Cricket Musings of the past few weeks – CB Series concludes, India U-19 World Champs

March 11, 2008

Much has happened in the last couple of week for me to catch up with on my blog. The long, almost never-ending tour of Australia was finally over, with India and Australia sharing the honors with victories the ODI and Test series respectively. The young colts in the Indian U-19 team brought home another World Cup. The IPL tamashaa also went on, but I won’t go there in this post.

As for India’s tour of Australia, I enjoyed the Test series much better that the ODI and the one-off 20-20. It’s rather sad that the Test series will be remembered more for the controversies, and the result on paper remains India 1-2. That should have read the other way around. A Test series win for India this time around would have been the deserved and fair result and a tribute to the Kumble-lead seniors. But that is over.

Moving on the CB ODI series, which was mostly boring to me at least, other than Sachin, nothing was worth watching (from the India-batting point-of-view). Rohit Sharma deserves some credit for the gritty 66 that helped see Sachin to his maiden ODI century on Aussie soil. But other that Rohit, none of the younger batsmen seem ready to form the core Team. Gambhir is impressive, but something in me says that he seems more like Yuvraj – riding on form rather than correctness. But having said that, I would pick Gambhir over Yuvraj on any day. Despite the ODI series win, I’m not very euphoric. And no, it isn’t because this side didn’t include two of my favorite batsmen: Dravid and Ganguly, but because, this side didn’t have the batting stability that the two senior member brought with them, even during their early stages. The young bowlers lead by Ishant Sharma, Sachin, and the rain-washed matches set the stage and shared the honors.

As for India’s victory in the U-19 World Cup, the image that will remain in my mind is of Virat Kohli shhh-ing his team when only one ball remained to be bowled to the South African side batting in the final match of the tournament. It’s not won until it is actually over and won. The kid has more maturity and sense of sportsmanship than many others in the cricketing world!