Australia, just mind your own business!

If speaking good English made for world champions, then England would be champions in all sports along with their colonies, Australia and New Zealand.

Connor Sully of Australia celebrates a wicket with team-mates during the quarterfinal against India.   -  ICC

 

The Australian Open tennis championship saw some amazing contests and culminated in a first time winner of a Grand Slam in the women’s event, Sofia Kenin. The men’s championship was taken by the wily Novak Djokovic, the trophy being his eighth in Melbourne and the 17th overall in Grand Slam events. The triumphant ones were Europeans, who don’t have English as their mother tongue or as the modernists would say, their natural language. Kenin is now an American citizen, but her roots are in Russia. Djokovic is a Serbian.

If speaking good English made for world champions, then England would be champions in all sports along with their colonies, Australia and New Zealand, where English is the natural language and where the Queen is still the titular head. However, as has been seen over the years, it’s how well you play a particular sport and not how well you speak English that determines who wins trophies.

Some people, especially one or two Aussie cricket writers, who are forever taking potshots at India, should educate the young Australian under-19 World Cup cricketers, who tried to undermine the India players about their English-speaking capabilities.

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Guess what? The English-speaking Australian under-19 team was packed off home after being thrashed by the Indian boys, who spoke broken English, but played much better cricket than the Aussie brats.

Today, if England is the One-Day International World Cup champion, then it has to thank the fact that its team had at least half a dozen players whose natural language was not English, but Afrikaans, Urdu, Irish and a Barbadian or Bajan dialect. This combo helped England win the World Cup for the first time in 13 editions.

The aforementioned overseas cricket writers would do much better trying to teach their youngsters about respecting the opposition and stop telling Indians how to run their country or their cricket. First sort out the rot at home and then tell others how to run their countries or cricket. Remember the old saying? When you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you. It might also do them a world of good if they tried to research why in the world of sports, the most brattish behaviour is from the Australians, be it in tennis or cricket. The upbringing there may well be far more illuminating than trying to shine a torch on India and its political landscape and Indian cricket. Or to be more blunt, just mind your own business, guys. Get a life.

Life is going swimmingly for the Indian cricket team in New Zealand where it posted a historic T20 International series whitewash. Remember, India had never won a T20I series against New Zealand, be it at home or away before this tour.

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The way India wrapped up the series with the win in the Super Over of the third game was thrilling to say the least. I have to confess here that having played the game, I don’t usually get too excited about India’s wins, but the Rohit Sharma assault had this old man almost jumping and screaming till he realised that he was a guest in the New Zealand Cricket Board’s marquee.

That sealed the series and a couple of days later, another Super Over saw India winning again but without the tension and pressure of the previous game.

Truly, this Indian cricket team is a joy to watch and worth going miles to see. The all-round skills are just phenomenal and it’s not just the batting of the top three — Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — but also the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and the spinners, plus the fielding led by Ravindra Jadeja and the skipper himself that make this team such a watchable one.