06 January 2008

Shafted without mercy but we had it coming

We got shafted but we had it coming. Congrats Australia. You played hard but I will not trust you for the longest time. Not like you need my trust, but I am just letting you know.

Congrats India for a well-played four days. You came closer to challenging Australia than any team I can remember in the recent past.

Anil Kumble may not be a brilliant tactician, but if there is one man who can lead by example, it is him, it is him. If India feel done in by the umpiring and other events out of their control, and find it hard to pick themselves up for Perth, they only need to look towards their captain.

India are really bad in the fourth inings. In fact, if you leav the Indian batting with seventy odd overs to stave off defeat, chances are that we will get bundled out. Whether there is an enticing declaration or not. More often than not, the top order does not pull its weight. Jaffer, Laxman and Tendulkar are better than the manner of their dismissals suggest. Laxman got one that stayed low, but he gets out to ones that stay low with annoying frequency. We also needed Sachin to stay there for a while more. Is it cruel to ask this of batsmen who have ruled the ground since what seems like the beginning of time?

I think Dhoni did well. At least better than the man just above him in the batting order.

Eight balls.

Both Dravid and Ganguly have reason to suspect umpiring neutrality today. But a better team would have been able to take a couple of bad decisions in its stride. Don't whine.

Bucknor needs to retire. Now. Benson needs to read the little black book of rules.

Yuvraj Singh is not a good number six. Any captain will bring a reasonably good spinner on when he walks out, and he will lose his mojo. This series has also showed that spin his not his only weakness. But I still will not drop him for Perth. If there is one place in Oz where Yuvi has a better chance to succeed, it is there.

I'd stick with the same team, but Jaffer and Yuvi are on notice.

3 comments:

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Ottayan said...

John,

Thats why it is galling. I just hate them losing a match because they are disheartened.

TM said...

John,

Like I have said in my post, I agree that Yuvraj should get one more shot at Perth- it is the track and the possible 4 pacer combination of the attack that would suit him most. Having said that, his problems with the ball outside off stump continue to plague him - but if Ganguly can survive 12 years against the short ball, I guess Yuvi could make a career despite the ball just outside off, on the length and moving away. As for Jaffer, I am a huge fan and have been since the first time he came into the team. He is without doubt India's best opener in tests and must continue to remain a part of the scheme of things. However, in this series, not only has he not got runs, he has not looked like getting runs. The ball that bowled him was only marginally a no-ball and our opening bat was nowhere near the ball. Maybe I read too much into his actions, but I see fear in him when facing up to Lee, and the WACA pitch is not going to help him at all. I think its time to let Kartik open- he has the gritty quality (if not the class) that we need at the top order and given his performances last year in the openers role, he deserves a chance. What do we have to lose- with Dravid batting the way he is, its immaterial whether we are 30 for 1 at the end of session 1, with Jaffer out or Katik out! The ideal option, given the sheer hopelesness of out opening stand, is to take a huge gamble and play Sehwag - we may just win. I reiterate, there will be no better slep across the face of Australia and its proud cricketing team than beating them at Perth