In terms of result it was an empty kitty for India

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 1:19 [IST]
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Bangalore: India's tour to New Zealand was an improvement but only when held against the disastrous tour of England in 2002. In terms of results it was an empty kitty. It was heartening to see India back to its scoring ways but sadly enough it lacked stuff in the lower half to sustain the effort. This is were India could have sorely missed some experience, especially that of some one like Anrundhati Kirkire. The lower half was absolutely raw and wilted too easily.

Nevertheless there were positives and the most striking is Nooshin al-Khadeer's emergence. The lanky off spinner raked in as many as 14 wickets to finish up as India's highest and second only to the great Cathryn Fitzpatrick.

India's ability on the field has also gone up a notch which was apparent from the fact that we effected quite a few run outs. That apart, India getting back to scoring ways, and Mithali Raj getting back in to form (One-day format) could count as some of the other positives vis-À-vis England 2002.

The areas of bother would be India's opening slots and the lower middle-order. India's opening attack (bowling) too was not all that impressive.

That apart, our overall swiftness on the field and the perennial running between problems are still to be set right.

It is apparent that the gap between India and the top two (Australia and NZ) is a wide one. There is no doubt we are good enough to overcome oppositions like England and South Africa; its just that of late we have been a little off the rails.

It is this area that we need to concentrate on - "how can we beat New Zealand or Australia?", and it is not easily done.

The preparation needs to be of a different nature, type and level. Unless we try and induce professionalism into our system, I am afraid, we will have to be satisfied with the odd victory here and there.

There is tremendous potential out in India, it just needs to be moulded and harnessed.

Anyhow, one hopes India will be able to come out of this rut it finds itself in and be able to get into the winning groove before the World Cup.


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