India ODI squad announced – BCCI spring another unpleasant one

January 20, 2008

This time Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman get the axe. If Laxman and 17 are jinxed for the Aussies, the BCCI is also jinxed. If it gets praise one day, the rotten tomotoes and worse follow soon. What is with this anti-Dravid-ism? He seemed to show signs of returning to form. Ganguly seemed to be in good-knick too (except for the Perth Test). Laxman has been cursed long ago and labeled a Test player. I don’t see why they can’t be persisted with.

This time, emphasis on fielding was the excuse for dropping Dravid and Ganguly. “The emphasis was on fielding abilities and they wanted a young fielding side for the series. That’s why you see a lot of youngsters in the side.” I don’t consider Ishant Sharma to be a great fielder.

And what is with Yuvraj’s selection? If you were to apply the same yardstick that was used oust Dravid after the ODI series againt Australia in India, Yuvraj’s single-digit scores in this Test series should have earned him ouster. Not that it is justified; neither is. I’m not sure if we can count on seeing Dravid back in an ODI, we can certainly count on the BCCI for springing an unpleasant, controversial surprise out of the blue.

India thrill at the WACA – 3rd Test at Perth

January 20, 2008

India has made it into the history books once again, after this victory at the WACA becoming the only sub-continent country to trounce the Aussies at their home-advantage ground. A memorable feat considering that India were 2 down in the series, embroiled in controversy, and written off completely. This was supposed to the be the match in which Australia would steamroll their way to a 17-match winning streak, in which Shaun Tait would sizzle by bowling at 170 kmph, in which Australia could crush India with a 4-pronged pace attack and make mockery of the halchal that India raised after the controversial Sydney Test, but that wasn’t to be. India thwarted the Aussie streak yet again.

There were several memorable moments in this game for me, Dravid in the first innings, Laxman pulling it off yet again in the second, and so on, but if I were to chose one, it would be Ishant Sharma’s magical 7+ over spell. The young teenager had one of the best batsmen in the world poking, leaving, and beaten before he finally claimed Ponting for the second time in this Test match. And this was the boy who, even as recent as the Pakistan series, looked too raw for Test cricket. This awe-inspiring story will definitely live on for years to come. Three cheers for Ishant!

Another heartening thing from this match was to see the so-called inexperienced Indian bowling attack blossom. It may be a tad too early to call this the beginning of a new age of Indian pace bowling, but it certainly instills a lot of hope. It was also good to see Sehwag and Pathan back in the squad contributing all round. Way to go India! Way to square the series!