India’s tour of New Zealand 2009: the Nitpicks

Allright folks, the party’s over. The players are headed to join their IPL teams. That means time for us to nitpick India’s tour of New Zealand.

Nitpick #1: The pitches. Ok, well, just the Basin pitch. It wasn’t typical Basin at all. That was perhaps the most disappointing feature of the tour of New Zealand. While the 02-03 tour was replete with ridiculously unbattable pitches, which embarrassed even the host batsmen, the pitches we saw here were mostly batsmen friendly. There was no shocker pitch, denying us of an opportunity of ruing an Indian batting collapse.

Nitpick#2: Ishant Sharma’s inability to use the breeze and Munaf’s to bag more wickets. Yes, this is a bit harsh. Ishant received some harsh ones from the umpires, but didn’t live up to the expectations in terms of wickets. There were some exceptional spells and there were some ordinary ones, thereby cause for some thought. Munaf’s bowling was fair. To me, he lived up to the standard of a “filling-up-the-overs” bowler, but not to that of a third seamer. The third seamer needs to consistently pick up wickets. Bowling in Tests isn’t only about economy. You can’t win matches with an economy of 2-odd, as beautiful as it might seem.

Nitpick #3: VVS Laxman and Sehwag’s inconsistency. Again, this is harsh and almost atrocious that Laxman and “careless” Sehwag are being blamed for the same thing, but there is more to this. VVS is expected to deliver. When he scores 30 we get upset because he’s capable of 40-60 every innings. Laxman’s scores read 30, DNB, 76, 124*, 4 and  61. That’s 295 @ 73.75 avg. Not something we should be grumbling about, but the issues are with the 30 and the 4. The 124 was priceless and came in a time when India needed it most. Sehwag on the other hand, truly disappointed. His scores read 24, DNB, 34, 22, 48, and 12. That’s 140 @ 28. Makes one wonder if it’s the same man who hits triple centuries at will. Sehwag played a classic innings at Galle. We all know he’s capable. It’s just about that application. We’re not asking him to turn into a Wall.

Nitpick #4: Yuvraj Singh – fielding and batting. Seriously what is he doing in a Test team, especially, a touring Test team. I see the logic in keeping him for the home series, but not on tours. He had his chance in Australia – a change which involved a needless shuffling in batting order to “acomodate” him. His fielding has also been below par this series. If you ask me, I’ll swap Murali Vijay for Yuvraj in overseas Tests. It will be worthy investment.

Nitpick #5: Dravid not making a century. Ok, this is more of a  nitpick. Dravid was the third highest run getter of the series with 314 runs @ 62.8. Given that this came in the wake of a year long run drought, it’s great. That he couldn’t turn the 83 in the first Test into a century giving it up to an uncharecteristic shot was very disappointing. Also disappointing was the dismissal for 35 at Wellington after all the hard work.

Nitpick #6: Collective lack on initiative at Wellington on Days 4 and 5 deprived us of a 2-0 victory. Should we have declared earlier? Maybe 20-30 runs earlier, not too much earlier. But the question as to whether we could have got those wickets in that time is another question altogether. Honestly, I’m fairly happy with 1-0 victory, maybe that’s the conservative Indian in me speaking. Just would have been nicer, that’s all. That’s why this is #6 and not #1.

Nitpick #7: Sehwag’s captaincy. After all the experience, we expected better from him didn’t we. This isn’t about the way he batted in that Test, though that would also count for “inappropriate” from a captain. There was something missing when he captained – maybe he know he’ll forever be 2nd choice. That X-factor that Dhoni brings was missing. Sehwag’s definitely got it. He just needs to find it.
it.

Nitpicks done. Do weigh in with yours.

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8 Responses to India’s tour of New Zealand 2009: the Nitpicks

  1. fair ones…

    i thought you will have a nitpick or two on dhoni’s conservative approach as well…

  2. namya says:

    I have a nit pick with Viru’s captaincy. We haven’t seen it enough, nor has he been in charge for a long time to pass a judgement on him.. He may be a crappy captain but we need to give him the benefit of doubt

  3. vmminerva says:

    @SP, I’m not complaining about Dhoni conservatism. If conservatism can win a test, why not. Only a moron would do something adventurous to extend the victory margin at the cost of the possibility of conceeding the lead.

    @Namya, true, we haven’t seen enough and therefore cannot judge conclusively.

  4. Som says:

    I think Laxman can be spared, considering his knocks came at the right time. Anyone for Yuvraj in Test squad but can Murali Vijay bat so down the order?

  5. Only a moron would do something adventurous to extend the victory margin at the cost of the possibility of conceding the lead.

    Tea Day 4: New Zealand – 136/4 in 42.0 overs (LRPL Taylor 48, JEC Franklin 18)

    are you serious we would have lost from this position…mean they would have scored another 480 odd run in possible 110-120 overs…???!!!

    either you rate nz way way high or you don’t even rate indian bowling… 🙂

  6. re sehwag’s x factor as captain, it’s more a zzz factor

  7. Soulberry says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with the picks.

    I hope Ishant has learnt…these are after all his learning/growing years.

  8. IPL says:

    I think the selection is good enuff🙂

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