The supposed involvement of S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan in accepting money from bookmakers for conceding a pre-determined quantum of runs in a specific over will have come as a huge blow to Rajasthan Royals, who under Rahul Dravid have attempted to play cricket in the manner in which it must be, as indeed to the cricketing fraternity that is just about coming to terms with the made-to-order no-balls sent down by Pakistan's fast bowlers in England two years back.
Indians pride themselves on being cricket-crazy, though that is gradually veering towards cricketer-crazy, but you can't but admire the spunk and the resilience of the Indian fan who, despite hurdles galore, finds the resolve and the determination to brave the odds and turn up at the ground, day after day, match after match.
After all, what is the correlation between practice and luck? Isn't practice the bedrock of success? Aren't long hours on the putting green or the driving range the way to go as you seek perfection in the 18-hole game, battling your inner demons, the tricky lies, the vagaries of nature? Isn't practice designed primarily to take the element of luck out of the equation?
That conventional wisdom allows only middle-order batsmen, such as Bevan, Yuvraj and Dhoni, to qualify as 'Finishers' is not doing justice to the impact of openers such as Gayle and Tendulkar.
If it was Slapgate that caught the eyeballs in IPL I with Harbhajan and S Sreesanth as the protagonists, then Sweargate has become the latest soap opera featuring Kohli and Gambhir.
One of the major achievements of the Indian Premier League has been the coming together of legends, operating alongside each other, putting their experience and intelligence and expertise and immense cricketing knowledge to maximum use.
It's even more difficult, one can safely imagine, for an already established and one-time successful player to watch on from the outside as his mates do battle in the middle. Harbhajan Singh must surely be reflecting back on the times when he was the young turk and, when India played overseas, he was the preferred spinner, even ahead of Anil Kumble.
Eden Gardens was to have been Australia's theatre of dreams. Instead, it became their worst nightmare. The Australians were gracious enough to acknowledge that they had been laid asunder by a once-in-a-lifetime performance, but you could see that they were gutted. To their credit, they didn't carp or nitpick about a couple of questionable umpiring calls on the final day, nor did they offer any such fantastic excuse like the English.
While it is commendable that a cricketer places greater emphasis on performing well overseas, should impressive displays on home soil be devalued? Just because you are familiar with the variables and have a better understanding of what to expect when playing in your own backyard, so to say, are these efforts any lesser?
There was a catchy punch-line to a whiskey ad that went along the lines of 'Tradition is what it used to be'. Whether by accident or design, it seemed to suggest that in the ever expanding, fast-moving world of today, there is no place for yesterday. Sadly, that would appear to apply to a fair few cricketers, not just from India but from across the world.
Kaushik has spent more than 20 years following the Indian team. He started his life in journalism with the Newstime daily in Hyderabad before moving to Deccan Herald in Bangalore in 1998. He has covered five World Cups and more than 100 Test matches, and is one of the few journalists to have been privileged to see an Indian win in all 10 Test playing countries.
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