Another week where our international stars couldn't just keep quiet as the fans went really out of their places to bring them down to earth. While Kieron Pollard’s appeal wasn’t the only one, there was the cry to bring back Prithvi Shaw in the ODI setup and, of course, the strike-rate rant.
Prithvi Shaw is the best white-ball opener in India
Now, now, what are we looking at, Mr Obvious Prithvi Shaw, who has accumulated 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Immediately, people did brand him as the best white-ball opener in the country.
SC’s Take: Aren’t we just getting ahead of ourselves and making a mockery of our own opinions? Prithvi Shaw deserves applause, deserves every bit of appreciation for scoring well beyond 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy win for Mumbai but branding him as the best white-ball opener? It isn’t a little bit ridiculous, it's the exact damn thing that some journalists ask you to believe with a pinch of salt. This doesn’t require a pinch of salt, it requires you to dump yourself in the salt bottle.
Now if you are over it, over the fantasies of Shaw and his crazy run in Vijay Hazare, remember India already home to Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and now Mayank Agarwal. When they don’t have a place to have any more than two openers in the playing XI, what would Shaw do? Especially given that he has done next to nothing in his ODI stint with the Indian team. By nothing, I mean he really left all of us in shock, with his disastrous display in New Zealand. So until he sorts that out, he can score 192339 runs but it won’t matter, not one bit, for him to be part of India’s long-term plans.
Don't be a Kieron Pollard in a gentleman sport
When Kieron Pollard turned around and appealed, it was destined that Twitteratis were going to implode, break out their frustration and definitely voice out how he shouldn’t have done it.
SC’s Take: If Moral Policing was an art, forget the artists being around anywhere in the world except India. In India, we take moral policing so seriously that some even call it a full-fledged diploma course. Now coming back, Kieron Pollard appealed and he had all the rights to, it was well included in the rule book, just like mankading. So if there’s one thing that we need to understand, the ultimate goal of the game is to win, as Kohli called it, and not to make the crowd feel entertained.
Moving on to the decision, while it didn’t look intentional from the Danusha Gunathilaka, in the heat of the moment, with the situation stacked against the Windies team, it looked a fair shout that Pollard went with the appeal. But the way he was torn apart and called a “cheater” was just incredible. How on earth could be a cheater when cricket’s rules support both the appeal and the decision? Okay, let’s try this out then - how about we call the game a cheat because it has the goddamn rules in it, it shouldn’t be called a gentleman's sport, after all!
Vikram Rathour joins KL Rahul and Kohli on the clueless list
Strike-rate is overrated, no I didn’t say that, I would never say that in T20 cricket, after all in a fast-paced game, strike-rates do matter, right? Well, according to Vikram Rathour and the school of KL Rahul-thoughts, it doesn’t matter!
SC’s Take: That’s the start of it all, the madness, the utter sheer madness when someone talks about T20 and approach in India. No one understands it, not Virat Kohli, not KL Rahul and certainly not Vikram Rathour, all of them somehow end up talking about how strike-rates don’t matter. Now couple that with Kohli’s approach of batsmen batting aggressively, I don’t know how you could definitely make any sense of that.
Strike-rate matters, that’s the reason that Glenn Maxwell is considered one of the best T20 batsmen in the world, why Jos Buttler is considered great. Forget International names, that’s the reason they won yesterday, if not for Ishan Kishan, who scored 56 off 32, at a strike-rate of 175. Now sooner India understands that, the better; since they won in the inaugural edition of the tournament, the game has evolved. So better that they evolve alongside that, now or never.
How dare the CWI replace skipper Jason Holder?
Oh, that was merely the opinion - rather the popular opinion on Twitter. How dare Cricket West Indies replace country-hero and skipper Jason Holder as the skipper in the longest format?
SC’s Take: The passion that oozes in the West Indies is crazy and every opinion somehow ends up feeling like an overreaction. But this one for sure is an overreaction, with people blaming it on politics and whatnot. Well, there isn’t any bit of politics, certainly not one in the real world, probably one for the rumour mills. Both of that combined to make this look like it is news for the front-page is absolutely ridiculous.
Leading the side, leading the bowling attack and also helping the team recover from batting collapses - Holder has seen it all in the past. But it is now the right time for Windies cricket to move on. In the series against Bangladesh, where Windies were the under-dogs, were nowhere in contention to win the series, Kraigg Brathwaite led them in sublime fashion, with Windies putting on a complete batting and bowling performance. Now if anything is the right time, so stop overreacting and accept the reality.