POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Mar 29, 2011 AT 21:06 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 29, 2011 21:06 IST

Mukul Kesavan in the Economic Times:

 

There's nothing good about a one-day international between India and Pakistan. Make that an ODI that's also a World Cup semi-final, and the awfulness scales up an order of magnitude. Growing up in the late sixties and seventies, I used to hear hipsters say without self-consciousness or shame, that this or that person or thing gave off bad vibes.

Well, an India- Pakistan limited-overs match is a giant tuning fork that makes the subcontinent's air thrum with malign vibrations.

One of the best things that ever happened to Indo-Pak cricket was the death of the Sharjah one-day tamasha. It was sport only in the sense that cock-fighting or bull-baiting or the Roman circus were sporting contests: it was blood sport without the blood, and it was sustained by an excitement born of desperation and fear and loathing.

Mihir Sharma in the Indian Express:

One of the most read posts on Twitter was from the tennis player Sania Mirza, who caused a similar, if smaller, stir last year when she married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. @Mirzasania wrote: “I support India and @realshoaibmalik will support Pakistan as usual!!the war is on..lol..hahah”, which was perhaps, after discounting punctuation, on the cheerfully harmless side, war metaphor or not.

The most amusing SMS around, though, combined pitch-perfect geo-location with just enough menace: “If Pakistan wins the semis, they go on to play the Shiv Sena in Mumbai for the finals.”

Rahul Bhattacharya in the Hindustan Times

Sport has a way of delivering these scripts. One might argue that the perfect end would have been a title fight at the Wankhede on Saturday. But just as well for that. Much better for this game to be hosted by Punjabis, whose sentimentality in the matter of Pakistan may balm some of the hysterical jingoism going around.

In Mumbai, the site of 26/11, home of the Senas, the game might have been swallowed by threats and fears and a nasty nationalism. It is the last thing that two limited but thrilling sides deserve in a surprising cricket World Cup. I hope Shoaib plays and Sachin takes first strike.

So perhaps fitting to end with what Mukul Kesavan on Twitter described as "the sharpest piece of writing this tournament has produced", Imran Yusuf on espncricinfo: India v Pakistan: a fantasy, published just before the India-Australia match:

When other men talk there is always a dark, primal subtext: Who does better with the ladies? Who's got more money? Who would win in a fight? Who's read Proust? When the Pakistani and the Indian talked, the unspoken subtext was always the next match. The last match. All the matches from the past and into the eternal future.

To their compatriots and their wives, they would mouth off at will.

The Pakistani would say Shoaib had Sachin's number and the number was first ball. The Indian would say Sachin had Shoaib's number and the number was six six six. The Indian would say Pakistan had never beaten them in a World Cup. The Pakistani would say Pakistan has the better of India in Test and ODI wins. Both would imply in Hindi or Urdu that the other side had incestuous relations with their sisters.

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Mar 29, 2011 AT 21:06 IST ,  Edited At: Mar 29, 2011 21:06 IST
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Digression
4/D-79
Apr 01, 2011
11:50 PM

Mukul kesavan, as expected, brings in his leftist deceit once again..he wants Bangalore crowd to applaud the 'great' Javed Mianded in his last ODI.. He may have forgotten what Mianded did to Kiran More in the 92 world cup, but the crowd didnt.. and they boooed.. making Mianded the victim and the crowd, the criminals.. typical of their 'secular' deceit, it is not the sinner who is the criminal, but the one who punishes them..

Again, he calls the last ball six as an 'Inconsequential' ODI that demoralised the nation.. Is it the 'Six' or Mianded's wild celebrations after that and his rise to a 'Hero' status in the Arab world which literally made him the prince with wealth and publicity ? Again, finding faults with one and turn a blind eye to the other.. you will pass the test of a 'secular' and 'liberal' ..

Its not a surprise that he forgets to mention the same Pakistan team was given a standing ovation from the Chennai crowd in the memorable test when Tendulkar's heroics failed to win the match.. Oh wait, that;ll make his theory and without-context-anecdotes meaningless. That'll bring a balance to the argument.. No, that is not allowed with 'liberal' world view.. they';ll continue to spin stories and create victims so that they can thrive with their intellectual dishonesty..

Rajesh
Bangalore, India
3/D-74
Mar 30, 2011
10:44 PM

Congrats to Dhoni+10!

Well done.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
2/D-47
Mar 30, 2011
11:11 AM

The match puts two countries in a total fever pitch,  and yet this is all that our scribes could come up with?

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
1/D-39
Mar 30, 2011
10:24 AM

'Don't worry,be happy' is my advise to fellow Indians.But why, one may ask.India is sure to win only because both Rahul and Priyanka will be there at the match at Mohali.History tells us that India won an ODI at Karachi only because of the presence of Rahul and Priyanka.Who said this?,It is that biggest joker and sycophant Rajiv Shukla after India's win;not for him the team's efforts.So,now with the added force of mother Sonia at Mohali how can India lose?Ask Rajiv Shukla.

S.S.Nagaraj
Bangalore, India
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