Saturday, June 02, 2007

Not so optimistic

Mukul Kesavan has been in fine form recently over at his Cricinfo blog, and this post, with its synoptic take on Indian form on the Bangladesh tour and the business of Tendulkar is a typically solid effort. And from that post, this little response of mine. Little can be surmised after this Bangladesh tour (where, lets be honest, Bangladesh disappointed more than India excelled) about how India will do in England; its all too easy to imagine a situation where India do exceedingly badly in the early part of the series, slowly claw their way into some form by the end of the tests so as to leave everyone with the usual "if only there had been more time for serious match practice at the beginning of the tour". For the usual mix of worries remains: a dodgy top-order situation where a opening problem remains half-solved, two unfinished comebacks awaiting final resolution (Ganguly and Tendulkar); the need to figure out a place for Laxman in the order, and finally, the worries about whether Indian spinners will ever do well in England. For their part, England are, despite the substandard opposition, building up a decent reservoir of batting confidence, and despite the inconsistency in their bowling line-ups (and the worrying injuries to Flintoff), they are getting serious match practice in an effort to try and sort them out. I fear for India in this series; much as I always like to see India do well in English conditions, it rarely seems to happen, and the kind of form displayed at Headingley 2002 is only shown all too rarely.

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