End is nigh - if not for this universe, at least for equally unending Razzmatazz. Within a few weeks from now Amit ka Amit will achieve monopoly. Doraemon will not have to be afraid of anyone other than Zian. The Indian Premiere League will finally come to an end. Like every other season, this season has also given us many memorable performances which will be forgotten maximum by the month of June. Only few, like Munaf Patel’s historical shrug, will last any longer. In fact for me, it will last the longest. While there have been many a memorable performances which will be forgotten soon, there have been an equal number of forgettable performances which will be remembered for ever. Here is my attempt to pick up a team made by those who have given us such performances – the Razzmatazz Routed XI.
1. Sehwag- When “see the ball, hit the ball” didn’t work, they brought in specs for him to help seeing the ball better. When seeing it better didn’t help, they brought in Viv Richards to make him hit the ball better. Sehwag told us that Richards taught him a thing or two about bluffing. Sehwag’s next innings of 95 bluffed us all – we though he was back to being old Sehwag but soon we were duly informed that Sehwag was back to being old. Barring that innings, Sehwag has averaged 18 in 8 innings this season. Having lost his position in the national side and players becoming a commodity in open market after this season, it will be interesting to see who goes to pay what for him.
2. Gilchrist – He has put stop watches to a stringent test. It has been a challenge measuring which of the three has been smaller – time taken by him to reach the pitch, time taken by him to walk out of the ground and the time spent by him at the crease. I think the last one would have won hands down. His biggest contribution has been in teaching Chandilla about how not to get a batsman out. This may well be Gilly’s last appearance in IPL. We will miss those towering sixes over mid-wicket; we will miss those walks back to the pavilion even when umpires failed to see the faint nicks and we will miss those convincing appeals for caught behind even when the ball missed the bat by kilometers.
3. Ponting – Ponting’s biggest contribution has been letting the baggage go and hugging Harbhajan Singh. Second biggest contribution was in dropping himself. Third was in not committing suicide after Munaf gave him that famous shrug. Frankly speaking, Ponting was never a good buy. Even in his hay days when he was lightning fast on his feet, Ponting wasn’t fast enough against slow bowlers. To assume that he would do well on slow tracks in India at this age was an assumption just short of daydreaming. But then, corporate house owning Mumbai Indians is known for spending millions on a dream house just to leave it unoccupied. This says a lot.
4. Maxwell – Well, he had to be picked up in some team. It had to be this team. I had never heard about Maxwell till he played against India in last test series. In that series I was told about his price tag in IPL. It left me as agape as I would be if I see a silent NS Sidhu. I hope cunning wealth managers in Mumbai didn’t convince Maxwell to put his money in the stocks of the corporate house which owns Mumbai Indians. If he has done that, he would get to learn the most basic rule of any casino – it is the house which always wins.
5. Manoj Tiwary – India’s most successful drinks man seems to be batting under the effects of drinks this season. Some say he has not been fully fit and that’s why, not for the first time, lost his place in the national side. Some say there is, not for the first time, a conspiracy behind it. Having missed five of KKR’s 14 matches, Tiwary may soon be back to his favorite job in IPL too – serving drinks. The way things have gone, it doesn’t look like Tiwary is likely to have any future in the national side. The way this season has gone, it doesn’t augur well for him in IPL too. Problem is that when future generations will talk about talents India wasted in 2000s-2010s, Tiwary’s name will not even feature in top ten. Top ten will be occupied by Mr. Talented.
6. Taylor – If Ganguly was believed to be the god on off side, Taylor would qualify as a perfect atheist. Last time he was seen to be playing on off side, all those fancy financial instruments which sunk the world were still seen as moneymaking machines. His over obsession of leg side strokes anyhow makes him 50% of the batsman he can be. Having added additional burden of captaincy, PW had a recipe for disaster. 63 runs in 5 matches, strike rate of 83, 2 fours and a six - even Morne Morkel sounds to be a better contributor with bat than Taylor.
