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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

[Sports Watch] India's New Ways...

Grin Grin Grin.

Indian Cricket team seem to have found new ways and it sure is giving the die-hard cricket fan, many a thing to gloat over.

Too many things have happened in too short a time-frame to apportion the credit. However, it all has to start with two people. Chappell and Ganguly. Without getting into who was behind the entire 'wash-dirty linen-in-public' episode, the issue is now behind everyone.

  • Ganguly excluded from the Indian team was the first surprise. No one can simply discount a batsman with 10000 one day international runs in span of 9 years as one 'who can't bat'. At the same time, no one can say he is now the same Ganguly that scored all those runs :-)
  • Dravid as captain. So long been the bridesmaid, now the bride. He is thinker, hard-worker, keen student of the game. Often considered a softie, he has now proved, he is a tough-nut to crack
  • Even though, i have not seen the matches myself, the word that is out there is how Indian team has been fielding - young blood seems to have brought in the change. Timber rattling noises seems to be the order of day. No one worth their salt can say, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble and Nehra, can be half-as-agile as anyone in the current team ;)
  • Aggression is the keyword
  • Batting is becoming more and more a team effort
  • Lesser and lesser dot balls every match - Can't be, but, glad
  • Bowling still wears an unsettled look to it.
Having said all of these, there are still many things that a fan needs to be cautious about.
  • Batting even though seemingly found contributions from every quarter, can one expect to see such consistency on fast-bouncy wickets ?. Expecting that to start with is a tough ask, but in the longer run yes. A newbie Aussie team, can't take on the likes of Kumble and Bhajji on a spin-minefield either :-)
  • Bowling sure needs much more consistency - Bhajji is in the middle of extremely wonderful spell with tight and economic bowling. Pathan, Agarkar, Kartik, RP Singh have all taken 4 wickets each or more in all of these matches. But, quick review of commentary can immediately tell you, still many balls are sprayed on the middle and leg - consistency is the key word. More than two bowlers need to take wickets and be economical
  • No improvement on the yorker length balls during slog overs - except for one match, our bowling was never tested in the slog over arena.
  • Will the team fare with same aggression if they are part of a slump or when they are 0-2 down in a series ? Can they handle such pressure ?
Despite all of this, i can't hide my glee about being in such a situation 5-1 against the ICC's 2nd ranked team in the world. None of the wins seemed a fluke. All of the wins wore 'aggression' on the sleeve. When was the last time India chased 190 and still under 35 overs and against a top-rated team ?.

Hope such positive and forward-thinking selection policies based on 'performance' and focus and strategies based on 'process' will take of 'results' as Dravid-Chappell combo has been claiming all along.

That brings us to the question, when was the last time one hired a CEO for a quarter fiscal year ? When was a principal hired for a semester ?

Why does an Indian cricket captain has to bid his time one-day at a time ? - When will a cricket captain be appointed for longer than couple of series' ? The know-all BCCI seems to know the answer !!

I started off saying 'new ways...', and not 'new 'winning' ways...' - primarily coz it is too early to be proclaiming the coming-of-age of new-look Indian team :)

Still, Grin Grin Grin

16 comments:

sen said...

All glory to the ganguly chapell spat.Let's all pray that dalmia gang wont make a comeback into the bcci and ganguly wont return to the indian team.I guess all the ganguly fans and supporters will understand what this guy was really doign to the team.

dinesh said...

Nice post there buddy ..

Yeah, sure is a new look indian team that seems to have the right attitude and the freshness that was sorely missing the last few months. But like I always say, never question the result..always question the intent. Now it's all good when we're winning...but the moment we're down 0-2, I am sure a lot of these guys would want ganguly back and would question rahul's captaincy abilities (I am not suggesting you'd do that, just making an observation).

Like you say, happys days are back in indian cricket !

Desigan said...

