Indian Cricket on its way up!
India wrapped-up the series against Sri Lanka with a hard-fought victory at Pune. What is heartening — and different from the recent past — to notice was the way the juniors chipped-in at every stage of this series to ensure that the pressure on the Lankans was never getting released, thereby helping India to completely out-class the opponents. In this process Indians also proved that they do have the wherewithals to forge a win even when things are looking really bleak, as it was when the score read 180+/6 earlier in the day.
Kudos to GC, RD for bringing about this wonderful change in the attitude and the outlook of the team. Kudos also to the Five-Wise-Men for allowing the change to happen. What this performance has ensured is that the so-called established guys like MK and YS will have to fight for a place in the side in the future, and that in itself is a good sign for Indian cricket.
There are 3 more matches to go in this series. Indians must ensure that they don’t allow the psychological edge that they enjoy at this moment — that was build up by considerable hard work in the first place — to ebb away, and so they must thoroughly dismantle the Lankans in the remaining 3 matches. That will will augur well for the Test matches against the Lankans, not to mention the ODI series against South Africa to be played before that Test match series. By what we have seen about the think-tank, they too are probably thinking and planning along these lines. Indians might rest SRT for the next one or two matches, as has been hinted enough, probably against his wish. That will allow Sehwag to be more responsible as well as allow the team to have a look at Gambhir as an opener.
Where does that leave the heroes of the not-too-distant-past like SG, VVS, AK, AN and ZK? I believe SG might stage a come back, thanks to his impressive track record — both as a player in ODIs and as a captain — as well as the backing he might receive from the Dalmiya camp. For VVS it could well be the end of the road in ODIs unless he improves his fielding skills dramatically. AK’s place is not under too much threat since MK couldn’t make the most of the limited opportunity he got. AN and ZK are talented bowlers with a slightly lazy attitude (if media reports are to be believed), and perhaps this Indian performance would inspire them to sit up and take notice, and come back all guns blazing.
The future does look bright for Indian cricket!