Sunday, October 29, 2006


Required: Good Performances, Not Miracles


Great point Rahul Dravid. For your openness and transparency, if for nothing else, I salute you. For, the obituaries have already been written. The Pundits have already started their chanting. The white flag has already been shown to the opposition, not by the team, but by many of their supporters.

You can cite your statistics or wallow in despair, but, the point remains - it is never over till the fat lady sings. Dravid has obviously blasted the proverbial rocket up the team, else the following comment would not have emanated from a diplomatic and phlegmatic such as he:
"We haven't had our key batsmen performing in the last few games. Some key batsmen having impressive records need to perform."
Yuvraj Singh is already out as is Agarkar, both through injury. In what could be called a blessing in disguise, the Indians may now be forced to play Sreesanth instead of RP Singh, with Mohammad Kaif coming in for Yuvraj. That leaves a much more palatable line-up comprising Tendulkar and Sehwag opening, with Raina at 3, followed by Kaif, Dravid, Mongia and Dhoni. Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth and Munaf Patel would be my bowlers. The only reason I would play Pathan ahead of Powar is due to the reported pace and bounce in the Mohali wicket. Although, if Munaf is still unfit then Powar would be a shoe-in, for mine.

I was intrigued to read Ricky Ponting's assessment that the wicket would suit his bowlers more than the Indians. How so? Have you seen how Glen McGrath has been bowling recently? Another case of mental disintegration, methinks. I must add, that I firmly believe that the combination of an on-song Munaf, Sreesanth and Pathan can overpower any batting line-up in the world. Especially the current Australian batsmen, who do not seem to be in the best form as a unit.

As Dravid suggested, I do not believe miracles are the order of the day (before the match starts, anyway). A combined approach of heads-down cricket with a generous sprinkling of flair will make it a tight encounter. After that, it will be up to one or a few of the many stars in each team to seal their team's fate.

Are you one of the hordes of Indian cricket fans who have already written off Team India, before a ball is bowled in anger? Re-think your predictions and pucker up for an exciting contest ahead. It's gonna be a big one folks. In the meanwhile, I offer up to you a visual prediction of one of the contests we have been eagerly awaiting:




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