Friday, February 22, 2013

India messes the advantage...

Is Dhoni insane? I seriously doubt if he is one. It is simply not justified how Pragyan Ojha is dropped from the XI for the First Test against Australia at Chepauk. For God sake, Ojha was the leading wicket taker in the recently concluded Test series versus England. Dropping him from the playing XI is as good dropping a batsman like Pujara from the XI. It is a pity India gives preferential treatment to batting talents (even when the batsman are out of form or fail to deliver consistently) while continues to give cold shoulders to their bowling counterparts.

I’ve this much common sense to understand that with 4 left handers in the opposition line up, you don’t need two left arm spinners to tackle them. It also does not mean that you can field any left arm spinner simply because the chosen left arm spinner has little (unproven) batting ability. This is seriously insane. Also the chosen one (Jadeja), replaced a batsman at No.6 and also a specialist bowler (possibly your No.1 too) from the side. To some extent I could digest Jadeja replacing the batsman like Rahane (for Jadeja being handy with the ball). After all, Rahane is pretty much an unknown commodity in this level of cricket. However, not by any means, Jadeja replacing the left arm bowler Ojha justifies. I don’t know if I’m over reacting, but this is what I feel at this time. Also Jadeja’s selection that substituted two specialist players warrants immense faith on his ability by the skipper or an ELITE friendship to prove. I see the latter being the reason for the ALL-ROUNDERS selection. God save Dhoni!!!

Back to the game, I should say, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of Ashwin, especially when his place in the side as lead spinner is debated. On this day, with the medium pace duo of B Kumar & I Sharma ineffective, uninspiring Harbhajan Singh despite an inspired/brave selection by selectors/team management, Jadeja doing adequate for a support bowler, it was truly inspiring to see Ashwin delivering a performance that floored the opposition at 153/5. Mind you, Ashwin’s performance until this point included the drop catch of Warner at slips and a poor decision by the Umpire when the Centurion Clark was on 39.

From a precarious 153/5 to a competitive 317/7, you must give it to the duo of Henriques and Clarke for their sheer brilliance and application with the bat. At the same time, it is equally the fault of the home team to slip away the advantage. Blame it on selection blunder; I’m sure an Ojha would have done a better job that could have possibly folded Australia inside 250. If for any reasons Clarke & Co piles up another 75 runs from here, it is not going to be any easy chase for India. At the same time, if one of the top batsmen did not get any support at No.6, we will have more reasons to blame on selecting Jadeja for the role.

Bottom line: Advantage Lost!!!

Cricket Lover

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