India’s Young Turks showed that they are ready to go all the way to defend their number one ranking in one-day cricket with a mindboggling display of batting at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Chasing down a huge score of 360, and that too with overs to spare, was truly incredible and showed how determined the boys are in showing why they are the number one team in the world. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and then Virat Kohli batted and bludgeoned their way to the score leaving the Australians reeling in the heat.
It was an important win, since another loss would have meant that it would have been an uphill climb in the seven-match series. Now both teams will treat it as a best of five series and we should be in for some fireworks from both teams’ batting.
The bowling of India has been not just disappointing but depressing since there has been zero improvement for the last year or so. The only saving grace is the spin of Ashwin and Jadeja.
Ashwin, when he doesn’t try to be too clever, is a terrific bowler, but it is when he tries to do too much that he suffers in line and length and gets taken for runs. Jadeja has stuck to what he does best, and that is bowl stump to stump and not give the batsmen too much room to play the big shots.
There were Test matches in Bangladesh and Abu Dhabi, and with Pakistan winning the first Test in a canter, they seem to have erased the memory of the loss to Zimbabwe not too long ago.
The South Africans looked underdone, coming as they were from the off season, but they are a team that regroups very quickly and will no doubt come back hard at the Pakistanis.
The Pakistanis have a very balanced attack but it is their batting which has been sketchy, and that is why the opening partnership was so crucial in the match. Steyn, Philander and Morkel can be a deadly attack in all conditions, but the Pakistani batsmen batted well with Khurram Manzoor getting a ton and the skipper Misbah-ul-Haq getting one after 83 innings in all international cricket.
In Bangladesh, the New Zealand batsmen made merry in the first innings and Bangladesh showed how improved they are in the batting by overhauling that score. There were centuries for Mominul and Sohag Gazi, and then when the Kiwis came to bat again, Gazi took a hat-trick to add to his ton in the first innings.
Sohag Gazi, for his all-round performance, is the CEAT International cricketer of the week.
Professional Management Group