The problem with sports is that it is meant for playing. There can only be so much to write about, or comment about, when it comes to sports. But then the media needs to make a living too. They need to fill the empty pages, create an excitement where there may be none, or feed into existing expectations.
Today's TOI's article on the front page, no less, written by Sachin Tendulkar, no lesser, offers these nuggets of wisdom:
Do not try anything out of the box: And why not? It is equally valid to say, that out of the box thinking is required in every situation. Maybe that statement is reserved for tomorrow's article.
India is one team that no one wants to play in the tournament: And, so I am sure, is Australia. And of course New Zealand. So what are we saying here?
Which is why India should look to repeat what has worked so far for it: I hope we don't lose. Then it will be due to repeating the same old things, and not thinking out of the box.
I don't see any reason to try anything different, unless the situation demands it: This is really wonderful. It sounds like the starlet giving an interview who always says "I don't believe in exposing myself, unless the scene demands it"! And of course, it goes contrary to all the advice her mother has given her to not try anything different and not to think outside the box.
The boys must look to play with a blend of aggression and adrenaline: Now this is a new one. Other journalists will be noting this down for use in their writings. Truly wonderful statement which makes no sense whatsoever. And yes, this statement is followed by the statement "That is what produces results" – journalists please note.
They must have 'cricketing awareness' which is basically the sense of playing according to the situation: Really? How wise!
They must have a calmness about them too: Now this is interesting to imagine. How do you have a calmness about you, when you are playing with a blend of aggression and adrenaline? Perhaps it comes from not thinking outside the box.
I know the players in this team. They must be looking to go out and enjoy the game: Thank God for that. He is saying that since he knows them very well - it is not everyone that has such deep insights into the players' characters – you need to know them very well to have that.
There will be sledging, but I am sure our boys are good at tackling it: Meaning, you don't know whether they are good at tackling it or not? I thought you knew the players in this team. And I was reading yesterday that 70 percent of the tickets have been bought by Indians – so who do you think will be sledging whom?
It will be a good, well fought game which the spectators will enjoy: Well, I certainly hope so too. How perspicacious of you to say so!
The boys shouldn't worry about who's saying what: That is Tendulkar offering advice on life in general!
The batsmen shouldn't worry about the short ball because they have been doing quite nicely so far: So is it time they started worrying about the long ball or the yorker?
And then you have the brilliant comments from other cricketing greats who have been of course interviewed for their nuggets:
Kumar Sangakkara: Just go out and enjoy the occasion as it's a special day for the men in blue: Now that is a statement no one can object to. Makes eminent sense!
Dilip Vengsarkar: If we bat first, we should look to not lose wickets in the first 10 overs. The 10-40 overs period will be crucial as well: Dilipbhai, you left out the 40 to 50 overs. Perhaps you feel the Indians will not last that long?
Dilip Vengsarkar continues: The batsmen must look to forge partnerships: Of course, what else?
Other nuggets from Tendulkar:
I am sure Dhoni's boys know how to bowl to Glenn Maxwell and the other Aussie batters: Sachin, for a supposed expert, you don't seem to be definitive about anything!
Once Shikhar Dhawan gets going, it spells trouble for the opposition: Of course. I thought that is what getting going meant.
All in all, sports writing does have a lot of wisdom on offer!