31 August 2007

Broadside!

India got beaten by a very good English team. Since 1992, England - but for a brief spell under Adam Hollioake with Thorpe batting like a god, has never been able to produce sustained spells of good one-day cricket.
On the evidence of their performance yesterday, they seem to have a formulaic one-day team, capable of evolving into a champion side. Take a look.

- Two quick opening bowlers who look like they have a cool head on their shoulders. They will need it when they travel to the subcontinent. In this series, the nature of the track has not seemed to bother them, they have hit the deck hard anyway.
- Talismanic bowling all-rounder
- A one-down who looks capable of growing into a batsman who can accelerate and consolidate with equal ease (like Dravid, who inexplicably, is not batting at one-down!)
- Deep, really deep batting line-up, with a number 9 capable of taking the game away with his batting. When Pathan, Dhoni and Raina were winning matches for India, such an attribute was true for India as well, but not now.
- Few lower middle order batsmen who can chip in with a few overs.
- Decent fielders and runners, all of them, with some exceptional brilliance thrown in for good measure.
- A captain who likes the one-day cauldron, and is always trying to stay one step ahead of the game.

Dravid needs to make at least one tough decision. Is Karthik actually better than Utappa? And deciding that is just the start!

I do not foresee much success for India in one-day cricket at least until the end of 2008. Hopefully, by then, the likes of Sehwag, Kaif, Raina, Pathan, Harbhajan, Sreesanth, Uthappa, Gambhir and Rohit Sharma will have a greater claim for a spot in the side. Fresher, faster, hungrier cricketers are needed to supplement Yuvraj, Dhoni and Zaheer, and that will take time. The Indian fan will just have to be patient.