The Irani Trophy beckons!

Well almost – it’s tomorrow and I can’t wait. This Delhi vs. Rest of India clash, touted as the the dress rehearsal to the Australia series, has everything in it to be a cracker. Everybody will have everything to play for. Weather permitting and pitch (and cable operator) willing we should see a good contest. I’m not a Delhi-ite but I think they have the psychological edge with the “we can afford to mess this up” factor helping them; at least they will be the lesser of the stressed. It is the Kumble lead Rest-of-India who will need to prove points. Every single middle order batsmen in their line up – Dravid and Laxman in particular – have everything at stake here. Actually, apart from Badri/Kaif, depending on who will play, and the aforementioned India seniors, there isn’t too much of interesting batting in the Rest of India line up. When I read the name Wasim Jaffer, I tend to to mentally skip it and am not too excited about Parthiv Patel either – he has no technique whatsoever. Delhi, on the other hand seems to have a more interesting batting line up. I use the word interesting for it is the kind of batting that could swing to either of the extremes. They could thrill us all, with attacking stroke play or have us screaming and lamenting about the future depending upon how things go for them. Delhi batsmen to watch out for will be Aakash Chopra, in-form Virat Kohli and Shikar Dhawan, though I feel the latter might turn out to be just a bit of hype. And that’s aside of perennial surprise package that is Virender Sehwag and “purple patch” Gambhir.

Two contests I will eagerly look forward to are Ishant vs. Dravid and Ishant vs. Laxman. While Ishant got Dravid in the IPL opener at Bangalore, it is his nagging off-stump line that is likely to bother Dravid in particular as he has been dismissed by such deliveries thrice (as far as I can remember) in the last year to Sohail Tanvir, Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma. Laxman who has a similar approach, though not identical, might fare a little better against such stuff. My predictions on Ishant – he will get the top four of Rest of India with Jaffer and Parthiv being the bunnies. I’m not familiar with the rest of the Delhi bowlers and will leave that discussion to the expert opinion of my Delhi-ite blogging friends.

Another contest to look to is Sehwag against Zaheer; the other Rest of India pacers, R P Singh and Munaf may get it from Sehwag big time! I would also like to see the look on Harbhajan’s face when Sehwag hits him over the top for six 🙂 ! Also interesting would be to see how the young Delhi middle order cope with the spin duo of Kumble and Harbhajan.

For Delhi, top order will be key, and middle for Rest of India. I already feel that this is an India vs. somebody else match with scale titled in favor of the “somebody else”. Rest of India, prove me wrong!

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8 Responses to The Irani Trophy beckons!

  1. VM – need some intensity here. Not like the 1st test of an india series. if sehwag can step it up as a skipper, and not just as a player, there should be an added dimesnsion to this game. Otherwise, the hype is in our heads.

  2. Ottayan says:

    My interest in this match is purely because of three players -Badri, Kaif and Dhawan.

    I agree with you on Parthiv Patel, he is not international material.

    As for the bowling, I am keen to watch Munaf’s progress. He seems to be approaching his best.

    Like you I am eager for the match to begin.

    BTW, beware of NC. He is a Delhi-ite and I find him trying to promote Sehwag as Captain in almost all the blogs. 🙂

  3. Ottayan says:

    VMM,

    A request. I just noticed that you are using my old url to link to my blog (Cricket Blogs I frequent). Will be grateful if you change the url link to http://www.cricketnewsonlinelive.com

    Thank you.

  4. Neno Cricket says:

    Ott. what is Parthiv Patel is not international Material ?

    As far as i know all are desi materials only. I think you should say that Parthiv is not comparable at international level 🙂

    And also one thing I too like Sehwag (here is also NC) though I assure I am Delhi-wasi. Sehwag is one of those players because of which people like to see test matches.

  5. Ott – on the contrary, we must beware (be wary) of sehwag the captain. btw i’ve been promoting viru the batsman and not sehwag the captain. but yes, am curious abt his captaincy, it’s unpredictable, often annoying and always amusing.

    and here’s more ammo: since sehwag has relocated from Nasafgarh, he now live in the same rough neighbourhood as this comment-er. reckon our paths will cross in a seedy mid pitch brawl. could also be mid wicket.

    VM – how can I get comment updates?

  6. Soulberry says:

    The match which one looked forward to didn’t materialize as a visual experience for me till the final overs of the day. From what appears on cricinfo’s description, the ROI and India skipper, clearly decided to check out all his bowling options. Which also means the batting line-up is fairly settled and even if some batsman may actually be pitchforked into the Indian dressing room from here, he’ll probably land on the bench.

    The ROI/India/Selectors are clearly looking for bowlers – and pace bowlers at that – for the series ahead. Kaif and Badri failed to make use of their first chance.

    Chopra and Kohli could be the ultimate beneficiaries of this match as far as bats are concerned, at some future date. Munaf among the bowlers, if he can rip open the Delhi belly in the nick of time.

  7. vmminerva says:

    @NC, seems like the hype was in our heads. Not the quality of batting for ROI for all the hype for Kaif and Badri. Btw glad to know your roughly neighbours with Viru. 🙂
    The feed for comments is here: https://vmminerva.wordpress.com/comments/feed/

    @Ott :), NC has solidly defended your take on him promoting Sehwag, though I must say, since Dhoni is the other option for Test captaincy after Kumble, my vote will also be for Sehwag. Btw, I shall change the link to your page around here. The old one seemed to work, so I didn’t bother changing it, but I will now.

    @Neno, glad that you’re with me on Sehwag.

    @SB, I must agree with on the visual experience. I was expecting a better show with the bat. I caught the worst part of it 😦 – the first hour, before heading to work. Judging from the highlights, India without Ishant reminds of the olden days when Javagal Srinath was the only bowler actually bowling. 🙂

  8. […] very positive shots. Yes, there are still concerns; yes, he did struggle against Ishant Sharma, as I had I predicted yesterday; yes, the back foot isn’t moving to guard the off stump – a sure sign of out-of-form-ness, […]

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