I do not know how it is with you, but with me that thrill of a new Test series beginning is gone. I do not know why. It is certainly not because of the foreknowledge that India is going to lose the series (and the triangular contest and the World Cup latter on), because India has almost always lost and I have always known it will in advance, but in the past it has bot stopped me from enjoying cricket.
And it cannot be because there are no personalities left in the team, because there are. Though they may not be of the emangitude of a Lala Amarnath or a Vinoo Mankad or a Polly Umrigar, or the Paraudis, father and son (the grandson; I am told, has gone in for acting - a pity). But we still have Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri, and all those dashing young batsmen on whom whatever hopes we have are pinned right now.
And it also cannot be that there is not enough coverage of cricket, so my diminishing enthusiasm. Because cricket coverage has never been better, in volume or quality. There are better writers and several cricketer-writers, and there is television, bright, clear and in colout, which has replaced the faint relay of commentary over the radio from some distant land. I would say that the greatest beneficiary of the television age has been sports, with particular emphasis on cricket, football and boxing. Consider the different angles from which the game is covered: instant replay, slow motion, close-up, microphones under the wicket to make you hear them rattling, the camera following the dismissed batsman out of the firled and into the dressing-room. The last-mentioned, I remember seeing it being done particularly well during the last Indian tour of New Zealand.
It could be that there is too much cricket and hence it has begun to pall. But ther has not been enough of Indian cricket in Australia. And, in any case, a tour of Australia is different from a tour anywhere else. When you are playing in Australia, you are playing in Australia, you are playing the all-time champions.
So that is where I stand right now. And it is somewhat sad, like losing a past of my youth, not to be excited over the start of another cricket series. Perhaps, all it requires is one single win by India, and all my enthusiasm will return.