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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bench strength - did anyone say?

Rohit Sharma at Adelaide OvalImage via Wikipedia
The No.2 team in ODI cricket was supposed to be so strong that everyone considered them the team in form and expected them to have a strong bench as well. Earlier, everyone (including me) used to think that the average Ranji team (Mumbai or Tamil Nadu) would easily beat a Zimbabwe team in ODI. No longer.

All myths have been broken, thanks to a spirited effort from the Zimbabwe team, determined to prove their mark.

The first match of the Tri-series saw a team that was woeful in running between the wickets, nervous in their stroke-play, tentative in bowling and average overall. Whether the young guns were interested to make their mark is a question. The Indian cap was given to them a bit sooner and hence, one feels that they did not want it so much as the others. Suresh Raina did not have the Power Presence of a MSD and his limited bowling options did not offer him any respite.

Among the bowlers, only Vinay Kumar showed some glimpses of his talent, thanks to his slower ball (that got Coventry). The others are not in the same league as the other also-rans (Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh). Of course, it is not to say that they should not be given a chance - but, quite evidently the debutants did not grab the chances. Rohit Sharma and to an extent, Ravinder Jadeja did well in the batting department while Amit Mishra shone in the bowling.

The Indian team would do well to settle their nerves (if any) for the next match since they are against the much more powerful Lankans in the next match. Of course, there will be no complacency (for they are the underdogs now). There needs to be more determination in the batting and desperation on the field. Bowling will remain the weak link, that can be worked around by electing to chase.
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