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Friday, June 25, 2010

Forget the 15-year jinx, look at the 28-year one

Dinesh Karthik at Adelaide OvalImage via Wikipedia
 The Indians broke one jinx that was prevalent for 15 years now - Asia Cup victory - it is time for them to look forward to the 28-year jinx next year. The World Cup victory (last in 1983).

The Indians have achieved great success against Sri Lanka, in Sri Lankan soil. No wonder, it was against their favorite opponent on their best overseas venue (of late), that their jinx was broken. In the process, they defeated their arch-rivals Pakistan in the league stage as well.

Though they missed Sehwag (once again due to injury), Dinesh Karthik ensured that the Indians won the final by scoring a decent total on this ground first. The seam & swing bowlers made sure that the advantage provided by the toss win was not lost - they wrapped the game quite early with their early wickets. Ashish Nehra has done well in the Isles and he proved it once again.

The positives for the team - Rohit Sharma continued his good form from Zimbabwe. MS Dhoni had good hits at the crease and regained the No.1 spot. Dinesh Karthik has taken the spot of the reserve wicket-keeper and opener. Ravindra Jadeja did well in the series and looks to have taken his gap over Yusuf Pathan forward. Harbhajan loves bowling here and turned out good spells other than the win with his bat. Praveen, Zaheer and Ashish utilized the conditions to their advantage in the finals - how they can continue in the same zeal needs to be seen.

The worries - Gambhir's running between the wickets has worsened from series to series. Suresh Raina, once again, showed his weakness against the short ball of Malinga - the gap till the next ODI series should give him time to sort it out. What happens to the bowlers when there is no support from the pitch is a concern still. The backup spinner could have been taken by Ashwin if he had been given chances. Sehwag has missed quite a few series in the shorter version - is it pure coincidence or lack of interest in the shorter game?

A good series win to the boot and the media must be happy to see MSD back to his winning ways. The crux of the team for the next World Cup is there, barring 2-3 slots. Let us hope for the best.

The next is a series of test matches - good to see the return of the veterans.
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