It’s lunch during Game 6.  Sri Lankans have been dismissed before the 50 overs for the fourth time in this series.  Impeccable keeping from Dhoni (two catches, one stumping, one run out, zero byes), a good display of bowling on what is a decent batting track (just 3 extras, all out for less than 200 within 43 overs), superb fielding (condoning a few misfields, the fielders were on the ball and hitting the stumps all the time), emergence of youth (add RP Singh to the list), and an ebullient and synergetic team performance have left me wondering what superlatives to lavish on this unit.  All I can manage for now is “mind-boggling.”  The upcoming series against S. Africa is all the more appealing.

Who could have predicted such a stark turn-around from the sorry state of things less than a month ago?  Much credit goes to Chappell, and Dravid as well.  The much maligned selection panel is ringing in the right changes, and its significance needs to be acknowledged.  Now, if only the BCCI could mimic this improvement in the administrative world.  I suppose that would require, akin to the coaching position, bringing in Rod Marsh to replace the incompetent Ranbir Singh Mahendra.


4 Responses to “Mind-boggling”

  1. Amar Says:

    “Mind-boggling” would be correct. Just a few days ago, very few people were giving India a shot to beat SL in the series let alone dominate them in the manner they have thus far. 4 of the 5 wins haven’t even been close.

    What’s even more impressing is the manner in which India have achieved these victories. Until recently, the only way India were able to win was to bat first and post a huge, not decent, total. Anything other then that scenario and you might as well pencil in an Indian loss. India are notoriously bad chasers. But, not in this series. You could argue that all five victories so far have been achieved in different fashions. It is very refreshing to see India achieve such results.

    It is a great idea to develop a pool of about 16-20 players looking ahead to WC2007. It’s a mixture of experienc and youth and that bodes well for the team. The fielding has improved tremendously and so has the running between the wickets. There is a healthy competition for almost every spot in the team save a couple. And the rotation policy keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everybody fresh.

    I would still like the selectors to give a few chances to Zaheer Khan and even Sourav Ganguly. Zaheer is immensly talented and he is still young. Sacking L.Balaji and Nehra isn’t a bad thing. Both are vastly overrated, especially Balaji.

  2. Pratik Says:

    Bringing Ganguly back at this point would be a huge step backwards. It’s not just about scoring runs (which, by the way, he hasn’t managed to do in the last two years), but, as Chappell and Dravid have pointed out on several occasions now, the process. Fitness, attitude and fielding are just as important, and that’s where Ganguly falls miserably short. I think his fielding is so hopeless that he won’t be able to make it back into the team. But I don’t want to be unjustly critical. If he can turn those things (fitness, fielding, attitude) around, score tons of runs on the domestic circuit, and do it in quick enough time (no point bringing in a 35-year-old to the team), he’s more than welcome to join Dravid’s squad. I just think it highly improbable, if not impossible.

    I was never really impressed with Zaheer. Most telling was his tendency to get nervous and grant plenty of extras in the opening over against vaunted oppositions. He was far too inconsistent and, I think, of the Ganguly school of fitness. But if Chappell can get consistency out of Agarkar, perhaps Zaheer is not a lost cause. Maybe ZK will work on his commitment to the game now that he’s been shown that he’s far from indispensible.

    Of late, Nehra has been impressive on the few occasions that he’s managed to make it out on the cricket field. I think there’s some very good potential there, and hopefully Chappell and Dravid can help him better manage himself.

  3. ze rambler Says:

    Stunning to see the team doing so well innit? Touch wood – hopefully this will continue for a while. Thanks for the comment and the link – have done likewise.

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