Fifth ODI and beyond..

India wrapped up the final ODI in style, thanks to Dravid’s responsible knock and Yuvraj’s good form. After his initial burst in the SL ODI series Sachin seems to be struggling once again.

Things look good for India on the eve of the SL series. It will be interesting to see Dravid’s success rate in Test cricket. His form and his performance as captain these two recent series is certainly commendable. besides, t will be most interesting to see how he handles Ganguly starting with his selection! I suspect Dravid is a tough guy despite his diplomatic peace-loving persona.

Fouth ODI at Kolkata: Large-scale conspiracy?

SA thrashed India in the fourth ODI. The results were similar to the second ODI except that the performances of the two teams were reversed.

I can’t help but wonder if India was battling partly unexpected local demons. I think there was a conspiracy possibly lead by the CAB to nail the Indian team, not to mention the strong backing of all and sundry from Kolkata (local filmstars, politicians and the crowds at large).

First, there was a green pitch at the Eden Gardens. The kind that suits the SA and the kiss of death for the Indian team. Who in their right mind would recommend such a pitch?

Then, you have the scoreboard publicizing Ganguly performance in some third-rate Ranji match.
“In the meantime India were skittled to 188 and the giant screen showed a Ranji update of Sourav’s 159 in Bengal’s 378. The crowd erupted in a rapture to hail the all-round comeback of Sourav.” — what was the need for this? All round comeback in some Ranji trophy match after dismal failures for over two years at the international level. Gimme a break!

Last but not the least, the Kolkata crowd was supporting SA and booing the home team! The Kolkata crowds need to grow up! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Ganguly has been a dismal failure with the bat for over two years. Its impossible to argue that there is way too much talent knocking on the doors of Indian cricket to keep carrying “player baggage” simply based on past performance. Its one thing to support the local stars, but its quite another to not be objective and look at the facts and boo players who have earned their spots in the team.

Another one of those behind the scenes maneuvers orchestrated by the bigwigs in India’s cricketing establishment?

Dravid’s Interview

Check out Dravid’s interview. He appears to be extremely articulate (better than Ganguly in this respect too and I personally think Ganguly was good). The answer to the last question in particular was very impressive.

If he can continue to maintain his form, this can be a great opportunity for him to hang on to the hot seat through the World Cup.

Fourth ODI: India wrap up series

SL is struggling and India under Dravid seems to be on a roll. Greg Chappell’s overall strategy seems to be producing results. I have been a Ganguly admirer over the years, but I must admit that getting rid of Ganguly certainly seems to have opened the flood gates of India’s talent pool. Rahul Dravid’s consistency and his lack of rigidness when it comes to the batting order seems to have played a big part in this revival of Indian cricket. Ganguly’s insistence on batting at number three pretty much everytime coupled with his poor form seems to have been the bottleneck.

In any case, its too soon to discard Ganguly completely and praise Dravid to the skies. But for now, it certainly looks like a new beginning for Indian cricket with an optimistic future.