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WC2003 thoughts

World Cup is getting to half-way stage. So far, it has been pretty exciting.

World Cup is just about to enter SuperSix stage. I've been watching India's games (that's all we get in India on DoorDarshan, our government's TV channel) and highlights of some other matches.

DoorDarshan is as bad as it ever was. Cricket is a huge business in India and “CruelDarshan” manages to squeeze in as many advertisements as possible.

India's matches

I saw India's matches against England and Pakistan. Against England, I was especially happy to watch our seamers' bowling with some heart and brain. I was happy to see India win, though it was against England - the current English team is simply not a talented one. They have good attitude - especially Vaughn and Flintoff - but, that can get you only so much ahead.

I was very anxious to watch India play Pakistan, because I've not seen Pakistan players in action for almost 3 years now. In my opinion, watching Waqar and Wasim bowl in tandem is one of the most exciting sights in cricket, even now. Granted, they are not fast anymore and are aging. They might not take wickets like Glen McGrath. But for the sheer excitement, they are still the best. They are unpredictable and may be that is the reason why I prefer watching them bowl rather than watch Australia's bowling which is as exciting as watching a road-roller rolling in tar (it is quite effective though:-)).

In the end, it was purely Sachin Tendulkar's brilliance that made a difference. He made it look like he was playing in a different match, a different pitch than other 21 players.

I wonder what will happen to Pakistan cricket when Waqar and Wasim retires. May be they need to show recordings of how W&W bowled against England in England in early 1990's. That would be a master class in swing and seam bowling.

Looking at Shoaib Akhtar's bowling on TV replays, I now think that his bowling arm indeed straightens up. IMO, that is illegal.

Other matches

Andy Bichel played very well against England. Though it was a match winning performance, I think it was Michael Bevan (again) who made sure Australia didn't loose the match.

Stephen Fleming's century against South Africa was the best knock in this tournament till Sachin decided to decimate Pakistani bowling. Now, the best knocks in this competition are Sachin's 98 against Pakistan, Fleming's century against SA and Brian Lara's century against SA.

South Africa had been a disappointment. I believe they need to be a bit more agile rather than always playing to a script. Every time they lost, they got undone by individual brilliance (Lara, Fleming, Atappattu) which they probably didn't plan for.


I've no idea who will win! My feeling is that Australia, India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka will get to semi-finals - I don't know whether it is logically possible, based on the rules and grouping. Sri Lanka might have the best chance to beat Australia. Indian's might also be upto the task, but our team is so unpredictable that Heisenberg would've had to revise his uncertainity principle.

If Sachin keeps playing the way he does now, if India reaches Finals, he might score 1000 runs in this cup.

McGrath might grab most wickets in this tournament. For Aussies to win this tournament, the key is in how long Adam Gilchrist and Michael Bevan bats.

  1. Hi Babu,

    Reading your weblog I assumed you were in Virginia. So it was a surprise to hear you talk about Doordarshan.

    Posted by: Shakeel on March 4, 2003 12:06 PM
  2. I'm in Virginia. But, I was in India on vacation from 02/24 to 03/15.

    Posted by: Babu on March 19, 2003 06:11 PM