Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ipl.. senior citizens in a young (?) game !

I am really surprised at the surprise shown by all the walking Aristotles on the super success of senior citizens at the ongoing ipl season down south…. Whether it is the ndtv inhouse expert ajay jadeja, or the just rejected aakash chopra , or some vague goras broadcasting live, invariably they are all surprised by how, a format suitable for youngsters has success stories of only over 35 year olds…and so on and so forth .
Come on guys, u don’t need to be a PhD in postmodernism to realize how your basic understanding of the T20 format is all awry. It’s a fast game, agreed, but the pace sometimes is just a hyper reality created by some screaming bimbettes ,skimpily clad cheerleaders , channel v veejays masquerading as cricket experts and of course an over enthusiastic crowd, which has been pushed in the stadium or in front of their TV sets by either peer pressures or by the sheer wretchedness of their lifeless existence.
Real Cricket, is no doubt a gigantic battle. It is played for five days non stop, at times in scorching heat ,week after week till the desire of the players, the spectators and the money making boards is quenched, which in all practicality is never. Therefore to succeed at the very high level here requires huge amounts of fitness, skill, talent, ability, passion and patience …and above all it requires youth.
But 20 -20 ?…a format in which one can miss the entire match if one gets stuck in a traffic jam surely does not impose so many conditions on the player. A bowler, for instance is expected to ball for only 4 overs maximum, which comes to a sum total of 24 deliveries, and surely the Mcgraths, and the Shane Warnes are fit enough for that. A good batsman is the one that can clear the ropes multiple times, while standing on his crease, and who is better in this department than the Haydens and the Gilchrists of the world. The success of the batsman is not determined here by their ability to take quick singles and converting the ones into twos and twos into threes while looking for the odd boundaries... the odd boundaries are the only real requirements. Young legs for taking quick singles is just the icing on the cake, and not the cake itself .Who would know that better than “youngsters” like Mohd kaif and Sanjay Bangar who have already found themselves on the flight back home.
Maybe fielding is one area where the young legs do make a difference, but here too the ability to not drop high catches really differentiates the winners from the vanquished and the senior players with their vast experience behind them invariably never fail in this area, while the new nervous bacchhas sometimes make a mess of it.
And how can one forget that a format so short, requires spot on, lightning quick decision making by the skipper consistently and this can come handy if you have a vast treasure of cricket experience behind you and a certain Mr Shane Warne is a living example of that.
I find it really surprising therefore when experts say that this is a format not suitable for the not so young cricketers. Maybe, in a predominately youth driven society the right to ogle at the sexy cheerleaders is an exclusive of twenty year olds. I see no other valid reason for that.
As I am about to post it, I have the image of a vibrant Ravi Shastri on my flat screen, impeccably dressed in his Saville Row or Armani speaking in his deep baritone.. “can you believe it, Matthew Hayden, all of 38 is holding the orange cap still .
Yes Ravi I do.

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