Friday, December 28, 2007

Reality Bites for India

I can safely say that I'm not speaking purely with the benefit of hindsight. A few things to consider.

  1. Yuvraj Singh I don't think has ever even scored more than 30 other than on flat tracks at home and in Pakistan. He may yet go on to do great things, but his 169 against Pakistan was not the great knock that many said it was. It came in amongst first innings scores of 630 and 530, both scored at around four runs per over, which tells you about the track in Bangalore!
  2. Therefore, to sacrifice your best batsman by making him open, to accomodate Yuvraj, was a ridiculous move. Even more so when you consider Dravid's history as an opener. Eight Tests prior to this one, and India have lost five of them, drawn two, and won one. Apart from two centuries in run-fests in Pakistan, I don't think he's ever topped 20 as an opener. Therefore, the think-tank sends him in to open. Go figure.
  3. Sourav Ganguly - as someone who is far from a fan, I have to hand it to him for these two knocks. Arguably his best stuff since his comeback, in which his contribution has not been as outstanding as the statistics might lead you to believe. He's showing some guts, and while it can be argued that he managed to spend most of his time facing Hogg and Symonds, the fact remains that he was at least able to get off strike when facing the pace trio, which is more than any of the other batsmen can claim for themselves.
  4. The Pitch - what many people forget is that Australia beat India in India not so long ago. This match was played on a very Indian sort of wicket, and the Aussies are expert at bowling a suffocating line and length on those wickets. They did just that here at the MCG.
Sydney and Adelaide likely represent the two chances India have of salvaging some pride in this series.

I'll be at the Perth Test, which at this rate is likely to be a three day affair, and I hope to be at the Adelaide Oval as well, though the series may be a dead rubber at that point.

There aren't a lot of options available to India. I think they'll have to consider bringing Sehwag back in for Yuvraj, and possibly Irfan Pathan in for RP Singh to add depth to the batting line up. If we could get Parthiv Patel in for Dhoni, that would be the icing on the cake, but it isn't likely to happen.

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