21.1.08

Perth and After

With Perth out of the way it's worth considering where Australia and India currently stand. As Peter English pointed out in a slightly over-pessimistic piece on Cricinfo yesterday, Australia had a defeat coming to them. Too many players had been lost and too many consecutive games won for anything else to have been the case. To me, though, even if India go on to draw the series in Adelaide (unlikely, but far from impossible given what happened there last time), Australia remain the team that sets the standards that every other international side has to aspire to and it'll take many more defeats to change that.

However, it's also a good time to be a follower of India; with away wins becoming more frequent, a range of seam bowlers developing rapidly and Kumble captaining the side with inspiration and inclusivity, things look good, even allowing for what happened in Melbourne and Sydney. Indeed, with Pathan, still young at 23 and starting to recapture something of his best form, RP looking to me like an increasingly classy and mature operator and Zaheer to return, the possibility of a three-pronged left-arm seam attack is a tantalising one. And then there's Kumble himself, who looks good to deny Anno Domini for another year or two now that the captaincy is finally his, and Harbhajan to come back in, and I haven't even mentioned Ishant Sharma, who remains raw, but confirmed, with his spell to Ponting on Saturday, that he's a bowler of rare potential.

The batting will require reinforcements soon enough, but, in the short term, India's challenge is to build on this. Another win at Adelaide might show that they're starting to move away from being the type of side that can beat anyone when the mood takes them and towards being the type of side that can simply beat anyone.

2 comments:

Venkat said...

Rather I'd love India to be the team to beat...Yes I do agree that even now Australians set the standards for the rest to catch up...But its the right time for the Indian youngsters to learn a trick or two from their senior mates and ripe at the right time...

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks for both your recent comments, Venkat. As someone who's always taken a lot of interest in Indian cricket I'm very optimistic about the future on the bowling side of things (providing the fielding backs it up), but replacements are going to be needed for Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly before too long. Who will they be...?

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