The crunch match. The true test of character. The moment of truth. And the truth is, India was not upto it. India were comprehensively beaten in the virtual quarter-final of the Champions Trophy 2006 against Australia. The Blue Billion, instead of rising, sunk. And predictably, captain Rahul Dravid went, "I think we were 25-30 runs short in the end." That is what you say every single time! Think of another excuse for the upcoming series against South Africa and then the World Cup!

Seriously though, I think all the unnecessary hype is to blame, especially the one created by Pepsi. The Blue Billion hype was just too much. Morons who knew nothing about cricket joined in, semi-intelligent cricket fans started talking like experts, the expectations for the Indian team to win went soaring, the pressure got to them and they crumbled like a cookie.

For those of you who don't know about the Blue Billion hype, I'll explain it to you real quick. Pepsi roped in a few celebrities before this cricket tournament kicked off. There were stupid commercials on TV, where these celebs ask every Indian to cheer the team (The color of the Indian cricket team outfit = blue. Indian population = one billion. One billion people wearing the team color = support, and eventually "Blue Billion". Get it?). And they had this "One in a billion" competition where people (morons) were asked "What would be the craziest thing you'd do for the Indian team?" and they'd go "I'll keep doing the spinning dance till the team wins!", "I'll invite the whole team over to lunch!", "I'll wear a blue wig and Indian team colors and cheer for them! Gooooo team!!!!", "I make super spicy snacks. I'll give it to the team and they'll be charged up on the field!" etc. See, Pepsi knew there are plenty of semi-intelligent "fans" out there, and capitalized on that. Do these morons even know that Pepsi doesn't give a shit about Indian cricket? Do they even realize all this blue billion hype was created only to recover lost ground by the cola giant, because of the pesticide controversy? Why is there plenty of morons in the country? When will sanity prevail? So many questions, I don't think I'll have the answers any sooner.

But of course, in the end, the team had to perform. But didn't. Lost. Got knocked out of the tournament. As simple as that. It was one of the worst bowling performances I've ever seen. All the unnecessary hype over Munaf Patel being a great strike bowler got to him. Now look what happened. He gave away too many runs and bowled too many bad deliveries. Asking Pathan to be an all rounder already is too much, and it has taken its toll in his bowling. There are so many questions to be answered before the team leaves for the South African tour. What happened to the "superb batting form" of Yuvraj Singh all of a sudden? Suresh Raina looked like he was playing to retain his place in the team. He wasn't putting the bad deliveries to the boundary. All the hype over M.S Dhoni being a great hitter is bullshit. What happened to his "immense batting talent" today, when it was needed the most? Why couldn't Harbhajan Singh, the "greatest bowler in the Indian team" right now, deliver when it was needed? And R.P Singh, what the fuck was he doing in the team in the first place? All the so called "talent" and "form" popped like cherry and the whole team was fucked over in the tournament. I bet everyone in the team has made their money and are looking to retire early in life. Commercialization of sport must be stopped. Now. Or all the excitement in it will be lost.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , , ,