Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Champions on the run

The emergence of  Shikhar Dhawan as a successful Indian opener along with Rohit Sharma in the ongoing Championas Trophy 2013 has been one of the many right things for Indian ODI team led by Dhoni.

The second most important "right" thing has been the inclinations among the top order batsmen to accumulate their runs by doing just that. Run  between wickets. The likes of Shewag, Yuvaraj, Gambhir were more keen to get their scores through 4s & 6s without bothering to run between wickets. Partnerships are better built by running between wickets. At the match against West Indies today, even Dinesh Karthik showed his disinclination to run every possible run between wickets. But Dinesh can be forgiven if he thought that he was giving the in-form batsman Dhawan  a chance to crack open the club-match bowling of Pollard, Roach & Rampaul. But Dhawan had entered his nervous pre-nineties and wanted to slow down his innings for a crack at his first international century in the 50 over format. So he too was trying to give Karthik a chance to hammer the bowling.

The third right thing with Indian top order has been their improvisations while playing the short ball, which were far too many that Indian had to face both from the Proteas as well as from the Windies. Dhawan reached  his run-a-ball century by upper-cutting a bouncer over the third-man fence. Karthik is of course  an established improviser who plays the ball late enough to guide it to any vacant position in the V behind the wicket. Even Kohli pulled one majestically to the square-leg boundary.

The fourth right thing has been India's improved fielding, catching  as well as throwing from the deep.

But the most important thing that is emerging is that Indians are finally playing for their fans, fighting hard to win every match & playing their designated roles superbly while supporting each other on the field.

Will they win the Champions trophy? Well they are the  punters' favourite bet all over. But they have been lucky in the sense that the seam bowlers from both the opposing sides (Windies and the SAfricans) gave , quite surprisingly, a lot of width for them to drive. And they haven't yet faced any quality double spin-attack . The last match against Pakistan on the 15th will see them face that test. One hopes that Dhoni and his men play the last match to win if only to erase that thoughtless-loss to the Pakis at Eden Gardens on the 3rd day of this calendar year. Incidentally, it was precisely that match where Ravindra Jadeja proved a handful with his off-spinners. Jadeja's ascension since then has been praiseworthy and he was deservingly adjudged the man of the match last night against the windies for his 5 wicket haul. 

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