Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Australia Tour Diary Day - 0 - 22nd September

The Aussies are here !! Landed in India yesterday and acclimatize in Jaipur. Where as our Team gets ready with an Irani Cup match. Symonds is missing most notably. He doesn’t make any difference to India’s chances as it would be foolish to take the Aussies lightly. The series that will be closely fought. What we need is our team to play to potential and if that is done we should win. I seriously think that we have a very very good chance of beating them, not just beating them but beating them bad. Even if Symonds would have come I don’t think they could have beat us. Infact his place might be taken by Shane Watson who I think might be a pretty good replacement. So it gives no advantage to us. Its only that since he is a high profile player and we collectively hate him so much that people talk about him gone, Australia gone. But it doesn’t work that way. Having said that it would have been real good to see Symonds here, I am sure our crowds would have shown a real ugly streak and the Aussies would have had a hard time. Not that our teams have an easy time in Australia. When you tour Australia you don’t only face the 11 on the field, but the whole nation. They get behind the visitors and make life miserable and make cracks appear. It really felt so silly hearing the Jaipur association fellow saying that the Aussies asked for a turning track and we are trying to provide that. Do you think if Kumble would go and ask a curator in Australia to provide him a bouncy net wicket and would he get it?? I am sure the reply would have been “ mate its your job to play, my job to prepare the track” Somehow we Indians are gracious hosts, nothing wrong in that but what all happened in the Australian summer I don’t think they deserve any respite. Ponting has just put out the statement that there has been healthy rivalry between the two nations. You can call the India Australia rivalry anything but healthy. Its been intense crude and not healthy to say the least. This is seriously pay back time, for me its very very difficult to wait. This is the series for this year. We have to beat the Aussies this time and not just beat them bad but play to our potential and really rub their nose and grind them in the ground. The selection of venues also by the BCCI is ridiculous, come out of the rotation policy and use some sense, why are Australia playing in Bangalore and Mohali?? I for one simply cannot understand why they aren’t playing in humid Chennai, Eden, Delhi & Mumbai. Not only are these mega cities, but all the pitches are ideal for spin and really really difficult for Australia to conquer. Bangalore pitch is quite fast of late, and so is Mohali the bounciest in the country. Not that we cannot beat them on fast tracks as we showed in Perth. The point is the situation should we such that the Aussies should mentally feel their chances more and more difficult even before they step on the field. When simplified cricket is a simple game, any bowler needs just one bowl to do something or the batsman to misjudge just once and that’s it. The game is a great leveller and test cricket is a true test of cricket. The famed batting line up of ours had come a cropper in Srilanka, honestly I cannot remember the last time when these four batsman have collectively failed so badly, South Africa was one abberation and one Newzealand tour in the last 10 years. But after those two tours they came back and came back big. So do we take a cue?? I totally agree the reflexes of these stalwarts are waning, they arent as aggressive as they were and they arent as agile as they were. Dada has not been picked for the Irani trophy. Alas selectors don’t make this mistake. Unless they are pushed out by Rohit or Yuvraj don’t just remove them. At the moment I think the new crop of Indian batsmen are very good, very talented but not hungry enough. Not determined enough. Imagine Yuvraj in so many years and so many opportunities has not been able to establish himself in the line up still. He had a knee injury at the wrong time and ever since he has not been able to keep it up consistently. Plus against spin he is a real worry. Rohit Sharma has loads and loads of talent but he is giving his wicket away very very easily. He is very talented but always getting out to soft dismissals like Damien Martyn & Carl Hooper. Both these batsmen I think could have given the world records a run, but were always a little casual. Maybe their elegant style gave that impression. But strangely the amount of times they would give a simple return catch to the bowler or midwicket or cover or their leading edges were too many. Rohit needs to be given a wake up call. He is our next no. 4 in the test lineup, and he cannot be giving it up so easily. Rohit has class and future, but let him earn the spot, don’t give it to him easily. Even Yuvraj needs to pull his weight, he has the potential to be a world beater, somehow injuries at the wrong time and his luck running out at the right time have made the test spot elude him still. Dada should be given one last lease of life, if he has to go he needs to be given a farewell befitting his status. He has worn the India colours on his sleeve and fought for our country valiantly. It was he who started the turnaround in Indian cricket in 2001, ever since India has shed the mediocre tag and been becoming better. They have now won on foreign soil more consistently. He did the job that Allan Border did for Australia. He has made the spirit for the years to follow. Like Mark Taylor, Rahul and Anil carried the process further. I hope Dhoni does what Steve Waugh did, set new levels and new standards and become a team that had no adversaries. They were the best and although they lost to us in 2001, that was the only aberration. Next up we take the teams head to head….

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