Wednesday, March 22, 2006

India vs England: T3D5

There's not a lot I can add to what is I'm sure already being said about the final 3 hours of this Test series. Still, a few things that caught my eye:

  • BCCI - the commercial operation goes from strength to strength. I noticed today that the covers of all the team laptops have massive Microsoft and Intel Centrino logos affixed to them, so that when the TV cameras focus in on the pavilion, the advertising is what takes centre stage. It certainly is quite ridiculous, but you simply have to hand it to Lalit Modi and his team for not missing a trick. First the $10 million non-leading arm shirt deal with Nike, and now this.
  • Shaun Udal - what a way to come good, in what is probably the last Test match of his career. His experience shone through, and it was clear that once he realised there was turn and bounce for him, he concentrated on simply dropping the ball on a spot, and letting the pitch do the rest.
  • Dhoni - I don't want to waste much time here, other than to say that he illustrated clearly why India needs a Parthiv Patel, someone who is an equal or better keeper now, and a vastly more mature batsman.
  • Sachin Tendulkar - he top-scored, and didn't look terrible for the most part, but sadly he also appeared to lend credence to my hypothesis. He put away a few rank deliveries, and then got out just when he might have been set. I'm not knocking him in the context of this particular Indian innings, but re-iterating the belief that for some reason, he doesn't seem able to turn a start into a score these days.

As far as looking forward is concerned - I'll leave that for the report cards that I'll post in the next day or so. Should make for some interesting reading!


Ragu said...

First up, hats off to Flintoff and the rest of the English squad for a thoroughly deserved share of the spoils. I suppose I didnt do the Indian team any favours by watching the last day with the same friend that I had watched the last day of B'lore 05(vs Pak) with:-). I dont believe any one in the Indian camp had any visions of victory(statements of bravado later notwithstanding) and the first spells of Hoggard & Flintoff confirmed that even staving off defeat(or getting close) would require a monumental effort from RD. It wasnt to be, and although there will be much consternation at the lack of fight from the lower middle order and the tail, this defeat can be squarely placed on our team selection for this game. Not picking a 6th bat for the last game of a series in which you are one up(and where your top and middle order has been especially brittle) is criminal IMO. 'twas an entertaining series though, making up for the drabness that characterized the Ind-Pak series before.


Fourth Umpire said...

Spot on, Ragu. Lots of quality cricket in this series, but it was ridiculous of India to not pick a 6th batsman in Mumbai. The "planning for the future" explanation is a cop-out. Planning for the future could have started with beating England, who are a very good side, today.

Ragu said...

Agreed. As a very wise man once said:
"An intelligent owner(BCCI/selection committee) thinks about tomorrow. An intelligent manager(captain/coach) thinks about today as well as tomorrow."