17 April 2007

Indian Navy, Australia, Sri Lanka and World Cup

Today Australia beat Sri Lanka fairly comprehensively. Sri Lanka went into the dead rubber* without 3 of their best players. Malinga was injured and they did not want to risk him, nobody knows why Vaas and Murali didn't play. It might have something to do with keeping some surprises in order to ambush the Aussies later. The Aussies have played Murali and Vaas enough times, but they have never seen Malinga in action. He does have a way of dazzling batsmen who face him for the first time because of his hairdo as well as his weird bowling action and disconcerting pace (nobody expects a 1.7m guy to bowl at 140 kph).

Anyway this reminded me of a much trumpeted incident back in the day where a Royal Australian Air Force spy plane did a fly-by on the Indian Navy's newly constructed destroyer, INS Delhi. The Delhi was basically made in Indian shipyards and the West did not have much of an idea about its radar signature etc. So in order to ascertain this, the Aussie plane decided to see if they could get Delhi to switch on her radar and such to grab some signatures. The IN decided that they should keep such information in reserve (just in case they needed to surprise the Aussies later) and did not turn anything on. In usual style, India lodged a complaint at the Australian consulate about their Air Force coming too close to the ship. This complaint did not really do anything for anyone, and we got our ship spied on without any consequences to those doing the spying. The IN doesn't need to do such things as we (probably) have access to Russky data about Western ships / planes etc. At least I hope we have that access. We buy enough from the Rodina for them not to share that data.

(image from Bharat-Rakshak's Delhi page)

Hopefully Sri Lanka's surprise strategy against Australia works. I don't have anything against the Aussies, but somebody should be able to beat them, otherwise they will have gone unbeaten in world cups since 1999. Sri Lanka's hiding of their main players basically means that they think they are inferior to the Australians, so they are using ambush tactics to gain the advantage. Australians are no shrinking violets either with their language on and off the field, trying to gain advantage through psychological pressure so let's see how these mind games play out if these two teams meet in the final.

*dead rubber - match that does not mean anything in the overall scheme of things


lova said...

Now I want to know what kind of trash is actually being said on the pitch.... :) please ?

Hulles said...

This is very interesting stuff, even to me, a cricket nobie.

Mosilager said...

Lova Click here for a good collection of sledges. I was rolling on the floor laughing with some of them. There are some insider jokes, for example, you would have to know that David Boon was a fat player. And Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh were twins who both played for Australia.

Hulles Excellent, a possible convert. Some of the mind games that go on are pretty amazing. Most teams get off the field and have a beer and they are fine with each other. There is a lot of history behind India-Pakistan, England-South Africa, England-Australia matches which make them particularly enjoyable.

Mosilager said...

Lova Those were some of the funnier ones. There's a video here of one of the Sri Lankan players sledging a South African that shows how sledging is actually performed during the match.

abhishek said...

"India lodged a complaint at the Australian consulate about their Air Force coming too close to the ship"

Our diplomats have a penchant to play by the book to the point of inaction. Hence, a long drawn out peace process with Pakistan with a great deal of candid talk on Musharraf's and Aziz's behalf and next to nothing from our side.

Mosilager said...

The level of inaction is amazing considering that we face existential threats from the neighbours.

Well maybe there's some long-term plan that we are not privy to but just letting these other people get away with murder sucks.