Friday, October 27, 2006

Champions Trophy: India's cup of woes overflows

By John Cheeran
Indian captain Rahul Dravid has a serious problem at hand, that is, how to get back to winning ways.
For the time being, India stays alive in the Champions Trophy but the three wicket loss the team suffered against the West Indies in Ahmedabad cannot be ignored.
India run into Australia on Sunday in what now happens to be a quarterfinal.
Brian Lara and West Indies can take pride from the fact that they have maintained the psychological edge over India.
Indian batsmen and bowlers can no longer blame alien playing conditions for the defeats. West Indies have beaten India in West Indies, in Kuala Lumpur and now in India...
In the context of the match, I would not lash at Indian batting beyond a point.
Whatever Dravid would like us to believe, (in his post-match comments Dravid again supported his bowlers) it was Indian seamers Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Ajit Agarkar who gave the match on a platter to Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Munaf Patel bowled splendidly but he did not receive any support from his listless co-pacers..
It did not help matters that Dravid left out off spinner Ramesh Powar from his game plan and brought in a quick bowler for this clash.
Had Indian bowlers struck early, India could have won this match easily.
Just consider the tumble of wickets towards the end of the West Indian innings. It created a bit of a stir but things happened very, very late.
Finally about batting.
Skipper Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are back among the runs. If not for Dravid's tragic run out, precipitated by a call from Dhoni, things would have taken a happy turn for India. But a winning team is the one which can take such calamities in its stride.
What about the rest?
Who would bell Virender Sehwag?
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar, coach Greg Chappell or Dravid himself?
It is absolutely evident that India is not benefiting from Sehwag's continued presence whether as an opener or in lower middle order. Sehwag has frittered all opportunities to redeem himself and it would be suicidal to launch the World Cup campaign with such tattered sails at the top.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged