26.5.06

Cricket: India vs W.I. Fourth O.D.I.

Q: Punctuate the following sentence:-
"Tigers at home and lambs abroad"

Choose any one of the following.
a) Full stop (.)
b) Question Mark (?)
c) Exclamation Mark (!)

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Indian fans. The unexpected has happened. West Indies have beaten India in that form of cricket which attracted the minds of all cricketing brains. The myth was blown away by West Indies who are trying to revive for over a decade now. The myth was partly created by stellar performances at home. The modus operandi was to not minding to bat second, trying to keep a check on the score to be chased. The two trump cards were MSD and Irfan Pathan, both did not play to full potential. The major issue was swept under the carpet, in the wake of winning which was Indian bowling is a little weak link.
I think just pitches are not the reasons for dismal performances above. There has to be something wrong in the preparation or application.

Gayle has a better measure of Pathan.
Pathan bowls perfect lines to right hand bastmen but seems to lose control when it comes to bowling to left handers. West Indies have like of Gayle, Chanderpaul and Lara in there ranks. Gayle is dynamite he can blow the opposition away or sink his own team. Chanderpaul is all about grit and determination. Lara is a class all by himself. He made a very good 50 and helped register a very impressive series win. Pathan will do well if he can pick them up. His poor form with the bowl did ot help is batting and there were very few things positive about his body language. I think he should be dropped for the final One Dayer. His form with the ball and bat is very important in the context of the up coming Test series.

West Indians cruise to victory.
Indians failed to trigger a West Indian collapse. There was no hurry as Lara and Gayle looked in awesome control and did well to keep on chiping away the runs and then the matched reached the stage where the target looked as simple as take water out of refrigerator. This was also helped by a lacklustre bowling which was already grinded toothless in previous matches.

Harbhajan kept it tight.
Harbhajan should have some bearing over this series. He has been absolutely awesome. He has looked were threatening and West Indies batsmen have given him the due respect. There was no other bowler apart from Agarkar who could even think of claiming wickets in current form.

Up coming One Dayer.
Will India play for pride? Will West Indies make it 4-1? I would love to see Pathan rested. Raina should open with Sehwag. Kaif has to be the number three. Dravid can sit pretty on four. Dhoni should come after Yuvraj to give the finish to the innings. Pathan should be given the license to bat at seven. But will we find wicket taking bowlers?

What is your answer to the above question? My answer is Fullstop.

First Edition.
India has just about managed keeping their noses above the water. At one point in time I felt they would struggle to get to 200 then later I realized they would be bowled out before completing the allotted quota of 50 overs. They did post a chaseable 217.

The opening slot is a spot of bother.
Sehwag needs to be a bit more consistent. He would not want to rest on a 97 for too long. The end of Sehwag courtesy a good catch saw Dravid struggling. Raina is wasted at number 3, he should be opening instead. The number 3 (One down) is for Rahul Dravid. If this happens Kaif will come at four. If one can imagine he coming at four and making a useful contribution as he did today and then he can pave way for Yuvraj who is a brilliant finisher along with M.S.D. (Mahendra Singh Dhoni ;P )then I am sure India is bound to have better finishes.

Team’s performance vs key player’s performance.
It is a paramount requirement in sub continental cricket teams that the captain and/or senior most player does well for the team to do well. If they don’t the team does not offer much charm to be followed. Dravid is a prime example atleast for this one. He is struggling and there is no exuberance and panache that we now associate with “Team India”, also important to note is that Team India’s performance has often coincided with Tendulkar form (or lack of it) and or his fitness levels, before for the reasons ever so obvious. Dravid, now is the senior most player and also the captain so the captain has to do well for the team to do well. He has not been upto the mark and other have not the ability/luck to push home the advantage.

A bus of opportunity missed.
I think besides Tendulkar and Ganguly not many Indian batsmen are willing to go down the track to spinners. Kaif who is a grafter and not a stroke player waited too long and Dhoni who took a safer route did not take too many chance seemed to have missed the bus. Lara on the other hand shuffled his bowlers well to stifle Indian batsmen in the death overs. I think Indians might have to pay for missing or failing to create opportunity between overs 35 and 40.

Indians high on M.S.D.
M.S.D helped India claw back from a woeful position by collecting 29 runs of last three overs which could be the deciding factor of this match. He walloped, dispatched and improvised to collect some good boundaries and he has just perhaps made India breathe easy. Low scoring matches are fun provided India bowls well

Dravid put the thinking cap on.
West Indies have a lot of left handers and they struggled against spin bowling. It will be interesting to is whether if at all he uses Sehwag and Yuvraj to some effect. Harbhajan is a class act and Powar needs to tighten his act. Can irfan get better of Gayle? I thinkhe should come up first change as he has not much to show again in terms of control. If Indians keep wides and no-balls to minimum and field well we have a real nail biter on our hands.

4 comments:

Sudeep said...

Mine is exclamation..

Did u see Gayle's six on Sreesanth's bowling?

why the hell Agarkar is dropped frm the test team.. u r right selectors r really dumb

WI had LSD i guess to tackle MSD

Invincible said...

Many Happy Returns of the Day, Tarun :)
Taking off today and partying?

Invincible said...

We displayed the worst exhibition of fielding in this series.
Complete lack of commitment in the outfield especially chasing the ball to the rope, a hundred extra 'second-rund', a thousand mis-fields, million floundered run-out chances. Except Agarkar, no one cud bowl in the dying overs. Munaf Patel gave it away in Sabina Park and so did he y'day.

Our batting never blossomed.
Did u watch y'days bout? It was as frustrating as all other matches.

The Light-House. said...

@ Sudeep: MSD and LSD :D
Agarkar being dropped is a big mistake.
@ Invinci:In stock market terms I slot this series defeat as a "Market Correction"