Monday, July 16, 2007

Gearing up for the real thing

India's tour of England has reached the point where the real business of test cricket will soon begin, and so far the news is as expected: the batting looks shaky (prone to those usual 100-5 starts that are our norm overseas); the bowling looks like it will make some early breakthroughs once in a while (I consider Khan, Sreesanth and RP Singh a talented enough bunch to make this happen more often than not) but still lacks the bite to put matches away (as the Sussex match showed) and will rely excessively on Kumble to finish things off (who, I suspect, is still going to have as hard a time as he has had all his career convincing umpires to give batsmen out LBW when they play forward half-heartedly to his straighter ones), and the batting order still isn't settled. To make things worse, it looks as if Dhoni has forgotten how to keep, and that we might be going back to the bad old days of wicketkeepers opening. Its all a bit of a mess. India will need all their ageing stars to fire, and will desperately hope that a couple of the young 'uns will get this through their heads: this is England, and performances in England count for a great deal more than performances anywhere else in the world (the English press will make sure of that). The next Indian tour of England will not take place for another five years. The stage is set and they need to perform. And Sreesanth needs to make sure he doesn't pick up a multiple-match suspension for the inevitable spats with Pietersen that lie ahead (match referees are still unused to Indians sledging or being antsy).

6 Comments:

Blogger Homer said...

Samir,

The Poms have their problems too.Vaughan's batting form is iffy, Strauss may have had a good hit on a flat track in the Plions' second essay, but he was not too flash in the first.

With Harmison out, the bowling will lack bite. And who knows what effect familiarity and nerves will have on Stuart Broad ( if he plays).

Also, there is rain on all 5 days of the test.

Win the toss and bat first, fragile batting line up et al!

12:33 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Homer, no doubt the Poms have their problems too - especially up top. But Pietersen and Collingwood lurk lower in the order, as does Matt Prior, and India show no signs of being able to take the last 3-4 wickets of an innings quickly. While the bowling may lack bite, I'm not sure it won't be enough to keep causing inroads at the top, thus causing SRT and Dravid to go into a defensive stupor. BTW, I didn't get the bit about rain on all five days of the test - is that the forecast for Lord's?

I agree, win the toss and bat for two days.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Soulberry said...

We can certainly expect a performance that is a notch or two higher than what we saw in the second tour game. That's unless we are proved wrong which can happen when India's in the fray.

The opening slot has been pushed into confusion by a combination of factors - Gambhir's reluctance to grab the chances he was given, and selectorial brainwaves. The Chopra-Sehwag duo deserved a longer stint, yet...Jaffer's resurrection too is a combination of similar factors and his prolific form in domestic cricket.

Someone will have to make this tour count, and the same applies to the youngsters, at least one of whom should significantly step forward.

Dravid will begin with a batsman-heavy approach since Lords, out of the three grounds where India is playing, has produced more results, largely unfavorable to it, compared to the other two which are more of a "draw-ing" nature as far as India is concerned.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Homer said...

Starting Thursday through Monday London is experiencing rain :)

2:41 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Hi Samir,
Stumbled upon your blog while searching for anything cricket-related in New York. Just wondering if you know of any bars in NYC that might show the test matches on TV?

Jerry

p.s. loved your letters to cricinfo. It's so satisfying to see idiocy exposed!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Jerry, thanks for your comments. I used to watch cricket in the old days on Lexington Avenue (between 26th and 30th - especially a place called Kasturi). There are a couple of Bangladeshi and Pakistani places that might show the games. I now watch cricket on broadband video so I don't keep such good track of cricket-viewing venues as I used to. Bear in mind that the times are pretty odd: 6AM to 1PM so not all of the places will be open at all times.

6:42 PM  

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