Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why India v Sri Lanka = Star Wars

Truth be told, I wanted to post something about the whole spot-fixing business, but I found it was giving me a headache. And making me overtly cynical, which is the kind of stuff I want to avoid in this blog, so maybe I'll put in my two cents when I'm able to gather my thoughts better. Or, you know, not at all.

A friend and I were having a conversation the other day (yes, it's going to be one of those posts). She was bemoaning the sorry state of the Indian ODI team ("you know, with all this experimentation, I bet they'll have Rohit Sharma and Ramesh Powar open the bowling in the World Cup"), citing the recently played final of the Micromax Cup as an example.

I pointed out that with the number of times India and Sri Lanka played each other every year, the results were going to swing both ways equally. Including the 2008 Asia Cup, India and Sri Lanka have played in five tournament finals in the last two-or-so years - the '08 Asia Cup, which Sri Lanka won, then the Compaq Cup in 2009 (I bet you'd forgotten about that, huh), which India won, then the tri-series in Bangladesh in early '10 which Sri Lanka won, then the '10 Asia Cup final, which India won, and now, the Micromax tri-series final going to Sri Lanka, as per the well-established pattern.

After a few choice words delivered at my OCD (which, you know, it totally isn't), she said, "You know, you can say all you want about patterns - and don't you dare start some pop-sociology lecture, freak - but Sri Lanka had to lose."


"Because - because they're evil."

I merely raised my eyebrows.

"Have you seen Kumara Sangakkara recently? Those little eyes - that evil smirk?"

I wanted to protest - it wasn't that long ago that I was endorsing a "brown Mr. Darcy" description of the same man - but I could see her point. "You're right. Kind of like a James Bond villain."

"Come off it." She rolled her eyes. "He isn't that stupid."


"He was a nice guy once. Kind of like-" her eyes gleamed, "-Darth Vader."

"Clearly, then," I said, "someone has got to be Palpatine. You know, the eeevil pointless villain who turns Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader."

"That's easy," she scoffed. "Mahela Jayawardene."

At this point I was practically out of my seat. "That's perfect! And Dilshan is totally General Tarkin."

"Yes! Now you're getting into it."

I was. Looking back, it was probably sinfully cathartic, but also. We were uncovering a Great Truth, so. "What about the good guys? The Jedi?"

"Pick your random Indian players," she said.

Considering the Jedi don't really exist for any purpose other than "battling" the Sith and vice versa, that made sense. "First off? Let's get Han Solo out of the way. M S Dhoni."

After a lot more choicey words about my "mile-wide bias" (which it totally isn't), it was decided that the Han Solo casting would be decided upon later. "Sachin Tendulkar," she said, "is obviously Master Yoda. Right from the size, to the English, to the nine-hundred-years-old part."

"That makes Dhoni Obi-Wan Kenobi!" I crowed.

"You do realise that makes Suresh Raina Luke Skywalker, right?"

That stopped me short, I had to admit. But hey. I could live with that, you know? "Then Han Solo is Yuvraj Singh. You know, irresponsible friend of the hero who's really, really good if he puts his head into it?"

However, when I started speculating about Chewbacca, she pretty much warned me not to broach the subject with a ten-foot pole. Huh. (Look, Harbhajan Singh would make an awesome Wookiee).

Then there was only one thing left to be determined.

"Who's Princess Leia?" she asked.

It turned out I didn't really have to think too much about that. "Ishant Sharma," I said.

India v Sri Lanka: because the Force Wills it to Be.