Am not sure why one reads of this little tour being a waste of time. And that too by some pretty astute thinkers of the game whose thought process one imagines reflects that of the team. Or is it the BCCI ? Aren’t they supposed to be the same ? I digress …
I thought the whole idea was to try and get as used to the conditions as possible. We want that in Australia, so surely we want that in England as well ? And if that means a bit of money for the BCCI alongside (because lets be honest, that was the primary reason), then so much the better. Its pretty rare that everyone’s happy…
It did not start off very well though. 8 guys falling ill. Shivlal Yadav’s whats-his-name-son being called in, just in case we struggled to get 11 on the field. Robin Singh and Venky Prasad maybe. Chandu Borde? (Tell me I’m not the only one who thought along those lines.)
Seriously though, I think we’ve done pretty well. Even in that one game we lost, I think we were clever enough to extract as much as could out of it. And ultimately we’ve beaten – on neutral ground – but away from home, the No 2 ranked team. And while we’ve done that we’ve seemed the better outfit.
As with all things looked minutely, some of Rahul Dravid’s gambles have not come off. The most obvious being Gautam Gambhir. If Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer are the preset openers for the Test series, then Uthapa not getting a game while Gambhir and Rohit Sharma get them is one of those things where every plan does not work and for which there are no ready answers. The one big plan which has worked is Sachin Tendulkar. As has been mentioned here before, Rahul Dravid’s had the guts to step out of the Greg Chappell shadow and give Sachin Tendulkar what he has been asking for. [Sanath Jayasuriya is the second highest run getter in ODIs (12,032) and Sachin’s tally as opener alone (11,935)] The response has been strong and sincere.
Even with the Gambhir gambit failing, the batting, on which much of the summer’s success will depend, has delivered when its mattered. Yuvraj’s been there finishing off games just the way he used to when we had that 17 chase run. Rahul Dravid’s been there in two of the three games. As usual, unsung.
The bowling is the one that will have a new look going into England and so thats an area one can’t read too much into. But all told, the start has been good.
Maybe its time for all those people that called for mirrors and retirements to worry about being rash. Swallow a few insults they hurled maybe.
March seems a long time ago. One swallow though, won’t make the summer.