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   And a few more thoughts on the Reliance Cup, at its present stage. (October 22, 1987)

And a few more thoughts on the Reliance Cup, at its present stage.

One thing seems to be obvious; if India had been drawn in Pool B, with the powerful teams there, it would already have been eliminated from the competition. So that is our good luck.

Also, had Richard Hadlee been in the New Zealand team, India may have been a lot worse off in its own group than it is now. So, the absence of Hadlee is also our good luck.

As for the absence of Chetan Sharma from the earlier game, the way some people have been carrying on it would appear that Chetan was an indispensable matchwinner. At best, he is a useful bowler, a capable slogger, an enthusiatic fielder and player, definitely more useful than Roger Binny, but just that.

The absence of the West Indies pace bowlers has certainly affected that team, as also the absence of Gordon Greenidge. But most of all, it is Clive Lloyed's absence that is being felt. Vivian Richards is no captain. And he is not even a good batsman in the absence of Clive Lloyd. Richards's loss of form (in his case, the appropriate word would be - class) is,) I think, because of his subsequent lending of his services to some small Lancashire League Club. Such a sudden fall can harm a man's morale, especially that of a natural player like him.

In this context, I am not particularly looking forward to the West Indies tour of India following the Reliance Cup. The tour, with the West Indies in their present disarray, would be an anti-climax to the cricket season.

England also is not at full strength. But I have no sympathy for the England team, its members have always been bunch of cribbers, the cricket correspondents who accompany it even worse so. I am certain the English team will have a bunch of excuses, all aimed at conditions in the sub-continent, if they do not reach the semis. Which I don't think it will.

The Australians (the present generation of Austrlians) also are cribbers. If they are not doing so right now it is because they are winning.

The New Zealanders seem to be the nicest of the lot. They have not had much luck, especially with the weather, but they have carried on smiling. A lot of this is because of their manager Gelnn Turner, certainly one of the most humane of cricketers.

And one thing that bores me is all these cricket writers going on and on about how difficult it is to predict the results of limited overs contest and how anybody, but anybody could win. I think, they are paid to come out into the open, be bold, and make fore casts.

Not being a cricket writer, I can make my forecast. If India and Pakistan meet in the finals, India will win. If India does not make it to the finals, which likely, Pakistan will win.

 
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