Vinay Kamath [email protected]

Believes life is one long learning...

Vinay Kamath

Why hard fought battles in sport make for compelling viewing

| Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 14, 2017

Saina Nehwal beating the tough Thai player Ratchanok Intanon in three fiercely fought games in 57 minutes at the Indonesian Open is one for the books.   -  PTI

There’s something about a fiercely competitive game in any sport for that matter. The ebb and flow of a game, the triumph of the spirit over body, a relentless do-or-die spirit, all that goes to make for great viewing as a spectator.

Yesterday's news of Saina Nehwal beating the tough Thai player Ratchanok Intanon in three fiercely fought games in 57 minutes at the Indonesian Open is one for the books. Especially so because Saina is clawing her way back from injury; she’s fallen off the top ten badminton players list. Saina was not expected to win against the world number 8 but her sheer resilience and desire to win paid off and she even won the last game 21-12.

The week gone by has seen many sporting events. There’s the ongoing Champions Trophy and there have been some thrilling matches on display. While one is, obviously, thrilled that India won its matches against Pakistan and South Africa, the steamrollering of both the teams made it all look so one-sided, as if you just drank flat beer. Whereas the India-Sri Lanka match made for more compelling viewing, even though India lost the game ultimately. Sri Lanka was the underdog; The Hindu even had a headline on the day of the game: ‘India has nothing to fear against Lanka’, and for the brave Lankans to take the battle to the Indian camp in one of the highest run chases in the championships was thrilling stuff. One felt a similar adrenalin flow during the IPL final which Mumbai scrambled to win by just one measly run against Pune Supergiants.

You had to feel for Stan Wawrinka. After an epic battle with Andy Murray to come up against a resurgent and raging Rafael Nadal and get thrashed in straight sets took the spark out of the finals of a tennis Major.

Sports’ funny that way. While one can appreciate the talent and hard work of a winning team in overwhelming an opponent, as a spectator it doesn’t make for compelling viewing when the opposition gets squashed. Like the all-conquering Australian cricket team under Steve Waugh, they bullied and smashed all teams in sight, you held them in awe, but watching them play was no fun.

Published on June 14, 2017
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