I should say that i am really lucky to watch this series live in TV. There is so much energy that these boys display in the field which makes us wonder why this was not missing in the past few series.

Well new blood always brings in new energy.

Rather than giving credit to any individual i would say that this is a team effort. Each and every member of the team including the support staff should be appreciated for such a kind of display.

Indian Cricket Team has always been known for their complacency. But this team has done their experimentation yet made commanding wins against a top quality opposition.

Let us all hope this effort continues & the selection panel sticks on to these wonderful bunch of cricketers.

Arvind said...

Sen,
Only time will tell :-)

Dinesh,
Indian Cricket fans are most fickle minded - no denying that ;) - as i said, still grinning :-D

Desi,
You really are indeed to witness such good winning ways of our team. Yes let us hope for even better performances and consistent results :)

Anonymous said...

Arvind,

All points well taken. However, we have seen the occassional flash in the pan with this Indian team. It tends to fizzle out very soon and that has been the more consistent behaviour with this team. Agreed, there is a new found aggression, tight fielding, batsmen galore etc. but this has been the case for a long time to come. We have always had the complaint that they are not clicking as a team and that is the ghost that has come back to haunt this team time and again.
It will be accolades well deserved when they are out there on different turfs beating world class teams such as Australia and now South Africa. This is not to demean the Srilankan team but I still think we have a long way to go.Too many articles have been written to pacify the cricket hungry fans in India , only time will tell us the truth. Yes, atlast there is someone who can stand up against the complanceny factor which has crept in. Chappel, I hope will beat the hell out of it . Atleast he has taken the first step with getting Ganguly out of the way. It was like playing with 10 players instead of 11 with Ganguly around. The new comers are showing some promise and I hope the experimentation does provide fruitful results.

Cheers,
Shiva

Ganesh said...

welcome back Arvind after you deep slumber
but i dont follow cricket any more, so adpapathi onnum sollarathukku illai.

Arvind said...

Shiva,

Well put - we still have to stand the test of time :-)

Ganesh,

Only NFL ? ;)

theonlyap said...

For all Cricket crazy hearts abroad...dont worry u have the whole match TV highlights posted under www.desitorrents.com .. i enjoyed watching the dhoni special ...great hitting..but i doubt his ability to be consistent...wait and watch...all said and done..its only the first of the countless series we have for this season...b4 coming to a conclusion on the team's emerging trend..its worth to observe two more series ,one with SA and other with Pak..
On ganguly's episode...even sachin had a big out of form season..we all know how dravid was dropped once for a long time..ganguly..used to be the most consistent performer b4 1 and half yrs..if ganguly fans are not wrong..i think the DADA will certainly come back with full force...though not as a captain..but certainly back to is batting peak for sure...atleast i wish that shld happen :-)

Arvind said...

AP,

:-) Dhoni Dhamakka - let me go get it dude

Sinu,
I did not know you were such a big fan of AP !!

SamY said...

out indian team is like our meteorological department ;), the moment they say its gonna rain, the rain wud stop :))

but yes a welcome change, people seem to play their natural game now, which is good

Jo said...

I don't know a thing about any sport. :-)

Arvind said...

Samy,

Met. dept is another standard joke like how Ganguly is turning out to be.

I hope he comes back to his cracking batting form - and then where would he play ???

Jo,
Good for you - you have saved 30 (average num of matches played by indian one-day team) * 15 (years when you'd have sat before th tv) * 8 hours - in your life - that already shows up in your musical abilities :-)

d4u said...

Hope this is just the beginning of good days for Indian cricket!!

Nice blog here!

Arvind said...

Thanks D4u :-)

Sriram C S said...

@Arvind - Can you believe in one of these matches the Indian bowlers gave away only 3 extra balls - 2 wides and one no ball in the entire 50 overs!!! WOW!!!!

Arvind said...

Sriram,

Yes, next match they were back to their magnanimous best :-D

BTB, match update, 2 wickets down in 2 overs :-D