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Sight Screen

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Overs 11-20

It's perhaps a sign of the times, that Yuvraj Singh -- till recently, a name automatically pencilled in by selectors -- is now under pressure for his place. There is Kaif waiting to come back; there is Saurav Ganguly hoping for a slot to open up in the middle; and if you ignore the perennial claims of VVS Laxman on the grounds of age, lack of footspeed between wickets and lack of agility in the field, there are still the likes of Suresh Raina and Venugopal Rao pushing YS for his place in the squad.
His run, in the 2004-05 season till date has been 78, 21, 69, 16, 15, 35, 18, 13, 12, 28, 110, 42, 53 not out, 22, 120, 20, 14, 18, 10 and now 1 in his latest outing. Not too bad, you would think -- but that graph belongs to an underachiever; it hardly does justice to Yuvraj's talent. Should do him good to be pushed a bit.
It's been Gambhir's game so far -- and that continues the trend of hungry youngsters grabbing their chances whenever offered. Thanks largely to his innings, the batting side has shrugged off the aberration of overs 9, 10 and 11 when a total of two runs came for two wickets. His play square on the off is no secret; he's shown that skill in Tests. What has really come as a revelation is his handling of length -- that short arm pull, with minimal backlift and a classic swivel into the shot, is a thing of beauty; equally worth noting is his selection of deliveries to play that shot to. This knock, irrespective of how much longer it lasts, has I would think given him a longer run in the opener's slot over the rest of the games in the series -- and that in turn gives the think tank the option of shifting SRT into a controlling role in the middle order (or alternately, pushing VS down the order a notch or three, to give him the space to sort out his problems).
Rahul Dravid, batting solidly thus far, had some interesting (some would say loaded) comments to make earlier, when talking to Cricinfo:
"You have to lead by example," he went on. "That's the way I have tried to do my best of the team. As a captain, if you expect guys to work hard, always to their best, become better cricketers, then you have to show them that you are trying constantly to do that yourself and challenging yourself. I'm sure the guys pick up on that. I'm sure the guys see that you're not just saying things but actually practicing what you preach."

For India, the game here on would be to keep wickets in hand till around the 35 over mark. If this pair can hang around till that point, the batting side is in a position to really go for broke at the death.


  • nice comments prem. theres no doubt that yuvi is under pressure to deliver and so is Veru.

    By Blogger rahul_fan, at 05:52  

  • I wonder if rd's comment on leading from the front was a shot at SG.:)

    By Blogger lukkhamaster, at 05:54  

  • What is doing justice to his talents?
    the man has been way too inconsistent to stake a claim in the modern Indian team. He belongs to SG era to make the captain look good (see, all are inconsistent logic).

    Yuvraj has serious problems - can't play spin, can't play moving ball, can't play swing bowling; defensive technqiues leave much to be desired.
    It's a crime to leave GG out and play Kaif and Yuv; I have been saying that for well over year.
    now, some people will come out of the woodwork and jump on the GG bandwagon;
    sorry mate! hindsight is 20-20!

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 05:56  

  • Ys must be dropped....i don't think he is better than Kaif, or Raina. New players apply themselves, where as YS has some attitude....India team will be all set for WC without YS.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:17  

  • Yuvraj's good score have come against minnows recently;

    against quality teams he has not done anything:
    good teams:


    just one good score in 25 odd innings; it's pathetic to say the least!

    By Blogger Yacrik, at 06:18  

  • you can't rule out yuvi as yet. He will surely come back. But I wonder if Kaif would find a place now. And for Ganguly - he has made it easy for selectors after scoring a 14, in a rather cumbersome way.

    By Blogger मनीष अग्रवाल, at 06:19  

  • Manish,

    YS must play domestic game atleast for 1 full season, let him prove he has ability to play some solid innings...then, Selectors must consider him.

    Kaif came through ranks...so did Raina..Rao. YS was a hand picked by another lazy guy SG baised on hidden talent...

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:24  

  • Nice shot by GG on 93...lad is not feeling nervous 90s..

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:27  

  • GG..nice century...Congrats

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:29  

  • Well done RD...nice teacher for youngsters...India is well served by RD. When he retires...hard to fill his shoes..

    By Blogger Rajg, at 06:32  

  • I am not sure why the 'Ganguly is God' brigade is yet to launch a tirade on RD over his comments on captaincy.

    By Blogger mip_co, at 10:15  

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