Making rash predictions

One of the great advantages of the web is the way it provides ubiquity of access to long-tail information.

Take cricket for example. I am spending Christmas and New Year in New York with my family; on Boxing Day something momentous (well momentous for me anyway) is scheduled to happen, the start of a Test series between Australia and India, in Australia. Before the web, I had to rely on being able to buy Indian or English papers in New York: cricket scores between Australia and India were not the kind of thing that one would expect to find in the New York Times.

Now I don’t just have the web, I have ubiquitous metro wi-fi, and if push comes to shove, I can use my Blackberry to check the scores out; and if that doesn’t work, I can always send out a Tweet to my cricket-loving friends in the UK; and if that diamond ring don’t shine, I can always text my brother in Mumbai and ask him to keep me informed. Freedom. Options. Re-enfranchisement. In a non-threatening, low-cost way. That’s part of what makes the web magic.

Which reminds me. The point of this post. You know something? I really fancy India’s chances this time around, not just in winning a Test, but in winning a series in Australia. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy was never won by Steve Waugh’s team during a time when the Australians conquered everyone who dared to challenge; Ricky Ponting’s team avenged that status and now hold the trophy. I think India have a very good chance of bringing it back.

Why? A whole slew of reasons. Both teams have some excellent players, some entering their prime, some gently exiting that status. Both bat deep. To most neutrals, Australia have the upper hand in two critical aspects, bowling and fielding. And they’re at home. So where is my slew of reasons?

I think it’s to do with the batting. Of course I’m biased, but in the last few years, I have seen three of India’s key batsmen taken out of the mix in unfortunate ways. Tendulkar had an appalling series not that long ago, with a number of very poor umpiring decisions going against him. This, at a time when he was not quite recovered from injury. Dravid had a similarly appalling series against Pakistan, again an execrable sequence of decisions. Ganguly, on the other hand, just had to put up with fallout from the politics of cricket.

Now all three are back. And with Dravid likely to open, there is space for Yuvraj to stay in the side. Dhoni and Pathan have matured. Laxman is showing consistency. These are people who like a big stage, and one day they will have the rub of the green. Like Laxman and Dravid had in Calcutta, against the same opponents, many years ago.

So I predict an away series win. I’m sure my Australian readers will ensure I eat enough humble pie if I am proved wrong.

5 thoughts on “Making rash predictions”

  1. I truly wish this prediction comes true. But, for winning a test match India will have to bowl Aus out 2 times. Batting is of course a factor, but here bowling would matter more, which has been jumping a lot.

  2. abhijit, 3 wickets in the last forty minutes makes me feel slightly less edgy in my prediction, but you are right. I stand by my prediction though.

  3. its 9 wickets on the first day so India is on the right track. India would have to really play as a team if they have to pull this through. I am an optimistic person so i would also go for an away series win. This time you just feel it coming.

  4. JP,
    I will be a cracking series.
    What is your take on the Kirsten appointment? He is definitely strong on the importance of fielding, having stood at a suicidal short leg for a good part of his career.

  5. Is cricket a game or a sport? My love for cricket has always been predicated on the notion that the game should be played in the right spirit. The umpire’s decision is always final, there should be little tolerance of bad behaviour , etc. This seems to be at odds with the India/Australia Test Series. The actions of players on both sides comprise,in my opinion, an unacceptable side of cricket.They will probably be justified ,because as a sport, winning at all costs is the only objective. This ethos may have always been a fundamental part of cricket but recently seems to have assumed too high a profile . This is a shame because both teams have fantastic players.Perhaps the fault is mine. I reflect on a time ,where ( from an Englishman’s perspective), the likes of Peter May and Colin Cowdrey epitomised all that this great game was really about. I hardly recognise it any more.
    Best Regards

    Best Regards

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