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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Indian Cricket : 2 steps forward, 1 Step back

India lost 4-1 to the West Indies in the 1-day tournament. I agree the score does seem like an eye sore but the series was tighter than what the final scorecard shows. Here is my complete take on the series:
  1. The turning point of the series was the last ball dismissal of Yuvraj Singh by Bravo, when India were so close to winning. That left a psychological scar which was difficult to overcome. A similar incident which had a damning effect was the spraining of ankle of McGrath in last year's Ashes series. England won that test and after that, there was no looking back for England. Having said that, India hardly played to its full potential, though.
  2. The problems started at the top of the order. The openers hardly got a decent partnership goin - 56, 25, 1, 13, 0. Probably, the strains of not playing with Sachin is showing now? - but India has actually done decent in the past but then experience is also a factor.
  3. Inconsistent performances from the toporder - Dravid, Sehwag, Raina, Dhoni & Yuvraj all have got starts and then got out. Dhoni and Raina, India's stars in previous series failed utterly in this series.
  4. India's bowling also lacked any kind of fire and/or variety. Pathan's speed or rather, the lack of it, is a worry but he has always made it up by wicket-taking ability and his batting prowess. Both deserted him in this series.
  5. Indian spinners hardly had any kind of impact as was expected. Bhajji bowled well but did not pick up wickets. Powar picked up some wickets but went for quite a few runs as well.
  6. All in all, it was a series, where things did not click well at all. I don't think, there is any reason to panic. They have been playing well for the past 11 months or so - as Dravid himself said "... you need to get up, dust yourself and keep going".
Go India !
-- Thyaga

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