New Delhi: Ever since India lost the Lord's Test, rhetorical questions like 'can India retain the No. 1 spot', 'can England clinch the series against India', 'will Sachin score his 100th ton in England' have become the real ones or at least the media has (errr..ok..we have) portrayed them like that.
If cricket is all about balls then media is all about eye-balls. Yes, we don't want to lose our readers and viewers and that's why we keep coming up with stories, some important and newsworthy, and some just for the sake of it. I am speaking for my fraternity, which is followed, loved and hated equally by the people.
Like every Indian fan I get saddened by every loss but I also realise that it's not the end of the world. But the profession that we are in does not allow us to be that kind-hearted. Media is like a mirror that reflects opinions and sentiments of the people and that's what we do. Only that we keep honking about it 24x7. And that's why you feel the overdose. But come on, you still like to read the stuff and according to your preference, praise or abuse us.
I chose this profession but no matter how much I love my job, sometimes the cricket fan in me gets irked by the journo in me for highlighting and scrutinizing stuffs which otherwise may not be that big. No, I do not want to play down India's loss in the first Test but neither do I want to hang my team upside down.
So I decided to take the middle route and go by the statistics. The Indian team has done fairly well at Nottingham. Having played four Tests there, India have lost just one. India had won the last match that was played there, but that was entirely due to a 'high-on-jellybeans' Zaheer Khan. But I will take heart from the win.
Going by the stats of the past few years, India do well second Test onward. So again there is two way of looking at it. Either we say India have the attitude and temperament to bounce back triumphantly, or we say they are pathetically slow starters. It's again how we want to put it or how you people want to read it.
Progress is a gradual process and going by that standards, India have come a long way. Ten years back, losing an overseas series wasn't beaten to death, leave alone the first Test. A day after the Lord's Test, the fan in me wanted the second Test to begin immediately so that everyone stopped talking about the loss. The worker in me felt otherwise because more gap meant more match related stuff and more stories meant more pageviews.
So people, when you read something against some player, don't think we have some personal vendetta against him. It's all about the pageviews guys!