Thursday, September 20, 2012

India starts the campaign unexcitingly...

India managed to beat Afghanistan and won 2 points to top Group A standings.  The target of160 was always going to be daunting for the likes of Afghanistan, but it is definitely a below par total posted by a team like India. A score of 180 could have been little more entertaining and also justified the selection of 7 batsmen. Again huge thanks to Afghan fielders for dropping as many as 3 sitters that allowed India to reach 159. Otherwise it would be a little surprise if India even managed 140.

As Bhogle mentioned in the commentary, the looks and built of Shapoor Zadran definitely reminded Shoaib Akhtar. Interestingly he also had the pace to trouble the Indian batsman. As also somebody mentioned in the commentary, “Are we playing in Australia or Sri Lanka?” to appreciate the bounce the wicket offered. Only Kohli looked convincing against Zadran compared to Gambir and Sehwag. Gambir appears to be a perennial pain in the top order with his strange technique of prodding the ball outside off stump. For a variety, his outside edge to be caught by keeper or slip fielder is replaced by an inside edge for played on. Sehwag appears to have lost in a hole. At this time, not one but both the openers needed to be reminded for taking a spot in the side in place of a youngster in a young man’s game.

Dhoni clarified his ploy of fielding 7 batsmen. In case you missed it, “We will start this tournament by playing 7 batsmen. Once our batsmen come to groove, we will consider replacing a bowler in the lineup”. After the current performance displayed by our openers, I’m convinced that India should bat 7 batsmen. At the same time our bowling also appears pedestrian. Irfan and Zaheer are not exceptional with old ball and also tend to leak runs at the top. Balaji may have overwhelmed Afghans, but in the later stages, his military medium pace would be severely tested. Also Harbhajan did not look any special in the warm up match against Pakistan. Except Ashwin, almost every other bowler sends jitter. Hopefully these are early days and all batsmen and bowlers strike form in the days ahead.

So, if India comes up with flying colors at the end of the tournament, we will enjoy. Even otherwise, it will be a lot of fun picking their heads.

However, I’m convinced this is Kohli’s World Cup. It would be exciting if Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary cement their places ahead of the seniors.

Disappointing to witness empty stands in a major international cricket even as this. Either it is poor choice of venues by administrators to promote cricket, otherwise gone are the days when cricket lovers thronged the stadium to witness their stars.

Cricket Lover

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