Friday, December 14, 2007

Off to the antipodes

I've been irregular with blogging for a variety of reasons: work, lack of sleep, the holidays, just about every single excuse you can imagine. From Monday onwards, I'll have a new one: I'll be traveling. I'm heading to Australia for a little break. Tickets are in for Boxing Day, and for the 2nd and 3rd day at Sydney (I'm also optimistic that I'll be able to attend the game against the ACT XI at Canberra). I'll try and blog a bit if I can but I seriously doubt I'll be able to do so.

Australia is the world's toughest tour in all the right cricketing ways. The country is solidly behind the national team (but they will still applaud good shots by opposing teams), and the press will be relentlessly hostile (but they will still applaud good days from the opposing team). I'm hopeful that the pitches, the weather and the umpires will all co-operate - it could be a great series if India can adjust quickly. India are not going into this series though, with the appropriately aggressive mindset they need to unsettle the Aussies (the last day at Bangalore will take a long while to live down). Australia, however, will not be anything less than aggressive and overbearing when they will encounter the Indians on Boxing Day. India have played into the Australians' hands by ensuring very little practice for themselves before they start playing test cricket. The selection of the team still looks a little unsettled but here are some tips for the selectors: don't be scared of asking Dravid to open; don't be scared to ask Ganguly to bat at #6 (left-handers are good at that position); don't be scared to play three left-arm quicks. India will hope that Australia are not confident enough about playing four quicks. That'll cause India more trouble than any spinner Australia can rustle up.

But in the end, India must hope that things go their way: fitness, some rash batting by the Aussies, perhaps a bad spell with the new ball and so on. This is a tough tour, and the Aussies are a tough team. Hopefully, it'll all make for some good cricket; its the only thing that makes sitting out in the sun, surrounded by dozens of sunburnt, drunk young men, bearable.


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Blogger Jrod said...

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