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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long way to go to the pinnacle

After the heady success in the Aussie tri-series, it was expected that the Indian team would conquer newer horizons. That was what seemed in the first 2 matches of the Kitply Series triangular. But, they couldnt quite get their act together in the final against their arch-rival Pakistan.

But, not everything is lost yet. The team looks fresh, full of strong legs and lots of enthusiasm. There seems to be hunger in the young team, lead by the able MS Dhoni. They are not afraid of any team and never say die in any situation. There is a belief that this team would not lose its way just like the Windies or the English team after the heady successes.

The core of this team revolves around the senior players - Viru Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni. The rest of the batting comprises of relatively youngsters who are multi-dimensional - an utility that the earlier coach Greg Chappell used to advocate. Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina have done well in the chances that have come their way. Consistency is the only aspect that has to be inculcated in this team. Once done, it would mean a team that has the potential to challenge the mighty Aussies.

The bowling remains an enigma - consisting of a bunch of bowlers who alternate between the excellent and the ordinary. Injuries also mean that it is very difficult for a set of bowlers to be available continuously. Zaheer Khan, once he is free from injury, will be the spearhead of the attack. He will be ably assisted by RP Singh, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma in the fast bowling department.

Harbhajan Singh is the leader of the spin-pack (provided he can keep his motor-mouth shut). Murali Karthik, Piyush Chawla, Pragyan Ojha have to be given chances to prove their worth.

The fielding is definitely notches above the earlier generations with the fielders extremely agile on the field. This is where Robin Singh has definitely made his mark. The Chief Coach, Gary Kirsten, will no doubt increase the productivity of the team through his innovative practices on the field and with the help of his Mental Coach Upton. Gary Kirsten has to be credited for getting Upton to his team for this is the difference that separates the regulars with the winners.

All said and done, the Indians did well in the triangular series, considering the fact that they were without the legend (Sachin Tendulkar). They did not get flustered at the sight of a big target and managed to fight till the end. These are definitely the qualities of a team that has the skills to reach the pinnacle. Though, one has to admit that the peak is still a long way to go.
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