Sunday, July 29, 2007


India v England: Test 2 - It's Not A Question Of Luck


I wonder if Team India reads newspapers or cricket websites? If they did, the players would find their obituaries published well before the end of a series, or even a Test match. It is an unfortunate situation where some journalists, or media organisations, seem to have a personal agenda that allows them to draw rather curious conclusions about the performances of certain players and teams.

The first two days of play of the second Test match at Trent Bridge has seen the Indian bowling attack rip through the second best team in the world (for the second time in two innings) and set the match up for their batsmen. The batsmen on day two, led right from the top by Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik have overcome tough conditions and bowlers who revel in such conditions by playing positive, sensible and courageous cricket.

We can all complain about luck taking up residence with one team or another. In fact Sambit Bal believes God also resides in India now. I'm surprised it took him so long to figure it out, but good on the man for finally getting there. The fact remains, that luck is made by the individual who is more willing to be positive and take his chances. Sambit, of all people, should have learnt this by now.

For a team that has been accused of recoiling into its shell when presented with a position of opportunity, yesterday was the most comprehensive reply to its critics that we have seen for quite some time. Every batsmen attacked and took the opportunities that were presented, irrespective of whether he had been beaten the previous three successive balls or whether he had been hit on the head.

Nobody played a spectacular innings, but the runs were still milked at a pace that allowed the team to score at 3.21 runs per over at the end of the day. Luck had its role to play in determining how the scorecard looked at the end of the day. Sambit, and the school of thought he belongs to, fails to give credit where its due. What were the batsmen supposed to do, say "sorry Michael Vaughan, we were lucky to survive the last few balls, so you can have my wicket this time around"?

Instead of haranguing the players for enjoying the hand of God when it is finally resting over them, lets applaud them for doing pretty much everything they can to make sure its used to their utmost advantage.

Sambit Bal has an agenda. Us readers of Cricinfo need to know what it is so that we can put read his commentary with the context it needs.


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