Tuesday, February 9, 2010

If`s and But`s- Nagpur Test

No 46- Another one in a loosing cause!

Cricket is indeed an amazing game. I had thought I would start a new blog in which my penchant for cricket would not be talked about for a change. But India`s recent performance against South Africa made me change my mind. I am back, doing what i do best- Talk about the game we all love.CRICKET

Now lets analysis and dissect the test match. Cricket is not a game of If`s and Buts as reiterated by Mr Navjot Sidhu zillions of times in his short stint as a commentary or I might say as a quotator (term discovered by me- As most of the time he was reciting quotes). But today lets us introspect and see how things could have been different.

India on the eve of the first test match were the favourites, not because they had world class players (which obviously they have and so do the South Africans) but because they were ranked No 1 in Test Cricket. But things started on a bad note when India not only lost VVS Laxman to injury but also his replacement Rohit Sharma just minutes before the start of the test match. It was touted to be a match between two of the best test playing teams (reiterated by their test ranking) but eventually it turned out to be damp squid (esp. for the ardent India fans).

The irony of playing for India is that, you might earn a spot in the team and even go to the extent of playing for the nation, but the timing of the match and the opponents are vey important . As proved for Mr Saha, who was picked up in place of Dinesh Kartik, who after numerous attempts could not cement his place in the team. But today he finds himself out of the team, pondering as to what went wrong.

Post the defeat all the fans are desperate to have Dravid, Laxi and to some extent Yuvraj back in the team. They even feel India lost due to their absence. It could even be possible that tomorrow`s headlines read as - Depleted India team capitulates in front of mighty springboks. Now coming to the "IF"- Had Murali vijay, Badrinath or Saha scored a match saving hundered the situation would have been quite different. The headlines would be been - India`s youth comes to rescue- Saves Nagpur test. In the days to come, news would have been making circles that India no more needs Dravid and Laxman. The new talent has to be given a chance, the youth should come forward, the oldies need to retire et al.

But nothing of that sort happened and Dravid (has just missed two test matches since his debut) and laxman would count them lucky. Dinesh Kartik would also be on cloud nine since his 2 tons in the Duleep Trophy final meant that he is back in the team in place of Mr Saha, who would be repenting of the fact that why did he got selected in the first place as Nagpur test did more harm than good to him.

In no ways during the entire test did it seemed that the world`s best two teams were playing. In fact the passion and zeal displayed by the World No 1 team in any sport, let alone cricket, was totally missing from the Indian squad. This was vindicated the way they gave in to the pace of styen and guile of Harris. I personally think that the rankings at times are very misleading and does not reflects the true picture of the current form of the team. India has been doing well, but against whom?? Minnows like Bangladesh, a team like Sri Lanka which has one of the most boring (if i can use that word) pace attacks.

India did bounce back last time when South Africa toured India, to level the series 1-1. To repeat the same feat, the India team would need to go back to the drawing board, forget about the rankings and just come out all cylinders blazing on a deck which supports the spinners (Mr Groundsmen- R u listening?)

Spinners are the only way India could stage a comeback as our pacers DO NOT (barring zaheer) have the speed to bother the South Africans. Unless this happens we would just be content on watching Sachin Tendulkar reach yet another milestones and watch him score yet another hundred in a loosing cause (happened 10 times till now)

Let’s hope for a better performance!

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