Monday, October 8, 2012

West Indies Win Gangnam Style

By the time the T20 final between West Indies and Sri Lanka ended and the mad celebrations took place on the field, ironically besides #WIchamps another word  became the trending topic #Gangnam.

Never before in the world of cricket and I doubt any sports, did the post match celebrations exubed so much inhibited entertainment. To some the post match celebrations were more entertaining then the match itself thanks to the extempore dacing performance of WI team esp one Mr Chris Gyale, who stuck to his words and danced like a Naked baby in a china shop - Infact his Gangnam imitation was by far his best performance, in the entire match.

The Jamboree witnessed at Comombo yesterday, even left the home crowd awestuck, and to some the free Gangnam show, by the relieved West Indies team, kind of abated the disappointment of loosing badly. For a neutral, the game and the ending, could not have been better. The match had all the masala, deservingly fitting for a T20 finale. The match started with the aggressive bowling and fielding by the home team, ebbed by the full home crowd. Gayle, who tweeted a day before that WI would win convinsingly, failed to perform and ironically batted too slow to ultimately perish to the guile of Mendis. Suddenly Windies lost quick wickets and were precariously places at 48-4 in 12 overs. At that moment guile was winning over strength, hands down.

But 1 Mr Samuels, had other plans. He showed his brutual strength and exploded it against the world`s best T20 bowler, slinga the malinga . In the process he hit two of the most towering sixes of the tournament and inflicted the worst bowling performance on a champion bowler like Malinga. The total though was not too big and Sri Lanka had a guile of Mahela and Sanga to chase it down.

But the day belong to West Indies and it was in destiny for them to win, as everything fell in place and in the end they crused to victory. Whatever followed is something a cricket fan won't forget too soon. In the end the Strength of West Indies ruled, which was further vindicated (juxtaposed) by Gayle`s one hand escoteric push ups.

As far as  Indian cricket fan is concerned, he could not have asked for more, but only wished secretly that the Gangnam style existed a year early.

PS- Would have been some sight to see men in blue dancing to the Gangnam style at Wankhede



Saturday, October 6, 2012

T20 Final- Guile Vs Strength

My last blog entry on cricket was a long time back. But the day is still etched in my memories, as India did the unthinkable and won the ICC world Cup 2011.

Almost a year later, I am penning my thoughts on another ICC world cup, albeit in a shorter version - The T20 world cup in Sri Lanka. Although I am not as excited as I was last year, when India were in the finals, and eventaully won, but I am still happy to see two teams, who I equally want to win the elucive cup.

West Indies after a long time, were touted to be one of the favourites to win the  tournament. With some luck and on the weight of some power hitters they have sneaked into the finals and proved all those wrong, who were rediculing the ratings when the tournament started. In cricket analytics, we often compare the experience of one team with another, by either calculating the number of matches played by each player of the team or the number of runs scored. More often than not, India used to win such comparisons hands down, esp during the days of Ganguly`s & Dravid`s and Tendulkar`s. For a format like T20, the most important aspect for such a comparison could BS- Brutual Strength. And who would win in such camparisons - West Indies, hands down.!!!. A glance over the shoulders would be enough to scare you, with likes of  Gayle`s, Samuel`s, Sammy`s, Russel`s & Pollard`s, no team stand close the beating them, atleast in the BS deparment. They are just humangous!  That for me is one reason why WI were piped to the winners. Strength is important in T20 and Gayle and his army is proving that.

Sri Lanka on the other side is a team who should be talked about the most esp in management schools case studies. If you need to teach somebody on how to never give up, just utter the word Sri Lankan cricket. After winning the 96 world cup in India, cricket in Sri Lanka changed. More and more youngsters got into the game, and cricket became the no1 sport for the island nation. But success of 96 could not be replicaed and after it has been the same story: So far, yet so near. In 2007 WC final they lost to Australia and in 2009 T20 WC final they lost to Pakistan. This year, they too were touted as favourites, as in any tournament a home team is, and so far they lived up to their expectations. The only thing to see is whether they would be able to break the jinx of loosing WC finals.

So all in all I am so happy to see both the teams in the final and for me the match is between the guile of the lankans and the brutal strength of WI. For if WI win the WC, it would be like a lifeline for a nation who ruled the game till the late 90`s with mercurial players like Sir Garfield Sobers, Everton Weekes, Gorand Greenidge, Clive Lyod, Malcom Marshall, Desmond Haynes, Vivan Richards but went into oblivian post the early 90`s with the rise of the Aussies. a win tomorrow, will truly lift the nation and send them into delirum. It could be a new dawn for a cricket crazy nation, a start of a new era, and return of days when players used to dread to play against the West Indies.

On the other hand, a win for Sril Lanka would help them come out of the jinx of loosing in the finals (earlier held by India) and would send the cricket crazy country into an avalanche of joy which was last witnessed 16 years back. Moreover, it will send the people of the Island Nation dancing in the aisle (which the cheer girls could not do for now, apologies for being sexiest).

So come tomorrow, history will be made as there would be a new T20 champion. If SL wins it would be for the first time a home team will win theT20 world cup and if West Indies win, it would be their first major WC victory after the win in 1979 WC. A longest draught ever by any previous WC winning nation.

Let the fireworks begin...!

PS- Personally I want the West Indies to Win:-)