I know that India lost the just concluded test series to Australia and the much awaited taming of the”last frontier” was finally and efficiently achieved by the visitors.Yet, there can be no denying the joy I derived from the victory in the last test.You may knock the pitch all you like, and cry shame to the heavens and back but the fact remains that India won. And that, I like!!
Now, you may think that this was because of several reasons among which would rate no doubt miscellaneous assorted and undeniably logical factors such as poor batting by the visitors, an absolute turner of a track, the sudden and ominous return to form of two of Autralia’s arch nemeses viz SRT & VVSL, but I offer another explanation… My version is that we won because of Manjrekar.
Ever since the junior Manjrekar took to cricket commentary he has been the foulest “panvati” for India( as is described in local lingo). I’ve yet to see a match where Manjrekar was rooting for the home team in a close scrape and they came up tops. On the other hand you knew for sure that Tendulkar or Ganguly or whosoever-Manjrekar-names is sure to get out for a duck or thereabouts when you hear him harping about how dangerous these batsmen are and how we’re in for a sure treat as far as their batting is concerned. On another day you might feel it in your bones that Kumble is gonna skittle out the opposition for next to nothing, only to hear Manjrekar confirm your opinions in enthusiastic tones,and the next thing you know Kumble has been tonked all over the park and his figures read 10-0-78-0 or something just as painful.The agony is, despite all of this Manjrekar remains a staunch India victory hopeful and never ceases to make hopeful and optimistic statements about India, NONE of which ever come true.
This friday therefore as India packed up there 2nd innings at 205ish and faced defeat in the final tie with a measly total of 104 to defend all hope had left my dejected countenance and I settled into my fave couch potato location merely to keep tabs occasionally on the unfolding of the ignonimous defeat to the Aussies. Therefore you can well gauge the electrifying and rejuvenating shock I received when I tuned into the brodcast between innings to catch Manjrekar averring that with a measly 104 to defend there was NO WAY INDIA could win this match. According to him, with the Australian batting lineup even 150 or 200 would be a virtual walkover . All dejection left me then and as events bore out my shrewd intuitive hunch India did in fact go on to win…and that’s why I say we owe it to Manjrekar’s “kaali zabaan” in no small measure!!