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Posts Tagged ‘Freddie Flintoff’

Finally, some cricket that I can sink my teeth into. After months and months of tolerating the Twenty 20 nonsense and a few jarringly bad ODI matches, I got a chance to watch the ongoing 2009 Ashes series. I must say, so far it has been a real treat. On Day One, when Freddie Flintoff bowled four mean bouncers at Simon Katich and mouthed a stern warning to him, I flipped my middle-finger in front of the television (danger is my last name, courage is the middle one) at the gargantuan fast bowler, sneered, wiped imaginary saliva at the corner of my lips and made a mental note – ‘game fucking on’. The fifth ball was another rising meteor threatening to explode on the batsman’s face and Katich, with footwork that could have saved S Ramesh’s career, lifted his bat, followed the bumper and patted it down.

Now, the average Twenty 20 fan would have preferred if the batsman had stepped down the pitch, turned the face of the bat and lifted it over the wicketkeeper’s head towards the cheerleaders’ section for a DLF maxipad? This however is Test cricket. More importantly, the Ashes. The pleasure index is not directly proportional to the distance that the bowl travels or the sheer amount of bullshit conversations it generates. What matters the most here is a test of skill, patience and confidence.

asheshThe bat and the ball will do battle without the distractions of the mundane. There will be no theme song played in the stadium every time a boundary is scored or whenever a wicket is taken; only a fierce war cries and erstwhile grunts that pack more aggression and intensity than the collective bite of a hundred Rotweilers that could be bought with spare change from your favourite Indian cricketer’s savings account. Before you can impersonate Shah Rukh and start bleating ‘kuch naheee you anpatriatic dawg’, take your medication and understand that I don’t enjoy watching Team India play cricket. It’s not a personal indictment against their abilities; it just is what it is, an aversion towards seeing the same faces that constantly appear on crass commercials in-between semi-decent TV programs.

Ricky-Ponting1_0This however is not about my dislike for the blue men group; this is about a legendary cricket series between the Englishmen and the Aussies; civilized yet conflicting, hateful yet dignified, two teams drenched head to toe with the venomous spirit of one-upmanship and the history of the Ashes spurring them on to magnificent heights their coaches never knew existed. Whether it is Mark Ramprakash’s sudden metamorphosis into a poor man’s Jonty Roads overnight or Paul Reifel’s dogged patience that promoted him to the status of an all-rounder within the span of a few Test matches, the suffocating pressure of expectations has never failed to inspire these cranky buggers. Hell, even the commentators are at their best. Just listen to Nasser Hussain belt out some of the wittiest dialogues since Richie Benaud thrilled cricket fans with his ‘oh dear me’ references.

Day Two had Ponting and Katich on unbeaten centuries, with the captain (who also happens to be the best active batsman in international cricket) looking to wash away the silliness that is the rumour surrounding the fading away of the baggy green era.

All I need now is for Star Cricket to let John Dykes back in the studio for the pre-game show….aahhh sweet cricket, welcome home…I will drink thee once again from the Ashes urn.

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