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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

T20 at Old Trafford today - Do your remember when Kapil Dev was dropped !!

A battered and bruised Team India prepares for the next leg of the tour, starting with One-off Twenty20 at Old Trafford today followed by Five One dayers on 3rd, 6th, 9th, 11th and 16th.   Still India can place those unforgettable drubbing behind and perform better in the limited overs format, where many players can mask their inadequacies -  but it is also a format which calls for high fitness levels and good ground fielding.  Indians are the Champions in 50 over format and gained a 3-0 lead in WI before squandering the last two games.  

England has new T20 skipper Stuard Broad who was once mauled for six 6s in a T20  by Yuvi.  But the clock has turned much after.  There are some names  Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes – which I have not heard earlier…  in T20, actually, it is England who are the Champion who triumphed in Caribbean in 2010.  It is a game of youngsters where Rahul Dravid is making debut !  he has already announced his retirement after the ODI series and hence unlike to play another T2o for India !

It has been a hard grind and there are scars of drubbing in the Test and one can perhaps sympathise with Dhoni.  But India’s  Super captain has to learn from the past.  In some ways comparable, Kapil Dev was the successful captain leading India to a victory in WC 1983.  He lost his captaincy sooner after the drubbing WI handed in India.  Kapil throughout his career was one player who always gave his 100%, so committed was he, always remained fit and never withdrew from any of the matches.  When England toured India, the wily Gavaskar was back as the Captain.  India won the First Test at Bombay with Siva making a great debut.  In the Second Test, India made 307 (Kapil top scored with 60), England made 418.  Indians were forced to play for a draw; Gavaskar made 65 – his only worthwhile knock during that entire series.  Kapil’s style of batting was well known – he hit a six of Pat Pocock, tried another in the next was caught in the deep and Indian innings folded.  Gavaskar and Board was furious and he was dropped for that single shot !  Have we not seen batsmen throwing their wickets at crucial times – but Kapil at his prime was punished much to the shock of all Indian cricket lovers.  The real fighter never gave up but produced many a great knocks, wonderful bowling performances, bowling his heart and knee out on dead tracks made to suit the batsmen of his time.

Now all the drubbing is attributed to overplay, indulgence, lack of preparation and IPL.  The one advantage of IPL was perhaps the exposure of many Indian players to the 20 overs format and to brushing shoulders with many super stars of International repute  IPL brand and T20 did change the approach and attitude of many !  but in a T20 International today -  Ajinkya Rahane is about to open with Parthiv Patel – what a pity !  Have never seen Parthiv play like a batsman thought he might have some scores.  The IPL threw some young and not so heard of players who slam banged in the opening overs and made some tall scores including centuries in 20 overs and that would include Murali Vijay, Manish Pandey, Naman Ojha, Shikhar Dhawan, Paul Valthaty, Swapnil Asnodkar, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa to quote some names……….  Well none of them is in the scheme of things for the shorter version !!  and we have Rahul Dravid making his debut after so many years and some years of oblivion even not considered good for the 50 over contests.

The cup of woes is complete with the bowling front where it is all left to the inexperienced Vinaykumar and Varun Aaron alongwith Ashwin and Mishra perhaps.  Or whether Munaf, RP Singh can lead from the front needs to be seen !

There is not much of history in T20 between the countries and in 2009 World T20, England beat India after scoring 153 – in Durban 2007, Yuvi made the fastest half century knocking England and Broad out of contention.  Sachin is not playing and whether Virat or Rohit will make great impression lies the success of India. Coaches over the year have praised Raina for his work ethic, talent and hard work in fielding but have done nothing to hone his skills.  Whether it is only coincidence that the slump is occurring at a time when Duncan Andrew Gwynne Fletcher took over the reins as Coach is a moot Q !

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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