Frankly no one could see this coming could they? No I am trying my damnest hardest to try and not over bat these 4 ODI victories in the Champions trophy but I can’t help it. Its a world stage, the best teams are here and so far whatever has been flung at our team frankly only a few of the members have actually squashed it. The fact that Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni who were expected to shoulder the major burden if India were to get anywhere in this tournament have not had to actually break much sweat is in itself a pretty big achievement eh?!
I don’t know how long will Shikhar Dhawan’s fairy tale last, but the one thing I have noticed and I maybe wrong is players like Dhawan who have had to beat around the domestic circuit for a few years and have waited their opportunities, a similarity can be drawn to Micheal Hussey from Australia or even a Hayden who were groomed as Aussie players but then had to wait for their opportunities and play the domestic circuit for a while grab their opportunity when they get it like no end. We all know how Hayden made his comeback and the way Hussey reeled of runs you couldn’t believe that they had these guys out for so long of the Aussie team. Atleast in the Aussie case they were steam rolling their oppositions any which ways and so you could still justify it. But in the case of Dhawan it tells me and I hope it tells the selectors as much that from time to time you must fling the opportunity to untried players. I just hope Dhawan keeps his feet grounded and works hard on his batting and keeps getting runs. This is still early days and bowlers will try to sort him out, but whilst this fairy tale is going on and he is batting like a BOMB god save the opposition bowlers.
The final will be a big test, the pitches will aid swing and if its cloudy, the English attack is perhaps the best to exploit it and hence we will get to see another challenge flung Dhawan and India’s way.
The other most pleasing thing in this tournament has been how Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has bowled. 4 matches and he has got 4 openers in his first spell including India’s biggest nemesis in recent times Naseer Jamshed not just him but Gayle, Ingram and Kushal Perera. The early loss of wickets ensures the opposition is not just all set out to attack but also trying to keep wickets in hand. Again Bhuvaneshwar Kumar apparently looked like a very very steady bowler but ever since his entry into the Indian team he has been the biggest revelation. He has consistently picked up early wickets and that has to be attributed with being one of the main reasons of success of India off late.
Umesh Yadav still needs to find his feet in the ODI arena, he is a quickie who is perhaps confused right now whether to pay attention to direction or pace. The good thing is since India is winning, he will get a chance to play around the team and learn on the job. I still do think he must bowl it full and fast and go for wickets, yes, he will always be a touch expensive but his length, which I believe is an excellent Test match length will always give him a few wickets albeit at the cost of a few runs.
Another big slap on all critics including me has come from Ravindra Jadeja and his skipper who backed him so much to our bemusement, surely we all thought his bowling was innocuous, maybe at best 4-5 overs outside the subcontinent was all you could get from Jadeja and his batting on seaming and bouncing tracks was questioned but so far his batting is yet to be tested properly but then at no.7 in such a batting lineup his batting will be rarely tested and we all knew how well he could field. This fella after unbelievable criticism and ridicule has actually managed to quell all murmurs and has cemented his place in the team. The fact that his bowling came along so nicely in the Test series against Australia has helped him a lot. He gets in the team as a pure bowler, the one good thing about him is even if he has an off day I guess Dhoni will be happy to have him as he is pretty accurate and hence he can set fields to Jadeja. As a skipper I guess you want a guy who can bat, bowl and field all together with aplomb.
Ishant has been patchy, I hope he can pitch it up more and change his own luck and not be known for his life as unlucky Ishant. Raina’s challenge will come against England, he has hardly got any opportunity this series. Karthik I think should do well, he is another case of a player who is all eager to grab his opportunity with both hands. Rohit Sharma finally seems to be delivering on the talent he possesses, if he can play to potential and be consistent at it not only will he win India quite a few ODI’s but perhaps be the replacement of Sachin in the Test team at no.4.
MS and Ashwin should do their stuff. The fact that the best ODI batsman in the world has had to do nothing in this tournament so far tells you how India have been thumping about in this tournament. Lets hope they can continue this momentum on Sunday for beating the Pommies will be sweeter than anything. It is this team that has beaten us at home in Tests and drubbed us the last time we were here and this will be some small revenge for it.