21 September 2007

Was that India playing out there?

It was a performance too clinical to believe, one worthy of India's next opponents - the Aussies. Recovering well from a stumble on a lively pitch against the quality bowling of Pollock, Morkel and Ntini, they bowled and fielded with an intensity that not only got them through, but in an amazing reversal of fortunes, the knocked out the previously unbeaten South Africans. A young Indian team, under its young captain, posted a comprehensive victory without its best player. And that is far more significant than the Aussies thumping the Lankans without Ponting.

Anyway, Arpy again. What a bowler he is turning out to be! After a three-over first spell when he showed Sreesanth the virtues of bowling the new ball on a tight line and length, he returned to fire in yorkers and bouncers in a last over where he clocked 143 kmph. Pietersen certainly wasn't lying when he called him a "highly skilled swing bowler".

And Rohit Sharma. Eased into international cricket with four off his first fourteen deliveries, and then caught the South Africans napping with some sensational driving and cutting. A deserving man-of-the-match, he also got a crucial run out of Justin Kemp to cap a sensational night for the young batsman. He seems to have the attacking technique and temprament to make it at the highest level in all forms of the game. Quite significantly, his first international effort has come on a fresh pitch at one of India's least favourite grounds, when the chips were stacked high against him.

What of MS Dhoni? His batting in this series has been a revelation. I know that many will disagree and say that captaincy has made his eschew his customary hammer-and-tongs approach, but I have four words for them. Proof of the pudding. Especially at a time when our line-up is filled to the brim with lovely shotmakers, it is not a sin, even in T20, to have someone around to shepherd the innings. And the fact that he has done so quite a few times in this series, speaks highly of his thinking - someone capable of looking beyond the immediate.

Against Australia though, India's traditional failings might stand exposed. Today India were placed in a situation where Rohit Sharma absolutely had to fire. Giving the Aussies an opportunity like that would be akin to suicide. Similarly, the Aussies would certainly make the several extra deliveries bowled by India count. Sreesanth has to be careful.

4 comments:

Sumit Chakraberty said...

i wish they would open with uthappa. the way sehwag smashed jeeten patel and mascernhas shows how he can destroy spinners and medium pacers. the new ball cutting into him or the outswinger too close to cut are the ones that get him out. after six or seven overs there aren't many of those. anyway, i guess there will be no change and we can only keep our fingers crossed that sehwag somehow survives those initial overs.

John said...

True. Sehwag has a weakness against an accurate ball cutting into him. As far as the outswinger is concerned, it is not so much a weakness as it is a matter of losing his head. Even with the in-cutter, if it happens to go anwhere near his pads, it is guranteed four runs. It is not an easy decision to demote Sehwag, though there is a decent case to make Uthappa open, given that his front foot pull is not as effective in after the PowerPlay overs.

Soulberry said...

I'm ambivalent about this. I really feel better knowing Uthappa comes in next but I wouldn't mind seeing him come in as opener either.

I guess today each one of them will get his chance to play unless someone decides to light another surprise bomb underneath just like Rohit Sharma did unto Saffers.

RP Swing, Wilkins calls Arpy.

Nice blog by the way.

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