is the word that comes to mind watching India field. I mean for all Indian cricket followers what could be a bigger reason to celebrate than to see an Indian fielding side outfield the mighty Proteas? India in the first group match against the men who were favourite to win this tournament came in batting like champions, they treated the mediocre and thoughtless short pitch stuff with what it deserved, by dismissing it to the boundary. For long a lot of teams use the tactic of bouncing the Indians, they reckon even if they might not get us out, the short stuff is difficult to score for our blokes, after a lot of hard work by Sachin, Rahul, Sourav, Laxman it was sad to see we Indians were getting our reputation back as blokes who must be bounced and our true character came out. It was refreshing to see so many horizontal bat shots racing to the boundary and it was the fearlessness and the aplomb with which they were attempted that South Africa were shell shocked so badly they could not try any plan B throughout the innings even after they were being pulverized on the short stuff. Frankly without Steyn and then Morkel injured the South African bowling looked nothing of the threatening kind. How Philander & De Lange sit home I do not know?
After having scored so well, India’s weakest link, its bowling didn’t really inspire as much confidence, but with dry English wickets the spinners might come into their own as the tournament progresses. The spinners kept the run rate under check and then with brilliant fielding and South Africa’s tendency to shiver at crucial juncture’s it was a convincing win in the end.
For a change the Indian team had begun well in a tournament. After South African came the West Indies with some really good limited over players in their team. However, after Gayle was picked up by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who looks impressive with each outing, remember the ball is still not swinging as much for him in England yet, the rest of the batting barring from Charles Johnson caved in to pretty simple straight bowling by Jadeja, infact they played as if Jadeja was throwing hand grenades. A late flourish by Sammy gave their score some respectability and also showed that India’s death bowling might be an area of concern.
When India came out to bat, the weather was quite cold and I was pretty keen to see how we go against Roach and Rampaul, to say that our openers thrashed some ordinary short and wide stuff would be an understatement. At no stage did the two batsman look worried or allowed even an iota of fear to enter their supporters. Yes, Dhawan will be bounced more after that drop catch, maybe there is something around his right shoulder, but then the bouncer will have to be good or else Dhawan will make the bowlers pay. I love the fearlessness and the supreme confidence he goes out with. He has 3 centuries in 3 outings for India. Touchwood, I say, I don’t want to jinx his run, but let him make the most of it before the bowlers work on him.
Rohit Sharma had talent for all to see, we, including yours truly has always been very frustrated with his failures, perhaps sometimes wanting him to be dropped as he just failed to deliver all the time. However, things look quite different this time round with two fifties under his belt he looks quite authoritative, apart from the back foot shots he has the front foot game and a lazy elegance that his batting possesses makes him such a treat to watch.
So far the way the team has performed has make them look as the most daunting batting line up in the tournament. Imagine that Virat Kohli and M S Dhoni have hardly had to do a lot and they were being considered our main batsmen in the tournament before it began tells you how well the tournament has gone for its batting. Its fielding looks equally efficient. If the bowlers can keep churning up decent performances, India will be a hard team to stop.
For once they look like the team to beat… Irrepressible like this moustache 😀 😀 😀