Having finally agreed to a new CBA with SneakySportsDrivel, I too have decided to end my lockout, so I'm back baby.
Now in my downtime I've had the chance to watch what was billed as a tight contest between two evenly matched test cricket teams. And while watching Zimbabwe's resounding victory over Bangladesh in Harare took up most of that time, I've also been able to take a peek at England vs India.
India's largely abysmal performance of late reminded me of my childhood. Let me take you back to U15's and U16's club cricket. At this age the more skilled young cricketers, such as my illustrious blog colleague, had moved on to the glitz, glamour and sex, drugs and rock and roll world of grade cricket, leaving the rest of us (including yours truly) to grind it out on the club scene.
In these final years of junior cricket what I noticed was that a lot more of the kids playing were only there because they were made to. Regardless of how good they may or may not have been, they looked forward to Saturday mornings about as much as anyone looks forward to lining up in front of Ma’a Nonu. What was bleedingly obvious was they just did not want to be there.
India at the moment is one of these kids. While they just want to go and do something cool with their friends, or go play in the IPL, their parents are living vicariously through them and making them turn up every Saturday.
Granted Tendulkar, Dravid and Praveen Kumar have put in. And I’ll excuse Amit Mishra, I mean he’s just not very good. But Laxman decided to stop scoring runs after the two tests it took him to realise the white men he was playing against weren't Australian. Dhoni seems to be carrying out a German Homer Simpson-esque non-violent protest against catching. Anything. Sehwag missed the first two tests, then spent as little time as possible actually on the field in the third.
Now granted injuries haven't helped and they are playing a team at the peak of their powers away from home. And the word 'rest' or 'break' don't seem to be part of the BCCI's scheduling vocabulary. But still, some effort would be nice lads, even if you just pretend you still like playing test cricket.