Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?


Heroes need not necessarily come with a cape and undies on the outside. Some come in borrowed shirt and hamburger-stained pullover. Had Graeme Smith done a Ganguly, only then you could know whether his vest had an S sign on it.

Mickey Arthur yesterday said he would need a chain to hold Smith back. He naturally didn’t find one.

Steyn is gone and match is in bag. At least Australia thought so before Smith emerged from the blurred sea of heads, clutching the bat and walking down as every soul and every blade of the grass at SCG bowed their head.

Ponting’s men could not believe it. Neither could those present in SCG or the ones glued to their TV sets far away in Durban and Delhi, Cape Town and Kolkata, Pretoria and Patna.

Poor Hayden. He was still in a trance when the Ntini edged slipped through his butter-fingers.

Smith survived ball after ball and his aura grew big with every delivery. An exasperated Ian Chappell screamed “I can’t believe they haven’t tried a bouncer at him…Sentiments count for a little”. You could feel he was really aghast.

But not all Australians are potential cold-blooded murderers. Surprisingly, most don’t have horns on head and a tail somewhere tucked inside! They rather come across as completely normal, even emotional, human being with a striking ability to appreciate things which are good!

I’m sorry but by and large, pretentious cricketers have been poor ambassadors of the country.

On their feet clapping for Smith, the Australian WAGs too seemed to have a rather decent understanding of the game. Way better than their English counterparts with no qualms about bouncing on the knees of a tacky Texan billionaire.

Otherwise the Grandpa of Grandiosity, Nevil Cardus’ rare moment of understatement is - scoreboard is an ass. I’m convinced, it’s an outright liar too.

Pix: PA Sports

19 comments:

Naked Cricket said...

well said Som. Watch the game for days as this.

Som said...

NC, exactly. It gave goosebumps to see him coming down to bat. What a man!

Anonymous said...

Hey Som......It was a heroic act by Smith to save the game.. I remember Anil Kumble once bowled with his broken jaw against West Indies and got Lara out. But I guess batting with a broken hand is much tougher.
KUDOS SMITH....

Som said...

Anonymous, what a match and what a man!

Straight Point said...

he walked straight into many hearts...and for a while win or defeat really looked meaningless...

Som said...

SP, very true. Future generation would only know Australia won it by 103 runs. They won't know Smith was the only winner in the match. Cardus is so relevant even now, scoreboard is indeed an ass.

Sam said...

Did you mean that Aussies woud have gifted him with half volleys and the game in a platter ?

He was great fine, he did win hearts fine, but why trash Aussies ?

i dont see any sense in demeaning Aussies for this victory!!

Som said...

Sam, I probably didn't mean that. Ponting did not listen to Ian Chappell and still won the match in the end, isn't it? Johnson did castle Smith without being nasty, isn't it? It's a cricket match alright, but is there really any real need to sound so mean? Just could not stand Chappell at that moment.
And hey, I never ever demeaned Punter and Party for a win. I rather applauded the crowd at SCG, the WAGs and the cricketers. Of course I don't have a defence when I'm accused of trying to demean Ian Chappell:)

Still I'm glad that even Chappell later had a change of heart and said "You feel sorry for this guy (Smith). He gave everything for South Africa." And finally, being the winner is not enough, at least not in my book. I hope Smiths and Dhonis figure out why Australia's decline became a global celebration and behave themselves.

Anonymous said...

Well said Som... It was really mean of Chappell to comment like that when a person was giving everything to his country's pride. Wonder if the same comment would have come from Chappell if Punter was in place of Smith. Need to understand his agony though.......

And Finally, the entire world celebrates when dictatorship ends. Australia is losing tests and ODIs and Smiths and Dhonis have made it possible. So.... celebrate guys.

Soulberry said...

Excellent...I've develped a healthy respect for Graeme Smith the captain.

When you bring the Dada spirit into it Som, you aren't far off the mark.

Abdul said...

The series between Australia and RSA was very competitive and intense on the whole. It was gripping test cricket and a great advert for the game. RSA deserve their recognition and applauds for defeating the top side who are now really struggling more than ever to win and can be classified as a very "average" outfit.

However ,G Smith's troops missed a golden opportunity to top the rankings.

Also in recent news great to see Pakistan fans having some cricket to look forward to against Srilanka and relieving to see so many fixtures arranged for 2009. Unfortunately ICL bans won't be able to be lifted as yet which is a real pity that a player of unique and extraordinary ability like Imran Nazir can't come into consideration for selection.

Meanwhile the ECB crisis is a debatable topic in the media this week. All this 7 months before the Ashes comes as a "bog down" and embarrassment for the ECB. KP never seemed to have the credibility of captaincy material.

Som said...

Soulberry, exactly. This are the moments when cricket becomes much more than just another game. It teaches you how to defy odds, battle through pain and rise above limitation to inspire others. Hats off to Smith.

Som said...

Abdul, I think KP and ECB should take the blame in equal measures. Everyone knew KP is like this, why make fuss now? On KP's part, it was sheer arrogance to expect ECB toe your line and sack someone just because you don't like his face/profile. And Ashes is a good half-a-year away. I just don't understand this Ashes-centric madness. I mean of course there is lot of history to it but spare a thought about future too!

Abdul said...

Som, I still feel Pak - India contests are bigger than the Ashes simply due to the passion of their supporters.

Meanwhile who are your favourite cricketers ?

Mine are ......

Mushtaq Ahmed
Shane Warne
Imran Nazir
Younis Khan
Anil Kumble

pseudo intellectual said...

i didn't watch it. but read reams. wish i had watched, though :(

Som said...

Abdul, my favourite cricketers' list includes, but does not end with, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Mohd Azharuddin...

Som said...

Titli, I know how tough it's for you to accommodate a cricket match into your already crammed daily itinerary. And they didn't announce it beforehand! Jokes apart, it really gave me goosebumps to see him removing the cast and coming down to bat. what a man!

scorpicity said...

There he goes right into the legendary stories of the game which will be passed on generations and after generations until the point where we will overhear our grandchildren speaking among themselves about "How Smith batted like a champion with a broken hand, broken collar bone, dislocated jaw and lung cancer at the same time".

Isn't that true grandpa? "yesssh, ma boooy"

Sure enough, we will all agree at that point to the way things build up over time but for the moment, this was a great sight and one for the legendary stories told over time.

Som said...

Scorpicity, definitely, cricket got another folklore and Smith is the folk hero.