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India, the worst hosts in ODI World Cup history

Last updated on 05 Nov 2023 | 05:50 PM
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India, the worst hosts in ODI World Cup history

Have you ever seen anyone treat guests this badly as India are doing this year in World Cup history?

Please Note that this article is a Satire, and none of these events have had taken place in real life.

You know, there’s this tendency for guests to be treated as gods in India. 

Or, in simpler terms, “Atithi Devo Bhava”.

But not for nine teams in India at this year’s ODI World Cup. There is the food to worry about; there is the viral fever to worry about, and then there is intense security that stifles you. Even if you forget all of this and be like ya, let’s go, there’s the heat and the air. 

You go to Mumbai, it is quite tough to breathe. You move a city, there’s Delhi, where even practice sessions have been cancelled. In Chennai, there’s zapping heat, and when you brave all of that, it almost feels like the Indian pacers - Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami - are carrying the pitch in their pocket. 

By chance, you survive the pacers; there are the spinners - Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav - who have a rope to choke you to death in the middle-overs, like how Wonder Woman has her Lasso of Truth. 

India are a great host still, eh? 

Let’s go to how the games have panned out against India. First, Australia in Chennai - and like the Indian tradition has taught us, Rohit Sharma lost the toss and gave Pat Cummins the liberty to choose what his team had to do. 

It was Cummins who decided they would bat first. That’s when Rohit entered the dressing room at Chepauk and conversed with the Sun-G. Till a day before the clash, there were rain predictions, but on that day, sun-baked the pitch, and then it started turning. By the time KL Rahul walked out, there was no spin whatsoever. 

Do you even remember a single instance in the second innings when the ball was even turning for Adam Zampa? 

Forget that, do you remember how the batting in the middle-overs was in the first innings compared to the second innings, right? It was all a push of a button. 

There’s a reason why Rohit has won five IPL titles: he has control of just (all the things). Hitman for a reason. 

Sounds quite shady, doesn’t it? 

Who did India play next? Ah, Afghanistan. Where? Arun Jaitley Stadium. A stadium that saw over 400 runs scored. But Afghanistan only scored 272 runs after batting 50 overs on that placid wicket? Was that really the cause? 

India did nothing but type ‘BUMRAH’ on the laptop in front of the fourth umpire. He instantly picked up four wickets. How can you explain that otherwise? Some things are better left unexplained, I guess. Even on the most placid surfaces, Bumrah was bowling like a possessed man.

And then, how can someone bounce back from a duck to looking like the greatest ODI batter of all time (in terms of six-hitting, aggression, and you understand the drift)?

Let’s now talk about THE FIXTURE - PAKISTAN. 

Nearly 1,30,000 - is that the number? Or was it 2,00,000, or was it that 11 men vs the entire nation? Something like that, no? Shame on you, Star Sports. 

There was no chance Pakistan could have won at that fixture. Not even if ‘Dil-Dil Pakistan’ was played multiple times with metalheads rocking their heads up and down. 

It was India’s way of thanking Pakistan for coming to India. And how do they do that? By thrashing them. Not just thrashing them but giving Pakistan a return gift in the form of an ‘identity crisis’. 

Oh, just like a lot of things in India, it was a 1+1 offer - not only were Pakistan handed an identity crisis, but there was also a special ‘parting’ gift for Babar Azam. 

Pune was supposed to have a wicket that was supposed to be a graveyard for the spinners. 

But not for Indian spinners. It was Kuldeep who struck first, and then it was Jadeja who dented all the hopes that Bangladesh had (if they had any). As a host, weren’t you going to be kind to your guests? 

And, to top it all off, they even asked these groundstaff to heavy roll, killing any kind of hope that an opposition could have to win by defending a total. Inhumane behaviour, India. Also, where did India forget that kindness when Virat Kohli absolutely came out thrashing the Bangladeshi bowlers and scoring his first World Cup century in a long time? 

Oh, now comes the interesting thing - the battle against New Zealand. 

Do you recall that clash? I very well do. There was this entire four-over phase where New Zealand were fielding in the fog, do you remember that part? That was where the BlackCaps lost the clash. It was because of that FOGGG!!

That fogged their minds off, and the rest is history. India are not even willing to be kind to the ever-kind New Zealand side, the nice men. 

If India were a neighbour, they would be the ones that wouldn’t even give you a spoonful of sugar. By then, India had already won four out of four, count me surprised. Ugh. 

Even without facing England, India had already beaten them. How? Well, England played in Mumbai in that extreme heat against South Africa. First, India made the Three Lions travel for nearly 38 hours to get to Guwahati before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cloudseeded the venue for the game to be washed out. 

Till then, in the tournament, India were always chasing, right? India were 40/3, too, at one point in the clash. Rohit Sharma’s men just wanted England to have a better day under the sun; otherwise, they would complain, right? 

England scored what? 129 runs. They were 30/0 after the first four overs. 

Suddenly, they collapsed. Suddenly, the ball started doing more than normal? You really thought Hasan Raza was an idiot? 

Think about it: every time India have batted, it has been the best batting surface, and whenever India have bowled, it has been the best bowling surface. 

“The way Siraj and Shami were swinging the ball, it seemed like the ICC or the BCCI were giving them different and suspicious balls in the second innings. There needs to be an inspection done on the ball. There could also be an extra layer of coating on the ball for swing," is what Hasan said. 

No wonder BCCI are the richest board in the world. And, perhaps, the only board that could afford to have suspicious balls in the second innings. Indian bowlers don’t have the normal ball; they have one with an extra coating layer. The ball is dipped in a coat of chocolate, and when it pitches, the batters get lost looking at the melting chocolate and get dismissed. 

Not just that, the BCCI had something new this year: light shows. Every time that happens, the pitch automatically swaps around, and the one India desire - depending on whether they are batting or bowling - comes up. Richest board for a reason. 

By the time India reached Kolkata, it was already known that Virat Kohli would score his 49th century. For years, the groundsmen at the Eden Garden were against preparing slow tracks in the IPL, but now prepared a surface that made Keshav Maharaj’s delivery turn a mile. 

But that wasn’t it. 

It was the first clash in this year’s World Cup where Marco Jansen didn’t pick a wicket in the powerplay. And there’s a story that you perhaps might not know. The bed in Jansen’s room wasn’t built for his height, and that was an obvious plan. Not getting enough sleep, in turn, affected Jansen, and that, in return, hampered South Africa’s chances. 

Also, think about this: where exactly were India's last few games, Kolkata, Mumbai? Does it ring a bell? The two venues for the semi-final are Kolkata and Mumbai. If this is not the worst host, then what would? 

Where usually people take care of their guests, India are making life hell for the guests. 

“Atithi, bhava who?”

(Anything and everything here is as true as the number of World Cups that South Africa have, and the IPL titles that RCB will ever have)

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