Monday, May 07, 2007

The Windies in England

I wrote the draft of this blog on the train. Fortunately, you do not have to struggle with the wobbly hand-writing, you are, however, lumbered with my dodgy memory.

As we plunged deeper into the quiet London countryside, I could not think of the name of the newly appointed West Indies captain. After some head-scratching, only the vice-captain came to mind. But the team’s leader still eluded me.

Perhaps listing the entire squad would aid the memory? This was even more disastrous. I could only recall five names. Five!

To test how quickly premature senility was setting in, I then jotted down the 1995 touring side. Eleven names were quickly listed. That was twelve years ago, and yet they linger upon the retina of memory. The modern team, however, does not have this impact. They are slippery minnows, still wet behind the ears, plopped into the Wellington Boots of deceased giants.

Test teams win because of star performances. Individual flashes of brilliance change the course of a match, and resound forever as reminiscences. Sadly, Ramnaresh Sarwan – with a test average of 38 – does not resound.

With the loss of Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is now the only internationally rated name in the side. Although he is a distinguished player, he doest have the ability to resonate on the soul of cricket fans. Perhaps Chris Gayle or Dwayne Bravo are pretenders to this power, but their performances are not always inspiring.

This is not to say that the squad is not gifted; they are very skilled men. But it is the inability to convert this talent into results and forge their individual endowments into a united team that means that another whitewash is a serious prospect for the tourists.

Rain may prevent such an eventuality, but, as sad as it is to say, despite England’s vulnerability, the Windies simply cannot win this test series. You have to wonder whether there is any serious legacy to the greats of old, other than happy memories.

This makes me sad.

So upset, was I, when writing this on the train, that I stopped scribbling and started to read my book. This was not a good move.

It made me laugh so much that I started to hoot out-loud. A respectable-looking family started to glare at me, so loud were my howls. I tried to contain myself, but as Harris started to kill more swans, it become impossible to cease. I did my impression of a moose’s mating call and exploded into a thunderous whoop.

The whole carriage considered the moronic fool, and briefly muttered a curse against him and his ridiculous noises. I tried to retrain myself by slapping my hand over my gaping mouth, trying to physically force the hysterics back down.

This made it worse.

The air forced its way out into shrill farting noises that greatly amused the boisterous children, which have only just been subdued by their weary parents. The internal pressures made my eyes bulge and an old woman eyed me warily, as if I may explode all over her. I very nearly did. Eventually, and not without much loss of much dignity, the stony atmosphere of social pressure becalmed my exhausted body.

That teaches me to read anything again.


Homer said...

brilliant :)..

Samir Chopra said...

Atheist, don't laugh just yet, but a fully fit attack of Taylor, Powell and Edwards could cause England a lot of trouble. Whats more, I think they have a lot of style and panache, and at the right moments, all three have reminded me, if not in performance, then at least in their physicality, of the old West Indian greats.

The Atheist said...

Samir, I really, really hope you are right. But, on the face of it, the Windies look much the same as last time, if not weaker. Whereas England, although troubled, are still pretty good.

If the West Indies avoid a whitewash I'll be happy. The one-day series will probably be pretty interesting, however.