Thursday, April 23, 2009

Agonising just got a new name

Yep, it has.

It's called "being a CSK fan".

As I start this post, CSK are 179/9, 11 runs to get off the last 2 balls, tailenders getting themselves run-out all over the place to get Morkel on strike.

Likely we're about to lose by 10 runs or less. Figures that the only two close matches in this year's tournament so far involve CSK. I'd like to spin some spiel about how "CSK always go down fighting", but we all know that's not the truth.

Ah, look, there's the result: CSK lose by 9 runs. Great.

There seems to be a central theme to the team's performance over the two seasons of the IPL. One, everything we do at the death sucks. Our bowling, our batting, our fielding. Today we got the most awesome start to the chase we could dare to ask for, with Hayden going bonkers at the likes of Nannes, Salvi and Nehra. Parthiv was giving him fantastic support, and after him Raina got smoothly into his groove as well. 40-odd runs to get off the last 5 overs. Piece of cake.

We score barely 30-odd runs in the last 5, losing 6 wickets, after going at more than 10 in the first 15, losing 3.

It happened quite a bit in last years' edition, too (with a few notable exceptions). This time, too, that Flintoff over that conceded 22 runs. Morkel's series of gaffes (that extended to his batting, too, but I'll get to that later). Muralitharan proving to be expensive as well. Gony feeding Dilshan boundaries. Ha ha, IRONY that Balaji turned out to be our best bowler today.

Another was how we completely failed to latch onto the big moments. Yeah, you know the ones. The match-turning kind. Like Suresh Raina dropping Yusuf Pathan (who was then only in single-digit figures) in the final last year, Morkel dropping AB today, or Flintoff bowling that one rubbish over in the end that goes for way too many runs than it should. Hayden dropping Tendulkar. Gony being rubbish on the field.

It's okay if your team is trampled upon by the opposition, I can toss my head back and belly-laugh it out of my system. Like the time RR had Sohail Tanvir put us through the meat-shredder the first time CSK played them last year. I could only laugh and laugh and laugh and think "it sucks to be them right now, huh."

Except most times CSK lose like this and I'm left tearing my hair out.

AB deVilliers has won the man-of-the-match, I think.

No fair. The man-of-the-match award should go to Mr. Morkel. He was the one who won it for the Daredevils after all.

Salvi to Morkel, no run, short, sitting up for the pull, but Morkel mistimes, and plays it straight to midwicket. Dot Ball. That's big

Salvi to Morkel, 1 run, another short delivery, Morkel is a touch late into the pull, and only just manages to clear AB at midwicket

Vettori to Morkel, 1 leg bye, lovely bowling again, Morkel looks to make room, Vettori follows with an arm-ball, getting just a leg-bye
Vettori to Gony, SIX, and Gony turns it around, Vettori had bowled so far this game, with this flighted delivery is clubbed from down on a knee, this could well be eight over midwicket boundary

Nannes to Joginder Sharma, 2 runs, Joginder makes room, lofts it over extra cover, but they stroll only for two
Nannes to Joginder Sharma, 2 runs, just short of a length, Joginder slaps it to wide of long-on, and they take two again. Surprising? Wouldn't they want Morkel on strike?
No, Mr. Commentator, they wouldn't.
I'm sorry if I'm being unfair to Morkel - it's possible that he just had a really crappy day - but I'm deeply frustrated with the Men in Startlingly Bright Yellow right now. Chokers, that's what they are. First-rate Chokers.
Dhoni's saying that he hoped his bowlers were paying attention to the way Delhi bowled at the death. Yeah, Freddie, that one was especially for you. Considering you've been quite the Magnanimous One with your bowling at the death, in both the matches that we've lost so far.
Damn it all. Chennai's gonna end up choking its way to the bottom of the table. No use in claiming that we lose decently.
Then they can all come back to their chicken biryanis and thayirsaadams and Padmashrees and watch Mumbai play Delhi in the final on a big flatscreen TV.

It's all a conspiracy, yessir, it is

Chennai is playing Delhi in the IPL.

Forced to come home by illness, I'm sitting here watching Chennai shit all over their dreams of winning.

I'm watching AB deVilliers hit a CENTURY. I'm watching Flintoff getting carted around for 22 runs in the penultimate over. I'm watching Dhoni getting ready to silently combust.

More than anything, I'm sitting here watching Albie Morkel lose us the game.

Sample this:

Gony to de Villiers, 1 run, and AB enjoys the good luck for longer, lofted straight to Morkel at long-on boundary, and Morkel drops an absolute sitter

And then:

Morkel to de Villiers, FOUR, and Morkel is being tormented more by his compatriot. He bowls a fulltoss, and smacked over midwicket. AB is cashing in remorselessly
Morkel to de Villiers, SIX, He is a sucker for punishemnt, is Morkel, another fulltoss, AB goes midwicket again, but higher, and for a six. is he looking at 200?

What's going on?

