Monday, March 14, 2005

Time To Infuse New Blood

Time is ripe to induct some new blood in Indian Cricket team inorder to bring some dynamics in middle order. This post might appear to be a panic reaction, but believe me I am writing this after much saner deliberations.

First phase of dynamics was set in when Virendra Sehwag was brought in Test team, more so when he was given the job of an opener. And look what he has done for India. After the century on debut, he has had some big scores like 147, 130, 195, 309, 155, 164, 173. All these runs were scored in double quick time helping the team to press for the win.

Middle order is stagnating, though. There you have Rahul Dravid playing his sort of game, although he is consistently improving; A much injured and subdued Sachin Tendulkar either keeps returning from injury or bad form. He has now closeted himself into a shell from which only he can find his way out. And then there are records to pursue.

Let's skip Ganguly for good, because he is in the team for his management skills rather than cricketing ones. How-much-ever his stay in the crease is, it's a painful one for himself, his team, and public. Laxman will keep trying to prove his come back making excruciating half century which would be of no use to the country.

So middle order is rusty, which is plain from last many outings. We need the guys who are waiting in the wings i.e. Yuvraj, Kaif etc. Yuvraj made a debut century against Pakistan, while Kaif had put up a brilliant show against Australia.

These guys are young at feet and heart. They want to win, and have the ability and confidence to do it. If that wasn't the case, then the chase at NatWest Final would have ended when England had put up 324 or later when India had lost half of it wickets when more than half the overs and runs were left.

In bowling also young guys have changed the script. They are aggressive, and can bat too. Harbhajan, Pathan, and Balaji are roaring. Today, if Balaji can hit a six to Akhtar, then Pathan does that to Lee, and Harbhajan to Murli and Warne. They are not Maninder Singh or Narendra Hirwani. At such a young age of their carrier, they don't have any records to pursue, any baggages to carry.

The bottom line is: We can not let the things to drift the way they are. The changes should not be reactive. They must be gradual, and in rotation. One senior must be rotated at a time. Otherwise, there won't be any difference between the dour drags played during Gavaskar's time and what we have been witnessing today.

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