Monday, October 12, 2009


I have always looked to Challengers trophy with a lot of hope. Every time I expect to see some new player emerging out of shadows of biggies already there. I have not been disappointed in last 10 years. Be it Ashish Nehra or Piyush Chawla who came to limelight by bowling out Sachin Tendulkar or even M S Dhoni. Its importance may have diminished with the advent of the IPL as domestic players get a chance in that tournament to rub their shoulders with senior international players. However, not every player is capable of doing well in the shortest format of the game. I believe a similar tournament with four day games is also necessary to give more exposure and recognition to those who are doing well in longer format. I know it is very difficult to squeeze that in given the tight schedule of Indian team but if we want ourselves to be a world beating like Aussies and West Indians of yore we need to do this urgently.

This is because we don't have a competitive domestic tournament of the likes of those in Australia. So younger players will get their chance only if we either overhaul the system or arrange such tournaments. Overhauling seems very difficult given the political clout of state associations but these and similar arrangements can be done. We should also have frequent tours of India A and Under-19 teams to countries outside the sub continent so that players are not found wanting on their first tour abroad. Imagine someone who has played on docile pitches of sub continent throughout his career and then faces the fury of genuine fast bowlers on bouncy wickets. How can we expect him to perform well if he is not a prodigy? Not everyone can be a Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid. Same is the case with Indian pace bowlers. they have to drudge on dust bowls before they make their mark. My opinion of Prasad was of a mediocre bowler before he burst into prominence in England in 1996. He even bagged 'CEAT cricketer of the year' award in that season. Without improvement in domestic cricket management we can not be consistent performers in international arena. Some champions can give us a temporary no. 1 spot but continuous replenishment is assured only by strong bench strength. We don't have a dearth of talent, we just need to polish them well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Disappointments galore

So Indians have crashed out of yet another ICC event without making it to knock out round. It is very disappointing especially because they have been doing very well for past two years or so. Agreed they were missing 3 key players but that should not be used as an excuse for this. They could have easily won against Pakistan had Harbhajan, R P and Ishant given even their average performance. While Harbhajan had an ordinary series, other bowlers, namely Ishant and R P, have been struggling since June.

The next series is against Australia and due to nature of wickets in India we perhaps are not that dependent on pacers but still we require 3 pacers due to powerplays and ball change rules. Sreeshanth and Munaf showed a lot of promise in recently conclude Irani trophy but one match wont make a season. Sreeshanth to me has always been a top class bowler in longer version but i doubt he would be able to contain runs in limited overs format. However, Munaf should be given chance ahead of R P and Ishant. He ahas improved his batting of late and his fielding is slightly better than what it used to be few years back. Given the batting skills of Yusuf Pathan why not replace him with Nayar or Irfan Pathan and hope they are able to bowl few overs of gentle pace. Winning a series against this resurgent Australian team would give a lot of confidence to Indians and let us hope that our young pacers find form in this series.