Sunday, December 10, 2006

Take it from Pathan and Sreesanth

By John Cheeran
India could not have wished for a better outcome before the Test series than the 96-run win recorded over the Rest of South Africa side in Potchefstroom.
The fundamental flaws in batting and bowling remain but Sourav Ganguly’s first innings heroics and VVS Laxman’s gritty approach to batting during both innings should offer skipper Rahul Dravid some solace.
The biggest plus point, however, is the evolution of Irfan Pathan as a genuine all rounder. Yes, his bowling has lost its sting but I’m sure this willing learner will soon be back among the wickets. Pathan’s gutsy batting in the last one-dayer and two unbeaten innings of 111 and 40 at Potchefstroom should inspire those experienced players in the Indian top order to snap their shameful string of poor scores.
It is true that Pathan did not come into bat when rival bowlers where using the favourable conditions to their advantage, but this 21-year-old has showed the batting nous not only to survive at the crease but to come up with an imposing knock; the first century of the tour for Indians.
And the fact that Pathan scored his first century in first class cricket by cracking a sixer off Duminy over long on should not be easily forgotten. That’s what youth can do at times of crises.
Pathan has added another dimension to his set of bowling skills and sheer pluck to succeed has helped him in his cause. It was heartening to see another rookie fast bowler Sreesanth playing more than 40 balls in the Indian second innings to frustrate Hayward and Morkel. In fact apart from VVS Laxman and Irfan Pathan, it was Sreesanth who played the maximum number of balls in the Indian second innings. That’s the right attitude the beleaguered Indian side should take into the Test series. Hang in at the crease no matter what your batting averages are. Battle it out rather than go for some suicidal lunges at the ball.
Pathan and Sreesanth have proved that it is not the burden of the experience that lets you score runs or even stay the these bouncy wickets. It is the lightness of youthful zest that helps you soar over mediocrity that threatens to engulf you.
Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar is all for experience but why is he silent on the wretched form of Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer and Sachin Tendulkar, his chosen ones. These are the experienced lot who should have given India a head start in the series but they have failed even to justify their stay in the team whereas youngsters such as Pathan and Sreesanth are gritting it out ball by ball.
If Pathan and Sreesanth can succeed with bat, the failure of Sehwag and Tendulkar amount to criminal acts.
I wish Tendulkar, Sehwag and Jaffer would take batting tips from Pathan and Sreesanth and do themselves a huge favour by scoring in the Test series. We shall wait and watch.

1 comment:

Anish M said...


John Cheeran at Blogged