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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


It always starts like this. Bala subscribes to the cricket channel (its a pay per view in Singapore) and since he's stuck in the office for the better part of the day, I end up being the official score tracker.

Despite constant reminders to over-worked self that I shall not skip the afternoon siesta - I need it since work begins at the twilight hour of 2am - it's something that's invariably forgotten, particularly when something like Dhoni happens.

Sleep is a far cry. Food fades to the realm of an after-thought. Stay glued to the screen becomes a pre-occupation.

Though some things do follow a pattern....
Watching India's dismal middle order collapse, I paced just like my better half does, when Team India is so in trouble.

In the past, we would collectively vow not to look at the screen, take that walk, which always ends up being around the idiot box and our wails would jolt our neighbours when yet another cricket collapsed.

Now, the times they are a changin. It's no longer a case of the cookie crumbling when Sachin and Sehwag walk off the crease. There is a lower order that is equally impressive as the top and the middle order. We have the fighters that rise to the fore, the minute the pressure is on. What else could explain even so called bowlers like Harbhajan hitting five stunning boundaries and two towering sixes to take India past Pakistan's total.

Irfan Pathan, who played an amazingly mature knock of 90 even though for 49 runs he was merely second fiddle to Dhoni. And the verbal duels weren't too far behind. But each time Shoaib Akhtar had something to say, Pathan merely flashed some of his close-up smiles, enough to melt some snow, not Akhtar though.

All of them, our so called young ones, were heroes in their own right, but stealing the thunder and saving the match was our lad from Jharkhand. Taking to the crease with an overnight score of 116, Dhoni hit speedster Akhtar out of the attack with four boundaries in the sixth over of the day. He took his total to 148 before being stumped by Kamran Akmal after missing a leg spinner from Danish Kaneria.

What a knock that was! Even though the match is headed for a tame draw, watching Dhoni's fearless batting saved India not just the blushes but did all of us proud by surviving not just the bowling but the sledging too.

Sentiments that were best expressed by none other than former skipper Kapil Dev:

"Dhoni is my hero. We talk a lot about Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, but this boy has as much as talent as anyone in the game. He is an unbelievable talent. He has good technique and strikes the ball very hard..... Look at Shahid Afridi, he always plays attacking shots, but he always looks out of place. This is not the case with Dhoni, he is just outstanding."

Time to raise your doodh ka glass and say cheers to that!