Monday, March 18, 2013

Done, Done, Well Done India!!!

After the first day of the Third Test was lost to rain, Australia finished at 273/7 at the end of second days’ play. With only 3 days of play available from here, I felt Sehwag (on prime) would have made the difference to force a result in favor of India. I’m sure it was a popular sentiment with many. By the way, I also expected Australia to bundle inside an hour on Day 3 and add another 50 runs to the total at best (even for a Sehwag to make up for time). Interestingly Australia batted almost 2.5 hours and posted more than 400 runs on the board with the Mitchell Starc proving more than a thorn in the ass with his 99 at No. 9. By all means, I was still curious to see India’s approach to this Test Match.

To my surprise, to everyone surprise, India’s intent was to force a result right from the word go. Mind you; it was not too far when India decided to play for draw at West Indies (2011) in the final Test, though the match was only a grasp away. And the men running the show then were the same men running the show now too. This was my reasons to think India could play for a draw.

Interestingly, debutant Dhawan led the charge in a grand style, at an electric phase, only for India to end the day at 283/0 in 58 overs (Dhawan 185*, Vijay 83*).  I’m sure Dhawan sweetly shocked the entire cricketing world with his performance that truly set the tone for India to win the match after only 4 days of cricket. Any thoughts of “India will Miss Sehwag” must be quickly diminishing after Dhawan show. Probably, Dhawan set the benchmark high even for Sehwag is a better way to put it. Also the Dhawan innings eclipsed Dhoni Marathon at Chennai would not be an understatement too.

So, did Dhawan really replaced Sehwag?
That would put too much pressure on Dhawan. In other words, Dhawan has made a fantastic start to his career. If Dhawan does not do 8-10 year career from here, it would be a shame is the other way to put it. While, Sehwag’s innings used to be built around the aura of aggression (a statement of domination), Dhawan’s was mostly deft touches, timings, penetrating gaps and beautiful looking drives in the lines of Ganguly. No matter, how big Dhawan go on to become from here, Sehwag’s place in the heart of people is there to stay. By the way, I’ve not given up the thought that Sehwag will have another stint in the middle order (at No.4) after Tendulkar’s departure.

As much Dhawan’s debut made an impact in Indian Cricket, Vijay has comeback equally good as opener. Two centuries in a row, the technique and temperament displayed, (trust me, few weeks ago I laughed at him for getting selected ahead of Rahane) makes him a strong candidate to stay for a while alongside Dhawan. Though I was extremely confident that any two openers (Dhawan, Vijay, Rahane) would do better than Gambir & Sehwag (in the current circumstances), I should say, I’m equally stumped at the show offered so far by Dhawan and Vijay. The amount of runs coming at the top, gives India opportunity to play 5 bowlers. Interestingly, Dhoni confirmed this in the post-match presentation about India playing 5 regular bowlers. I’m sure it feels good to everyone, when Jadeja is termed as a bowler instead of an all-rounder. I wish someday he turns into that dream all-rounder that India has been looking to discover forever after Kapil Dev.

The amount of runs coming from the blades of Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli (moderately) and bonuses from Dhoni allows the failure of Tendulkar. I’m sure the media/journalist will momentarily pause to dig on Tendulkar. Well everybody wants India to win and it really does not matter from where the runs come from. A 4-0 whitewash on Australia would be a nice relief for all the pain endured in the past. By the way, to my limited knowledge, even the greatest of Indian Teams from the past have not done a white wash (may be they did, I don’t remember). Even if India were to be beat a depleted Australian side, doing 4-0 white wash will be a wonderful achievement. Especially the attitude displayed to win the third Test Match was heartening.

I’m glad that the axe of Gambir and Sehwag turned to be justified move. As much as we hail Indian victory, Australia must be equally blamed for squandering wonderful opportunity of batting out on wonderful strip like Mohali. The Aussies jeopardized the opportunity of saving their ass when the Test Match lasts only 4 days is another way of looking at it. No excuse whatsoever for Australia failure. After 4-0, it will be interesting to see how Australian board handles the situation. Will they axe their captain? Will they axe their players? Will they sack the coach? Let’s follow how the blame game is handled in Australia.

Duncan Stays
It is interesting to know that Duncan’s contract extended for another year. That says the board did not blame the coach for the Team’s failure in the past. It also makes it curious as what is the role of a coach in the side. The only thing that I infer is, “If the Captain earns the benefit of Doubt, so does the Coach”.

Bottom line: What a time for Dhawan to get injured, when IPL is just round the corner? I'm sure India can manage his absence with Rahane, while it will be a huge blow for Sunrisers. By all means, 4-0 white wash looms large for Australia.

Cricket Lover

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