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Saturday, May 06, 2006

India A at Eurasia Cup

The Indian A team's 'hot winning streak in the Eurasia Cup only to be beaten at the end by the Pakistan team. In terms of ODI experience in the Indian team, they had Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthick, Venugopal Rao, R S Sodhi, VRVS, RPS, Piyush Chawla - players who had represented the senior team already. The Pakistan had Taufeeq Umar, Bazid Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Gul, Mohd. Hafeez, Hasan Raza (who created history by becoming the youngest player to play in test matches ever).

India had won all the matches in the tournament except one, by batting first. The Pakistan team peaked just in time for the final. There were glaring points that could be witnessed from the performance of the Indian A Team:
  • The Indian team depended a lot on 2-3 players like Venu, RS Sodhi, Uthappa mainly in the batting department and on VRVS, RPS and Piyush on the bowling front. The others either didnt get enough chances or were out of form.
  • The performance of the Indians in the final was so similar to the disastrous performance in the WC2003 final against the Aussies. The bowlers sprayed the ball all over the place, the batsmen had just one big partnership.
  • The partnership that Venu and RSS had stitched together, was good but the damage was done when they scored at less than 5-6 runs per over throughout. They left the big-hitting till the end. Both of them got out within 2 overs - the Pakistan team must be commended for this as they managed to strangle the run-scoring which resulted in the errors from the batsmen
  • Players like Badrinath seemed so out-of-place in a ODI match. Dont know how he got selected for the ODI team.
  • What is RS Sodhi still doing in the India A Team? He started his career almost at the same time when Yuveraj Singh. Look at where they are now. I think the selection of RSS must be more than just cricketing reasons.
  • With due credit to Robin Singh, the A team deserves a stint with the senior team under the watchful eyes of Rahul and Greg so that they can improve their games to the next level.
But overall, I would say that the Indian team did well throughout. They can keep improving further. There is some good talent in the A team, who if they are given chances, might turn out to be the next stars for Indian team.
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