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Smith's mind games against India

February 28, 2011 09:34 IST
Krishnakumar Padmanabhan checks out the tweets post the India-England tie.

Ever since he took over as captain at a very young age, Graeme Smith has never been in the running for the most popular captain of the tournament award. Ever.

He has always been the boy among men, itching to prove that he belongs in the same league.

Just a couple of cases in point:

When he was no match for Andrew Symonds man-for-man, he turned to his Springbok rugby star friends to bully the burly Aussie.

And during South Africa's recent trips down under, Smith has tried to do a Jose Mourinho, trying to play the mental disintegration game against his more accomplished opposition to supposedly protect his team.

Smith is now at it again in this World Cup!

This is what he tweeted after the match:

GraemeSmith49 Reckon this is the last time india will play on a wicket that doesn't spin in this world cup....what you think??;-)

This is significant because, after this tie between England and India, the two most crucial encounters left in the tournament are India v South Africa, and England v South Africa.

These two matches, coupled with today's match, are the ones that will decide who tops the Group.

And whoever tops this group, will get the weakest opposition from the other group. In simple english that means, the topper of Group B will avoid Australia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

Thus, at the first opportunity, Smith has started his mind games, needling India about its team composition and home conditions.

This assumes more significance when you add the fact that South Africa have, belying their own tradition and

conventional wisdom, opened the tournament with three spinners in their starting XI.

Thus, this India v England match has not only sparked the World Cup to life, but also a competing captain's imagination.

Smith's spearhead, though, doesnt seem to be bothered much.

Here's what he was up to during the India-England match:

Jst finishd doin sum shopping in Delhi! Not exactly streets of London or New York bt DEALS aplenty!

Finally, to round up today's twitter action, here's a little question for you:

What did the wily Shane Warne say before the India v England match?

Shane Warne Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker.. My prediction a tie!

Yeah! That is what the old magician predicted for Sunday's game.

So, at the end of the game, no wonder he was jubilant:

warne888 Shane Warne I am taking a lottery ticket out this weekend !!!

warne888 Shane Warne Can't believe my prediction 7/8 hours ago was right - tie !! Classic, didn't think it would happen but hey-not bad !!!! 2011-my year ! Lol

But seeing the wild reactions after people picked up his tweet, he was quick to assert that there was no foulplay involved, with this tweet:

warne888 Shane Warne Before u think there was something untoward re prediction of a tie, thought it was going to be a cracker-tie was tongue in cheek-but right

He even couldn't resist from gloating to his good friend Kevin Peitersen, when he asked KP, who is also pretty active on twitter, if he had caught up on his prediction.

KP's reply:

kevinpp24 Kevin Pietersen @ warne888 no pal.. Never saw it!! You never far off when reading games of cricket!! Hope alls well mate...

Check out! Rediff's fabulous coverage of the World Cup!

Krishnakumar Padmanabhan