Tuesday, June 12, 2007

That sinking feeling

The more I think about it, the more the prospects of the Indian cricket team in Ireland and England trouble me. The bowling attack does look very inexperienced (it'd have been better for RP Singh if he could have just spent all his time playing county cricket till now), and I'm worried about what is going to happen when they go up against a decent English batting line-up at home, one equipped with fair amounts of test cricket experience this summer. India look all too reliant on a batting line-up that needs to deliver in huge amounts if they are to have any chance of putting pressure on England, and traditionally that hasn't happened away (and when it does start to happen, it happens too late on tour). Of the two notable omissions, Sehwag and Harbhajan, I think India will miss Sehwag more in cricketing terms. But overall, India will miss their general combativeness.

Sigh; last year, when I looked at the cricketing calendar and saw the South African, English and Australian tours lined up, my immediate thought was that this represented a golden opportunity for the Indian team to move into the next bracket if senior batsmen and junior bowlers came to the party. That hope fell apart in South Africa, and while the English tour hasn't even started, as an Indian fan its hard to feel too optimistic.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Homer said...

Samir,

If we flip the argument around - England hasn't exactly blown away the West Indies, despite the absence of Lara and Sarwan.

And the English batsmen haven't exactly scored runs in their thousands against a weakened West Indies bowling line up.

Add to that the fact that we play at the Lords, Trent Bridge and the Brit Oval in the latter half of the English Summer.

The spinners will come more into their own - England has one half decent spinner and thier batters are not Mark Ramprakash.

10:28 PM  
Blogger The Atheist said...

India is coming late on in the English season, traditionally when the batting gets easier. Of course, conversely, the bowling gets harder. So India may struggle to bowl out the English even more.

However, the Windies have shown, even with their weakened attack, that the English batsman can be removed cheaply if disciplined lines are bowled. Moreover, most of our batters are hopeless at playing spin, and you arrive just as the pitches start to turn.

I think it'll be more even than you think. I just hope that India get over their problems with playing abroad.

5:43 AM  
Blogger samir said...

Homer, I agree England hasn't blown the West Indies away, but they've still won 2-0 (and while everyone seems to think the West Indies are very, very weak, I don't think the gulf between them and the current Indians is that large - especially when the Indian team tours). I've also thought about the "latter half of the English summer" bit. As the Atheist notes, it will make bowling out the English even harder. Cook made runs against India in India, Pietersen can feast all day on our attack, and Bell/Strauss/Vaughan aren't pushovers. I do think that India will bat better than they will bowl - that'll be the main advantage of the timing of the tour. That is what will keep India in the hunt.

Anyway, I'm a natural pessimist when it comes to India playing abroad :) I always hope to be proven wrong too!

9:15 AM  
Blogger samir said...

Oh, and Homer, I hope India doesn't go into the series thinking "we'll take care of Monty easily". Who was that left-armer that tied our greats up in knots when we toured South Africa? Crikey, I can't even remember his name, but SRT and Dravid played him like he was Verity on a wet pitch!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Homer said...

Paul Harris :)

and no, I do not expect India to take Monty lightly, but I also do not think they will roll over and play dead every time he has the ball in hand.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Homer, OK, lets agree to disagree. I don't think Monty will get hammered. And secondly, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Monty might just do a Bracewell or Pocock on India. That is, India could lose a test where Monty bowls them out (or plays a significant part in doing so).

11:45 AM  

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