03 March, 2021

The Swing Thing

Is Bhuvi that long-lost seaming all-rounder?

The Swing Thing

What is the opposite of nostalgia? I forget now but there must be a word that means to reflect on a period long passed, that afflicts a person with bile and rage. Whatever the poets and medics may call it, fans of the England and India cricket teams have been force-fed it to the point of flatlining recently. The diagnosis? The 1990s are back. For England, most of the decade that heralded the world wide web, Britpop and Tony Blair was one banal feast after another of Test mediocrity, garnished with despair, and a side serving of humiliation. It was the era of Phil DeFreitas, Graeme Hick and Tim Munton. England were used to being thrashed. Often.

For India, on the home front the 90s seemed dandy; Sachin bhai electrified the world, and England were slaughtered in a disastrous tour that ended in a 3-0 Test series as the decade began. A short while later along came Dravid, and Ganguly, and Kumble, and India built a team that would be feared even by the mighty Australians. So this past year, fans of both teams could be forgiven for half-expecting to see a Balkan war or a...

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