Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tiny notes and two steps backwards

India lost again to a team that they seem to have developed a losing streak against: South Africa. While its silly to read anything into a one-day international as a preparation for a test series, little things must be paid attention to. To wit, Tendulkar and Dravid can be relied on to dig in (but not necessarily counterattack) in moments of crisis, that Ganguly and Gambhir can be relied on to have problems with the ball angled across them by right-handed quicks (the latter, bears the minor unfortunate distinction of being The Delhi Cricketer Viewed with Most Suspicion by Samir Chopra), and that India's bowling is slightly underdone at the moment, despite featuring a much-improved Zaheer Khan and the promising RP Singh. No more for now, but different aspects of this team will come to light in the next couple of weeks before the real business of the tests start. Still, with all the illnesses thrown in, it was a decent effort, one perhaps a bit too reliant on the Tendulkar/Dravid combine, but one that should improve enough (in the one-dayers) to take on England with real confidence (the tests are another matter).

Meanwhile, Bangladesh are continuing to disappoint in test matches with their performance against Sri Lanka in the first test at Colombo being their latest shambolic performance. I was impressed by their one-day side during the World Cup, but their continuing run of ludicrously poor performance in test matches is dispiriting. Getting bowled out for 89 on the first day of a test match and then conceding a lead of nearly 500 is so, like, retrograde.

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