time to stand up and be counted…


I have been following all sorts of sports since as long as I can remember, sports involve victories and losses, there are two opponents and both want to win and no one wants to lose, but one must lose… over years we have seen teams being edged over, beaten or at times embarassed…

But the Champion teams are the ones who show their resolve after a setback… the way they will react after this loss will in a lot of ways tell us what the team is made up of…

This is Dhoni’s first Test Match loss as captain and people who understand the game will also understand that all good things come to a halt. The fact of the matter remains that Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are the biggest pillars on which this Indian lineup has been standing. Yuvraj has still not filled Ganguly’s spot perfectly… and than suddenly when the two champions are out a team that has not played a test match for 10 years without one of those two does become vulnerable.

Losing the toss did not help as Kallis and Amla piled on the agony… Once they scored over 550 there was only one team that could lose and with India already having their batting order in shambles thanks to Laxman injury and add to that the Rohit slip up all was pinning on Gambhir, Sehwag, Sachin and Dhoni… to be fair Badrinath and Vijay both showed that they belong and perhaps with time they will perform… !

Steyn and Morkel bowled well wicket to wicket where as I always felt Zaheer and Ishant opted to go outside the off stump.. In India bowled and lbw are more dangerous than slip catches with mostly the ball not carrying… quite strange that Steyn and Morkel figured that out and not Zaheer and Ishant who play in India.. !!!!  

However coming to spin, lets be frank… Harbhajan has not been at his best for quite a few years and with no Kumble India might actually do well to change tactics… If you have followed Indian cricket closely we are doing actually better on seaming tracks rather than on spinning tracks. Our strength actually lies in giving our seamers something rather than spinners.

In the first innings the ball was turning, Mishra beat Kallis and Amla many many times, but the consistency was severly lacking after beating them he would pull one ball short and they would punish him and hence Mishra couldnt create any pressure. Leg spin is a difficult art to perfect and it needs time to be nurtured. However the fact of the matter is time is running out for India as this is a two test series and we have to win in Eden.

I have no doubt in my mind that at Eden we will perform better, Nagpur was as low as it can get, its time for Dhoni and his man to do some soul searching and they need to rally and put up a much better show… How I wish Rahul would call Krishnamachari Srikanth and just tell him, “I will play at Calcutta.!!” India’s number 1 ranking is at stake and Rahul has put in a lot for us to reach there… suddenly you feel the loss of Kumble and Ganguly too dont you ???

India need some inspiration… where is it coming from ??? Perhaps winning the toss will help at Eden… Folks the sterner test is ahead… stand by your team… its not time to castigate them… its time to support them… !



23 thoughts on “time to stand up and be counted…

  1. Minal says:

    Get Kumble out of retirement just for Eden! Get Ganguly out of retirement just for the toss – Dhoni’s record with crucial tosses is miserable:-))) Jokes apart!

    I’d blame the selectors more. 4 pacers in the squad when only 2 would play? No specialist batsmen. Saha as WK choice over Karthik, Karthik would’ve been a better batsmen choice. I thought Ojha could’ve played considering he couldn’t have bowled worse than what Bhajji did? Chawla seemed a genuine talent whn I saw him play U-19 WC and later in the team. Why has he been dropped and done away with?

    Spinners need to be nurtured. We have a serious dearth of good spinners – refer Laxman’s interview to Harsha on cricinfo.com. We don’t nurture our bowlers as our sole concentration is on our batsmen. Someone has to get the equation straight – bowlers win you test matches not batsmen:-)

    But I’m hoping for a turnaround at Eden we really are not that bad a team!

    • hitchwriter says:

      Definitely we arent… I have no two thoughts about it… but these flat pitches really dont enthuse our bowlers…

      and really now either Bhajji needs to stand up and show what he is made up of or I am sorry to say this but he might be dropped… He really needs to pick his game up… !

      Ishant or Sree Santh will be another query… its really a toss up… they have to pull up their socks… if they wont support Zaheer a lone man cannot win us games…

      and Mishra, I thought bowled quite well in patches but he is seriously inconsistent… he needs to learn to bowl maidens… he gives too many boundary balls in between some pretty good balls. Atleast he was beating the batsmen regularly… bhajji hasnt really raised any eyebrows… that is what worries me.. ! 😦

      With Laxman back I think the batting will still deliver… suddenly the bowling looks wafer thin… and that worries me big time !

  2. Pins N Ashes says:

    I’m so glad somebody is actually standing up for Rahul Dravid. After his scandalous declaration when Sachin was approaching his double century in that test, and his tenure as captain and his aging self people have looked down at him. All this apart the guy is the wall and has been playing well… Wonder why Sachin has no age constraints in the young squad. I too hope Dravid can be back for Eden Gardens and Laxman too. They are the pillars and it is high time the selectors open their eyes and minds to making a good team and not a team with their fav players

    Come on India, Chak De

    • hitchwriter says:

      Thats the media PnA… have you ever heard Sachin say anything about it ?? or Dravid say anything about it ??

      Its their issue.. and apart from them everyone will speak which is quite funny… 😛

      No one has put any questions on Dravid in Tests either.. infact this test that Dravid missed was only his 2nd in his entire career and both times he was injured… never dropped since he made his debut !!!!

