Preview Edgbaston: Perspective India

Posted: August 10, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, India in England 2011

 Goutham Chakravarthi

 10 August 2011

The week leading to this Test would have given the time the team needed for introspection irrespective of an average outing against Northants. Zaheer Khan’s absence will sting India more than the cold weather of Birmingham.

The riots in England will have disrupted the preparations further. Not that it has been less chaotic on the cricketing front – with the latest expose by Outlook leaving Shastri and Gavaskar to fend off more spiteful media bumpers. Injuries and fitness issues have gotten worse and their returning champion has had less than ideal preparation – worse, still, he doesn’t know if can withstand a Test match without a fully functional shoulder. And given that not much grass will come off the strip, it has got many media pundits predicting a white wash just half-way into the series.

India will hope for big runs from Tendulkar and Laxman

India likes chaos. It even thrives in chaos. Much like our traffic discipline and road habits and the enormous social pressures of day-to-day life, when survival seems impossible, there is calm in approach and over achievement in results in such situations. A mentally fragile team with bite less than a toothless man and bowling dependent on a maverick swinger from days of yore is seemingly stepping-up into a heavy weight boxing bout with both hands tied behind its back. But there is hope that it will survive the round.

Rahul Dravid, Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma have been admirable throughout the series and will long for better support from their team mates. The team will look to its proven champions again to step-up and show the way. It might not be a surprise if they opt to bat on a pitch many would argue best suited for cows.

Their batting has been a huge let down. Their opening pair has been a Russian roulette and their batsmen have changed batting positions more than an Indian politician would change parties. Rahul Dravid has been selfless, but poor preparation and inability of their other batsmen in countering the English bowling and conditions has left their honest bowling with the challenge of passing 12th standard Mathematics examination with 10th standard preparation.

Laxman and Tendulkar will be cursing not to have converted their starts. If anything, they would hope that the return of Sehwag and Gambhir at the top buys them some shield against the new ball and ensure that when the second new ball is taken, one of them is around to tackle it. India’s lower-middle order has looked as clueless against English pace and nip like the young Australian batsmen did against Ajantha Mendis on Monday on a typical sub-continental wicket. Test match cricket can be cruel on the best and greatest of men. And India will benefit if England turn-up expecting India to roll over just because it is a green top. Much of their players spent the week in Europe on a holiday. Perhaps fishing. Indian bowlers will hope they fish outside-off stump when they bat against them.

India’s batting order finally looks in order with still the no.6 spot up for grabs. Captain Dhoni has tried his best to keep his car in the race only to see the wheels come off when he has needed to accelerate. He will hope for his car’s spare parts to be fully functional and operable so that he can plot a canny strategy to pip England to the chequered flag. He will be hoping that Sehwag can give him the extra gears he so desperately needs. It is all stacked against India. If they end-up surprising all by winning, just know that they thrive in chaos!

  1. Swapna says:

    Captured the essence of the Indian mentality! Well said… good beginnings have never been our forte.. and late pickup always a strong point… even if we dont like this attitude and are working towards a professional setup of late, lets hope our innate strengths resurface to put up a battle royale in the forthcoming matches.

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