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It Ain't Too Much Of A Good Thing

A seven match ODI series would ordinarily elicit such a label from me. Yes, ordinarily seven matches would have been pronounced two too many, but not this time. Team India's mediocre (if not downright disappointing) performances have left me champing at the bit for a lot more. If I am honest with myself I have to admit that I'm actually really looking forward to the upcoming India v Australia ODI series.

After a few months off the circuit Dhoni's men showed glimpses of form against the abysmal Kiwis and somewhat off-colour Sri Lankans. Team India then treated us to lacklustre performances at the Champions Trophy, which were eerily reminiscent of the 90's with THAT traitor at the helm. I'm not suggesting any hint of match fixing in Team India's recent performances, but after a few years where us fans were convinced that there was still hope after Sachin departed the crease, we seem to have returned to the dark days of a one-man team.

MS Dhoni has achieved success early and often in his tenure thus. He has led from the front and taken the bull by the horns more often than not. He now faces his most significant challenge. Priming a batting order in disarray, whipping a party animal star middle order batsman into shape and galvanising the confidence levels of his pace bowling attack are not tasks easily achieved alone, let alone all at once.

Contrary to popular belief, the Australian ODI team is not struggling to the same extent as it's Test match version. In fact, it's not struggling at all. The Aussies seem to have lost practically nothing in the ODI format, even though the team looks virtually unrecognisable from two years ago. Having studied the Aussies' recent performances Gary Kirsten and Dhoni will know their work is cut out. Lets not beat around the bush, Ponting's Australians are runaway favourites to take this series with a thumping margin.

The loss of coaches who were apparently specialists in disciplines in which Teams India have struggled most does not augur well. The BCCI's deeming of these positions unnecessary and unimportant reeks of arrogance and short sightedness. If nothing else, this irresponsible decision proves that the BCCI's erratic and irrational ways have not mended (the school of thought that believes it will never mend is gaining much traction).

What's with all this doom and gloom, you ask? This is not doom and gloom my friend. This is a crucial juncture in the reign of one of the finest captains ever to lead Team India. This is an opportunity for 'potential' to be realised. This is the moment when Team India begins to sail the ship in the right direction. A direction that will see them standing on the podium as winners of the 2011 ICC World Cup. With all this uncertainty in the air, how could a genuine cricket fan not look forward to this series? All we need now are some fair pitches and riveting cricket.

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