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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Nayakgriri: 50 50 : A take World Cup and rest of things in Summer19

Author runs a blog to read Facts, Fiction, Fun: A Globally Local Guy. 

Life can be described at its best as a 50 50 endeavor. It is divided between happiness and sorrow, success and failure, winning and losing, hope and despair, day and night, winter and summer. At the start of  this summer of 2019, I had a wish list of three things that I had no control over to happen: Mumbai Indians winning IPL, Modi winning general elections and Kohli lifting World Cup. Summer still is at its glory in this part of world while monsoons have set in finally in most part of India ending long summer there. Ignoring IPL to be non-serious matter, on the rest two accounts it was fifty-fifty verdict. While India and Modi won riding on a very effective campaign, lack of opposition and support of aspiring India, Virat lost it thanks to bad selection and decisions, half an hour of bad cricket at crucial moment. This column has said lot about why India won when Modi won. Though we will delve upon what next after the election and what needs to be the agenda for Modi2.0, but while analyzing World Cup we should also now focus on what’s next. As many serious thinkers will find it childish to equate cricket with National cause, but for this column cricket is passion while politics is a way of life. Cricket this time was 50 overs matter and in Indian Politics its about 50 % absolute majority and only around 50% of voters bother to Vote.

As far India’s performance in WC, we did well to top the table. That was mainly due to great performances by Rohit, Dhawan (till he was there and Rahul’s steady role after), Virat’s anchoring, Pandya’s push, great bowling by Bumrah, Shami , Hardik and occasional spells by spinners. Though many times middle order muddle was demonstrated and patch-up efforts were done, somehow the above factors  like Rohit , Bumrah etc mentioned above won the days in league stage. But top order failure when it mattered most costed us the world cup. We had simple solution to send Dhoni at 4 which was never tested but we chose to put everyone ahead of Dhoni including a useless selection of Dinesh Kartik (I don’t know why he still is considered for selection). Going with five bowlers is risk we took when we ignored Kedar bowling. Utility of Jadeja was proven in semis but again we missed trick by not playing Shami which would have resulted in reducing score by atleast 15-20 reason which was the final margin. And then Sending Dhoni at 7 was the greatest blunder. But Salute to Bumrah, Hardik and Rohit. We had a cup to win but bad leadership and management made it impossible. Looking into future, Rohit’s captaincy is needed as we need Virat the batsmen, the master chaser as we had seen since Adelaide 2012 test turnaround. That will help his success rate in high stakes matches. He has delivered as batsman many times but maybe he is not made for leadership role (even proven in IPL). Dhoni still has International future in his Cricket.
Final again was 50 50 and world cup also was won 50 50 though at the end of it, England will be remembered as winners and NZ a runner up. What a final! I have never seen a tied tiebreaker in cricket. On same day we saw another tiebreaker at Wimbledon. Hats off to Fedex and Salute to King Joker! Lady luck played its part along with poor umpiring. Williamson, Stokes delivered superhero performances supported by others like Jofra, Neesham, Butler, Boult. England teams creativity and talent depth is enviable, they were led, planned and managed effectively same as NZ.
Aussie campaign also fizzled out like India’s. Similarity between India and Aus campaigns is interesting. Both had weakness in middle order and had fifth bowler issues. Key injuries hurt both teams. Pakistan may feel unlucky but their batting is weak. SAfrica had potential but they suffered due to some wrong selections and injuries. WI also similarly had great players but they seem to be in T20 mode. Srilanka showed some glimpse of rebuilding. Bangladesh batting has improved but their bowlers struggled. Afghanistan politics saw them reach nadir. ICC also has issues in managing cricket (rules, umpiring, scheduling, pitch where toss matters most and event management in terms of weather planning). But world cup has really come home after 44 years of WC history. It will be booster for popularity of cricket in England where it is losing ground to other sports. It is the Asian mainly Indian Money that runs the sport. But another world cup eludes India. I still remember that evening on 2nd April 2011 when we friends had planned a social viewing of around 20 families at a joint on the outskirts of Pune. Dhoni hit that six and we were all dancing around. I also remember very very late night victory at CT 2013 and that Shreeshant catch in Sep 07 which marked history in t20 cricket. T20 form is best suited in Olympics format. It is now the time for Indian Power to plan for cricket in Olympics. Our Olympians and athletes in other sport make us proud. These three cricketing moments were predated by that night in June 83 and Melbourne 85 when I was kid. At the start of this year we defeated Australia in Australia in tests, that moment was also special. That really made us greedy for summer, but then it was not destined to be.
Coming back to other 50 percent of success ie Installation of Modi 2.0, Modi2.0 has great plans to grow Indian economy in $5 Trillion. But that needs to be backed up for reforms easing out business as well as on reducing fiscal deficits. International events impact India so we need strong will to set terms. With clear mandate it will be easier to push reforms and international policies. Infrastructure and Environment should be key priorities. We already have seen monsoon playing havoc by floods, famines, cyclones. We should have effective planning. Development should percolate down. Jobs need to be created as growth is targeted. Some sectors like Banking, Aviation need boost and regulation to help them overcome challenges. Long wish list and here there is no room for fifty fifty success at National Level.
As daylight extends till almost 9 pm in the evening, there are many things you can do outdoors. Weather being great time for long drives, beaches, parks, barbeques, swimming. But then this will end too as we approach fall and then the dreaded winter. But then there will be spring. Time ticks on. But hopefully monsoon should cover whole India especially those areas like Marathwada, Vidarbh which suffer a lot. Monsoon must have turned countryside around Pune into heaven with clouds, waterfalls, bhutta and kandabhaji. Missing that part but as I said life is always 50-50. Missing Monsoon while enjoy summer….But we missed a dream of WC but then there is always 2023… Despair followed by Hope. Again 50-50

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