Monday, July 7, 2008

Midas - where art thou?

I nearly posted something similar couple of days ago, and decided to wait to see if the luck would return for the final. But ever since the IPL final, Kitply final and the Asia cup final, we can now say that luck has averaged out for MSD. (good news is if he wins more, it will not be attributed to luck).

Here are some thoughts on the team:

Indian bowling is lacking in the sub-continent conditions. Ishanth seems tired and I hope he is able to handle this better as he is a great prospect. He came back strongly in the last couple of matches, but I feel he needs to be nurtured more. Pathan, Praveen and R.P did not look very good.

Yusuf Pathan has not been as impressive as he was in the IPL (What words of magic did Warne whisper?).

Piyush struggled. Dhoni wants a senior spinner. So he is ready to welcome back Bhajji.

The 7-batsmen approach seems defensive and unlikely to work. By the time the seventh man comes in, the match is already won or lost.

Yuvi wants to be included in tests, but how can he get a slot when his play of spin has barely improved over the years.

I still like the attitude and make up of the team, and they are more consistent in general. However unless they finish things as well as Australia and win more often than lose, they will be just like the previous Indian teams - where the results and potential are parallel lines.

Now the Sri Lanka series promises to be interesting.


elakaivan said...

I think for matches in the sub continent, it would be good to play 5 specialist bowlers( 3 pace + 2 spin ). Also, Irfan pathan is a serious liability on flat pitches. Maybe he ought to be played only on swinging pitches.

And I think Tendulkar's absence was felt in the finals. In Australia, he was one of the main reasons we won. He anchored the innings right from the beginning (in both finals) and took pressure off the youngsters.

Given that the kitply cup and the asia cup were the first two tournaments for the team without any of the seniors, the losses may just be part of the learning curve.

RS said...

I agree with you on Irfan and the 5 bowlers (not sure who the other spinner should have been). You are right about it being a learning curve (and more downfalls are likely). It will be good to see how they pick themselves up.

On missing Sachin, it will be part of the learning curve. Maybe if Gambhir had not gotten out early, he could have handled Mendis better.

straight point said...

gambhir is best player of spin right now...along side sehwag...mendis or no mendis...

both pathan's days are numbered..and i wont be surprised if they will be 'enjoying holidays' while other gutsing out in sl...

for was our 18th final loss...and if i am right sachin played most if not all...

food for thought...

elakaivan said...

@straight point : agreed - since 1998, Tendulkar's record in finals has been poor - but in the Commonwealth Bank Series this year, he really took it upon himself to guide the team to a good score in the second final and stayed till the very end in the first final to ensure the victory. He seemed rejuvenated - maybe playing with youngsters had something to do with it. I am saying a lot of pressure was taken off the new players and yesterday, he may have brought some stability - even if he batted in the middle order.

And I agree, Gambhir could have made a huge difference against the spinners.

Viswanathan said...

Midas is on a holiday. :)

RS said...

@sp: I am now extra cautious on the Sachin topic :-)

@elakaivan: we will get to see all the "seniors" play in the test series. Should be good.

@ott: hope it is not an extended holiday for midas :-)

Anil Singh said...

Rightly said, Harbhajan singh is an asset, sooner he comes the better.
The thought behind playing 7 batsmen is often being debated in cricketing circles, you rightly said, it is a defensive approach. And when ODIs are approaching 300 and 300+ totals with relative ease, defense is definitely not a virtue.
As elakaivan said, 3 pacers and 2 spinner, or 4 pacers and one quality spinner. But in Indian subcontinent 3+2 looks good.
As far as Yuvraj is concerned, whatever others say, I consider him a highly overvalued batsman.
All said, though Sri Lanka is a good team, but India is also a formidable opponent and I think the Asia cup loss should be left behind.

RS said...

@ a bisht
The sad part about Indian bowling now is that they bowl better outside subcontinent conditions.

Anil Singh said...

I think the problems lies with Indian pitches, our bowlers perform well in those pitches which aid the seamers, like the ones in Australia.
But I wish to add one thing here , cricket is more of a mind game than anything. Although Sachin thrashed Warne throughout his career, still he never lost his faith in him, he applied his brain and adapted to situations.
Putting faith on young legs is good, but mavericks like Jaheer and Nehra, should not be discarded altogether.

RS said...

@a bisht Zaheer returns to the test team - lets see if he remains injury free and how he performs.