England is in India playing a seven match ODI series, and at the time of writing, they have lost all three games played so far. They are realising just like the Australian team, that India is a tough team to beat at home.
The Australians have gone home with their tail between their legs, like most dogs that bark and do not bite when confronted by another who stands up and does not run away.
Australia came to India making all kinds of noises about playing ‘New Age Cricket’ compared to India’s ‘Old School Cricket’, and made all kinds of uncomplimentary remarks about India’s legends Kumble, Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman, forgetting that there were plenty of senior citizens in their own ranks.
Their captain Ricky Ponting was the most vocal of the lot in this exercise, but when it came to grabbing the opportunity to win the Test at Nagpur and with it level the series, he put self before country in using part-time bowlers to make up for the slow over rate, rather than using the quicker bowlers who could have stopped India’s tail from wagging.
The slow over-rate would have resulted in a ban from playing the next Test since he was a serial offender. He was taken to task for that by former Australian skippers, and instead of accepting that he made a mistake, he is threatening not to talk to them; which is hardly going to give either Ian Chappell or Allan Border sleepless nights.
Quite clearly while he is sporting additional hair on his scalp, nothing much seems to have been added to the grey matter.
Again like Australia, England too is finding that sledging Indians will invite more demolition.
Yuvraj Singh has been the main target, and he has reeled off two back-to-back centuries as if he was having a net in the middle.
What has been jaw dropping has been the ease with which he has hit some of his sixes.
He came into the series knowing that there was a place vacant in the India’s Test batting line-up, and if he did well then he could make it his own. If he continues in the same vein in the remaining ODIs, then there will be no competition for him at all.
Apart from his batting his bowling is coming on nicely, and it is good to see him fielding again at ‘Jonty’s corner’ as he used to.
With his two superb centuries, his bowling, and fielding, he has left all competitors behind, and he is this week’s Ceat International Cricket of the week.
Professional Management Group