These warm up games are the best ways of self-introspection: finding chinks in your armour, picking your weaknesses and assessing your strengths. The all-important warm-up game between arch-rivals Ind-Aus has provided all these reasons, and more.
Men-In-Blue really the front-runners for the coveted trophy?
Batting-Blues: The worst fears of all Indian fans came aghastly true on Sunday. For a team that boast of the best batting line-up, frequent collapses is really a matter of big concern. Except Viru and Yusuf, none of the batters looked good on the crease. Its high time that Pied-Piper of Punjab gets his act together, otherwise he would be shown the door for sure.
Middle-Order Quandary: As I said in my previous assessments, only one of Raina and Kohli could play in the final 11. But, with Sunday’s match one more addition has been made to the doubtful starters and he is none other than Mr. dependable- Gautam Gambhir. He still would be picked over others, thanks to his valuable experience and few gritty knocks he has played over the years. But the fact remains that he, not only need to show his form coming back from injury, but also has an uphill task of combating his new batting position at one-down.
Frails’ Failure: Two fragile frames aka Nehra and Munaf, again left Indian fans gasping for breath with their poor-poor performance. Both of them were taken to the cleaners by Watson and sadly enough there was no Plan-B for the containment act. Add to it their dismal ground fielding, Dhoni would have a toughie hiding these two liabilities on the field. Sree was the best of the lot, and should be disappointed if he doesn’t finds his name in the starting-11 on the D-day. He also got under the skin of Mr. Punter and shown him the L-sign (Loser or Liar or something else, Pick your Pick); thats what I call channelizing the aggro.
‘To Leggie’ or ‘To Offie’ is the question: Stupendous performance by Piyush Chawla has given pleasant headache to Indian think tank and at the same time tiny leggie has reciprocated the faith shown by his captain. After this performance, Piyush would be the front runner for donning second spinner hat; Ashwin might come into fold if the opposition has too many left handers, Bangladesh for instance.
Kangaroos need to ‘hop’ a lot to defend their title!!
Not a Cake Walk: If the warm-up was any indication, Aussies’ mission of defending their world cup title would be an ardous task for sure. Their lengthy winning streak might come to an abrupt halt this time around. They have been beaten by almost all the top teams since the last world cup. Though they still are the no.1 team in the world, but deep down they are very much sure that this time around, there is no Cake-Walk.
No Cricket for Mr. Cricket: Almost all the top teams are hit hard by injuries, but worst is with Australia. Warm up match has shown how important a player of Hussey’s calibre is in the inexpereinced middle order. More so when Clarke is finding hard to meet bat with the ball. If the top order fails, then it would be very difficult for Kangaroos’ middle order to bring sanity to the proceedings. The likes of Fergusons and Hussey-kin has to raise to the occasion for sure.
Excuses Galore: The Captain came to the rescue of his team by giving excuses for the abysmal performance and embarassing collapse of the middle order. Pitch was difficult to play for sure, but was not underprepared/bad as quoted by Punter. How could he blame his own dismissal along with Hussey, Mitch and Watson ‘s on that wicket. All of them got out playing poor shots. Instead of harping for excuses it would be better for his own sake that they start playing well.
Chak De India: A Counter-View
Chak De India: A View
Author is a hardcore cricket fan who takes pride in induliging himself in all the cricketing talks. He’s often blamed by his family members, of eating, drinking and sleeping cricket which ‘practically’ never is the case. He has a keen eye and picks the nuances of the game with ridiculous ease. He is more of a Cricketriot (Cricket + Patriot) and stays in two extremes; goes ga-ga over Men-in-Blue when they do click and never shy of tearing them apart after every abysmal performance.
He would be more than happy to share a healthy discussion with the readers throughout the World Cup.
There are lots of Ifs and buts and that matters only for India,who cares about punter’s team?:-)
Practice match with NZ will give us another chance to asses our combination,Since GOD has to show up for putting negative speculation off,its a healthy competition amongst spinners and seamers,Dhoni has to think seriously about Yuvi whether he should be given a chance to prove himself or an alternate option must be evaluated before big game.
I would like to Tell my version of “L” to punter :-)once we meet him in final!!