At the start of IPL2, they looked like an inspired gang. ‘BANG’- they began the tournament regally beating the Rajasthan Royals, lead by the Sheikh of Tweak. It looked as though the team under the new Kapta(i)n Pietersen (KP) has become disciplined and focused with rumours doing the rounds that Mr VJ Batlivala has rationed the flow of Kingfisher to the team.

‘Things would be different this time’ promised the veteran Kumble after his 5/5 haul against the Royals.

‘Oh Yes! They are different from the rest.

– After 5 matches, we should admit that the Bevadaas are the only team to have the dubious distinction of the opening partnership not having crossed ZERO .. even once.

– The only team where the captain, Mr KP bough for a whopping $1.55 M has proved his worth by scoring 2 ducks in 5 matches and no innings of substance. KP will be done with IPL2 after their 6th match as he returns home for England duty.

– The only team in this IPL which could have lost from a seemingly impregnable position of 60 runs required in 30 balls by the King’s XI Punjab. The latter won the match with 6 balls to spare.

– The Mumbai import Mr Utappa seemed to justify his inclusion into the side as the replacement keeper for the accomplished Boucher who was relegated to the bench. Alas! Only a flash in the pan. His show behind the stumps looks acceptable only when compared to his batting at the pitch. Of course our man has got a roving great eye and is unbeatable at the other pitch, apparently. Missing sitter run-outs at crucial moments in the game for this brilliant fielder is new. But remember he is playing for the jinxed Bevdaas!

– The only saving grace has been Dravid’s rich vein of form. ‘Old is gold’ as they say. But as luck would have it, he has returned to India for the birth of his child. VJ will be hoping that his former captain joins the team soon. In times of need, you always go to the (Mr.)Dependable.

Kumble had written after their victory against the Royals, ‘Praveen’s ability to move the ball, Steyn’s pace make for an effective combination.” Praveen Kumar did swing the cricket ball prodigiously in the first match; after that it would be interesting to know as to which ball is Anil exactly referring to? Dale Steyn, the protean spearhead’s pace is evident only in the speed at which his deliveries are being dispatched to the boundary. “That went like a tracer bullet”- Ravi Shastri would exclaim.

The Bevdaas’ being the flamboyant playboy VJ Baltivaala’s team,one solution I see for them to come out of their dry run is make the players undergo the Gus Hiddinck way before a match, I guess ;).


Of glitz, glamour and lest I forget, a little Cricket !

It was day 2 of IPL2. The start of the match between the Delhi Dare-Devils and the Kings’ XI Punjab had been delayed due to rain. SetMax which had taken the Indian cricket fan by storm by its then pioneering ‘Extraaa Innings’ and the ‘noodle-strap’ Sandy Maddy Babe, continues with its 2 hour pre-match show for the 4 hour T20 game.

Give me a break! Agreed, we are Vellas sometimes, but to have the patience to watch a 2 hr talk show, where the so-called experts discuss things which are intellectually just a shade more stimulating than picking one’s nose, takes some digging taking.

Experienced commentator Arun Lal is seen chatting with yet another new cricketing host, whose name I don’t know and frankly don’t need to bother either; after all they change faster than Sandy Baddy Babe’s choice of sarees on the show. I quietly muted the TV, occasionally glancing to see whether the match has started. One couldn’t stop feeling sorry for Arun Lal, a former Indian team selector and a decent Ranji player, having to pointlessly chat with some novice show presenter- all for a few thousand bucks. Let him make his pie, after all, the poor guy was wearing his pygamas in an era, where even champion cricketers had to seek alternate employment after retirement, unlike the IPL era where rookies get signed up for mind-blowing figures of 100,000$.

Suddenly she appeared- SSBABE . Yes, I don’t deny that she came as a whiff of fresh breeze, though prone to faux-passes, when Miss  “India Tri-color” saree appeared first as cricket talk show presenter during ICC Cricket WC 2003. But 6 years later, “Madam, you have become a little too old for this”- I feel like yelling.

No longer, is the spark there. And as a cliché goes, “Excesses tolerated in youth are not taken kindly to later.” Quite apparently, the SmBabe is trying hard to reinvent herself and stay relevant. A low-plunging neckline black dress with a bit of cleavage shown for good measure won’t do any harm, she reckons as she drawls something in Hindi.

Yes, it will, if your co-host is a Korean[1] looking newbie, who barely opens his mouth and most definitely looks like one, who would respond to both Hindi or Tamil with the same, “Oung Yang, Ching Chang”. The man was looking in open mouthed wonder at Mandira as the latter was reeling off peels of her cricketing knowledge.

‘Poor Girl, it is not your gyaan he was dazzled by. It was darshan of something else, our co-host was silenced by.”

Later, our exotic looking host finally opens his mouth, when talking to a group of spectators. I lunge for the remote; turning off the ‘Mute’ button, as I wonder, whether, our ‘Ying Yang’ will talk Mandarin or Korean. Voila, our ChintuMintu talks in shudh Hindi. Now my doubts why ‘Ying Yang’ was silent in the presence of Mandira is confirmed. “Ward-robe Jadoo”. Hmmm…

To end it with a little cricket, the 3 hours talk-show culminated with a 16 over match played in just over an hour.

[1] The man didn’t look like one of our North-Eastern brethren