Thursday, November 22, 2007

First look: Captain Kumble

today was a day when the pakistani batsman chose to do newly made captain kumble a big favour by deciding to entertain everyone around by getting out for what seemed like the fun of it. maybe they were just too bored of playing on this still, cold, smoggy delhi winter day and thought it fit to instead play games with silliness.

india's newly appointed skipper, anil 'very old' kumble will be praying for more such days in his time at the helm of affairs. with a team that very much resembles dad's army, he'll need them all when he comes up against the intimidating force of australia.

perfect as it might have looked, tpr is sadder than a soft-boiled cynic to report that anil kumble's innings as captain promises to be just like his one and only test century. gritty, jumpy, exciting, boring, pedestrian, inspired, earnest, a lot less than brilliant. and contradictary.

tpr is graciously inclined to agree with the pundits' view that a player's captaincy generally tends to mirror the manner in which he plys his primary skill - batting or bowling. (which might explain why jonty 'fielder' rhodes never became captain.) though, in mike brearely's case, his primary skill must have been captaincy. for a long time, sourav's primary skill, too, seemed to be captaining 'his' team.

speaking on about captain kumble, tpr would now like to play turncoat and dispense to all of india's oppenents a piece of information fresher than yesterday's news. kumble's captaincy will be like his skills - 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration. opponents will lose the plot if they attempt to over-rate and over-analyse him. furthermore, in the true traditions of unasked for advice, we will profess to kumble and his think tank this one piece of gyan. be advised that the aussies will come at you a lot harder. much, much harder than this pakistani team that is turning out to be even softer than their captain's smile. nothing this lot of most-oftenly uninspired pakistanis can throw at you will prepare you for what the mighty australians have in their mentally-disintegrating store for you.

as my link buddy, dililp 'the doosra' premchandran wrote, the only way to, compete with the aussies is to first play out of your own skin and play as a team. to which we'd like to add, definitely more so, when you are led by a captain who's not the best man for the job. only the perfect man under the circumstances.

in passing, tpr has this to say about the last few captaincies. if sourav's was all to human to sometimes superhuman and dravid's captaincy was a case of a superhuman proving to be all too human. kumble's turn at the job, tpr predicts, will be an under-appreciated one.

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