This World Cup is leaner, meaner and more competitive than its predecessors. T20 cricket’s advent has infused the much needed adrenaline rush into the action on field, resulting in upsets, close finishes and even super high scoring tied matches!
When I walked through the nukkads of Delhi, the one thing that had been made a mental note of was to blank out obscenities from my ears as the city has the most colourful set of sobriquets when it comes to cursing even inanimate objects and scenarios. The entire populace was obsessed with two things, India’s sting-less bowling and ‘jugad’ for free passes to the India-Netherlands match at their beloved Kotla. I even saw people making loud phone calls for a ‘setting’ of good parking space in the adjoining colleges and hospitals!
Scene- A Nukkad at Katra Neel, Old Delhi
Here, a veteran cricket fan cum absolute nukkad authority, Mr Abbas (Miyan Ji), was giving his prophecies about the outcome of all the matches le
ft in the tournament and even magically knew what talk takes place among players in their dressing room/hotel/ad agency, and that too the live stuff that was being said as he spoke. The reason for commotion was the presence of the duo of young experts Zeshan and Subhojit who had dared to come-up with some interesting observations of their own.
Miyan Ji – What good is Harbhajan Singh if he can’t take wickets in the middle overs? Seems as if he’ll take a scalp only when uski !@#$%$ (the curses were spoken with utmost ease to sound a very vital part of the conversation and evoked a genuine smile on the listeners, Miyan Ji was in form).
Subho - #$%@@ (this was to negate the above said point). Bhajji is a class act and has big match temperament. He is pitching in with some iota of economical bowling. In fact, we are asking too much from spinners here. The bowlers as such are under an onslaught due to batting friendly pitches and being picked-up easily by foreign players due to the IPL exposure.
Miyan Ji – Accha (Ok). Then how the &^%# would you justify the fact that the tournament’s best bowler is a spinner. What about Imran Tahir? These guys are claiming wickets by the dozen and they are for the last time, spinners on sub-continental pitches!
Zeshan – But sir, how will India churn a world class in-form spinner in the middle of the tournament? We have Zaheer and Harbhajan who will come good, they just need the time.
Miyan Ji – Will you take four months after the World Cup is over to set the house straight. I’m telling you this new junior batch in the team doesn’t listen. The other day Yuvraj was complaining about Virat not giving his words a serious thought. Then these guys call Sachin grandpa! Discipline will do the trick, in fact you guys need a bit of discipline too.
Then there were allegations and counter allegations till the point where nothing was comprehensible.
Scene – A watering hole, Saket
Riddhi – Why isn’t Gautam scoring a ton? The top batsmen are not performing as they should, even against the minnows. And what’s with Yusuf and his dirty style? He should take tips from his brother Irfan.
Sveta – Ah gimme a break! Gauti will score when the time comes, worry about MSD, he’s not middling the ball as he should. And the reason why Yusuf rocks with the bat is because he isn’t scared of breaking a nail like his brother. By the way, my guy bought a new Audi and is taking it out for the match at Kotla. He’s even got free passes for me and my brother!
I would have remained and filled my ears with the ‘gyaan’ of the ladies but my roving heart simply had to move on. There’s more coming up from Mumbai soon!!
(The views expressed by the author are personal)