Preview: 3rd ODI, The Kia Oval

Posted: September 8, 2011 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, India in England 2011
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket – The CouchExpert

September, 2011


India’s battle with England this summer, thus far, has hardly possessed any dramatic interest. In the past, when Indian cricket had been through plenty of such phases, there would always be an instance of one player whose image would bring to mind a personal battle of absolute resolve. The truth, however in this series, is more prosaic; while there were a few performances that had glimpses of excellence, the overall picture, though, was seemingly fogged.

With absolutely nothing to lose henceforth, it would make sense for India to adopt Admiral Farragut’s ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach during the Battle of Mobile Bay. The influx of youth has helped the unit remove scarred egos, with Rahane’s good run of form being a huge positive. He has looked comfortable for someone who’s just arrived in to International Cricket. Coupled with Parthiv’s blitzkriegs at the top of the order, there have been plenty of positives to derive from the approach.

While some of the players handled the English attack with grace, the overall result has been the same – odd emotional moments in a failing quest that few people are taking seriously. The seriousness debate could have half a point – there were always going to be questions about the crowd that otherwise would have been generated had injuries not affected the celebrity stars.

The success of Rahane would surely give young Aaron a boost in confidence. He must be handed his debut soon.

Despite various signs that indicate a depleted level of interest, thanks more to the weather than the lack of stars, the battle might not be joined until the reverse fixtures commence in India later this year. But what can currently generate interest is to expose some of the young stars and offer a glimpse of what the future has in store for Indian cricket. The failure, to say hand a debut to young Varun Aaron would end up demonstrating the chronic weakness of Indian selection.

It is easy to forget that change in fortunes can still fetch silverware for the Indians this series. The Indian cricket fan’s substantive liability is to forget the opportunities that still lie ahead when times are bad – he becomes besotted with pessimism. The response so far from the team has been forceful, but grossly inadequate.

England, on the other hand has lost its One Day talisman with Irish roots to injury. Morgan’s injury could prove a blessing in disguise for ex outcast Ravi Bopara, who is trying is hardest to cement a place in a side which once struggled to pick a squad on credit alone. It is strange to observe how a chunk of past memories are formatted when times change for the good.

England must ride on this wave while it still lasts, and their current opponents are prime examples of what dark times can do. With a bunch of youngsters being given a fair run this series, Dernbach and Stokes have opportunities to pose additional headaches to the English selectors.

Bopara will slot in to fill the injured Morgan's place in the England XI

Alastair Cook’s doubted limited over skills were put to rest with the innings at Southampton, additionally backed by a few good performances in the same format against the Sri Lankans prior to the Indian series. His success has set a predicate that Cook, as a batsman, can now be relied on in the shorter formats of the game and practically, on incommodious leadership issues, if they may exist, along the way to definitive deal.

The trouble is, success will not always walk into the hands of the Englishmen. If England’s new found aggression is about ruthlessly wiping out enemies, as they’ve demonstrated in the recent past, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for even Captain Cook to take a leaf out of Admiral Farragut’s book: Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead! Weather permitting, of course.

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Comments
  1. Cook only played the heave to midwicket for singles, twos, fours and sixes the other day. He even defended to mid-wicket!! Not convinced still that is the way ahead for him as a batsman.

  2. thecognitivenomad says:

    If it works for him and he gets runs, I’m not too sure many will complain. Most of these English players have their own skewed methods, and as long as they score and win games, the public won’t raise any issues with regard to their technique/approach.

    Someone is bound to work him out soon, and he’s probably not as ‘limited’ as he was with his approach not to make adjustments to counter it.

  3. Srikaanth says:

    This was a lovely read. What I find appalling in the first place is that Vinay Kumar is been given this extended run for no obvious reason. Agreed he is hard working , might have a good attitude…but for me that is not good enough. Plain pedestrian…is all I can think of when I think of his bowling. High time Varun gets a look in and we fans get to see some spunk in our bowling 🙂

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