Posts Tagged ‘3rd ODI’



Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket – The CouchExpert

11 September, 2011

With just a day’s gap between the two ODIs in London, the drive from Kennington to St. John’s Wood have had the players reflecting over a result that is yet to witness a tilt in scales. In an awful collision between hope and reality, the Indians finally came through a game that witnessed their best chance to finally rope in a result to their favour.

The Indian top order crumbled by the time ten overs were bowled in the day, with vice-captain Suresh Raina falling to a heinous shot which, given the situation, was way out of bounds. In an act that reacted to insistence on largely relevant public opinions, featuring MSD’s determination and Ravindra Jadeja’s place, the innings was laudably rebuilt on a weak foundation by the two.

Jadeja's Man-of-the-Match performance wasn't enough to hand India its first victory this series

There are many who’ve voiced their mistrust over Jadeja’s place in the squad. For the youngster to respond the way he did speaks a lot on his temperament, a trait that is worth its weight in gold. Sure, there are a few glitches already in his relatively short career so far, but even the best sportsmen have had their share of mistakes committed when young.

India, yet again, finds itself in a conspicuously difficult situation; even if it seems apparent that the previous ODI showcased their ability down the order. Ashwin, with his intelligent innings late in the game, surprised many with his cheeky approach.

The Englishmen, on the other hand, just do not seem to run out of fuel. Bopara, a player who has been under the scanner since his return, steered England to victory. Munaf’s bowling, with an economy rate that would have sent a shiver down one’s spine had it been recorded on a Ritcher Scale, did no favours to an already depleted Indian morale. RP Singh, thankfully, looked a much quicker (and fitter) bowler than the one witnessed at The Oval a few weeks ago.

But nothing seemed enough to stop the Kieswetter cannon ball from firing explosives to give England the start that they needed. A charge down the track against Praveen to heave the ball into the midwicket boundary was a shot that would have had the heads of NY Mets coaches turn towards the youngster. Bopara and Bresnan, towards the end, acted as able catalysts to help England add another win to their tally this series.

As the game moves in to the Lord’s, it is only memories from the past that would shed any light into India’s hopes. England will look to play an unchanged squad, whereas the Indians, hopefully, might consider handing Varun Aaron his debut. That he might be raw and inexperienced doesn’t matter, his very inclusion could see an increase in the number of viewers who would turn on their TV sets on Sunday.

This may tell us something about the state of Indian fans around the world: the romantics are a tiny minority, the ones with oil of vitriol up their opinion glasses are high in number, but there may not be enough to lend energy to effect a turnaround at Lord’s. Righteous contempt seems called for, but it is never within the Indian nature to do so. You just have to ask the cold-blooded criminals who’re yet to be tried by the government – they could narrate tales longer than Navjot Sidhu on how fortunate they are.

If the Indians have to do something, they’ll have to do it without an iota of sympathy from the enraged fan.



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.