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10 Nov 2008

Series Review

- Welcome Border-Gavaskar Trophy! It is nice to have you back. A 2-0 win is as comprehensive as it gets.
- Ind/Aus contests are beyond just cricket now. The animosity reminds me of Ind-Pak contests of before. Only it is worse now. It is on the field and off the field. The talk that goes on is more than just "mental disintegration". And honestly, I am getting a little bored of it now. Don't care who is doing the talking...or elbowing!!
- Finally, I am convinced that Indian fast bowlers have come of age. Zahir and Ishant have proved to be genuine strike bowlers. With RP Singh, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan (yes, I have not ruled him out as yet) on the bench, we have a genuine pace attack now. A far cry from the days when pacers were just required to take the shine off the ball so that the spinners could go do their thing. It is also a major reason why Indians are better travellers now.
- Ricky Ponting is losing it. He is not used to playing catch-up to teams, not 3 tests in a row anyway. And the pressure is showing. There have been quite a few bizzare decisions from him that I think he will find hard to live down. Opting and persisting with White and not giving Krejza a chance until the last test, not giving Lee a bowl in the Mohali clash for an extended period presumably because of sloppy over rates, the mad rush while chasing a near impossible 516 in the same test, the icing on the cake being bowling part-timers when India was at 166-6 on the 4th day in the final test, again because of sloppy over rates. Very rarely were the Aussies ahead in this series, and they never managed to go for the kill when they were in front. Their frustration was aptly summed up in Haddin's crazy attempt to stop the ball by throwing his glove at it! A "New-Age Cricket" tactic Mr. Ponting or did your team just run out of ideas?
- With the departure of Ganguly and Kumble it is the beginning of the end of an era in Indian cricket. With Kumble goes one of the last gentlemen of the game. And with Ganguly goes the architect of the Great Indian Makeover. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan has written a wonderful piece that aptly describes my state of mind. Although I am excited about the prospects of this Indian team, I can't but help look back at the past.
- MS Dhoni. He does bring something extra to the team , doesn't he? Almost seems as if there is some invisible force in the field when he is at the helm. Plus it does something to his wicketkeeping and batting as well. He seems to thrive on responsibility. I hope that the combined pressure of captaincy in all 3 forms plus wicketkeeping plus batting combined with the constant media scrutiny don't take its toll.
- Rahul Dravid..what can i say. I will be in India on holiday when the 2-Test series against England starts. I have a feeling it could be his last. So, I will make sure I follow all of it. Of course, would be glad if Dravid plays for much longer :)

And finally..Test Cricket is awesome!!


©hinaman said...

Good review of the series, much happened off the pitch as on it.

And for Indian cricket this was a Test series filled with memories and emotions. And also of the coming unknown - of seeing the players list without many names that we had become used to.

There is no doubt there will be a void, how deep or for how long - we will have to wait and see.

I too am pinning my hopes on Dhoni, but it means expecting too much from a single individual. (and with the IPL every year) A perfect recipe for burnout.

Its great to see another test match enthusiast. I am glad you joined the webring.

I usually go round the ring every day, so even though I may not be writing much, I will surely be reading your blogs on my way through.

Megha said...


In the long run, it might be a good idea for Dhoni to give up his wicketkeeping gloves. But then he really cannot command a place in the team just as a batsman can he? Not on his current record anyway.

©hinaman said...

I agree with you, I do not want him to give up his gloves.

I am also an ardent believer of player psychology. A wicketkeeper does not feel 'right' on the field if they are not in that role. I do not know why, may be its the centermost point.

The status he has created for himself is his style of batting and also through his position behind the stumps.

Perhaps he could give up the captaincy of twenty-20 to Yuvi / Sehwag would benefit India. It takes away a 1/3 of his managerial responsibility. I also believe it will wipe of bad blood between him and Yuvi - if any.

We need to remember he is only 27 - easily has another 10 years to play, being captain of all three formats, I feel is a bit too much.

What do you reckon?

Megha said...

Apologies for the delay in reply. I wasn't well for the past few days and certain "well intentioned" people hid my laptop away!

Player psychology is an interesting point. I think you are right. It might well be that Dhoni would feel incomplete, if that is the word, without his gloves.

Also, Sehwag/Yuvi as T20 captain might be good too. Sehwag has a good cricketing brain and well, Yuvi does command a place in the T20 team for sure, if not in the Test team as yet :).