Sunday, December 03, 2006

Very very special opportunity for Laxman

By John Cheeran
Ah, finally India have reached Centurion to play their last one-day match of the South African tour. Though South Africa have won the series 3-0, for Indians this is an opportunity to redeem their pride as cricketers.
For the likes of stand-in captain Virender Sehwag, this match should be a stroll in the park. For long, Sehwag has assumed he is God’s gift to Indian cricket and has no need to play for the team.
Being the natural talent that he is, normal rules do not apply to Sehwag. Sehwag has converted the natural talent into a license to play wanton strokes.
And seniors like Sachin Tendulkar has tasted the bitter taste of the bouncy wickets and ruthless approach of South African bowlers. After such knowledge who cares?
For Sehwag and Tendulkar, their reputation is more than enough to carry them till World Cup since the Indian selection committee, under the astute leadership of Dilip Vengsarkar, has become suckers for experience.
For guys such as Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina there is nothing to lose, everything to gain if they are picked for this match, since a return to the Indian XI now looks a hard climb indeed.
Among the 11 Indian cricketers that line up at Centurion on Sunday, it is going to be a very big match only for VVS Laxman.
This is an opportunity that Laxman should grab with both hands for he was ignored for the recent one-dayers and for the last World Cup. If Laxman could handle the South African attack with a degree of comfort that should bring glad tidings to skipper Rahul Dravid as he reworks the strategy for the forthcoming Test series.
Laxman has to succeed in this game so that India’s batting recovers some of its lost composure. But let me remind you this. If he makes runs that will not be the triumph of experience but of his sheer class and commitment to the Indian cause.

1 comment:

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