India could still lose the series Down Under

Written by: Sunil Vasudeva
Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2003, 21:02 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Hopefully, the euphoria surrounding India's win at Adelaide has subsided a bit. It is too early to count the chickens in this instance, simply because the opponents are Australia at their home turf. One can vividly remember how the Indians won the first Test of the last tour of Zimbabwe and then went on to lose the last Test for Zimbabwe to tie the series.

Herein lies the major difference. If Zimbabwe could make a comeback (thanks to the Indians abysmal display) on their home turf, how much more so the Aussies? There are still two more tests to go. True, Brett Lee has not had much of a workout yet. However, remember, the Aussie first class cricket is on a much higher level than India's. One can safely say that what the budding Aussie cricketer does to impress selectors is light years ahead of his Indian counterpart playing in a hopelessly outdated first class format.

Sachin saved his blushes by taking crucial wickets in the second Test. However, his place in the team must come under scrutiny as well. If he feels he can go out there and botch it every time the spectators blink, then India is treading down a sorry path. However, Sachin knows that in Indian cricket, present form is no benchmark as regards selection. Case in point, Harbhajan (Just Beer) Singh who got included in the touring party inspite of his finger injury, and that too on the bowling hand. One can understand if the injury was on the non bowling hand. But, that's just Indian cricket at its sloppy best.

If India goes into the third Test with Khan, Nehra, Agarkar, and Kumble, according to what the pitch curator has said, the Indians could inflict telling blows on the Aussies. But then, the Aussies are no chumps. We can expect them to hurl everything but the kitchen sink at the cocky Indians. India's fielding has to go up a few notches. Parthiv Patel needs to stop being unsure of himself. Otherwise, he might find Deep Dasgupta keeping wickets. While it is true that Parthiv is still a boy, he is playing in a men's game and he needs to make that boys to men transition quick! At this stage, he should not be having a case of nerves.

It will be interesting to see who gets the Knock Out punch on Boxing day. Will it be the Aussies? If so, that will be a big surprise. If it is the Indians, then we can say that they're just getting back to normal. Harbhajan! Have a beer and enjoy the game from the sidelines. And don't forget! Hold that beer in your non-bowling hand!

Write Comments