India plays fair, now for a lovely 2nd innings


By T S Sudhir

If it sounds an exaggeration, so be it. But to me, for the Trent Bridge crowd to boo the Indian team with chants of `cheats’ when they went to the pavilion for the tea break in the Nottingham Test, was a verbal version of Bodyline. This when one of their very own, Michael Vaseline Vaughan, had showed just a day before why the Brits are such cry babies. VVS Laxman with his receding hairline, would not have known that vaseline had such side advantages as well.

But first the run out controversy. By now everyone knows Ian Bell, sauntering back to the pavilion for tea (some cheeky Indians have called it Bell’s slutwalk) was given run out. You may argue that the ball was dead but then the third umpire did rule him out. The England captain and coach walked to the Indian dressing room at tea to request MSD to withdraw the appeal. `Mahatma’ Dhoni agreed, even though with that decision, he had kind of, also lost the match.

So what, his fans and admirers asked. Dhoni has won hearts, they argued. Fair enough. We may lose the number 1 ranking in Tests, but at least we will win the Fair play award. It can’t get more fair and lovely than that.

India has its back to the wall (actually it is back to the Wall, quite literally) in this Test but it is England, for who the bell tolls. Particularly after the uncouth manner in which Vaughan suggested that Laxman’s bat helped him escape from a faint edge. The decision was reviewed by England but rejected by the Hot-Spot technology.

“Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?” tweeted Vaughan. This after Stuart Broad had the temerity to walk up to Laxman and inspect the Hyderabadl’s bat. His mythological avatar would have chopped off Broad’s nose !

Sunil Gavaskar, India’s last word on all things cricket, pointed out that Vaughan had questioned Laxman’s integrity and that VVS should take the Brit to court. Realising the tweet was proving a touch too slippery, Vaughan let loose a barrage of tweets in his defence. Sample these :

“I think there has been a slight over reaction to Vaseline gate … Taken to court!!!?? Sense of humour required to many I think …”

“Just woke up to barrage of abuse from India … What are they going to be like when they lose this Test?”

Now that Vaughan is daring India to win, I would suggest Laxman lets his vaseline-free bat do the talking instead of his lawyer. And at the end of it, send Vaughan a bottle of vaseline, with compliments.

And as far as “sense of humour” is concerned, the next time an England team comes to India and complains of Delhi belly, the BCCI should send them DVDs of the Aamir Khan production to humour themselves in their hotel rooms. And tell them, S**T happens !

And for now, can we get back to Trent Bridge and win it or save it please? Can’t have the Boycotts of the world go Kaanv Kaanv about their team endlessly.

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About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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