Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Champagne moments, sobering realities

Most of what could have been said in the aftermath of India's series win over the West Indies has been said already in a cluster of excellent articles by Cricinfo's stellar bunch of Indian writers. Dravid again, has proven himself to be a matchwinner par excellence (his 81 and 68 twofer will quickly pass into the annals of all-time great innings played by an Indian bat overseas); the team has had more weaknesses exposed than strengths revealed; and all in all, it was a mediocre tour in more ways than one. Youngsters like Yuvraj, Kaif, Dhoni will rue their missed opportunities - tours are a chance to make your mark, to announce to the world your arrival, to make sure the snide remarks about hometown bullies are directed elsewhere. Still, for the time being, its ensured that India have gotten rid of the overseas-series-win bugbear, and can now concentrate on what really matters: getting batsmen with backbone, a fielding side that doesn't flag in the face of a determined assault, and a bowling attack capable of taking 20 wickets in a match on a regular basis. Depending on once-in-a-lifetime batsmen like Dravid is all very fine but the effort needs to be distributed a bit wider.

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