7. Yusuf Pathan – There was a time when Yusuf Pathan had openly stated that he wanted to play test cricket for India. During those days, I was looking to buy a piece of land on Mars and build a multiplex on it. IPL 1 was all about Yusuf Pathan, almost. IPL 6 has been all without Yusuf Pathan, almost. Forget batting, such has been his brilliance in the field that even Ashish Nehra may start giving him fielding lessons. If runs were awarded for giving serious and determined looks, Yusuf Pathan may well have been giving sleepless nights to Bradman in his grave. Alas, runs need to be scored.
8. Yuvraj Singh – Problem with Yuvraj is that he still thinks an Indian diving to field the ball is as rare sight as spotting a silent Sidhu. Every time he dives, it is followed by an expression which makes one feel as if Yuvraj has just come out of a session where he was trying to teach something about being sensible to Sreesanth. That’s the hallmark of a man still living in early 2000s. Like his fans, his batting gives a feel that Yuvraj is still living in February-March period of 2011. Every time he has hit a boundary, it has followed a body language which suggests he owns the world. What has followed next is the long walk to pavilion. A fit Yuvraj would have solved one problem for PW – problem of leadership. A not so fit and woefully out of form Yuvraj has given PW the problems aplenty. Oh by the way, PW is a team participating in IPL6.
9. Dinda – Dinda had to be the first bowler to be picked in this side. You guessed it right; it is for his jump which takes him out of earth’s atmosphere. I stay just a few kilometers away from PW’s home ground and every time PW plays there, I can go to the rooftop and see Dinda in his jump. He seems to be the only hope for Laika’s descendants to get Laika’s body back to the earth from moon. Twice Dinda has bowled to the Gayle juggernaut in this tournament. Both the times, Gayle has bowled the last ball of the match to Dinda. Both the times, it has ended with Gayle hugging Dinda. Talk about being big hearted and hugging the man who tortured you just an hour or so ago. One can argue that if Gayle decides to hug Dinda, he will not have a choice anyhow but still. There have been theories floating around Dinda being unlucky for the team – how KKR never won anything when he was part of their side or how PW doesn’t win anything now, but I see a different angle to it. Concept of cheerleaders was introduced so that their dance could add some glamor to the game. Dinda’s bowling ensures that cheerleaders get numerous opportunities to dance.
10. Shaun Tait – Whenever someone boasts about Australians being mentally strong, I can’t help but think about Tait. Whenever Tait was talked about as a big factor for Australians, he faltered. Whenever he faltered, he announced his retirement from that particular format in question. Perth 2008 was one example. Motera 2011 was another. Someone told me that he read in Nadal’s autobiography – his dad asked him to serve as fast as he could without worrying about where it landed. Tait must have heard that conversation between Nadal and his dad – Tait bowls as fast he can without worrying about where to land it. One wicket in 3 matches and economy rate of 9.8 signifying gravitational force, his inclusion is surety to bring down team’s performance at a rate faster than gravitational acceleration.
11. Ajit Agarkar – No such team can be completed without at least one of the two knights India has produced. It feels good to see that Senior Sir, as I fondly call him, hasn’t lost his touch. He started this season’s bowling with his trademark - wide. He bowled not so badly in the first match – going at 7.25 runs per over. His best economy in a match has been 4 runs per over but then, he bowled just one over in that match. He showed his expertise in his last match – going for 22 in 2 overs. That may well be his last match for the season. Though he dropped a catch this time, I had never seen him dropping a catch before that, he showed that he still possesses the art so undervalued these days – to make most difficult of catches look simple. Even the catch he dropped was of MS Dhoni and if there were reasons behind dropping that catch, not many can blame him. We all strive towards keeping our bosses happy. Anyways, this season may well be the last of Senior Sir too. Respect is all I have for him.
That brings us to the end of this team which is technically in correct – has 5 foreign players. But in a team of imperfections, this much of imperfection should be allowed. If not, get lost.
Picture curtsey: uywvker.servebbs.com