themselves into a spot of relative comfort but failed to score a boundary in the last five overs to miss out – there’d only been 104 in the rest of the match.
825 runs in the game would suggest that the bowlers struggled a touch: in fact for most of proceedings they were relegated to just facilitating the re-start of the match, with as much relevance as a throw-in during football. At this rate quick bowlers will soon be regarded as freakish sideshows like Rory Delap. Something to be smirked at by Mark Lawrenson on Football Focus or to be gawped at on Youtube. Like this: