Thursday, March 10, 2011

India Makes Heavy Weather of Netherlands - World Cup

The Indian team scraped through their match against Netherlands in an inconsequential match. The bowling looked ordinary as it always did during this tournament and whatever accolades people are showering on Zaheer and Yuvraj are, I feel, rather overenthusiastic. Harbhajan lacked bite, Piyush looked ordinary, Nehra went for a few. This is Netherlands mind you and one would expect a better performance.

But if the bowling was iffy, then the batting, our main strength got us worried. This total should have been overtaken without a sweat with our famed batting line up. Instead we were in a spot of bother and another wicket at the stage when Gambhir left, would have made us really sweat. Again, though it will add tremendously to Yuvraj's confidence, which is good for India, I see no reason for everyone to go to town about a fifty against Netherlands.

Overall, it looks shaky, tentative and not confident which is rather surprising because this side is capable of doing much more. So much self doubt at this stage is not warranted.

In the morning I was subjected to many discussions, though for a few minutes each, on why Ashwin should play and not Piyush. Mandira Bedi led the discussions, led a bunch of retired cricketers, a couple of loud mouthed cricket journalists, coyly on why Ashwin should have been there. Please, give me a break. What will all your discussions do, why do you discuss such issues at all when none of you have played even 1% of the cricket that Dhoni has played or won for India. Leave the guy to his own machinations and stop talking about things that you know nothing about. Least of all, from a program anchored by Mandira Bedi who seems to the heights of cricketing intelligence these days.

If that is not all we have all sorts of programs these days that add nothing of value to the cricket fan save a lot of speculation, a complete waste of time. They have even stopped being entertaining - anchors, commentators. Maybe for a change they could try and do something intelligent like making some intelligent cricketers or journalists talk about the game. No one can hold a match to Richie Benaud of the current crop and I do miss Holding, Boycott, Greig. I was glad to find Ian Chappell in one panel though and he spoke as he only can - straight, well thought of analysis that is to the point. It is amazing how he remains relevant even today though he has played so many years ago. Good for you Ian. As for the rest, please pull up your socks guys - your commentating is getting as boring as your cricket was in your hey days.

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