Thursday, January 25, 2007

Karthick boards World Cup bus in Cuttack

By John Cheeran
What a change of fortunes we witnessed in Cuttack.
The flat track bullies who made merry in Nagpur were exposed when batting conditions became a bit challenging, and to rescue India from the depths of 90 for seven to a fighting score, it took a young and inexperienced Dinesh Karthik.
With his brilliant 63, crucially coming from a mere 87 balls, Karthik took the battle into the West Indies camp on a wicket that offered low bounce and made shot making a difficult exercise.
Karthick eventually won the man-of-the match award when Ramesh Powar and Sachin Tendulkar struck crucial blows during the Windies innings and helped India clinch a 20-run win to go up 2-0 in the four-match series.
With his knock in Cuttack, Karthik, carrying on his good form from South Africa, has ensured his place in the World Cup 15 to be announced soon.
I hope Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar would have watched the experienced Sourav Ganguly struggle out there as well as the no-hoper Gautam Gambhir.
Vengsarkar will have to play Robin Uthappa as opener without wasting further time.
Among the seasoned Indian campaigners only skipper Rahul Dravid held the bat with a modicum of comfort. Tendulkar's woeful batting continues and he is fast plunging into the same lane where Virender Sehwag finds himself now.
Whatever the series of scores Tendulkar is going to come up with during this twin-series, he is too big a shot to be dropped for World Cup.
With Indian batting refusing to shed its thermostat attitude, a consistent performance will be a rarity. After the first two matches, the list of 30 hopefuls can keep their fingers crossed.
With a few more wobbly innings from India's top order, who knows even Sehwag would get a knock on his door from Vengsarkar!

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