Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We are down, but NOT OUT yet...

Somewhere in England another test match is commencing tomorrow. The new champions of world cricket are taking on a depleted side. Blame it on poor performance of the visitors, blame it on Anna Hazare arrest or blame it on whatever you want, the test match has lost its sheen for many. The show of the visitors introspected more on political grounds than technical grounds. Mind you, I contributed my share too.

For once, I wish to build up this game sitting in the English camp. Let us see how it turns up.

There we made it finally. We have been performing consistently in the past decade or so. We crushed the Kangaroos at their own den, warmed up beating the lions and now crucified the former champs to be crowned the new Champs in Test Cricket. This will be the first match to be played with the crown on the head. To know all the hard work finally paid off, feels very proud.

Now, what should be the next stop? Not a loss. Without a doubt, a defeat would be a serious damage to the reputation. It will be criticized in all aspects if not for cricket reasons too. Not sure if the media has already prepared the report with the headlines “New Champs finds The Hot Seat hot”. That reads worse than a nightmare.

So, should we go for the kill or should we play it safe?
With Tremlett already ruled out, Anderson’s availability doubtful, Bopara looking inadequate to fill Trott shoes, it is difficult to make a choice. The guests haven’t done any great to feel impossible to beat them again or draw the least. But, what if they actually slipped the crown only because of the pressure to hold it? What if they come back hard like how we went on them to steal it? All those Tendulkars & Sehwags who appeared dancing ducks, what if they all find the legs moving? Is it better to be safe than repent later? Oops... the very thought makes the crown weigh too much.

That is not the place I want to be. And so I come back to reality in the Indian camp. The pressure factor is definitely out the equation and it does not matter if India go home 4-0. However if the final test ends in draw it could still be handy while a win from here will be a huge accomplishment. The victory should draw sufficient inspiration for the lead up to T20 and ODI series.

Few changes are definitely on cards. My pick would be RP Singh for Sreeshanth, Kohli for Raina and Ojha for Mishra. Well, I don’t have anything personal against Munaf except RP Singh can provide little more variety in terms of pace and left arm seam bowling. It would not be a badly ploy to send Kohli at No.3 considering it will be good to opportunity to build the basement for the new wall. Having bowled so many no balls and not bagging much of wickets despite the big turn, Mishra should consider himself lucky if picked over Ojha.

Bottom line: We are down… but not out yet

Cricket Lover

1 comment:

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