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Sight Screen

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Paper Round -- India

1. Trevor Chesterfield, in the Indian Express, finds positives emerging from Windies' showing in the Indian Oil Cup.
2. Rahul Dravid suggests that in the upcoming final, it is Lanka more than India that will be under pressure.
3. Arjuna Ranatunga suggests Sehwag's form is a matter of concern for the Indian team. True -- and that becomes truer still if India goes into the final with an extra bowling option. He also suggests that the solution is for Sehwag to revert to his carefree self. Not true, at least not now -- his current problem is that he is in the mind his carefree self, but his bat and body are not walking that mental talk just yet. Or in other words, it's been a while since ball met middle of the bat the way it used to when he was in peak form.
The best solution for VS, IMHO, would be to go into the nets and bang away, just to feel that mental high of bat middling ball -- but out there, in the middle, to play like he does in Tests; a touch circumspect at the outset and focussed more on stroking the ball around the infield for singles, till feet, mind and bat are all working in concert and he feels confident of opening out his shoulders.
4. Chaminda Vaas is back for the final -- which, if he is fully fit, will likely put more pressure on Sehwag and Saurav, who is also back; Vaas uses swing and seam superbly, scoring freely against him is never an easy proposition. And that makes it doubly vital for the two Indian openers to get into the singles mindset -- in the two games they have played together this season (okay, one and a half, till SG retired hurt), you noticed both batsmen staying put at their respective ends for too long, neither getting the shots going nor working the singles to tick the board over. That sort of thing puts pressure on the openers themselves, lets the fielding side get on top of you -- and makes life hell for the guys sitting in the dressing room watching the overs tick by as they wait their turn at bat.
5. Lokendra Pratap Sahi's take on Sunday's game is here; Sanjay Rajan for the Hindu, here; Hindustan Times Top>here; and Rahul Bhatia for Cricinfo, here and, finally, Charlie Austin for Cricinfo previews the final here.
Is it just my imagination, or is this surprisingly poor return for a match that was scrappy but taut, and which produced more of interest and insight than is reflected in the day's gleanings from the media?


  • unless cricket writers everywhere were focusing their energies more on ashes test #2.

    By Blogger dna, at 13:11  

  • i meant to say: on comment #5 re. poor return from a taut match...

    By Blogger dna, at 13:12  

  • Agree with you on VS, Prem. That is exactly what he seemed to do during WC 2003 where he was having a bit of a lean trot and SRT was guiding him thru out of it.

    BTW, Ranatunga would give English journos a good run for their money. Nowhere does he mention how SL's top order has not been clicking the whole time.

    By Blogger Kannan, at 14:01  

  • Srinath in this article http://in.rediff.com/cricket/2005/aug/06sri.htm
    says on Ganguly -
    "We did disagree on few things, but it had nothing to do with my personal cricket, but generally the way he handled the team as a whole."
    and then goes on to explain how good Ganguly handled the team! found it funny!

    Another intertesting take in the same article -
    "It's just that either Rahul or Ganguly should throw light on their own cricket as well as on Indian cricket and decide that the other should be the leader in the best interest of the team. I am afraid I may be thinking aloud, but there cannot be anything better for the future of Indian cricket."
    agree with Prem about his thoughts on ex-cricketers writing columns - they never are honest!
    but surely they have some humour :-)

    By Blogger Anand K, at 14:02  

  • kannan:
    you do ranatunge disservice...he does mention sri lanka's top order has not clicked. he's devoted 2 whole lines to it...in the 2nd last para of his article;

    By Blogger dna, at 14:05  

  • Prem,
    Here is an interesting article in midday by ian Chappel.



    By Blogger RM, at 14:08  

  • This is from my blog http://hawkeyesays.blogspot.com.

    So, what's new? India has yet again managed to scrap through to the final of a 3 nation tournament. Time and again the Indians have managed to make it to the final of a tri-series and true to trend they have made it to Colombo for the final of the Indian Oil Cup. The last time India and SL played in the final of an ODI tournament was in the 2004 Asia Cup tournament in Sri Lanka. Back then, Sri Lanka beat India by 25 runs(chasing 229 for victory) and yet another gem of an innings by Sachin Tendulkar was wasted. After Vaas and Zoysa bowled a probing opening spell, India were stifled to slow death by the left arm quickish spin of Sanath Jayasuriya and by the leg-spin of Upul Chandana while Tilakeratne Dilshan chipped in with the vital wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for 74.

    The stage looks set for the re-enactment of this now familiar tale of Indian cricket. Rahul Dravid is more than aware of India's woeful record against the islanders in SL and if his team bats second, they will face the seemingly insurmountable task of negotiating the Lankan spinners. The major reason for India's struggle against the Lankans while chasing, is that the stroke players in the Indian batting order rely heavily on hitting boundaries instead of looking for the singles. Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh have been the prime culprits. Whether India wins this final or not will depend on how well the Indians manage to pick up the singles in the middle overs. If the Indian batsmen can consistently keep the scorecard ticking, they have the batting talent to chase down any target set by the lankans. India's chances of winning the final are significantly better if they manage to win the toss and bat first. The key to batting first is to understand the pitch and target a defendable total instead of looking for 300 all the time. 250 should be a good enough score for Kumble, Bhajji and co to defend. I believe India will play both the spinners in the final. My pick for the final XI is Viru, Sourav, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif, JP Yadav, Dhoni, Pathan, Kumble, Harbhajan & Nehra. The inclusion of JP Yadav will provide India the bowling all-rounder that it desperately needs.

    If I was a betting man, my money will be on the lankans to win, unless the Indians play to their potential, which they rarely do in a final.


    Any comments on the final XI?

    I think it will be crucial for India to play both the spinners. Teams play their best bowlers under the given conditions and if that's the case, then India should always play Anil and Bhajji in the subcontinent.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 16:33  

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