Daily Archives: 14 February 2008

Two big matches coming up for India…

India plays a double-header in Adelaide. On Sunday 17 Feb, India takes on Australia and on Tuesday 19, India play Sri Lanka. These two games plus the Friday (Australia v Sri Lanka) game in Perth should decide the final line-up in this CB one-day series.

After India lost to Sri Lanka in a rain-marred ODI in Canberra, this ODI competition has been thrown wide open. The three teams are pretty much even in terms of the leader-board.

As I have said in a previous post, India’s team balance is lacking just a bit in my view. I do think that the 4-bowler policy is a flawed one. The positive for India is that they have got this far in the tournament even though Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Robin Uthappa haven’t really done much! The form of Sachin Tendulkar, M. S. Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir has been good and solid.

Virender Sehwag is due a few runs and so also Robin Uthappa — who hasn’t really had much of a hit in the middle.

Yuvraj Singh’s form has been woeful all summer. There has been some suggestion, even on this blogsite, that Yuvraj Singh is letting the team down with his fielding too. The inside story on that one, confirmed by this report here, is that he is not fielding at his customary point/cover position because the team does not wish to risk his dodgy knee! I do feel that the best way out for him is to play with an unfettered mind. As Ian Chappell said, the worst thing that any batsman would want when he is going through a form-slump is to have to go in the middle having to build an innings with the score on 38 for 3. With that in mind, and keeping in mind the undoubted benefits of an in-form Yuvraj Singh, I do wish the team takes the opportunity of sending him 1-down, especially if the score is (say) 95-1 off 15 overs! He can then play with a freedom that a form-reversal badly needs!

From the point of view of “balance”, an option would be to “rest” Robin Uthappa and take Praveen Kumar instead. However, I do not believe the team would risk such a move. So we seem to be stuck with having Uthappa batting at either #6 or #7.

Either way, there are a few cracking matches coming up for the cricket fan.

U19 World Cup

The start of the U19 World Cup is just around the corner. The teams are in the midst of practice matches. India won both its practice games so far (against New Zealand and England). The team that has gone is a strong one and contains some players that may well make it big in the future. Names like Virat Kohli (captain and middle-order bat from Delhu), Pradeep Sangwan (young fast bowler tyro from Delhi), Iqbal Abdullah (left arm spinner from Mumbai), Tanmay Srivatsa (the 18yo left-hand bat from UP) and Abhinav Mukund (left-handed opener from Tamil Nadu) are names that we should hear for a long time in Indian cricket.

Keep an eye out on that tournament too, as it unfolds…