Today ends the looooong wait, err… atleast for me. Guess you cant comprehend can you ? Well, today we are here in Somerset, the men in blue I mean for their first tour match of England !
The Men in Blue from after soaking the sun and enough playing on the Carribean beaches have now come to the English Summer, which is almost like our winter !!!
The land of low, slow(err..not so slow) pitches where it swings the moment there is a cloud and it stops swinging the moment there is sun ! The greens here are lively green and almost all stadiums picturesque ! There is a totally different charm of watching Test Cricket in England, something I dont see anywhere else, neither Australia nor New Zealand !
The English crowds have always been appreciative of good cricket and I think they will enjoy watching the brash, confident and supremely talented men from India ! Too bad for the crowd the biggest entertainer today in Test Cricket will only be available from the 3rd Test Match !!!
India has come a loong loong way from wanting to play a hamstrung affected Kapil !!! Today they dont play unfit players, be it a Sehwag or a Sachin or a Zaheer or a Gautam or all 4 of them together !
As much as people still doubt that India is not the real number 1 or whatever crap, the fact is India is a very good allround team, take any 4-5 members out and still they dont really sweat and that is what is their biggest strength.
Imagine if this England team were to play us without Anderson, Cook, Strauss and Pietersen ! Whaddya think would our chances be then ??? huh ??
Yes, in the caribbean, Dhoni won the series but missed a huge oppurtunity. India is a good team but I think champions always keep raising the bar. Safety first really cannot be good idea, aggression and showing intent should always take first priority, coz the moment you let the opposition see a weakness they will be all over it. India must assert themselves more !
Above all, Dhoni or for that matter, all captains must understand they are there to play cricket for the crowd ! The crowd pays for the tickets and thats what allows the cricketers to actually play their most loved game and even earn a living out of it. They could have been working in some boring cubicle all their lives if not for the paying spectator !!!!! So as a player their biggest responsibility is towards the public that has turned out to watch !!!! How the heck can Dhoni decide to not go for 84 runs in 90 balls on that fateful day in Barbados is beyond me. The entire ground was full with spectators !!! Now dont blame anyone for Test Cricket’s demise !!!! The players must understand that a hard fought draw is another thing, but not playing while the public has paid for tickets is BLASPHEMY !!
Dhoni is GUILTY in my books ! period !
The turn around in Indian cricket began on that famous afternoon in Kolkatta when Dravid and Laxman batted like men possessed. It was sad to see they were the two at the crease and with such a petty chase in a series where we were sitting 1-0 up in the series, we chose to ABORT !!!!
Thinking of the Carribean tour I actually think we gained nothing from the series apart from perhaps watching Ishant regain his confidence and composure, can’t help but feel all the overs bowled in the carribean will do him a world of good in England. Perhaps Praveen was a relevation, coz I was always worried he cant get the ball through to the keeper at a decent pace, but he proved pace is not the only thing and his teasing, tantalising line and lenght and movement could probably have him playing ahead of Sreesanth alongside Zak and Ishant !!!!!!
That apart I dont really think Indian bowling was put under much pressure in West Indies as the batsmen were just not enterprising there so I am not really sure how much to read into the bowling performances.
The true test begins on 21st July, England are a more well rounded and balanced team, they would like to avenge their defeat on India’s last visit and actually increase more murmurs that they are the number one team and not India !
India on the other hand needs to squash all murmurs ! The Barbados fiasco didnt help !
I indeed dont think the English bowling can actually consistently bowl us out cheaply, way too much quality in our line up to fail regularly and that will be India’s strong point. Also I have always believed that Indian bowling is most competent in seaming, swinging conditions, whilst their quality batting ensures enough runs the help from the surface makes our bowling a lot more dangerous than on flatter surfaces !!!!
Greener, bouncier, livlier tracks should actually help Indians to win as our quality of batting will ensure the bowlers have enough in the bank to bowl !!!!
I hope Dhoni and his boys are thinking on the same lines !!!!
Exciting times lie ahead and I am hoping for an entertaining English Summer !!!!
Next post : India’s chances and man to man comparisons and Swot Analysis and preview to the first Test !!!!