A fighting perfuming from Pak. Man, these guy are true fighters. Its amazing how Pak comes together as a team, especially against India. Thoughts from the match and after.
Ganguly:It appears as though the selectors were in a hurry to get rid of Ganguly. The appeal has not happened as yet and the selectors almost instantly named the new team and captain. Sounds like they were in a hurry to bid Dada “bye-bye”. His decision to come in at number 4 has come in for a lot of criticism. Personally, I think he did the right thing. The spinners were on, and he is very capable of belting the spinners. Unfortunately, he never really tried to force the pace. For this he certainly deserves plenty of criticism.
Dravid: This could be a make or break for his captaincy hopes. If he delivers two victories and some of the younger folks shine, Ganguly’s fate may be sealed for ever from the one day side. He has a lot at stake here. Its also a chance for him to set things right and show his ideas with regard to the ideal team combination. Kumble is back, Dhoni appears to have grabbed number 3 slot, Kaif is a terrible misfit at number 7, Murali bowled well in the last ODI, our opening bowlers suck repeatedly, he has a new deputy in Viru. All in all he has an opportunity to make some interesting decisions. Besides in addition to these two games, he has four more to go before Ganguly is back in the reckoning. In short, there is a lot at the stake for India’s most reliable batsman. Will he scale the wall?
Sachin: Played a superb innings. I only wish he had retired hurt once he was hit by cramps. It was a painful site to see him struggle and bring down the run rate along with Ganguly. This is a pitiful example of a complete lack of strategy on the part of the Indian team management. Either Sachin should have attacked and given Ganguly the time to settle. Or Ganguly should have attacked from the word go and had Sachin rotate the strike. Unfortunately neither of the two scenarios happened, and both perished leaving India with a loss of momentum. But for the super cameo by Yuvraj India would have ended up with a score lot lower.
In the final analysis, India never played as a team. A few super performances and that’s about it. As always we continue to create celebrities out of individuals in the team for their personal performances, while the team as a whole continues to languish as a totally unpredictable bunch.
As for Pak, they are a terrific team, but equally unpredictable, especially when the opposing team is not India.