Dec 19, 2006

Baptism by pace!!

Graeme Smith promised to not let Indian batsmen forget their inability to play pace in the 1-day series. He promised a fast and bouncy wicket. Maybe for the next Test he should ask for a true batting wicket. His batsmen need that more than the Indians!

India won the 1st Test, so it is a bit easy to get euphoric and say that we have turned a corner, and I am totally guilty of that as well as all my friends and folks on the net. I think the bowling has done a fantastic job. Sreesanth bowled great, and so did Zaheer and Kumble. In fact, these guys totally outbowled the South African attack.

BUT, I am not convinced that our batting has turned the corner yet. Sehwag still is struggling, and so is Jafar. Dravid is going to come good, I have faith that he will, so I am not too concerned about him other than that the pressures of being captain might start to play on his mind when he is batting. However, Tendulkar continues to just ride his reputation and the past. and Ganguly was gutsy and showed signs of his fluent stroke-making, but is not there yet. Dhoni looks like he could do some damage, but always gets out when he looks like he might be in there. We ended up relying to big scores from our bowlers - VRV and Zak, to get challenging scores on the board. The 1 exception was Laxman, he was truly in control in the 2nd innings. Complete mastery.

These guys still need to do some work in the nets. We need Dravid and Tendulkar to fire, along with Laxman. And Ganguly to continue to show his bloody-mindedness. You know that Kallis and his boys are going to get a good score sooner or later, and then if our batting is not up to par, we're going to be in the same place as before.

Here is to the hope that Graeme Smith continues to struggle with the bat and with the handling of his team. I don't know, for some reason, I truly don't like this guy. Maybe it is because he has Slinky Minki :)

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