Wednesday, May 09, 2007

On to the Bangles

In many ways, this Indian tour of Bangladesh could just be the lose-lose situation it always had the potential to be. Losses in the ODIs (or worse, a test) could (and will) prompt frenzied chest-beating and teeth-gnashing (not to mention effigy-burning, stone-throwing, chappal-garland-construction, and frontal assaults on players homes). Easy wins will provoke yawns, dreams of subcontinental (or at least Eastern Zone) domination, and catcalls of "thats the best you can do?" It could have been different; India could have announced the "dropping" of some senior players; taken a radically different team on tour; or otherwise pulled some dramatic move to elevate this tour from the underachieving role that has been thrust on it. What will we learn about the Indian team from this tour? Very little, I fear. Most of the gains will accrue on the Bangladeshi end; the local crowds will get a chance to cheer on their tyros against the subcontinental big boy; the test team gets an opportunity to see if the multiple left-arm spinners selection can work at hom e on their pitches; the ODI team will work on its consistency; and so on. But cricket will be played; and now with Bangladesh threatening as never before, one can even look forward to a good old fashioned test battle.

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