Saturday, 13 June 2009

INDIA ON THE ROPES

India were well beaten by the Windies last night and will hope to avoid a repeat in their next fixture against England. Tomorrow's game takes on quarter final proportions and there are a few things that India will want to do in order to set the record straight. Apart from getting off to a better start, I can only imagine that they will do their homework on opposition batters this time round. Anyone who watched the IPL (ie. the whole of India) will know that Dwayne Bravo loves playing inside out and when pressured for runs, that's where he will look to get them. That he got away with it for so long last night would have been disappointing to the Indian fans. Apart from Yuvraj, the top order failed and I can't see that happening again, especially not against England's toothless attack. I definitely think Dhoni's place in the batting order is 6 or higher. In his career thus far I cant remember him ever knowing when to milk singles. Last night he had Yuvraj on fire, with the maximum number of men posted to the boundary and still he tried to hit everything out of the park. In true Dhoni style though, on a wicket which wasn't as flat as a pancake, he struggled with his timing in trying to hit the cover of everything. Eventually he got hold of one, timed the pants of it, and hit it straight into the sweeper's chest. If anything I can only imagine that most Indian fans would have been relieved at his dismissal. Dhoni has a very good cricketing brain when he captains the team from behind the stumps, but with bat in hand it almost looks like every game he plays, until he gets to 30 or 40, that he is playing his first game at this level. Until he plays a mature innings where some judgement is required either way, in my mind he will always be a flat track bully. He has hard wrists (very un-indian) and has no idea when to accept that discretion may be the best option. As skipper though he is India's best choice and will keep his untold millions of fans on that basis. As a viewer I find him incredibly frustrating to watch. Enough said. I favour India to win and win well against the hosts.

The only worrying thing about South Africa's campaign so far is that they have not yet had a bad game. They seldom have 2 bad games in one tournament and they are now reaching the stage where they can ill afford a shocker because it will eliminate them from the tournament. On that basis I am hoping that SA lose to India in the final game of the Super 8's. I believe it could fire SA up massively for semi finals and give India an air of complacency. I hope. If Dhoni pushes himself up the order it will make it that much harder for SA to lose though.

HAs anyone else noticed that the camera work thus far in the tournament has been shocking ? Too often that batsmen give it the kitchen sink, from front on you can see he's top edged it into the offside, only for the camera to pan the stands at mid wicket, no doubt looking for the crowd catch, only for the ball to land inside the 30 yard circle. SKY need to up their game.

"JP Duminy. Left hand batsman. Favourite player : Justin Ontong "

Do me a favour. Geoff Boycott once said that he'd work Ontong around the park with a stick of Rhubarb. I for one, believe him. Why would JP patronise a benchman like that ?


4 comments:

  1. Dhoni has his batting all screwed-up. I for one believe it was his batting that cost CSK their semi-finals against BRC in IPL. It will serve the team a great deal if he is kept back till the slog therefore he needn't think much about the approach then. He becomes dangerous then.

    I for one believe India is rattled with all the controversy surrounding Sehwag's injury and speculation that there is a rift in the team. They don't look the World Champions defending the title.

    They find themselves in the exact same position they found themselves in last World Cup - beat England and South Africa in successive games to make it to the semis. The difference is, they are expected to do that this time as World Champions. It looks unlikely though.

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  2. Spot on - Last 6 overs Dhoni can play the game he knows. At 3 he is a liability. Was hoping not to piss any Inian fans off with those comments so glad u agree to be honest. I think Sa-Ind final still on the cards though Goutham - then its you and me mate hehe

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  3. John, you needn't worry about pissing the Indian fans off. We have a media that speculates like crazy. One News TV even ran a story saying that Sehwag and Dhoni came to blows as regards to how the other bat and in the process Sehwag injured.

    Before the World Cup began, I appeared in a news programme with a senior journalist and an ex-India cricketer where we discussed the issue of 'fatigue'... Both were of the opinion that mental fitness was more important than physical fitness... I pointed out the fitness of Tennis players and football players and said there should be a larger pool - up to 40 players to choose from... Otherwise, cricketers will end up playing even with injuries in the fear that they will lose out their places to other people given the talent that is prevalent in India these days. And, also, if you offered rest, there's no stopping them appearing them in other cash rich leagues...

    As long as analysis is straight forward, Indians have no problem in accepting reasons for defeat, except perhaps when it is against Pakistan! I hope u understand that!

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  4. Absolutely ! Very interesting stuff I must say. SA have had their problems in the past with quotas (especially when we lose), but with India's population and sheer size I can only imagine it gets really complicated sometimes .... Good luck against ENG today, I reckon India win it easily to be honest :)

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