Tuesday, July 24, 2007

India in England - First Test

Hi All, mercifully, my employer has re-opened the rights to blogger website (as a probable measure to reduce the side- effects of the peanuts (I mean increments) that came out last month) and I can breathe (blog) again!

Yes, I know - it feels like the birds can fly, Govinda can dance and rivers can flow again!
Hum-ho! OK! Back to cricket!

Where shall I start after such a long break? OK - Let us start with the first test with England that was completed (!) yesterday.

To sum it up, England were hard done by the rains - they deserved to win fair and square. And obviously, there were more take-aways for England than for India

Takeaways for England -
1) James Anderson - Amazing bowler, why he was out of playing 11 for such a long time is a mystery. England's bowling line up should be ideally - Harmison, Flintoff, Anderson, Sidebottom, Monty.
2) Monty Panesar - Improving continuously and impressing everyone with his attitude
3) Matt Prior - Good Wicket keeper, Better Sledger and still better as a Batsman - will go a long way to play for England
4) Kevin Pieterson - England's best bet to survive and do well in World Cricket - Rightly the next leader for England -> My take - KP = 2 times Yuvraj Singh in his best form.
He was busy hammering Kumble all around Lord's , while our 'masters blasters' struggled against Monty.
5) England almost won - without Flintoff and Harmison!

Takeaways for India-
1) Rain is always not a spoilsport. - Good revenge for India - I am still not able to forget how Cullinan and rain thwarted Indian win (and spirited Kumble bowling) on SA soil years back - and so this feels good.
2) R P Singh - bowled really well (on a bowler friendly wicket)
3) Dhoni - Sensible batting - shielded the tail enders as much as he could - please note that this trait was / is never seen before in Indian cricket.
4) Dinesh Kartik - the guy has a spunk - thankfully, sense prevails sometimes in Indian cricket corridor and he is in the team.

As far as the much famed Indian line up(!) goes, this is my take:
  • Yes they were great.
  • There are times when everyone fails to a wonderful delivery, a situation, a mistake, opposite captain's / bowler's acumen etc., and so did they at times.
  • Overall, they have served Indian cricket well - for years together.
  • They have changed over time - their strengths, their thinking, their objectives all have changed in the years that have gone by - but we have not changed - our expectations still remain the same - that we, a nation in cricketing despair, will be saved by these armoured knights on white horses - they will save the game for India, they will destroy the opposition so on and so forth
  • The only thing to do is accept what they themselves have - they are not what they were before.
  • Yes, they were brilliant and gifted cricketers and that gift will show on occasions - but consistency? Sorry mate, consistency has shifter her residence now.
  • Let us stop expecting that Tendulkar / Ganguly / Laxman / Dravid will save us anymore. They will come and try their best, but sadly, their best is not so good anymore. Tendulkar's dismissal to Monty in second innings was - yet again - a sad one for me. For a batsman at his level, getting LBW to an arm ball - is somehow not digestible. But this is where our digestion power needs to change - because this is a common thing now - we will need to digest such failures from these one time greats - till they retire gracefully (!) or are asked to retire like Kapil Dev.
  • So my amigos, let us not start dreaming after yet another century by Ton-dulkar, another miraculous knock by That-man-Laxman, another aggressive century by Dada and another display of dogged defence by the Wall. - let us applaud the knock it deserves, but let the expectations not start coming out of your pocket again - put them and lock them up. Open them for someone like a KP or a Karthik or a Chawla, but not for the ones that ruled once.

Another point to be noted in this match was coming back from being dead of KP - a reversal of decision. I fully support this and hope that it should be a norm soon. However, similar facilities should also be provided for the bowlers who feel that they are served injustice at times.

Justice should prevail in this glorious game - at the cost of anything and everything!

Off to Trent Bridge now, for another match at the mercy of weather I'm told.


Abhijit said...

ranajeet, i am seriously doubtful about simon toffel. he is giving wrong decisions of lbw when sachin is in 90s. ponting shd reach sachin's 100s asap eh?!

Ranjeet said...

Hi Abhijit, I like Taufel but agree that yesterday he was not at his best - But like a lot of English fans, I think that eventually what Tendulkar got was poetic justice, with so many close calls being denied earlier, it was justice that he could not complete his century. Yes, looks like soon Ponting will surpass Tendulkar's centuries.