Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Its just around the corner

Ananth Narayanan digs into an obscure stat: "unfulfilled innings" in ODIs. Innings in which sides seem clearly to have lost the plot to put it mildly: low scores despite not losing too many wickets, failing to chase down a target despite not losing too many wickets and so on. I can add one more match to that list, a one-day international from way back in the late 80s when Australia, despite getting a double century opening stand, still managed to lose by seven wickets to India. Now, I don't remember too many one-day internationals but this one sticks out for a couple of reasons. ODIs were still a novelty back then, and furthermore, that matches result served to reinforce a particular anxiety of mine: that no matter how far India got ahead in a match, they could still lose. But wait a minute, you might say, this was a match that India won? Surely, if nothing else, this should have convinced you that no matter how far India was behind, they could still win? Ah, but that would not truly understand the psychology of the despairing Indian fan. For the syllogism that I followed went something like this: if Australia was capable of some weakness, then so was India. So if Australia displayed the ability to lose a match in this fashion, then so could India. For years afterwards (indeed, to this day), big opening stands in one-day internationals don't reassure me (indeed, India getting ahead in a match never reassures me). I'm always on the lookout for the collapse, the spectacular falling off of the wheels, the silly runout that sparks a panic. Especially by India. Perhaps my reaction is made more interesting by the fact that the match took place in 1986, only a year and half after India had comprehensively won a mini World Cup in Australia, thumping the Aussies, no less, on their way to the final. But then India had spoiled it all by doing poorly in the WSC series a year later. Just goes to show, old habits die hard.

2 Comments:

Blogger Friendly Stranger said...

yeah! Thats pretty neat.....
The game is turning out to be quite uncertain to the extend that it sometimes get onto the nerves of spectators otherwise who would have though south africa chasing 434 again aussies in a great fashion?
That would have been a last thing in cricket fan's mind if it would have happened in 80s and 90s.......Thats the game....

1:35 AM  
Blogger Q said...

There was another one - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka in Sharjah... Pak were chasing 230 odd...

Wasim Akram and Rashid Latif were at the crease and 20 something runs were needed off last 4 overs.

They faced Vaas and another lankan, played and missed, couldn't score and Pakistan ended at 230-6 losing by 9 runs with Wasim And Rashid both not out.

Was probably fixed but worth a mention in this list.

6:53 AM  

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