Wednesday 23 January 2008

A New Order?

“Indian captain and his team will always be able to derive comfort and satisfaction in the knowledge that they played cricket in a manner and spirit envisaged by our forbears and they will retain a warm and cherished place in the hearts and minds of Australians.”

Sir Don Bradman was speaking about the Indian cricket team that traveled to Australia in 1977/78. In many ways that tour came as a welcome relief to the Australian Cricket Board, beleaguered by desertions from the frontline Australian players. Such was the popularity of the Indian team that more people watched the test against India than the ‘WSC Super Test’ at the Melbourne Waverley Football Park.

I have no idea if the current Indian team has captured the imagination of Australian fans. Even if they haven’t, they have certainly played the game that would have made the ‘Big B’ proud.

As Indians approach the final test at Adelaide, there is one uncanny similarity with the series played three decades ago. Back then, Indian team came back from a two match deficit to level the scores at the end of fourth test at Sydney. They have reached half way stage this time around. Adelaide could well see them attain ‘Moksha’ once again!

There are hurdles in this path, none bigger than the hosts themselves. It has been ages since the time Australia last lost two consecutive tests at home. And we don’t need a Andrew Flintoff or a Duncan Fletcher to vouch for their tenacity in face of defeat.

An even larger stumbling block for the Indians would be manifested in their team selection. Conventional wisdom would suggest a 7/4 combination. But India is playing to level the series. Going by the pitch report so far, Jaffer is sure to make way for Harbhajan Singh. That leaves a big question mark over the opening slot. These are times to let convention go for a toss. I would suggest dropping MS Dhoni and letting Dinesh Karthick keep the wickets and open the innings too. Not sure if that will happen, because it takes either a brave heart or an Aussie mindset to effect such decisions. And Indian team is not ready for it, as yet. To me, it is better to lose the series 3-1 in quest of a victory at Adelaide, than take an oft trodden path. After all, a 2-1 scoreline will tell the same story as a 3-1, won’t it?

If Sir Don spoke of Indian team’s sporting spirit, here is what Keith Miller, his teammate and one of my favourite Australian cricketers, wrote of the Indian team in 1971:

“After their win over the West Indies earlier this year, India are also conquerors of England, who trounced my own Australians. So India, once looked upon as in the ‘little league of cricket’ are in the big league. And strong contenders for the best in the world.”

Irrespective of the result at Adelaide, India is guaranteed a second place in the ICC test rankings. But they would badly want to win the final test of this series, not only to stay clear of the third ranked test team, Sri Lanka, but also take the first few steps in what could be a long drawn battle for the best team in the world.

Over to you, Team India.

10 comments:

Straight Point said...

ask any aussie and he will corroborate that if there is any team which gives consistent headache to them and deserve to be no. 2 is india...

if only we can take stride and not loose focus over a a period of time we can narrow the gap if not be no. 1...

a great win always follows with not so inspiring performance...SA tour is the case in point...but things has started to look good...we have finally got our combinations right and its already showing...

Cricket Guru said...

I agree, we have often managed an abysmal defeat after recording a creditable win. At 309/5, we are in real danger of that repeat, unless Sachin and the lower order bat us to safety and the bowlers continue with their superb work.

As pointed out by many, Adelaide is a belter which induces a false sense of security riding on the back of a big first innings score.

Golandaaz said...

This selction of Pathan as an opener will spell India's doom at Adelaide. Not sure why they keep doing it.

Soulberry said...

I wish they had DK instead of Dhoni too. That would have been the best combo for the plan they have.

Now that I've said so, Dhoni might go ahead and prove me all wrong. But he didn't inspire much confidence in me today. He is a limited test match player.

Soulberry said...

And I'm not so upset with Pathan opening...I just feel DK opening and Pathan at Dhoni's spot was better.

I feel Pathan will make his presence worthwhile...he is that kind of chap.

scorpicity said...

nice post CG... as for this upswing in the test rankings, unfortunately it will remain short lived. These guys have been around for such a long time and it is going to be a short time before they are made to call it a day... then rebuilding has to start all over again.

ninest123 said...

ugg boots, chanel handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, air max, tiffany and co, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, gucci outlet, louis vuitton outlet, sac longchamp, nike free, nike free, longchamp, prada handbags, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, tory burch outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, replica watches, louboutin outlet, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, louboutin shoes, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike roshe run, louboutin, jordan shoes, burberry, prada outlet, air jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses, replica watches, michael kors, polo ralph lauren outlet

ninest123 said...

michael kors outlet, replica handbags, timberland, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, michael kors, nike blazer, true religion outlet, true religion jeans, hogan, hermes, ugg boots, lacoste pas cher, lululemon, ugg boots, converse pas cher, nike air max, new balance pas cher, mulberry, michael kors, nike air max, nike free run uk, true religion jeans, tn pas cher, burberry, hollister, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, ray ban uk, kate spade handbags, coach outlet, true religion jeans, nike roshe, abercrombie and fitch, north face, ralph lauren uk, michael kors outlet, sac guess, hollister pas cher, burberry outlet online, vanessa bruno, michael kors, nike air max, michael kors outlet, north face, air force, coach purses

ninest123 said...

converse, mcm handbags, nike huarache, new balance, nike roshe, ghd, hollister, instyler, nfl jerseys, hollister, ferragamo shoes, vans shoes, babyliss, abercrombie and fitch, asics running shoes, birkin bag, bottega veneta, vans, north face outlet, nike trainers, north face outlet, insanity workout, converse outlet, p90x workout, longchamp, soccer jerseys, oakley, jimmy choo shoes, mont blanc, wedding dresses, iphone cases, herve leger, gucci, lancel, lululemon, timberland boots, mac cosmetics, reebok shoes, hollister, celine handbags, soccer shoes, valentino shoes, baseball bats, ralph lauren, nike air max, nike air max, louboutin, ray ban, chi flat iron, beats by dre

ninest123 said...

moncler, replica watches, ugg pas cher, swarovski, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, sac louis vuitton pas cher, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, canada goose, louis vuitton, pandora charms, supra shoes, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, karen millen, canada goose, marc jacobs, links of london, moncler, toms shoes, pandora jewelry, canada goose, doudoune canada goose, moncler, moncler, hollister, juicy couture outlet, bottes ugg, ugg boots uk, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, canada goose uk, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose, moncler, pandora charms, swarovski crystal