Why Russell was a smarter captain than Bhuwan?A Potpourri of Vestiges Guest Post
While most people love Aamir Khan’s role of Bhuwan in the movie Lagaan, I for one am not impressed. Yes, he is charismatic, he built a team from a group of misfits, led his village to victory by scoring a fabulous century and then eventually like most Hindi movies went on to get the girl too, but all that is predictable. If you discuss the teams from the captaincy point of view it is Captain Russell (Paul Blackthorne) who emerges victorious. His sharp intellect and cricketing acumen along with his fine batting skills were what led the match going till the last over. Here are 5 instances which will quantify my claim –
· The Use of Yardley’s Bouncers
Set in the Victorian period of British Raj, there were no rules against the use of bouncers and a fast bowler is always a good addition if exploited properly. Captain Russell’s use of Yardley to dismiss Lakha and later injure Bhuwan might have not been the turning points of the match but were extremely crucial in lowering the opposition’s morale.
· Spotting Goli’s Bowling
Spotting that before Goli actually released the ball, he actually made a grunting noise like “Hmmph” was truly ingenious. It reminds me of the time when Javed Miandad kept shouting andar-bahar to help the tail-ender spot the ball and guide Pakistan to a victory.
· Kicking The Ball To the Boundary To Keep Bhuwan Off-Strike
I’m sure that that would cost his team the DLF IPL Fair Play award, but who cares–at the spur of the moment that was the right thing to do. He needed to win the match and putting the weaker batsman on strike was the only way he could achieve it.
· Running Out Tipu
Again, not the most ethical thing to do but when the batsman runs forward before the delivery he is in fact taking unfair advantage and is just calling for it. Before we Indians get all judgy and proclaim him the arrogant prick that he is, let us check the history - Vinoo Mankad, the then Indian captain was the first ever bowler to do this. In fact in cricketing terminology, a player who is dismissed in this fashion is said to be Mankaded.
· Invention of Sledging
He just might have become the Father of Sledging. By provoking Arjan and taunting him about roti, kapda and makaan he may have led to the modernization of cricket and the version we see being played today contrary to the fact that English were supposed to have invented Cricket as a Gentleman’s game… pffft.
While I was sad that his team lost the match, it goes onto show that without Lady Luck and the support of your team-mates, it is difficult to even rustle a fallen leaf. Overall though a long movie, it is definitely worth the 3 hours 35 minutes required to watch it. The depiction of India under British Raj has as usual been an excellent backdrop to the story and Ashutosh Gowariker’s direction has left most of us spellbound. There might be only a handful of people in India who haven’t yet gotten the chance to watch Lagaan, so if you are one of them, don’t despair there are *cough* torrents *cough* available. Sorry, I meant DVD parlours.
About Author -
This guest post is written by Soumabha, a Computer Science graduate from BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus. He is currently employed in Samsung R&D. Hailing originally from Kolkata this proud Bengali is the Admin and Publicity Head of the blog Bytes and Banter. He is also a food enthusiast and can often be seen reviewing Restaurants on burrp! and Zomato. The views expressed by the author are personal.
Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!
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