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    June 27, 2006

    Why didn't we win?

    Simply because WI did not bowl 'bad enough' for *this* Indian team (which is, one can add, not 'great enough') to set a chasing world record (highest successful chase on last day). Enough said?

    I don't think India could have won once Dhoni gamble failed (over 100+ runs at more than 7/over in a test match, that too with 2 of the 3 remaining batsmen being accumulators and third one not in great touch). I think it was correct to shut shop, not as much due to lack of confidence in abilities of the remaining batsmen, but more because of knowing the reality of their capabilities (especially Kaif and Dravid himself). And despite finding it frustrating, I could understand Yuvraj blocking away, and even smiling, as that was as per the team plan (blocking, not smiling ;-). No point him taking any risk at all...not good for the team, or for his own confidence.

    For me, there was not really any negative coming out of this match, atleast nothing not already known. Like, for example, we should know by now that Dhoni is not a GIlchrist. Not yet, atleast. But he's a handy wicketkeeper batsman, and is on the very early stages of his leaning curve. But for now, I don't see him taking up the role of a 6th batsman....not without ample help from Pathan. Every test match specialist batsmen needs to have versatility of playing to a variety of situations, and Dhoni doesn't fulfill quite a few of those. Thats where Pathan would need to pitch in. Else, we would have to continue with 6 specialist batsmen.

    Oh and for those who didn't watch (the match and the series so far) his keeping is coming up nicely. Again, he's not a great keeper (not many are, in most of the international lineups today), but a pretty handy one. And this series, he's made much fewer than permissible errors from an average keeper. Coupled with his batting, that is more than good news for now.

    The biggest positive from this match, for me, was the confirmed ability of the Indian team to come out of bad situations. Both in Antigua and now here, the team was staring down the barrel at the end of first couple of days (for a variety of reasons...not always in their control) and yet played without losing its head and steadily built enough momentum to come out of it, and even turn the tables to actually have a shot at victory. That, to me, is no mean feat. Not for an Indian team atleast. Ofcourse, we did it in the past as well (Laxman's Kolkatta comes to mind) but this team, though lacking in 'abilities', mainly due to lack of form of few players, is showing signs of doing it more consistently (Nagpur against England also comes to mind).

    So, lets hope the team continues with this attitude, and ofcourse improves on the front it lacks...through regain of form of Yuvraj, Pathan etc, to finally reach the status befitting its abilities.
    Thus spake worma @ 1:28 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    Lara's field setting was _really_ good. A real circle around the batsman on the off-side. "Hit/Drive through this cordon, if you can", was what he was saying.

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Jun-2006, 5:00:00 PM)  

    Yeah..probably the best possible tactic given the conditions and limitations of his resources.

    By Blogger worma (27-Jun-2006, 5:52:00 PM)  

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