The Indians wrapped up the series 5-1. The seven match series was already decided after Indians beat the English four games in a row. It has been a good clinical finish to a series which went well for the Indians. This is the time for jubilations for all the Indian team fans. The youngsters are doing brilliantly by coming to the fore and sharing the burden of the team. The one not so young Rahul Dravid is leading the front from the front. He is an example of everything that is positive about this team, this country and as well as for this sport. He is lucky to have some enormous talent that is ready to fill the boots of likes of Ganguly, Laxman, Srinath, Kumble and now readily accepted Tendulkar. I am not saying that this is the end of them all but I am convinced along with the million others that they are in the last lap of their careers and will hopefully go down as perhaps the best of Indian talent which the world saw and applauded.
The English batting.
VRV gave away more than 10 an over and thanks to him, they happen to settle a score of nearly a 300. The best of English batsmen, all of them contributed to the score. Pietersen and Collingwood top scored with 64 and Jones a well deserved 50. I still think giving Collingwood a majority of strike will only help the English cause of being a better team. I imagine an English team opening with Stauss and Trescothick, followed by Collingwood at three, Vaughan at four, Pietersen at 5. I think a good thinking cricketer at 6 followed by Flintoff and Jones and then their bowlers. Hoggard, Harmisson, Simon Jones and a spinner. I think this will be a balanced English side (provided they are available for selection). The English batting looks confused as to whats to be done in a One Day match. There last four wickets fell for 21 runs. I think they reduced Indians worry when they looked liked trouncing a score in excess of 300. I wonder whether they would be able to play any time of spin in the future as well.
VRV Singh was a big flop in this match. This guy works on shear pace. I hope he has a big heart and can learn a few more tricks about consistency required in length and line along with ability to outthink the batsmen. This is where Pathan is so very good. He has such good control over whatever he is doing the result is for all of us to see. Then there is Sree Santh. The gracious break-dancer who makes batsmen dance to his seam bowling. Sree Santh is to Waqar Younis what Pathan is to Wasin Akram. Sree Santh is a touch unlucky though. There are many catches dropped of him. He too has too learn the tricks of changing his pace and add an element of surprise into his armoury. The quality of Harabhjan was sorely missed. He has done well in the series. I know the English don’t play spin well but then one has to place an input in the direction of intended output. Bhajji did so in this series and dumped his detractors.
Powar also did well with both bat and bowl. He has played some “Gilchrist” type innings for his Ranji team Mumbai. He has often managed to save his team from the blushes and then turned the tables on the opposition. He is a good find provided he can match the standards set for him on the field. He lacks Bhajji’s quality but compensates it with his crafty batting.
R.P. Singh’s strength is bowling on one side of the wicket. He does so brilliantly but is often guilty of being too wide and providing room heave the bat. He is a decent fielder. Pathan and Agarkar should be automatic selection with Agarkar being the first change bowler. I wonder what’s Zaheer doing these days. I think he should pump in the iron and iron out his injuries. He is awesome when in full rhythm.
Robin Uthappa did well to score a very crafty 86. I saw him playing some strokes on the leg side and I actually mistook him for Dravid. A tired effort while running saw him give away his wicket. I think he should aim for Dravid’s consistency and he might just do fine. Suresh Raina is on song. He compiled a very defiant 50. It was crucial because in One-Days one wicket tends to get you a couple more. He batted along with Yuvraj who is the Indian One-Day player of the season. There is no stopping him. This series bought him his third consecutive man of the series. I wonder if it was ever emulated. Yuvraj can put on wrong foot. He has a role defined for him which is to end the innings whenever India bats. He has done this with all the panache, which for him is his raw power and delicate left hander’s grace.
For once Dhoom Dhoom Dhoni was not missed. I wonder if he would have required in any case.
The Indians gave away 9 wides and 8 no-balls the English replies was 8 wides and 4 no balls.