Team India. March 2019

With the backdrop of the nation on fire over its interests, team India isn’t as it was in 2018. On top of them they have managed to find themselves in the soup over playing against Pakistan in the World Cup. This is a champions team and losing is a part of the game. That’s not the point. My views are on their spirits when on the field. There’s no doubt whatsoever over their intention to win but I feel some circumstances are leaking their intensity. Without a doubt playing in the main 11 of the country is a huge responsibility and it would need nerves of steel to cement playing spot consistently.

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These are troubled times and at the need of the hour comes the legend to hold the team together. We might speculate over this ability to hit the boundary consistently at this age but when was cricket only about the boundaries? It was always about winning, just winning! And MSD has changed his gears but is still delivering as a batsmen, wicket keeper and the guardian of the team. He is the person the youngsters would look upto and get inspired. The Indian team is filled with batsmen who could hit boundaries at will but they needed someone to absorb the heat when the chips are down, analyze the situation and execute the plan. Dravid used to do this for his team very well. Often I have heard comments about the middle order not being well tested, I feel like replying everytime to them “Test all except Dhoni. He will deliver some way or other”.

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I hope the team gets good enough rest post the World Cup. They have been playing too much cricket. Players with the intensity level of Kohli might wear out if they are not given the required team to let off the steam in the form of breaks. Surely the body too needs time to heal from the pressure of playing at this level. Maybe that’s when the next generation players should be put to test, putting the main players on vacation. Surely the BCCI is a management that knows how to take care of its players. We are lucky to have a pace battery in the form of Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Yadav among the top. The bowlers on the bench are not bad either.

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Pandya and Jadeja provides the option of explosive batsmen, handy bowler and outstanding fielder. It is going to be interesting to see who’s going to bat at 3,4 & 5.  Rohit has almost sealed his position at #1. Dhawan might face threat from KL. The new KL looks good, the intensity is back. The coffee did rush his adrenaline. Kohli’s batting position would be the key. Shastri might want to preserve him at 2nd down but as they they, you should let your best batsmen face as many deliveries as possible and he has conquered the batting world at #3. Wonder what happened to Rahane?

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The excitement among the next generation players is also overwhelming. People do want to see guys like Shaw, Gill, Mavi to name a few. The IPL will definitely help the players get warmed up for the World Cup, but i pray it doesn’t burn them out.

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Politically confused

Lately I watched a debate between Sambit Patra and Pawan Khera on YouTube. I was told by my friends that this a treasure. The vocal of my friends got me tempted to watch it instantly, even though I was at work and this was a 40 minutes debate.

In a sentence, I didn’t like 1 thing about the debate that would sum up my overall opinion of it. Both the BJP & Congress patties kept beating around the bush then it came to responding to a few acquisitions from either side. I wanted to display my sadness on the quality of the debate by quoting a few examples but then I thought it would be a wiser sense to be politically correct and not offend anyone. Maybe, you should watch it and formulate your own opinion. Once again, both the sides were energetic when it came to launching an offensive against the other side.

Their answers weren’t answers but a slide to deflect the question to another topic and we the citizens easily got misdirected to something new without even getting the answer of something that we once thought was a genuine question raised by the opponent. But then that’s what the common men is all about. Parties come and go, we keep doing the same thing without benefitting much for the reforms that any party in power brings in.

After watching the debate, a Christian friend summed it up by saying the world is going to change and there’s going to be 1 leader of this world and he is going to be a pandit from India. Also that the future isn’t too colourful for Christians. Now obviously the rest of us asked him to give us reasons why he thought so. Sadly he couldn’t answer other than saying that the Bible has predicted so. I didn’t offend him by asking him to show the quotes and simply ended the topic with a “hmmm”.

As I said earlier about the common man, I would like to add that most of us are proactive towards ideas! Also that like many of my friends and maybe fellow citizens, I don’t know who is the party where I should place my loyalty.

England vs India 1st test, Birmingham

We could smell victory right from day 1, nearly won it but eventually it slipped off our hands. This has been the fate of the 1st test of any away series, for long. This time we went the closest to winning it. That’s a positive way of looking at it for a die hard cricket fan. And being a lover of the game, I am equally mad with the outcome of the match!

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Shikhar Dhawan is not made for the red ball version of the game. He doesn’t have the temperament to match a good test opponent. This is not just about his abysmal batting but also his fielding. A player is known as a bad fielder even if he drops a catch, dropping 3 is an unpardonable sin. He is known more for his batting abilities. So that front could have been something he would have amended his wrongs with. But fate had some other plans. Its very surprising that he keeps getting so many chances when now we can boast of a great bench strength. The yo-yo test isn’t everything. Mr Shastri should really re-consider his strategies. Same goes with Murali Vijay. He has only 1 good score (vs Afghanistan) in his last 10 innings. His love affair with bad form has stuck with him since the South African tour like a fungus that he isn’t able to get rid off. Even if the somewhat crazy think tank decide on playing Vijay for another game, they should replace Dhawan.

Virat Kohli, the current king of the cricketing world. This is being Rambo in sports. Had it been a domestic match, he could have won the team a match single-handedly. However, the subject is international test and against one of toughest test nations. Its a team game, 1 player cannot balance the equation of the rest of the batsmen. He played with a lion’s heart. I wonder if he’s repenting his decision not to play Pujara. I am sure Rahane will bounce back. He’s just going through a bad time. He has played some splendid knocks for India. Some might object Pujara’s selection due to his stats against the playing conditions. He too is known for holding up 1 end even if the runs had dried up. In the 1st match that’s something no one could do. The 2nd test team composition will be interesting!

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Joe Root is turning out to be a good captain. Forget his first Ashes as a captain. Its evident that he is learning and as a batsmen, another King! The England team played like a champion side. They might not have the mace now, but soon they will.

This team is not balanced. If I was the part of the think tank, I would have played KL Rahul to open with Vijay followed by Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, DK, Pandya and the lower order. We have Nair and Pant too on the bench.