A tragicomedy called 36 all out

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The tragicomedy of 36 all out

We process India’s 36 all out in the Adelaide Test. Was it a tragedy? Or was it dark comedy? Is it even something that can be explained?

Talking Points:

  • The visceral shock that accompanies a rapid collapse
  • Pain, grief and decades-long hurt
  • How does the emotional reaction to 36 all out compare with 81all out?
  • The deadly duo of Cummins and Hazlewood
  • How cricket is such a batsman-focused game
  • The role of luck in every single cricketing event
  • The great Indian heartbreaks from years past
  • Chennai ’99, Kolkata ’99, Barbados ’97
  • The discourse that accompanies such collapses – and how it has changed over time
  • The urge to find a scapegoat


Kartikeya Date (@cricketingview)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Ashoka (@ABVan)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


Australia’s perfect storm catches India in the wrong place at the wrong time – Sidharth Monga – ESPNcricinfo

Collapso relapso – Tom Eaton – ESPNcricinfo archive

Outliers – Kartikeya Date

A classic ’90s heartbreak – 81allout podcast on the famous 81 all out in Barbados

India. Pakistan. Chennai. 1999 – Siddhartha Vaidyanathan – ESPNcricinfo

Heartbreaking for Jayasuriya, backbreaking for Indians – Arunabha Sengupta – Cricketcountry


Lead image from here

5 thoughts on “A tragicomedy called 36 all out”

  1. It is the perfect thing you’d want to read/listen to after such a loss!

    In one of my WA groups, a younger friend is so disappointed and almost cursing few players. And I’m laughingly telling him it’s ok.

    I agree with Sidvee that context is important. If this was the 4th Test in the previous series, then it’d have surely hurt. Being a 30+ (and approaching 40) person myself, I too agree with him that even though we (one can be partisan in the Comments section, right :D?) have lost several games in a session (in Tests) or from winning positions in case of ODIs, this one really doesn’t have that disappointment/heartbreak stature.

    Reasons IMHO:
    1. We were arguably in a strong position but not in a winning position (if you don’t endorse the opinions of Indian news channels, that is)
    2. Aussies bowled remarkably accurate and took wickets off really good bowls – that too, proper Test match wickets not those skiers caught at extra cover or mid on.
    3. Lot of speculations were made regarding the evening time, the swing and all that. But India surrendered in broad daylight and it was hilarious after a while. That’s how you take the conditions out of equation.

    On a sidenote wrt point 2, I thought they bowled like some of us master a cricket video game and play it on amateur level after some time. Make 800-3d batting first and then bowl with pinpoint accuracy with well tested fields. Dismiss them for 36 and 45.

    ABVan is a star – as soon as Sidvee mentioned the Chennai game, I thought he dropped something on his desk :D; I remember his story from another episode wherein some person was writing the SL score on a blackboard, and after a while ABVan thought the match has stopped :D. I listened to this episode while on a walk and it was difficult not to laugh/chuckle whenever he spoke. The mask didn’t help much either.

    When you were discussing the heartbreak games, I was hoping that you don’t mention (or skip) that one game, but it eventually made an appearance right at the end – Jamaica 2002. There were so much hopes with that game. Kumble had returned injured, and Harsha Bhogle said in one of the pregames show that Kumble had said when (and not if) this Indian team comes after winning the series, he (AK) will be at the airport to receive them. Then after all is said and done, Indian tailenders needed to play sensibly for few minutes, which they didn’t. And then it rained. And rained. For a week if I remember correctly. The first two ODIs were abandoned. Kids, this is heartbreak.

    1. Thanks Vivek. Always wonderful to hear your comments. The Chennai game has left deep scars on so many. And yes, that Sabina Park Test from 2002 was among Indian cricket’s biggest brain fades.

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