India took one small step in the rebuilding, redemption and recovery.
Mahesh commented earlier, “Pick your game up, India and start playing good, tough cricket – you owe it to yourself as much as you owe it to us – your supporters.”
Perhaps. But then, I do not think that that will happen. I don’t expect too many fireworks from this team in this series. It may be billed by the press as a revenge-series. Although Rahul Dravid has dismissed notions of “revenge”, it will be a strange ommission on the part of the team and the management if they did not set the tour-goal-bar of at least “a 3-0 win“, if not a “convincing 3-0 win“.
Let us not forget that the rebuilding is being carried out by Ravi Shastri and Rahul Dravid — cricketers for whom “gutsing it out”, “grinding it out”, “process more than outcome”, “head down bum up”, “safety and security before entertainment”, etc are (and have been) regular mantras. They are not quite from the “let’s blind them with our collective brilliance” school. They are measured and conservative as players and I won’t be surprised if that philisophy translates into the way they lead the team out of the trough it finds itself in.
We may have seen a few flamboyant displays if Tiwary played. Unfortunately, Tiwari is injured and unable to play.
In his post-match, Shastri said words that characterise his demeanour. He said, “the boys showed tremendous character and fighting spirit” and “There was concentration, there was discipline, there was fighting spirit and above all there was tremendous self-belief. They really had to dig into their reserves to win and that will stand them in good stead.“. Need I say more?
So, I think we should settle down and expect nothing more than dour, measured, lets-guts-it-out performances. Hopefully the result sheet will still read 3-0!