Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Team India’s Confidence Makes A Come Back

The margin made it special. A few grey areas might persist but if the batsmen who put the reserve against Bangladesh behind them and played with gay abandon continue in the same vein, well India can squeak through to the next round. The contest against Sri Lanka might pose bigger questions but a commodity called confidence that was in short supply after the opener is back to propel the men in blue.

The batting that ran up the highest world Cup score was never going to be challenged by this pedestrian Bermudan attack. But the no-holds barred attack was refreshing. Virender Sehwag played a knock that was long overdue but the striking aspect of his innings was not the final tally but the pace at which he made them. With his place under serious question Viru was selfless in going after the attack. He could have taken the easier option of grinding out a good score but the commendable aspect of his knock was he continued to play his shots, giving top priority to the teams' requirement.

The tongues will continue to wag as the runs came against a bunch of amateurs that had a painter, a plumber, and a policeman whose bodyweight had made more news than his ability to bowl left arm spin in its entourage. But spare a thought, cricket is a game that is mostly played within your own self and the opponent is a mere convenience. It was not India's fault they were playing Bermuda.

Viru for his part did flash a few times outside the off-stump but those are habits that would follow him to his grave. A few things cannot be changed but for a major portion of his innings he played close to his body and left deliveries that seamed away from him and this was an indication of the effort he was putting in to spend more time at the crease.

Yuvraj played a blinder and I was not surprised. There were enough indications against Bangladesh that he was hitting the straps well. He continues to improve with every game and with Sachin giving the freedom to his batting that was also long overdue, turned a good total in to a massive one.

Barring Robin Uthappa every batsmen in the side has runs under his belt and they can approach the all-important game against Sri Lanka with assurance. The bowling could have been tighter. Agarkar and Zaheer Khan continue to feed the batsmen in the 'scoring zone' and against a better set of players, they will be bled for more.

The only mistake, if one can call that, was the exclusion of Harbhajan Singh. I strongly feel our strength is spin and there is nothing wrong in fielding both the spinners. Sehwag and Yuvraj give Dravid the slow bowling options and with Sachin who can fill in with bowling with the seam up might have gone against Harbhajan but the specialist will also perform better in tight situations. The only change I would wish to make against Sri Lanka is bringing Harbajan back in place of Agarkar.

Everything the team think tank would have aspired for in this game were met and it is now a question of taking the good work to the next game were a sterner test awaits. India should be in the next stage without which the games premier event would be robbed of much of its charm and more importantly some of its biggest entertainers.

What is called for is a fearless approach and I am sure with normal service from the batsmen resuming team India is well on their course after that minor skirmish, that could well be put of as a bad dream as Dravid said.

17 comments:

Aswin Kini said...

Hi Krish, India made up some amends for their poor performance against Bangladesh by beating Bermuda convincingly.

The biggest pluspoint in this game is that Sehwag has atlast made some runs. Although he made it against a minnow nation, he still concentrated well and played sensibly. I feel that Sehwag should continue playing sensibly and aggressively even against tough sides.

The point is that if India ever desire to reach the Quarters and then go on to win the World CUp. They have to play to their strength and that means batting to your potential and also utilizing your spin options. I see no reason to include 3 seamers on tracks that suit Spin and sometimes Spin only.
I agree with you on the point that Agarkar must be dropped and Harbhajan must be included.
Hope Dravid gets the combination right.

SmilingHeart said...

the great comeback.... it truly feels good :) nd the brashing that viru had got in the last match, seems to be reverted. A quick silencing answer from his side!!

Sir, i happened to attend your chandigarh press conference, the roadshow ideas was amazing and it was fun to interact live with you, the blogger concept is soo cool! :)

Jayabharathwaj said...

Bring in Irfan and Harbhajan in place of Robin and Ajit for Sri Lanka.

Aurindam said...

Altho Indian team failed against bangladesh but they havnt failed 2 learn.
they hav taken care of the NRR thing yesterday which mite count at the end.

Fan Blogger's club said...

Surely a confidence booster for India. Sachin also played with open arms, hitting all around. Sourav was not very confident but surely coming up good.

