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Pre-match Analysis

If 6 batsman can't do it 7 can't is favorite commentators cliche which Dhoni has taken it to the next level. Stuffing 8 batsman in a T20 game is like loading your pant pocket with handful of Parle-G biscuits, bound to crush. It's funny and tactful that his opposite number took a dig at Dhoni. It was clearly evident that INDIA lacked a front line spinner to pick wickets and stem the flow of runs. And it isn't a non-asian country that would tumble against our part-time spinners.

Dhoni's so called innovations read stupid moves some times go hey-wire and out of context and using Kohli when wickets have fallen down is criminal. Though Ashwin isn't in his best of the form would definitely do a better job that the part-timers. Omitting the prodigal son Rohit and including Ashwin is the way to go if we even want to salvage the lost pride. 

3 quicks and 1 spinner + 2 part-timer sounds a better plan atleast on paper. Ishant needs to to focus on his bowling rather that nourish his mane and picking street fights and it's not a Delhi thing to pick fight against Pak. Its not unfair to expect him to bowl at the death he is the senior of the lot and is capable of doing it. Expect B Kumar to be targeted this time, Pak will not allow him to settle this time, hopefully he will be prepared.

Jab tak hai shine

The first T20 played at Bangalore has spelled more dooms for the INDIAN team. Yet another close game loss and yet another reason to shield. With no rain and dew factor, it was the batting collapse this time that was blamed. Little would any one question or address the real problem. which is our bowling. Weak bowling can't be hidden by strengthening the batting which is what INDIA does far too often.
In the last couple of years there were very few games that we have lost where bowling is exceptional and batting failed to live upto its expectation. INDIA is a land that produces good batsman from all corners and if some patience and confidence instilled by the selectors we are all set.

The real problem lies in our bowling, both in the spin and pace department. Of the two spin might be of a lesser worry though, pace bowling is a major concern. Its not just about finding a new raw talent and giving him the T20 cap and forgetting about him, but nurturing and grooming him and making sure he learns the new tricks in the trade.

B Kumar is the new kid in the town nice action, great seem position and to top it with mind blowing results. He is a bowler who just didn't pop up from a single IPL season, but was a product of sustained bowling at the first class level. Much like how P Kumar, V Kumar, A Mithun entered scene.
The real problem with these bowlers is that if-its-is-new-I-will-swing condition, they shine with the ball as long as there is shine on the ball. The moment ball gets old they lose their magic wand and they become more of a liability than an asset. So technically they can be productive mostly in T20 as their spell is over before the shine is gone.

Secondly they rely heavily on the conditions ball, ground and atmosphere. They don't have an alternative weapon in case the first one fails, which is bouncer due to their lack of pace. So they would easily be pick and trashed in their subsequent spell even if their first one was a deadly. The real key to fast bowling is movement at brisk pace not necessarily express but at-least good enough to break a bone or two.

There was a time when world cricket had Adam Hollioake , Gavin Larson and Ronnie Irani types bowlers who excelled in what they do. But their time was limited and so was their career. So a lesson to be learned by new Kumars is that variation is the key, and continuous innovation of skills. It's a known fact that INDIAN bowlers aren't fast bowler tall so bounce is out of their question. May be hit the gym add bit more muscle and gain that extra yard pace or may be learn some slow ball variations just to keep the batsman at bay.

Or else it would just be "Jab tak hai shine".

The Great INDIAN Sambar

Back in the days during my Masters none of us knew how to cook and the person with a practical cooking experience was hailed the leader of the house. The food cooked by him was considered divine and since there was no golden taste to compare with, every other food was compared with it. The one who cooked well either had some magical powder that they would sprinkle or had a Harry Potter's magic wand.

Vijay used to make awesome sambar back in those days and would always credit the taste to his mother's magical sambar powder. Nobody really bothered to figure out the truth behind the magic until one day when hunger-the-mother-of-all-tasty-food-innovation led to it. Vijay was on vacation and they tried to replicate or mimic his 3 step process; 1-Open the cooker, 2-pour all the ingredients & sambar powder, 3-close the lid and wait for 2 whistles.

To their surprise it didn't taste the way it was supposed to; so religiously each day one person decided to try out their luck to replicate the magic sambar but in vain; no matter what they did it didn't taste the same. But in the due course each one had made his own version of sambar unique and tasty. They later realized that at the end of this marathon each one had learned the art of cooking through the hard way. And if not the absence of Vijay and urge for tasty sambar they wouldn't have discovered the cook with in them.

Vijay returned back and resumed his sambar, and everyone were happy and had forgotten about their potential until Vijay ran out of his sambar powder or his magic wand. Soon 
tension prevailed and urge for tasty sambar increased. Each of them had personal experience with this magical powder but the challenge was recreating it without the magic wand. With lot of hard work and determination and non-magical powder their sambar attempts were leading towards the goal. 

