Cardinal Sin?

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I’ve heard several people, including Rahul Dravid, my hero (yes, he has become the first person in my life to be conferred with that sobriquet), that not batting the full 50 overs in an ODI is “cardinal sin.” I beg to differ. For if you bat the 50 overs and don’t score any runs, that’s much worse. Of course, that’s an extreme example. The point is, being aggressive and getting all out in the 45th over is better than playing 50 overs but scoring fewer runs. In the last game, India couldn’t quite figure out the runs-wickets equation. With 9 overs to go and 4 wickets in hand, you’d have expected some aggression. But the Indians were so preoccupied with saving wickets that they forgot to score runs. In Rao, Harbhajan, Powar and Agarkar you had a specialist batsman and three players capable of a good biff. Yet, they just managed 24 runs from those 9 overs. 41 runs from 15 overs after scoring 211/3 from the first thirty-five is so far below pathetic, we’ll have to invent a new word for it.

What does this mean? India’s trailing to a side that recently struggled to distinguish itself from a third-grade Zimbabwean team. I’ve mentioned several times in the past that India’s real test will come abroad. Now that we’re abroad we’re struggling against a team in the bottom rung? Does this mean we haven’t improved nearly as much as we thought we did? Does it mean we can forget about winning the Test series? About being the best in the world? I am glad to say that the answer is no. Call it optimism or foolhardiness, but I predict two much easier wins for the Indians in the next two games.

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10 Responses to “Cardinal Sin?”

  1. sukhi Says:

    Call it optimism or foolhardiness, but I predict two much easier wins for the Indians in the next two games.

    only if they learn something from the previous two games.

  2. Amar Says:

    “I predict two much easier wins for the Indians in the next two games.”

    I don’t know what you are smoking over there but I’d definitely like to get my hands on that. Aren’t you an eternal optimist!

  3. Amar Says:

    Well, your hero just scored 15 runs in 38 balls during the “fielding restrictions” overs. When is he going to know that he SHOULD NOT open in ODIs???

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  5. sukhi Says:

    I’m betting at a 4-1 this series. And its good to know they’ve lost one, ahead of the Cup. Damn idiots would get too cocky otherwise.

  6. Pratik Says:

    WI have scored 255 and we’re now 10-1 from 3.2 overs. Still hoping we’ll put up a good batting performance and win this.

    Amar, about Dravid opening, he’ll stop doing that when Tendulkar comes back. Earlier, I was skeptical about him opening as well, but he’s shown he’s remarkably adaptive. One half-poor knock is not going to change that. Did you not see his superlative century in the first game?

  7. Pratik Says:

    Sukhi, I agree this has been a good wake-up call. Losing the series to no. 8 is bad enough though. We don’t need to lose this last one.

  8. Amar Says:

    I love Dravid as a player, just not as an opener (one century doesn’t change my opinion). There are two reasons for that: 1) His game is not suited for an opening slot (that’s not a knock on him though…that’s just how his game is) 2) He is too valueable a player to lose early on in an innings (esp. with Tendulkar not around) – he provides stability to the whole middle order.
    P.S. As I write this, he is RUN OUT yet again. With all the slack that Ganguly got about his running b/w the wkts, maybe Dravid is the REAL culprit here (I think it’s both…).

  9. Pratik Says:

    Just one innings? He’s opened in quite a few games. And even when he hasn’t, he’s had to come out in the first couple of overs plenty of times. He’s shown enough that he can bat at any position. The only aspect of his game that’s not suited is that he doesn’t hit over the top. But if he can still maintain an average of a run a ball, it doesn’t matter.

  10. Amar Says:

    C’mon man, you know as well as I do that Dravid’s game is NOT suited for opening. I didn’t say “one innings”; I said “one century”. Anyway, you proved my point when u said “if he can still maintain an avg. of run a ball, it doesn’t matter”. He DOESN’t maintain an avg. of run a ball when he opens the innings (11 of 22 in 2nd ODI, 0 of 4 in 3rd ODI, 15 of 38 in 3rd ODI, 46 of 59 in 3rd ODI vs. England, 65 of 73 in 4th ODI vs. England, 69 of 79 in 7th ODI vs. England – in the first two matches against England he came at one down, scoring 34 of 50 and 5 of 23(!!!), and he did not play in the 6th ODI). So in the past two series, whenever he has come to open or at one down, he has scored at a rate of run a ball only ONE time – first ODI vs. WI when he scored a century.
    Anyway, you were right about the 4-1 series win. You just got the team wrong. As the saying goes: A lion at home, a cat abroad. Indians are proving that point again. When everybody else and their mother have been smacking the W. Indies around for the past couple of years (except Zimb.), we get smacked in return. It wasn’t even close. I don’t mind losing but it’s the way we lost.

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