Vineet said...

Hi Krish, we are really waiting to see the world cup again..lets repeat history..lets bring the year 1983 alive now..Sukhmani and Rajbir..Chandigarh

Dinesh said...

I was happy India made a great comeback, putting the highest world cup total. But I didn't like the way they gave away runs. Ajit Agarkar didn't prove much until later in the game in his second spell. He was also hit for a few sixes. Overall, Bermuda batted out 40+ overs with a solid 3.6 run rate. That is not a good sign for India from a bowling/fielding perspective. Srilanka bowled out Bermuda for 74 in 24 overs and we were not able to do something similar. The question that comes to my mind is, I am not sure why Agarkar would still be needed in the XI. If Robin Uthappa had to be replaced, who could fill his place? Could we be ok to go with 6 batsmen and include an extra bowler instead of him? Like Replace Agarkar with Irfan and Robin with Harbhajan ?

Ram Kuntamukkala said...

I think, Sehwag's next run will be scored in 2011 worldcup if selected. Because, he will get out for ZERO aganist SL, and India will be out of the WC.

I would like to see India/ Pak play 6 ODI in APril in FLorida, California , so we can enjoy some real cricket instead of watching some 'FIXED' matches. !!!

Kamalesh said...

Hi Krish, After Bermuda's match, out batting seems to be manageble but our bowling is very poor. We need to improve a lot.

I Agree with you that we need to replace Agarkar. But i would prefer getting in Sreesanth/Pathan/HSingh

Satrohraj said...

Forget the lost match, as a Bad dream

cricfreak said...

This World Cup is truly sensational in every sense!!
....we are only at the end of the first week of the tournament and there are already so many exciting things happening(depends on whose supporters you are :))...World cup upsets, Pakistan out of the World Cup,India struggling for a place, Bangladesh and Ireland having a dream run, Gibbs's sixes,Woolmer's mystery death and what not.....
Seems to be what the media were waiting for...

Satz said...

Winning against Bermuda certainly was expected & the manner in which we batted showed glimpses of our unquestionable talent. The bowling well showed lack of penetration some times which is understandable.I just hope that our ground fielding doesn't haunt us as the luxury of having slow movers can only be nullified if our batsman score 30 more runs & bowlers bowl more economically as good fielding teams would save 30 runs that way at least. Weren't we one of the better fielding sides in 1983 which also made the difference ,Krish ??? :)

haritvm said...

hi krish,
It's god time for team india.
but i think hat the bowling department is not strong,as in the previous worldcup. ajith and patel dodn't bowl well.
anyway good luck for the forthcoming game against Srilanka.

heston said...

nice blogs krish...
like you said the fearless brought a very good result..

heston said...

hi krish
nice blog..
like you said the fearless approach brought the result..

And also indians are still lacking in the bowling department..

i thought the bermudians were all out with in 100. But a single bermudian can score 70 unbeatable shows that out bowling department needs serious attention...

So here the problem is we have to depend the batsman forever.. for every match we need more than 300..
this might not be possible for all the match...

We need some good bowling attack..
india keep on producing good batsmans.. but failed to produce one good bowler in the recent times..

Dilip said...

Krish
I am worried about false confidence. True, Sehwag did play a wonderful innings but he should try to remember he did it against a really pitiful bowling attack. If he starts thinking he can maul SL bowlers like this (which he probably wouldn't), he might get a rude awakening.

Our bowling isn't giving me enough confidence like you pointed out. There is a lack of certain kind of aggressiveness and Agarkar goes for too many runs before taking wickets. Kumble was made to toil to separate the Kemp-Leverock pair. We can only hope SL batsmen will commit different kind of mistakes.

All in all it feels crazy to have to depend on net RR to squeak us into Super 8. At least we have precedence on our side -- if Pak could do it in 1992 we shoud be able to make a run for it.

It will really be sad to see a World Cup without India!

Narayana said...

Wouldn't it be better to bring in Karthik instead of Uthappa?? We don't need 20 runs in 4 balls at this point...