1. Where do we really stand.
We were very close to become the number one ODI team, but fact is after this series its clear we have too many fundamental problems to claim that we deserve the top post. And Australia showed us where exactly we stand when it comes to defining the criteria for excellence when it comes to this sport – Depth of Talent. This Ausie team is a pale shadow of earlier one’s and so many top players out of service due to rotten run of injuries. Yet players like Bollinger who are maybe second or third choice, could play match winning innings that too in different conditions and very less preparations. And India could not recover from the absence of just one player – Zaheer Khan.
2. Lack of Basic Skills
That was another domain where the Indian team got exposed, the basic skill mainly on running between wickets and fielding. I was under the impression this got over with likes of Ganguly out of the team!!! Fielding part is better not even commented upon, Dhoni himself has confessed too!!! On filed Sehwag was moving as if he was taking some afternoon stroll. I am sure even Kim Sharma would hit the stumps more often than Yuvraj Singh. And please lets not say “They are not so young anymore” because it was worth looking at likes of Ponting and Hussey, who maintained a very high standard of fielding. The problem has nothing to do with age but the attitude which most of our cricketers go through “We are seniors, we can take it easy”.
3. Harbhajan – Whats wrong??
Harbhajan’s batting has improved there’s no doubt but currently he is a big time weakness for the team. Guwahati track was a total spin track and Indian batsmen had failed. This was the time when we can depend upon our spinners. But when it came for Dhoni to turn to his main strike bowler here, he turned to Jadeja and not Bhajji. And throughout the innings it was Jadeja who looked dangerous. Though Bhajji got two wickets and Jadeja nill, but he not once looked would run through the Ausie side. How I was thinking about that tall bespectacled man Kumble that day!!! So many times when Indian batsmen failed and the pitch was a turning one, he would give his heart out and fall wickets one by one. He may not get us victory every time, but we always had hope as long he was there.
4. Dhoni’s biggest blunder
It was Guwahati and a must win match. It was an early morning start, Guwahati was under fog and Australia there with its pacers. Dhoni wins the toss and decides to bat first. I do not know why he thought that batting first would be less risky than chasing on a pitch which would spin later and where the opponent bowling attack did not consist of Mendis and Murali but Hauritz and Vosges.
Well I seem to wonder if Dhoni has anything different to say or act upon. Seem to be hearing a lot of ‘ bowling failed’, ‘ top order failed’ and other such stuff from him. But what about the captain?? Is he above all??
5. Alls well that ends well.
When its the “Right” teams playing and given the “Right” timing (remember this is the holiday season) even ODI’s can pull crowds and also mint money no less than what T-20 games does. 😉
******A combined thought of myself, bangboy & Nirupam********