Friday, December 20, 2013

We have arrived... Are you ready???

India surprised even the most optimistic fan” is a better way to put it. To the perennial doubters who give a ^&$#@ to the youth brigade (especially in the foreign soil) this is a strong wake up call. For the No.1 side in World Cricket and its followers this is a rude shock. Finally for those who still grieve for Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar retirements, Hope is the message.

This has been an outstanding test cricket performance by India in the foreign soil after a long time. Well the game is not over yet and 2 more days of play left. India is sitting pretty with 300 runs lead and 8 wickets on hand. Also riding the wave are the future pillars of Indian Cricket, Kohli & Pujara. If Kohli’s first innings century bailed out India from falling heap, Pujara’s century in the second innings, more or less took South Africa out of the context. It appears Pujara is all at ease to turn this into a double ton, while Kohli can complement his first innings ton with another ton. Batting an hour after lunch on Day 4 is likely to give India a lead of 450 runs. And then 4.5 sessions left to play, coupled with a wearing wicket –Indian bowlers have enough time to stomp South Africa.

A quick review of India’s performance so far…
Vijay looked solid in both innings. However, his individual scores did not reveal his important contribution of grinding the new ball in both innings. At the same time he failed to capitalize when Amla dropped him at short leg in the first innings. Great players make the opposition pay for their mistakes. Mind you, Pujara in his second innings, at around 50 also got a reprieve when Tahir dropped a sitter of his own bowling. Pujara cashed on the life and made South Africa pay for the mistake by scoring 135* with more to come. At the same time, Vijay is here to stay not because he is a Super King, not because Srinivasan is the president, but because he has it in him to grind the new ball even in alien conditions. On the contrary, Dhawan looked totally out of sort in every aspect. He appeared to be a walking wicket, but then it is only his first test abroad. Since there are not too many left handed openers in the circuit whose names doing rounds and India is not looking back to Gambir, there is a good chance, Dhawan may get a long rope. Since he is very young, he will learn from his mistakes and come good in the days ahead.

Pujara and Kohli had already passed the auditions in India, now stamped their class. Pujara’s performance confirmed Dravid’s exit, while Kohli looked so much good at No.4 than a fading Tendulkar. Rohit Sharma floundered on the limited opportunity, but then not everybody performs in the same test match. At the same time, the way he got out in the first innings was not good scene to watch too. I’m sure he has better days ahead and proves that he has it in him to replace Very Very Special Laxman. After Ganguly retired nobody really sealed that spot. That spot was always available for grabs. Yuvraj, Raina all tried their hands unsuccessfully. Little Rahane playing a different genre of cricket may be that answer to the puzzle.

On the bowling front, India may have missed the genius of Kumble or the guile of Harbhajan (at prime), but Ashwin offers a different pedigree. He is surely an all-rounder that India has been looking for a very long time. At times, I felt Ashwin may be a better opener (compared to Dhawan) and give India an option to play 4 pacers or an additional spinner (when needed). Well, these are very early thoughts and don’t carry too much merit to be introspected immediately.

For the first time, I feel Indian pace battery looks so much better than yesteryears. Zak has the knack, Shami has the pace and the duo is able to reverse swing too. Finally after 50 tests, Ishanth Sharma is coming off age. A Kumble sort of personality is the missing link in the spin department.

With Morkel out of the test match, India is looking to possess a better bowling attack than South Africa in the second test. Ooops, I already concluded that India won the match.

It is highly unlikely India will lose from here. We have always been complaining about India not putting a fight during the 8-0 debacle. Let us see what the World No.1 have in them to fight in this test match

Bottom line: We are here. Let the world better be ready for us.

Cricket Lover

1 comment:

  1. great article ...
    would love to have your views on the write-ups in my blog -

    its a paradise for cricket lovers


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...