Confident and well prepared is how I see this Indian side as they head into the limited overs series against Australia. Even though internationally, the team haven’t been in action since the tour of Zimbabwe in August, most of the players have been playing Twenty20 cricket in the form of the Champions League which just finished. And while it’s a different format, I believe any format is helpful in terms of preparation.
The players have also been on a stellar run in the ODI game since the Champions Trophy win in June which was immediately followed by the tri-series triumph in the Caribbean and the whitewash of Zimbabwe. That obviously helps their confidence levels and no doubt, they will be eager to maintain that form.
I’m really glad to see Yuvraj back in the side after quite a long layoff. It’s no more than he deserves after his splendid showing against the West Indies ‘A’ side where he struck a 100 and got plenty of runs. He’s been through a lot in recent times so I really hope he’s successful.
His return not only packs a punch in the batting, bowling and fielding departments but for someone who was an integral part of India’s World Cup win two and a half years ago, Yuvi’s experience in dealing with crunch situations is also a bonus for the team.
He looked a lot fitter too against the Windies; that, as has been widely acknowledged, is largely thanks to the training stint he underwent in France. Sometimes as cricketers, we tend to take things a little for granted and continue doing the routine things.
But occasionally, it’s nice to have a shock to the system and step out of the box. You gain a good understanding of your body’s capabilities when you push it to its limits. That’s what both Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan have done and the results are there for all to see. It’s my hope that they continue on this path through the rest of their careers.
While Dinesh Karthik will surely be disappointed at missing out, it’s great to see Ambati Rayudu make the cut. He’s done really well, and, for someone who doesn’t get too many opportunities to bat in the Mumbai Indians side, his performances in Zimbabwe showed that he’s capable of dealing with the pressure.
There’s already talk about the 2015 World Cup which I believe is still some way off. Yes, all the recent success has contributed to India having a settled group of players who are young and so will take them not just till the World Cup but much beyond. But it’s still important to take things one tournament at a time, starting with the Aussies.
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