The passenger

March 20, 2007


For a change, a few things went according to plan (Dravid’s and Chappell’s that is) during the India – Bermuda match. Sehwag came to the party and however much we may like to discount it, there is no denying the fillip the batting effort receives when he plays an innings of some length. Considering the opposition’s batting strengths, the bowling could have been a little more incisive. It is a matter of concern that our bowlers consumed nearly 45 overs in bowling out Bermuda. All said and done, this match was an indicator of how, if at all, we can progress during the rest of the tournament. The batsmen will have to consistently come up with the runs. Runs which will need to make up for lack of seriously penetrative bowling and the to be expected less than electric fielding. This will be a tall ask against some of the better bowling and fielding sides. The game against Sri Lanka will be a good test for our batting line up.

Coming back to the bowling, it is fairly obvious now that Irfan is not going to get a game in unless one or more of the pacers has an injury break down. Given his record of having bamboozled lesser known opposition it may not have been a bad idea to play him in the match against Bangladesh, especially considering that quite a few of the young Bangla batsmen would have been facing him for the first time. After the loss to Bangladesh, there would have been understandable hesitation in giving a run for the Bermuda match. All this is water under the bridge now.

Our next match is against Sri Lanka and this will be another crunch game. Unlikely that he will get a chance in this match. Agarkar was exasperatingly mediocre, yet managed to bag 3 wickets. In any case, one gets the impression that Sreesanth will be the replacement of choice in case any of the medium pacers do (God forbid) suffer a break down or a drop in form. Which brings us to wonder whether Irfan will at all figure prominently in India’s scheme of things for the remainder of this World Cup.

Assuming we do make it to the Super 8s, will the team management risk playing him in what will for all practical purposes be knock out matches. The evidence till date does not suggest that the Indian team is going to do anything radical or contrary to consensual wisdom. Sunil Valson was nothing more than a lucky mascot for the champioship winning 1983 team. I am sure Irfan, with time very much on his side, would not be completely averse to donning this mantle in the larger interests of the team and the fans !!.

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2 Responses to “The passenger”

  1. Vivek Says:

    It is frustrating in Pathan’s case as he could have made this bowling attack dangerous with his swing and pace. He and Dhoni were main resons for India’s consistency in 2005-06.
    For now, his best position is as a standby. How useful Powar would have been here!

  2. Gani Says:

    Absolutely. Both Anil and Bhajji rely more on bounce than sideways spin, which would make playing both of them in the same match a little bit of a gamble. Powar would have added a new dimension and could have formed a decent partnership with any of the other spinner.


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