Posts Tagged ‘5th ODI’

Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

16 September 2011

Had it not been for image, power and charisma, Indian cricket’s state of affairs would be contracting even more than it has over this English summer. By not turning up for the ICC awards ceremony in London, deliberate or not, the force of the critics’ arguments have carried on in to the abyss.

The indications, thus far, are that Team India is unwilling to acknowledge mistakes on its part. The focus on their absence might have temporarily found some of the underperformers’ relief from being a part of obscure passages in tabloids, but the road away from London towards Wales will finally put an end to what has been nothing short of a disastrous series for India.

The Indians will certainly be hoping that crossing the English border would hopefully see a turn in their fortunes as batting stalwart Rahul Dravid, under strange circumstances, gets ready to wear the Indian blue outfit for the last time in his limited-overs career. That Graeme Swann had to openly admit that seeing Dravid for the last time would make the bowlers around the world heave a sigh of relief is a testament to his wonderful, illustrious career.

Rahul Dravid will bow out of the ODI arena at Sophia Gardens on Friday

Dravid has been the most perfect iteration of the textbook approach candidate. At various instances, during an era ruled by the hard hitters and shorter formats, a serene eye would squint as it witnessed Dravid attempt an odd slog, so unnatural of him, in the middle: open-chested, sweat-laded shirt, high elbowed, and ramrod straight – he could have so easily been the strict disciplinarian amidst pampered souls, lost in a world ruled by chaos.

The next-gen fan seems to have a primal need for watching the ball travel high and afar; cricket has become the modern day equivalent of The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is common wisdom among great cricketers that there are preconditions for attaining success at the very highest level – they key factor being mastering the basics. It is a trait that even fetched two of England’s top three batsmen, batting-order wise, highest honours during the ICC Awards ceremony in London a few days ago. The icing on the cake for both Cook and Trott would be to send the visitors back home without a win all summer.

History-making is rarely free, and the Englishmen are on a roll with the momentum backing them as they approach Cardiff. Broad’s injury would definitely deprive them of their star performer this summer, but the manner in which the replacements have slotted in and performed would give Andy Flower little headache.

India’s addiction to picking youngsters on tours outside the subcontinent and not giving them a run is very much like American addiction to Oil. Why Varun Aaron hasn’t been given a look in yet is a question that beats most of us. If they thought he was ready before he boarded the flight to London, one can’t seem to concretize on a reason why he wouldn’t be ready now. Even if Cardiff were to script a remitting horror story so reflective of this summer, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to witness what this youngster has in store.

Plenty of words have been written, both supportive and critical of the visiting team on and off the field. A victory in Cardiff wouldn’t alter the writing on the wall to an extent that the scars will heal effortlessly. But certainly, a win over the current World Number One would offer some credibility to a unit that has appeared as dry as dates with a loyal fan base slowly swallowing the bitter seed that they never would have imagined to have germinated after a memorable world cup win earlier this year.

As the curtains are about to close on a series that has been haplessly one-sided, a war hero from the victimized camp will slowly, and humbly, walk away from the arena in which he has amassed over 10000 runs at an average close to 40. As he bows out, so will an integral part of the art of classical batsmanship, from the shorter format of the game!