All the big talk I had has been squashed. The first test has ended and we were totally outplayed. Yes, we did bat well in the second innings, but not for one moment in the first test did we look like we could cause South Africa trouble while they batted. OMINOUS SIGNS !!!!
Having said that, cricket is a funny game, one outswinger, two wickets and suddenly you set panic in the opposition ranks. India would do well to keep that in mind. After the first two tests in the Ashes not even the staunchest Australian fan could have predicted the way Australia came back.
Unfortunately for India this is not a 5 test series and that means India cannot afford the luxury Australia have. In a 3 match series its a herculean task as everyone says, but India has to take match by match.
Simply bat well in the first innings in the second test. Bowl tight and Zaheer coming back will help. Indian bowling can get 20 wickets, I firmly believe so, the important thing will be for Dhoni to have faith in that and to make his bowlers believe the same.
I always remember the evening at Eden Gardens after Laxman and Dravid had batted the whole day and after the days play when Harsha asked Ganguly when would he declare and does he see any other result than a draw, and Ganguly famously just put his arm around Bhajji and said,
“Kal yeh mujhe Test Match jitayenga !!!!”
and the rest as they say is history.
Now is the time, when the skipper and the seniors will have to ensure the heads dont drop and the team keeps its head. Things can change and fast !! Indian skipper, batters and bowlers need to believe most of all, they are good and they can actually take on the might of the Proteas on green bouncy tracks. Now will be the test of their belief and the test of their characters.
Proving the world that we are No.1 is not an easy task, not at all and Dhoni is just discovering it… Like Pete Sampras said… becoming no.1 is easy… staying there a hell lot more difficult !!!!