And then earlier, Mr. Morkel was spouting this shit about how the players' respective boards had instructed them not to divulge too many secrets to their ipl teammates prior to the T20 WC.

Mr. Morkel, I usually think you are seventy five and a quarter different kinds of awesome, but if your only purpose today was to come and give your South African teammate some batting practice, you might as well have opted out of this gig.

Yeah, you SUCK, Mr. Morkel.

I'm just going to take my medicine and go to sleep and not watch Chennai lose.

Which they undoubtedly deserve to.

AB deVilliers. Seriously, guys? SERIOUSLY?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And because I couldn't resist

Yeah, I know I did the Almost-Drama-Queen with the "farewell"s in the previous post, but I couldn't resist slipping this in before taking the deadly plunge into my books:

Ha ha ha. I mean, ha ha ha. This pic made me blush pretty damn hard.
I'm still trying to recover from the vertigo.
Also also? Chennai Super Kings are SO gonna win this year. Because I couldn't resist a bit of last minute propaganda.
(just don't let Robin anywhere near MS)
(or, you know, DO) :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Randomness and a brief farewell

So, okay, I'm (more than) a little late here, but a hearty congratulations to the Indian team for their series win in New Zealand. Seriously. Hearty. With claps on the back and all that shit because they? They proved me totally, utterly and completely wrong. So, okay, maybe I wasn't keeping track of NZ much to realise that they are the 8th ranked team in the world, with a batting order that's non-existent unless Ryder and Taylor are batting together, and the less said about their bowling the better, and that most tracks in NZ are good enough to take my first driving lesson on, but still - you know? First time in 40 years. That's gotta count for something, some champagne and a bit sprayed around.

This is going to be my last post in a while, as final exams are fast approaching and I most likely will not have much time for cricket, leave alone blogging - at least until some time late June. Which of course means I'll be missing the bulk of the IPL, as well as the Twenty20 World Cup (which, by the way, is spread over the exact two weeks as my final exams, screw you, Fate), but hey. ... Um.

Let's try that again.

- but hey. Er.

No good. Can't see the bright side to this.


... Yeah.

A few (really) random thoughts before I leave:

1. About the Infamous Declaration of Doom in the last Test against New Zealand. I remember being a little wary that last day, cautiously scrounging around the web for opinion, but criticism took a surprising amount of time to build up. Once it did start, though, everybody seemed to rush in to get their finger in the pie. It reminded me of typical classroom politics - furitive looks exchanged in a death silence as nobody is brave enough to voice an opinion everybody wants to, and when somebody does take the initiative, the roof is brought down by the chorus that follows. As for me, I honestly did not have any problem with the declaration, even bringing the weather in as a factor. It seemed to me like an ideal score to declare at - put the match well and comprehensively out of NZ's reach, make sure the series win is secure, then really go for it. I mean, even with the weather, India still got to bowl at NZ for a day and a bit, and if it were not for the horrendous catching, could've easily bowled them out, and the criticism would not have been even a quarter of what it is now. More than the timing of the declaration it was the attitude of the Indians that irritated me. That final session on the 4th day, where it seemed like they were just fooling around? I threw the remote at the TV and stomped away cursing this team to an eternity spent at No. 3. Because? With this kind of fielding and attitude, that's how far I see them going.

2. Australia lost the ODI series to SA, and while I'm happy about that - obviously - it totally ruined for me all the cool comments that could be made about this tour being a clean photographic negative of the Saffers' tour of Australia earlier this year. I was kinda liking the symmetry.

3. Callum Ferguson is cute.

4. Wayne Parnell. Out of all the people in the Under-19 WC last year, this dude impressed me the most, and I knew it was only a matter of time before he was winning matches for the national team as well.

5. SuperSport commentary kind of sucks.

6. SETMax sucks even more. Not really looking forward to the TV coverage of the IPL this year.

7. The Mumbai Indians are looking scary good for the IPL this year. My money's on them to win it this time 'round.

8. Also, this? Ha ha ha, good one. Overboard with the sarcasm, perhaps. Like, really overboard.

9. I was disappointed - and admittedly, still am - when the IPL was forced to South Africa, but at least now I have one reason to feel happy that the boys ain't playing here: the weather here, it be MURDEROUS. At least in Chennai, it is. Every freakin summer it gets worse. I can't imagine anybody willingly staying out there for more than an hour at a time even with all the Gatorade in the world. Unless, you know, they have air-conditioners built into their uniforms or some such shit. I remember my most abiding memory from the Afro-Asia Cup 2007 (aside from Dhoni's century of Awesome and his even awesomer 200+ partnership with Jayawardene in one of the games) where they played two consecutive ODIs in Chennai in frickin' June was an overwhelming sympathy for the players as I sweated it out watching them sweat in the MAC and much sweating was had by all. I love you, Chennai, I really do, but I really kind of hate the weather.

See you in a couple of months, then. Farewell!