Monday, December 10, 2007

Let's wrap

since we're making grand plans to go on a holiday longer than anything a workaholic like us might make the time to even consider, we thought it best to share some of our parting thoughts on the year 2007 that was for indian cricket.

in an unfair world, the year would belong only to sourav. but since that would mean an unacceptably short review for the powers-that-be who pay us our peanuts for monkeying around in the hallowed precincts of this rag, we're going to have to be a lot fairer and take stock of all the people who bothered to make their mark in 2007 - mostly for the right reasons.

towards the end of 2006, all eyes in indian cricket - and, to an extent, even australian - were on one man. eyes that were trying to reconcile with a doubting mind harbouring sobering thoughts on whether the ageing body of this man could still call upon the skills required to keep pace with his never-say-die spirit. one year later, that man has provided an answer more conclusive than any of us thought he was anymore capable of delivering. with almost 950 runs at an average of over 60 runs per innings, sourav ganguly is our mega-star for 2007. (and no, we will not qualify it with uncharitable comments on the dubious quality of some of the opposition bowling attacks he made these runs against.)

in other people who make it to this much-anticipated and widely dissected annual, global and world famous news bulletin: we have wasim jaffer who has taken huge strides in his journey towards cementing a place at the top of a star-studded batting order in which nobody had the moxie to step forward and do the most difficult job of opening the innings with him. which is an all-important reason our next star of the year 2007 is the little dinesh karthik.

living in a country of a billion people who stoically tolerate an acute paucity of opening batsmen, fast bowlers and time for those who haven't been touched by the much-ballyhooed 9% rate of growth in gdp, it behooves us to make a little space for...a man who is so hungry to be in the indian team that he is willing to do much of the dirty work that far more established players have blithely turned their backs on. for his can-do spirit and not-so-inconsiderable skills as a batsman - that were on display for the most part of 2007 - we rate dinesh karthik as an 'outperformer'.

the other players whose stocks have risen through 2007 would be the 'almost very very special' laxman, gautam 'very intense' gambhir, irfan 'comeback' pathan, zahir 'comeback' khan, robin 'the mouth' uthappa, rohit 'the kid' sharma, rudra 'dreamboat' pratap singh and the devsaab of indian cricket, sachin 'evergreen' tendulkar. very honourable mention: anil 'tireless' kumble for bailing his country out of a tight spot and taking on the poisoned chalice of the indian test captaincy.

taking...erm, stock of the picks we have put together so far, we're wondering who we might have left out? immediately after doing so, it dawns on us that we haven't done what we're best unknown for: taking the laggards to the cleaners. well, there's a very good reason for it. seeing that we're so happy with the way things have panned out for us the past year, we didn't want to leave 2007 with any kind of negative bias. and so, we won't.

there's one or two things though we will say before taking the high road out of these parts. ms 'nothing to do with bill gates' dhoni and yuvraj 'my father's dreams' singh were, for us, the two people who kept the established 'stars' on their toes, the young guns in high spirits and the demanding advertisers coming back for more. without them the indian cricket circus of 2006-07 might only have been remembered for the world cup debacle, the utterly shambolic, depressing, tragicomic shenanigans of the bcci and a certain greg chappell, mbe, vec (very emotional coach). that said, dear unreaders, we're off.

ps: you may violently disagree with all or many of these carefully calibrated assessments we've taken little trouble to cobble together for your read. but for that you'll have to read, at least, some of our drivel. good luck. (you'll need it.)

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