INDIAN cricket is in the state waiting for Vijay's magic to diminish, if they start now will they might discover their next captain. MS Dhoni emerged to scene amidst Ganguly sacking saga during which INDIAN cricket was in dire straits, Sachin no  willing to step up, Sehwag ignored for his care free attitude. Yuvraj and Harbhajjan ignored for unknown reasons. Selectors handed the cooking duty to MS Dhoni with some fore-thought beyond human comprehension. Giving captaincy to Dhoni was like handing the kitchen keys to a chef, like a seasoned chef Dhoni knew the exact combination of spices to produce the perfect sambar.

Just like nobody questioned Vijay's cooking methods which was very messy and crude because of the taste he brought to the table, nobody really questioned some of Dhoni's stupid and not-so-tactical moves because of his success. Once the magic powder and sambar was gone, there was restlessness in the house and finally someone began questioning his cooking methods. If Dhoni was applauded for this success it is fairer to point out his mistakes and give him a chance to improve. So the time has come for the selectors to wake up and smell that sambar aroma again. 

Much like Vijay's 3 step sambar, Dhoni's captaincy had the method of his own; not necessary the cook book style but methods based on street smartness and out right courage. He took the saying "Nothing succeed like success" to the next level. Just like how a late cut from middle stump against Murli looks classy and stupid depending on the outcome, Dhoni's captaincy had success to back him up and didn't look stupid. Because it worked every move of his had a theory and a postulate written by the cricket pundits. Moving up the order upon a good start and hiding behind when wickets tumbled wasn't mentioned even if was evident. Two world cups and 3 International club league tittles makes him the greatest captain INDIA ever had if result is what every thing matters.

IPL has given that opportunity for the selectors to assess one they many potential captains. Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Virat, Harbhajan have had their stints as captains. Let neither age be the deciding factor for the future because it wasn't when Dhoni was selected, nor form be a factor which isn't with Dhoni currently. So its a matter of stepping into to the kitchen and trying out that sambar. It might not be the perfect in the first attempt, but eventually will get there. 

When kitchen starts to stink it's either the menu or the cook that gets a change, INDIAN cricket is ready for a change in cook. MSD has received enough accolades for what he has
done, time to re-access what he hasn't done. Mind you he is a great ODI and T20 captain but the same might not be true in tests. With recent form with Gloves or Bat he isn't an automatic choice, its a different story that there is not clear 2nd favorite to handle the gloves, that doesn't mean Dhoni can stay. Making me look ugly doesn't make you look beautiful should be the mantra here. 

 When the company is drowning its the CEO that takes the pink slip and hunt for new starts. Let the treasure hunt begin to find a captain who atleast can accept his mistakes rather than finding scapegoat. To be frank we are tired of pitch and weather blame game. Mr Selector I want my Magic Sambar back

It is fixed.

This is isn't an acquisition or allegation on the match; nor is it a view of a disgruntled viewer complaining and cribbing about the cliche  But it’s just a way INDIA team is bats at-least the team I know and care about.

With 2 days left in the game and no signs of rain, we will have full 180 over of cricket. England would be riding high on the 207 run lead though would have like a bit more. That would leave little shy of 6 sessions for two teams to share, which would rule out any possibility of INDIA winning. Neither its 2001, Laxman-David have retired and oh yes Harbhajan isn't playing. It’s just Eden the only common denominator and we are not following on so no miracles.

Traditionalist would like to draw a Du-De inspiration and would jump in for a draw. What Francois and Abraham did was something heroic and something INDIA would have done in the past, not the current team. With pitch crumbling making Monty Python spit like a viscous cobra constantly at the batsman. Swan would be at the batsmen all the time drifting spinning and darting at the stumps. With a scuffed ball Jimmy’s accurate reverse swing will test batsman patience and technique, Finn’s pace and bounce would catch the batsman fishing.

See-the-ball-hit-the-ball would bat cautiously and punish lose deliveries giving a sense of re-assurance to the spectators and commentators. Who would speak about his application and his role in team and would credit or dis-credit to commentator’s curse cliche when a half defense would edge it to slips.
Double duty Che Guevara would bat and bat and boar the opposition out, I recon swan will get the better of him.
Bhisma-pita-ma would block indefinitely as if he is on Anna Hazare morcha and get into a shell where he forgets how to score and gets busted the first shot he plays
Virat would hit couple of cracking cover drive against the spin of swann, some sub-continental flicks of Monty and then would give a dolly to covers and look at the pitch.
Test specialist UV will bat as if he is playing minesweeper cautious defense, gets beaten by the spin, drives along the ground, straight sixes and finally gone with the straighter one.
Dhoni would bring the bat from all directions and ball would hit the bat. He would freeze until the No 11 comes to bat then out of no-where would score some mesmerizing shots and reach a respectable 50 and would be given a martyr status when he gets out.

Well I sincerely hope the above doesn't happen and the INDIAN teams proves me wrong as the many of you would. Lets see over the next 2 days what transpires. Comments are welcome.

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