I first read a hope from GreatBong well before the start of Twenty20 cricket:

If Dhoni can do a Tunbridge Wells, if Yuvraj steps into Mohinder Amarnath’s shoes, if Sreesanth can shake his ass like the generously endowed Roger Binny, if Rohit Sharma becomes a Yashpal Sharma, if Hayden leaves an outswinger that then swings in and takes off stump, if Gilchrist top-edges a pull to midwicket, if Pathan can regain his mo-jo and Sehwag can blast the ball past his beer gut then who knows—-those who have come to scoff may very well remain to pray.

Indian fans (the ones that actually care to follow the tournament) can take comfort in the fact that 24 years ago, another such inexperienced motley crew of bits-and-pieces no-hopers went to foreign shores sans any hype and expectations.

if GB wasn’t GB, he would have claimed to have known all things before hand due to his supreme powers and due to the placement of stars !

Not to forget, his post wasn’t just a wishful one , he had then went on to analyze what was missing and what was required very well.

He then followed it with another excellent post after India had reached certain stage:

And one of the reasons for these small miracles has been, no doubt, what I had referred to as the only positive for Dhoni’s men—-they had gone to South Africa unheralded, with no expectations and no accompanying hoopla. This was in sharp contrast to the team that went to West Indies earlier this year amidst the “Cup jeetke lao” and the “Blue Billion” corporate-fuelled hype and got hopelessly eliminated in the first round. While Dravid’s men played like zombies with the weight of expectations of the entire country weighing on their shoulders, looking increasingly forlorn, disconsolate and on the edge after each setback , the new Team India, no doubt because nothing was expected from them, has been free-spirited, uncluttered and fearless even when faced with enemy ships that have outsized and outgunned them.

in the glories of the last few days of cricket—-Yuvraj Singh with supreme arrogance flicking an express delivery from Lee for a 119 meter six, Rohit Sharma running out Kemp with an amazing diving throw, Kartik’s airborne catch to get rid of Smith, Stuart Broad’s red embarrassed “teenager with his first dirty magazine” expression as Yuvraj gets stuck into him, Sreesanth slapping the pitch with his hands like Hannibal Lecter in front of a fresh corpse as Hayden’s stumps lie in disarray and Dhoni’s simple nod of affirmation to Harbhajan after Bhajji rattles Symond’s Michael Clarke’s timber.

It has really been the most fun one can have with their clothes on.

And after the win again, he wrote an outstanding post:

Mr Dhoni we understand. It is not easy wicket keeping, strategizing, blasting deliveries to all corners of the park, praying that Joginder Sharma does not get hit for a six , hoping that Sreesanth does not slice a batsman with a pocket knife, while all the time carrying on your shoulders the weight of a million expectations.

See the smiling Pathan brothers there—-one of whom strangled your team’s progress in the middle overs and the other led a rousing charge on your opening bowler. Tell you what, they also belong to the “Muslims of the world” and yet are deliriously happy at your defeat . Why wouldn’t they be ? They caused it.

And whole of other things he has said over there ( Dear Flintoff, Dear Aussies, Dear Lankans,Kiwis and South Aftricans) is delightful to read !

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Sidin’s open letter to Flintoff was another delight :

nce again proved without doubt that England should restrict itself to inventing games but not actually expect to win any of them. This is a small selection of such sports and games for your perusal:

– Football
– Cricket
– Tennis
– Hockey
– Rugby
– Badminton
– Anything that involves running (except running industry to ground), throwing (except throwing up outside pub) and jumping (except jumping on head of supporter of rival football team).

I know some Singhs who have two washing machines at home: one for washing clothes and the other for making Lassi.

Mr. Sidhu once had a minor tiff with another individual in a traffic-related situation. Now I am aware that Englishmen also get into traffic tiffs and then resolve it by hurling abuse at each other or a little pushing and shoving.

Mr. Sidhu, after due thought and introspection, killed the other man. Kaput. Khallas. Phineesh.

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Gaurav feels bowlers will love Twenty20

Which is why, at the end of 2 weeks of cricket of quality and thrill levels not seen in the last 4 ODI world cups, it was the bowlers who made the difference. It was a bowler who got the man of the match in the final. It was a bowler (though the wrong bowler) who won the player of the series. Go through every match (except for, possibe the SA-WI run-fest) and it was bowling that tilted the scales.

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Amit Varma thought it through :

Speaking of new stars, a big reason why this World Cup was so important for us was that it gave us a snapshot of the future. The decision by the Dravid-Tendulkar-Ganguly trio to withdraw from the tournament was a magnificent one for Indian cricket, as it gave us a chance to see what a young Indian team, without the baggage of the past, would look like. MS Dhoni’s team looked united, confident, devoid of politics and happy together.

That does not mean that we should discard the older players, for we need them in the season ahead, and should persist with them as long as they merit their place. But it does invalidate the argument that we should stick with our legends because the newcomers aren’t good enough. This tournament showed that we have eager, hungry young players waiting their turn, and any seniors who underperform should be shown the door—respectfully, but without regret.

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Finally my few words about it. I saw some part of semis and nothing much of earlier matches (Sleep always dominated!). I followed the results keenly though.

I was stuck with work in office when all other cricket enthusiasts were glued to the TV for the finals. While coming by road, the road was empty and free flowing like no other day. Very frequently there were many groups in front of a showrooms which put the screen for the passing by crowd to watch There were loud cheers – for both dropping a catch and for taking a wicket – so it was very confusing for me as to which side the match was tilting. The cab driver got some updates on phone and by which I could guess it was a seesaw match. I came home just after it finished.

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The fact is the trio-Dravid,Sachin,Ganguly- haven’t won the world cup for India despite having a strong team, despite being talented. The fact is the young team did it. But leave it at that. The conclusion based on these two facts can NOT be: the seniour players caused the team to loose or that their re-entry is not called for.

I am one of those few fellows, who despite had had disappointment over the way some players failed over and again, who would have been even more happier if the trio were part of the WorldCup winning team. I do not think their presence would have failed the team in any way. This Ponting talk of – it is unfortunate the winning team members should make way for seniours is CRAP. Now the failure would be tagged to the presence of seniours and the victory would be tagged to the world cup winning team’s “momentum”. Now I feel Rahul’s decision’s timing was very right, much before Dhoni’s team won the cup – if he had taken later/or if he had not resigned he would have had to face several other criticisms !

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Despite the takl of “Chak De” movie reforming the game for the masses and media, after the Asia Cup win, not many covered it in bold. And this was to be highlighted and protested against at that very time. Now that saying “You are giving them and not giving us” sounds sad. Hope the media, govt and other companies (yesterday ToI carried an ad by Oil PSUs congratulating the heroes for winning the Asia Cup – is akin to giving a chocolate to a crying baby) will not repeat such bias in the future. I don’t accept that Asia Cup was smaller than cricket world cup – Asia Cup too had 11 playing teams and India did superlatively well – remaining unbeaten, defeated tough teams and setting few records.

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Last few weeks Indian sports is doing better in almost all outings – billiards, chess,cricket, hockey, tennis. Here is a wishing and hope that the dream run continues.