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.
- 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 ?
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