Thursday, October 11, 2007

Whither Men in Cricket?

The entire country was blinded by the success of the Indian Cricket Team in the Inaugural Twenty20 World cup. So much so that they worshiped Dhoni. Put him on a pedestal where he had the gall to pass remarks and judgment on the "Seniors" (Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly are being grouped under this exalted title). In my opinion, the win in the final was a lucky break that India could have done without and Dhoni an unworthy hero. He has to realize that Jingoism and bravado are for the newspapers. On the field you need raw talent. That is the only thing that counts.

Twenty20 is an exciting format. Without doubt it will do to One Day Cricket what it did to Test Matches a few decades back. It is faster, more power-packed and obviously very exciting. As the length of the game shortens, so does the impact of talent on a match. You can get away in a Twenty20 match with wild heaves and mid-wicket slogs. If two come off you have anyways done your bit and if you get out! Hard luck! Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a good captain. He rallied his bowlers well and then was lucky with some bowling changes. Though questionable they were indeed lucky. You can do with mediocre talent. India were blessed with a few fearless youngsters like Robin and Rohit chanced their arms and got away with it. But their technique and cheekiness leaves a lot to be desired in the One Day format.

One day Cricket is an entirely ball-game altogether. Luck is not as important. You have the same number of wickets as you do in a Twenty20 match. Its just that you have to make them last two and a half times longer. You need the skill and stamina to last long and also make runs while you are at it. The performance in the ongoing series against Australis is as ridiculous as it can get. Especially from these "young guns" India has now discovered. Robin has got out to all rash and needless strokes. Yuvraj's six sixes in an over are a distant memory. He has to focus on moving his feet and stop feeling for the ball outside off. Harbhajan has to learn how to flight the ball. Sree Santh just needs to learn how to bowl. He is neither as big nor as fast as Andrew Symonds so he has to stop emulating him. He has to stop jeering and making a clown of himself. If he carries on like this maybe that is a profession he will have to pick up for himself.

Sachin has once again showed the class and talent he is made of. In the face of some hostile bowling and exceptional fielding by the world champions he has held his own. He has shown the boys how the men play cricket. Sourav and Rahul have a few matches to emulate the little master and stamp their authority on this very exuberant and immature India Cricket Team.

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Copyright © Kartik Agarwal - 2007