Friday, November 18, 2005

Back in HYD, Indian Cricket's Jigsaw Puzzle and other stories

So I had a nice festival time in Delhi. Celebrated the festivals of Diwali and Bhai dooj with lots of fervor and gaiety... ,-) sounding soo essayish aint I ?

The trip was very nice, much needed and on the whole faantaastic. Was nice to be in my own city.. among my gang of friends.. in the numerous family gatherings...

Was hard coming back to HYD.. the first few days were really painfully getting back into the daily grind..

Though I took quite a few pics around this time and also some short videos... unfortunately they all reside on my PC in delhi.. so cant really upload em here...

Coming back, the last 2 weeks just flew by like a blitz.. Loads of work to take care of..
N number of household things to take care of.. :(
For beginners, I had my telephone line dead when I got back.. then it went dead once again within a week.. Right now my car batteries are all cold and stoned..

Moreover we are starting to look around for a decent apartment which we can purchase... squeezing every penny we have made or intend to make or even dream to make... thats exactly like it.. but seems looking at the projects around here, thats not really enough...

Ohk.. coming to some positives now.. well the Indian cricket, the enigma its always been is yet again in the eye of the storm.. This time its not blowing up the Indian team, but it tormented apart Lankans like there was no tomorrow..

My notes from the concluded series:

1. Chappell is a man of action. He doesnt give you wonderful quotes but does what he has been hired to do.

2. The start of it all was the camp he organised at Bangalore. That was what really started the ball rolling.. And over there he had a thorough routine set up for all of the boys in blue. They hit the ground running against the Lankans for a change. From match #1, you could see the sting in the bowling and the zest in the fielding.

3. Strategy. Well, Alls well that ends well.. but then I would credit Team India for atleast trying to try out some strategies. The best of it was the variable no. 3 batsman. I think the idea rocks. Allow lower order folks to come up the order, by rotation or as per demand. That way all of the line up is match fit and have been in the middle when the actual need arises. In the past, Kaif would go without taking guard for matches in a row, when the top order fired. And when it didnt he hadnt touched a ball for ages and you couldnt blame him then.

4. Youngsters. Well, that really uncovered some real young blooded boys who took the opportunity with both thier hands. We tried out RP Singh (ok it was his second series, so what), S Sreesanth, S Raina, MS Dhoni (again he has played before for a while).
* RP Singh: A tall left hand seamer. Bowls real straight and has a knack of picking wickets. Good action.
* Sreesanth: Well, is a nice rythmic bowler, but dont like his action. Has a flingy kinda action. Dont see him in the team for too long.
* S Raina: Looked uneasy in Zim, but here he is finding his feet. Is lightening fast on the field and between the wickets and very very fluent with the bat. The kind of batsman to have at 6/7.
* MS Dhoni: Enough has been said/ written about him. I spotted him when he hadnt hit it this big, and what had struck me about him was not his blazing bat, but his attitude on the field. He is one fella who looks like having fun in there. Lot of the big folks seem like going through a treatment in there. He seems like having he is partying in there. Someone compared his swagger with that of Viv Richards. His batting seems quite unorthodox, and I have yet to make my mind if I like it or not. But he is effective. What I think right now about him is that he has his own style alltogether and though he looks shaky and really all over the place, he has his basics right. And he somewhat knows how to play as per the situation. I think he is getting too much media adulation all too soon. Lets just wait and watch.

5. Good bowling. I think that really served us well this time round. Pathan was bowling real well. But seeing him bowl, I realise he needs to get some work done for his bowling when there is no assistance from the deck. He looks plain average then. Needs a good yorker and some reverse swing soon. Agarkar, for a change was bowling well within himself.. read less erratic as what he can be. I have always liked him and his bowling. There is no doubt he is the most talented bowler of his generation, only if he was focused enough.

6. Sachin. The master is back. And the icing is we dont rely on his for every match. And the topping, he is trying to play his natural game, not just navigate through the day. Good luck to him.

7. Captaincy. Well, Dravid took over fulltime captaincy for the first time. He is doing a fair job as of now. Didnt really need to do too much with the guys doing their best generally. But will be interesting to see how he fares on two counts: Blooding youngsters and managing under performing seniors. That will decide if Dravid-Chappell practise what they preach or it was just a ploy to push off Ganguly Da.

Well, somehow I dont feel sorry for dada. I used to like him and they way he led India in the last 5 years. He seemed to really back his younger fellas and was aggresive. But I kind of think Chappell didnt write horse-crap about dada in his confidential mail to the board. Dada hadnt been in form for the good part of 1.5 yrs (dont thrust statistics plz.. scratching a 50 doesnt show up any different from a fighting 50 on the scorecard!!!). And in the last 5-6 months you could feel that he wasnt just the same captain anymore. And he would once accept that he was off form. I think the board actually preserved his ego by not firing him right after the Dada-Chappell stand off. They allowed him his breathing space and then did what they needed to.

So, I think dada is all but gone. We might just see him back for the test matches, but I dont think he is gonna really return into the fold. That wouldnt help.

So is the case with VVS Laxman, Kumble and Nehra. For one, I never counted Nehra as a cricketer. He was just a bowler. Someone who would frown continuously and scrape through bowling 6-7-8 overs if he was lucky. He couldnt bat at all and forget his fielding. Now you cant afford that kind of 1 dimensional players in world cricket. Unless you want to start your own league or something.

I think Zaheer might just come back in. He always had the guts and the heart of a fast bowler. And if Dra-pell (:-)) truly intend to have the best 11/12, they would have him back sooner than later.

So its been a looong post. Lemme stop now..
Hope to write back soon and maybe some snaps...