Word of the Week #141:

Purist

Ah, Test cricket… There is just a beauty to it that the other formats lack.

Of course, the Indian team playing well overseas makes it all the more special, regardless the result.

Now, while India may have beaten Australia in Adelaide, can we really say that we played well? Sure, the pace bowlers have been impressive and Ashwin did exactly what was required of him, as did most of the batting line-up, at least sporadically.

The victory was still too narrow, in my opinion, especially against this severely depleted Aussie squad.

The good news is that there is one obvious aspect where we could see significant improvement. Take a look at this video, and see if you can notice it.

This is what happens when your top order is more accustomed to T20 than Test cricket. People get out flashing outside the off-stump. Repeatedly.

Back in my day, temperament and shot-selection actually meant something. We didn’t give our wickets away. The opponent had to pry them out of our sticky, sweaty hands.

But the kids these days, I tell you… Sigh…

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Word of the Week #104:

Denounce

Ever since I can remember, I have always heard how cricket was supposed to be a gentlemen’s game. Playing the sport for all of my childhood, the concept of sportsmanship had been etched deep into my mind.

It is partly because of these memories that the events of this week about the details of the state of the sport, and the attitudes of those who practise and govern it, have left me quite disheartened.

Now, of course, I am not talking about the allegations of corruption surrounding DDCA. No, today, we talk about the rot at the very top.

Today, we talk about what is increasingly being referred to as the Sandpaper Gate.

Sure, enough has been said about the players who were caught in the act, and were thus forced to confess. But what about the men sitting high up in the governing council, who thought a one-match ban would suffice for the mastermind, while the actual culprit gets away with little more than a slap on the knuckles?

To put this in perspective, back in 2008, when Australia was visiting India, Gautam Gambhir received a one-match ban for seemingly elbowing a Shane Watson who was quite obviously impeding the batsman’s natural running motion and was clearly in the wrong. You cannot jump in the path of a moving vehicle and then blame your injuries on the driver, can you? Well, apparently you can.

This was not an isolated instance, of course. Many players from the subcontinent have faced punishments disproportionate to their infractions, while Australian and English players seem to get away conveniently.

I wonder what the reason might be…