Have to start off with the Indians. Okay though the ODIs have never been my favourite form of cricket, I must say I really enjoyed some of the moments. Irfan’s all-round skills. Agarkar’s accurate bowling( what a change!), Bhajji’s & Karthik’s twisters and not to forget RP Singh’s emergence as a third left-armer! I didn’t see much of him live in action though:-(
Sachin started off with a bang, followed by Rahul’s consistency, Dhoni’s Dhamaka and ended with Yuvraj’s explosion. Gambhir, Raina and Venugopal Rao(He impressed me when he managed to pull of a six in the square region a la-Sehwag/Sachin in the 4th ODI Vs SL) played their parts well. Fielding was a huge improvement and having got Kaif back certainly helped matters. That little Suresh Raina is a rocket in the field. He seems to have mastered the two As pretty well: Agility and Accuracy, consistently hits the stumps!
Overall impressive. One crib, why is it Greg’s team? Surely Rahul is not doing a Cronje here. (Remember SA Vs India World Cup 1999- The microphone-earphone episode!) Oh!Come on, don’t make Rahul the ‘Best man’ here too! He lead from the front and he has showed good captaincy skills. He has not been tested yet; but I think, now that he is getting a full assignment on hands he is easing into the job.
Aussies are getting into their destruction zone, WI are slumping to further depths. It really hurts to see this team play today. I see no challenge for the Aussies and a series that has no fight-back is really not worth watching.
I thought the Pak series will test the Brit character. And what a tough one this is proving to be. Am I surprised? Not really, cause England during their winning streak has not been tested enough by the two biggies of the sub-continent. Even the Aussies took a neat three decades to win here.
In the first test, on a lifeless track, the Freddie-Harmisson duo bowled England into the match and their batsman batted them out of the match in the last innings! Pretty disappointing.
The second test looks headed for a draw after a spirited fight from Bell, Pietersen, Jones and the tail.
I think Shahid Afridi should be banned for life! Mistake how can it be a mistake? Tampering the pitch so openly with your shoes was a mistake? Do you not read the rules or do you simply not care because you are playing in your own country!
Before I end, Ganguly’s tenure as the most successful test captain of India ended yesterday.
He is in the team now. Was he not a better ODI player than tests? Hopefully he will answer with his performance. Why do I still want that? Well, yours truly has been his vociferous supporter until this happened.)
And if indeed, it is the end of the road for you Saurav, despite your shortcomings, I have admired you as a captain, and honestly, I think you deserve a better farewell. Don’t you think so too? By your selection in the test squad you have been given that opportunity. Grab it with both hands and play like there will be no tomorrow. Atleast say good bye with your head held high!