Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Australia In India: Questions ahead of the BIG Series

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Why are we calling the India v Australia Series 'The BIG Series'?
Because...Sachin said so. There is no question that the Pope resigned so as not to miss a single ball of the BIG Series. But just because Sachin said it, and the Pope resigned, it does not really make it a BIG series. 

Once upon a time in Eden Gardens, a series between these two countries was a guaranteed blockbuster. Now its like a poor remake of poor remake of a cult movie. Its like if Roshan's Agneepath, which itself was a poor remake of Bacchan's Agneepath were to be remade with even more plastic characters...

Who will win the series?
That is tough to say...and mostly the question misses the point. The team with the fewest sustained injuries will think that they came out ahead. I mean we all know the idea is to survive the series so that IPL monies are not risked. 

IPL VI will start 34 seconds after the last Test in Delhi. Actually its a week after,

If I were to do an honest analysis, I think India will win because their players will probably go all out. The BCCI has ensured that Indian players; if injured while playing for India, will be paid their full IPL contract, were they to miss the IPL because of that injury.

There is no such incentive for Australia. At least not that has been made public.

Will India hit a new bottom in this series?
They may...but it would still not be the lowest low. That will come in 2015 in Australia. The yardstick by which India measure their low points, does not account for humiliations in Test cricket.

Who will be missed the most..Ponting, Dravid, VVS Laxman, Hussey?
This is a real easy one...Sachin Tendulkar

How many Australians were born after Sachin made his first first class 100?
6...Out of that 6, one, Ashton Agar was born after Mike Atherton first thought about Sachin's retirement

Will this series throw any new heroes?

The 2 countries obviously have a rich rivalry. Which Test really stands out among the many great contests between the 2?
The Tied Test, Of a distance. In that Test Match Ravi Shastri was not allowed to speak. 

What was the lowest point of the rivalry?
Sydney 2008. It was not funny.

What was the high point of the rivalry?
The 1977/78 India tour of Australia. That was a time when the ICC was fighting commercial interests. India played a second string Australian side. Came back from 2 games down to draw level and chasing 493 in the last innings of the deciding Test, came within 47 runs of achieving the impossible. 

What kind of pitches will work in India's favor?
If we were to get into Dhoni's mind and answer the question...

"Any pitch that turns 34 degrees from the 7th over of the second session on the 2nd day if India is batting first and 56 degrees from the 4th over of the first day if India is bowling first and where the bounce is at the level of the bails for balls bowled between 60-75 mph....would be a pitch where we can win"

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, expertly has created the perception that even at home he does not get the pitches he wants.

What will a series win mean for Australia?
Australia has already started talking up Sachin, his greatness, his divinity, etc....etc...which means they want to win. And in today's landscape, any team that wants to win in India, can. Whether it will mean anything in the scheme of things overall...I don't think so. A win in India probably doesn't count for much when the Ashes start

What will a series win mean for India?
For India, there are 3 winning senarios to consider. A series win where Sachin flops, a series win where Sachin's delivers 100s, and a series loss where Sachin scores 100s. What a series win will mean for India depends on what it means to Sachin Tendulkar.

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