It’s that time of the year when you start realizing that it is over once again. You start noticing the word “review” in almost every piece of text you read. It’s that part of the year when you start realizing that you need to change the last digit in the date number you sign in your cheque books, you start hoping that there are some more sops for you in the budget to be presented in couple of month’s time, you start collecting various bills and investment proofs and forwarding mails of new year wishes by replacing your name as sender with the person’s name who sent you the mail. This post is a part of 2008 – review from my side. There will be loads of better reviews on internet but thanks for reading this one. There are a few more reviews coming from my side also.
As the best news channel award recipient for 6th consecutive years Aaj Tak announced, this was the best year for Team India. For clarity – in India, team India means Indian cricket team, there is no other team in entire country. But this was also a year when a shrewd future politician rose on the basic building blocks of Indian politics – caste, religion and region. Let’s go back in a flash and come forward month by month.
January – After the customary defeat in Melbourne against Australia, we prepared for a defeat in Sidney. Preparations were not wasted although Indians were more hurt by a close defeat as compared to a comprehensive one in Melbourne. For next one month Indians kept blaming umpiring and poor sportsmanship by Australians. For rest of the life, Australians would be blaming Indians of racism which was actually nothing but a maternal obituary. There was a turnaround in Perth and India not only won but also killed Australia’s next pace sensation Shaun Tait career for sometime. Rahul Dravid’s (a Deshastha Brahmin) crucial 93 were not given any major importance after the win for reasons understood by yours truly now. India managed to draw in Adelaide and achieved a satisfied series loss of 2-1 as compared to expected 3-0 or 4-0. Indian supporters count Sidney loss as win and say it was a 2-1 win. Mahinder Singh Dhoni opted for bigger mouth of Robin Uthappa as compared to better record of Rahul Dravid for the upcoming ODI series.
February - India did better than expected in the ODI series. They beat Australia once, lost one match with a narrow margin and easily reached the finals. Manoj Tiwary, a Brahmin from West Bengal, was thrown in front of Brett Lee as soon as Tiwary landed in Australia with the reason given as captain’s instinct. Captain never repeated his mistake; Tiwary did not get a second chance. Dhoni made his best efforts to sideline another Brahmin, Sachin Tendulkar but he responded strongly in the last leg of the tournament.
March – India won CB series. Dhoni who hails from Jharkhand, an ex – Bihar, showed his true political acumen by sidelining upper caste Dravid & Tiwary and promoting Robin Uthappa to gain on minority sentiment. Ishant Sharma was made to play so many games that he go injured and Praveen Kumar (may not an upper caste candidate, I am not sure) got in the side; another brilliant move to finish off the dominance of upper caste in the team India.
April – India lost the second test against SA in a shameful manner. Dhoni made sure that Anil Kumble failed the fitness test for the next match because the venue of third test was special. It was a city where India has hardly ever lost; it was a city where team India has often made effective turnarounds in various tournaments, it was a city where once declared extinct royal tiger of Bengal got re incarnated and won man of series award in the same series, it was a city where yours truly used to belong. Yours truely is a true manoos now. Jai Maharashtra. It was Kanpur. Dhoni led India to victory and leveled the series and paid a customary bribe to the curator. For those who do not know, it’s a tradition in Kanpur. Team India comes here desperately seeking a test win, curator makes a sporting wicket (read dustbowl), Indian wins and captain rewards curator with whatever cash he has with him. Dhoni paid him through a cheque. The cheque got encashed or bounced, there is no information on it.
May – The biggest extravaganza in the history of cricket, IPL started with all the razzmatazz. Point to be noted, teams led by upper caste Brahmins were forced out of the tournament ASAP. Dhoni’s threat to publicity from southern part of the country, a multitalented dancer cum speaker cum actor cum medium pacer Shreesanth, was slapped out in IPL by a police officer in Punjab Police (). Surprisingly the one who got slapped is yet to play international cricket again whereas who slapped him is an integral part of the team. Another upper caste Brahmin made fantastic impressions in the tournament – Amit Mishra. However Dhoni neglected him and decided to go ahead with Piyush Chhawla – to gain political mileage in entire NCR belt.
June – With too many moves going against upper caste Brahmins, Dhoni decided to make amends by giving a chance to a Kashmiri Pandit, Suresh Raina who responded brilliantly. The move was well appreciated in all the quarters as even government of India denies their existence as humans – the Kashmiri Pandits. But to prove him a bad omen, Dhoni made sure that team India lost both – Kitply Cup and Asia Cup.
July – India toured SL for a three match test series where they were to face a mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. Dhoni deliberately missed the test series so that he could see Mendis’ video and enjoy an advantage which others didn’t have. Yuvraj Singh wasn’t picked for the test side. His father disowned Yuvraj Singh saying he wasn’t born to him but to some lion. He also mentioned that Yuvraj Singh doesn’t eat grass.
August – Dhoni arrived in SL to lead ODI team and won it 3-2. He became an instant hero for 4-5th time since last year. Another high caste player, Badrinath played well in the first win and since that series he has been carrying drinks so far. Dhoni neither lets him play in the final 11 nor lets him go back to domestic cricket so that he can score a few more tons and make his case stronger.
September – There was not much cricket in the month. However it was learnt that Ganguly made a deal with selectors where he would be selected for the test series against Australia and in return, Ganguly would retire from the test cricket. Ganguly strongly denied any such theory. However, he did announce that he would retire from test cricket after the series. With him, there would be no threat from the state of Bengal for Dhoni’s reign.
October - India somehow managed to save the first test where Dhoni failed miserably. He bowled a bouncer to Kumble at nets and it broke Kumble’s shoulder keeping him out in the second test. As soon as onus fell on Dhoni to lead, he stroked two half centuries and India won the Mohali test. Kumble worked extremely hard on his fitness to come back in Kotla but called it a day there. Dhoni carried him off out of the stadium on his own shoulders to makes sure he didn’t come back.
November - As soon as Dhoni took over Kumble in captaincy, Ponting realized that test cricket doesn’t mean timeless cricket and he had to bowl his daily quota of overs in stimulated time. India was benefitted by his realization and won the series 2-0. To win the support from the state of Bengal, he allowed Ganguly to do what all Bongs just love to do – reap without sowing much. Ganguly led the team for a few overs when India needed just one wicket. It was a sure support from CPM to a future party. By allowing Kumble to let hold on to the winning trophy, Dhoni also ensured support form some south Indian parties in future.
December – Based on the ODI performance against England last month, Yuvraj Singh (a Jat) replaced Ganguly in place of Rohit Sharma (a Brahmin). Dhoni tried his best to get Amit Mishra dropped by grounding easiest of chances (Strauss in Chennai) of him or getting out as soon as he came to bat (In Chennai) or neglecting him for bowling (so often) or letting him bowl when KP and Flintoff were looking to get going (Mohali) but failed on all occasions. However when a veteran Brahmin Dravid scored a ton, Dhoni made sure that Indian did not win so that Dravid couldn’t get the credit he deserved. India won the test series 1-0.
All in all, Dhoni broke the upper caste mafia in Team India and entered a new era which will now be known as Dhoni Era.
Disclaimer – Above mentioned thoughts are a failed attempt to incite some humor. The thoughts wholly and solely belong to my empty mind where devil works real hard. Otherwise I AM A HARDCORE DHONI FAN.