How long has it been since one has seen an Indian opening batsmen hit out the way Jayasurya did time and again, Sachin went blasting the world over, Gilchrist ruined opening bowler’s figures, Shahid Afridi gave the opponent bowlers some serious nightmares. India is not known for its opening bats. You won’t find many who belt out the bowlers the way Sachin-Ganguly, Sachin-Sehwag did in the ODIs. It’s been a long time since we saw those performances in the ODIs.

But yesterday I caught a few glimpses in the Challenger Series involving India A Vs India B. I’m not sure how many would have heard about Uthappa (except those who follow domestic cricket regularly) until his innings yesterday! What firepower! In couple of overs the young lad had smashed 20 odd runs per over sending the India A attack into complete disarray. The attack was not of supreme quality but that should not take away any credit from the young man’s knock. He was hitting straight down the track, into the sightscreen; and once you see that, you simply cannot doubt the young man’s ability. His fitness though is a suspect, as is for most cricketers in India. They have to really work hard on it. At the other end, Shikhar Dhawan was going great guns as well. His stay at the wicket was thwarted by the saddest mode of dismissal in cricket. Uthappa hit the ball straight onto the stumps at the other end; Dhawan was out of his crease and unfortunately the bowler’s finger had touched the ball! However, due to their opening partnership and Uthappa’s timely Uprising, India B made a mockery of a fighting total put up by India A and barged into the finals.

I’m no cricketing pundit to predict what the future holds for this man, but surely I would like to see more of him. Hopefully he will spend some time on the domestic circuit before he is pushed onto the international scene.

This series like all others in India has produced more batting efforts than bowling. Bowlers are the real heroes if one intends to win test matches. You need to take 20 wickets to win a match, else you either lose or draw! When will we realise their importance?

Anyways a bloke name S Sreesanth has got prized scalps of the famed Indian Batting line-up:Tendulkar, Kaif, Laxman, Gambhir. His name is similar to one of India’s fine pace bowlers(who only understood the art of ‘bowling using your head’ when he was close to his retirement, a tragedy for him and Indian cricket!). I would like to see him in action to see the strength of India’s bench strength.
With a long season ahead and the World-cup 2007 in mind, Chappell and Co. will be looking at these youngsters to build a team for the future. Let’s wait and watch! Will they be good finds or fade away, unable to cope up with the international pressures and challenges?

As they say, only time will tell.