    • Minal says:

      PNA – Dravid wasn’t dropped dear. He has been injured. What makes you think selectors would do that? They foolish but not to the extent to drop him against a quality bowling attack like SA:-)))

      • Pins N Ashes says:

        I know Dravid wasn’t dropped… I saw that ball that hit his jaw… oops! and remember an earlier Kumble delivery that hit him right below his eye or above it thru the helmet. Kumble has done a lot of damage to this way… Saba Karim! thought I’m his greatest fan:P
        Deviating! I know:)

        I was talking about the ODIs, (somehow cricket to me is not divided into ODIS, Tests and T20– I take it as a whole, to be rectified) and the concept of ageism that has crept into the selector’s minds n thru the media into many veiwers too, like u said Hitchy…

        I know the reasons but sometimes it seems so unfair when a player like Dravid is out of a game while many record breaking partnerships has his name to it…

        • Minal says:

          I’m a huge Dravid fan – even more than Sachin. Sachin is god-gifted, blessed and that is not his fault. Dravid is a lovely example of what sheer dedication, grit and hardwork can achieve. It makes him a bigger genius cause he gives us average blokes hope:-)

          I’m not too bothered about him not being there in ODIs. The young blokes have not done a bad job. Yes but I was miffed that he was brought back, played well in the Champions trophy and yet dropped to make way for the younger blokes. No, you do not treat any player – junior or senior that way. Well, Merit has never been a criteria at BCCI has it?

          I don’t care much about ODIs/T20s – that’s not cricket. They are forms to entertain the masses not the classes. If you ask a young player – he would want to perform only in tests. When we remember records we remember tests. When we remember great players we remember them from tests. Bevan was a terrific ODI player – played hardly 18 odd tests would you rate him in all-time greats?

          Dravid has been the most prolific batsman last decade and the main reason for us achieving No1 status with his winning knocks in tests abroad. He has made his mark, name has been carved in history and record books forever. For me that is good enough. No one can ever take away from him the fact that he is an all-time great!

          So let’s cherish that and not brood over his absenteeism in ODIs:-)

    • Minal says:

      Sachin does not have age constraints in the young squad cause he seems much more fitter and faster than ppl 10 years younger to him:-) He is a class apart and probably playing like his old self again:-)

      No one questions Dravid’s existence in tests. The injury has forced him to stay away

  3. masood says:

    Can we even imagine a team without Dravid, Sachin & Laxman? All critics who are behind their heads need to rethink. One game without Dravid & Laxman and India had no place to hide. Yes, I wish Sourav and Anil come out of retirement for the Eden test. I am sure Kumble will still fare far better than Bhajji or Mishra.

    One shocking statistic that I noticed the other day: All Indian bowlers with over 100 test wickets, none (read: NONE) has an average of less than 28. I don’t think we can be a champion team with 4 batsmen with a 50+ avg but not a single bowler with a <25 avg. We need atleast 1 world class bowler. Bhajji is back to being downright moderate. Zaheer is right now in a purple patch but that's gonna end one day.

    I still fail to understand the selection of Saha for the 1st test. They say he happened to be in Nagpur on the day of the match (after Rohit got sidelined) and was drafted in.

    Btw, did you read what the curator of Eden told? Apparently he was asked to prepare a turning track by BCCI. And he's farted it to the press…probably to save his ass specially after the Kotla debacle.

    I hope Laxman gets fit and miraculously Dravid comes to bat with a bandaged jaw. Wouldn't that be a sight! And India finds inspiration and level this series. I think we deserve the #1 slot for some more time.

    • hitchwriter says:

      I guess they all should be phased slowly… I mean first India needs to fill Ganguly and Kumble’s spot… and till then not even think about leavnig Dravid, Laxman and Sachin !!

      The averages are true Masood… but we play in India… and most of the times first 2-3 days the pitches are so so flat… what to expect… ! over the years our test matches have most twists and turns happening on the last two days when the pitch starts to misbehave…

      unfortunately our pitches leave a lot to desire.. earlier they would really misbehave… but off late.. they have become better… and only go low and slow… 😦

      I so wish India would change the tactic completely and let Ishant, Sreesanth and Zak lose on the green pitch !!!! but it seems we can play on a green pitch in new zealand but not in India ! 😦

      wonder when our mentality will change… !

      That groundsman I think is only drawing attention..

      Laxman is fit already declared today !!!!

      While its unfair to want Dravid back… I was just thinking… Dravid has given all his life for this No.1 ranking… what would he be thinking ?? and I thought wouldnt he simply give a call to Srikanth and tell him… dude, pick me I m gonna play at EDEN !!!!!!

      sigh i m a dreamer… 😛

      • Minal says:

        If Dravid plays with an injured jaw against Steyn/Morkel he would be kissing goodbye to his career if he gets hit again! Better safe than sorry. Sure he is ruing it but I would term him foolish if he decides to come back when not fully fit!

          • Pins N Ashes says:

            Wishful thinking!!

            We are all dreamers and want our Team to be at the No:1 spot… 123 -122 isn’t that the difference if India levels the series…

            I would never want Dravid to come out and play with that injured jaw Minal…. and I just hope AB gets me my idiot box before Feb 14!! I’m glad I just saw the first day of the last test and not any more:(

            cya Hitchy, Minal, Masood….

  4. kanagu says:

    serioulsy Indians needs to pick up their game surely…. bowlers are the real worry… if we bat first batsmen will score tons of runs.. but the question lies with bowling…. and we should have somebody with the pace of Morkel atleast to clear up the tail if not frighten the top order….

    lets see what happens… Indian spin talent keeps on reducing… 😦 😦

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