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Monday, January 21, 2008

BROADLY CASTING 

The tenuous and unexplained connection between my having to turn to the radio whenever I need an Indian win versus the Aussies continued this week. The first time was a decade ago at college when a Nayan Mongia century inspired India to an innings win at Delhi, a memorable one at Adelaide in 2004 was spent listening into a small radio in a locked cabin at the factory when Rahul Dravid huffed and puffed and finally carried his team over the finish line and the most recent when I arrived h. and p. at my parents’ place only to realize that we were powerless in the wake of Governmental diktats. Fortuitously the WorldSpace station Play was on hand to do the dirty and although the commentators were faintly reminiscent more of beer buddies around a campfire—no mention of score, batsman and bowler for extended periods and prolonged gaiety amidst a Mitchell Johnson onslaught, the medium did deliver the live news of a much-awaited Indian victory.

Of course the jingoists will choose to disregard the umpiring bloopers against the Ugly Aussies as well as the fact that Hayden replaced by a tyro would have helped matters no end. Indeed the 2004 series was in the shadow of the absent McGrath and Warne, and even the turning point of the 2005 Ashes loss was when the lanky NSW-man went missing for a Test. Still, nice to win….

Which brings us to the near escape that the Fed had against a bespectacled Janko Tipsarevic whose jerky and powerful game wrestle and conquer HRH’s inadequacies and diffidence till the tide turned, predictably. One of the disadvantages of watching a Fed match is that one always feels frustrated and underwhelmed at almost every stage, knowing the lofty heights his game can achieve and sustain.
The players of the tournament have been Tsonga ( a Md Ali look-alike ? ), Serena and Maria Sharapova and hope the cream soldiers on—don’t want the likes of a Rainer Schuttler, Thomas Johansson, Arnaud Clement or Petr Korda advance to the finals and help folks like Agassi restore a battered Grand Slam record !!. Hey and what’s with the weight, Nicole Vaidisova ??


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