Friday, November 23, 2012

its tough at MUMBAI...

Surprise, Surprise!!! Two wishes of two people were granted today. Dhoni got the surface of his desire. As a result, India played 3 spinners to my desire.

Now, I’m sure my second wish of Rahane replacing Gambir is not far away from becoming true. It is highly unlikely that Gambir will succeed in the second innings on a crumbling surface. Finally, the selectors will spare Dhoni from making the decision and drop the southpaw themselves for the reminder of the series.

But, my long term wish of Tendulkar playing 25 years of International Cricket is looking bleak. It was my hunch that Tendulkar will have a wonderful season like the one Ponting had last year against India. But, it may not happen. For the sake of Indian cricket it should not happen too. Everyone was praising high of the ball to which Tendulkar got out. In other words, Tendulkar was unlucky to have received a ball that pitched on leg stump at good length and turned big to hit the top of off stump. Tendulkar on prime must have been excited by the length, backed his reflexes and immediately gone on the back foot to cut past point boundary. An ageing Tendulkar chose to play forward and found his stumps shattered. You can’t get a better ball to cut, especially when it bounce as high as this and moves towards off stump.

It is my humble opinion that Tendulkar should announce his retirement and play the reminder of the series. This way, the pressure to perform will be out. Runs will start coming automatically. And the fans will get to enjoy the greatness of the Champion for one last time. And they deserve it too.

To me, the payoff will always be big, when the players make their entry at the right time. India made rich dividends by playing Virat Kohli in ODI’s prior to 2011 World Cup. Kohli cashed on his superb form and even outwitted Raina (blue eyed boy then) for a spot in the playing XI. Since then there was no looking back for the Delhi lad. His dream run in 2012 had forced few minds to tout him to be the next Tendulkar. Similarly, India is getting benefitted immensely from Pujara these recent days. Instead of playing Kohli at No.3, Pujara was promoted against New Zealand. From here on, there was no looking back for the Rajkot lad.

As much as India benefitted from Kohli and Pujara, India missed the talent of Yuvraj Singh in Test Cricket. Again, we all know why Yuvi could not make the cut to the Test team. In the end he did not become the Test Cricketer he should have for the talent he possessed. Well, that is what happens when you don’t make it at the right time or when you don’t get sufficient time to ease into Test shoes. Laxman had similar challenges. But he was persisted. In the end, he went onto become one of the Pillars in Indian Cricket. One injury to Sidhu, Tendulkar became the opener for India and went on to redefine Indian Cricket. So it is very important, players make their entry at the right time.

I was all fear that Ajinkya Rahane could become another Yuvraj Singh. The guy has been with the Test Squad since the tour of England in 2011. And it is disappointing that he has not made his debut yet (Despite the fact that players like Gambir, Sehwag, Laxman and even Dravid had horrendous run). Thankfully I see the hopes for Rahane after this long wait. With Tendulkar exit, I’m sure Rohit Sharma and Tiwary will get their dues to make a mark in Test Cricket.

Back to second Test, for the first time Indian batsmen were challenged (thanks to the surface and Panesar). It is not exciting to see India batsman bat on a featherbed and the opposition dance on the same wicket. Pujara yet again came up in flying colors. It appeared like he was batting on a different track over the others. After Dhoni exit, it looked like India may not make it to 250. Again 250 is a very good score on this track. The real surprise came in the form of Ashwin. He is making it extremely difficult for Harbhajan Singh or to even some top order batsman.

Bottom line: The formalities of an Indian victory should be over by Day 4

Cricket Lover

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