Thursday, December 22, 2011

In Dhoni I trust... (again)

Best Blog Tips

Perhaps its the hurt from past broken promises. 1985-86 certainly. Perhaps it is cricket's adopted truism that beating Australia in Australia is tough. Perhaps it is the step motherly treatment to Tests by India's seniors. Not sure what it is. But something is preventing me from being too optimistic about India's chances in Australia this time around.

As the Tests near, I search for reasons why India will lose. 

My rational mind says that this is indeed India's best chance to beat Australia in Australia but part of being an Indian fan through the late 70s leading up to the 2000s is to know that this is also Ponting's and Hussey's best chance to revive their Test careers and who else other than India to be the willing ally? 

My rational mind tells me that barring 1985-86 this is perhaps the mightiest batting side India has sent to Australia. Winning a Test Match and drawing the rest with even a half decent pace and spin combination, should be doable and more than enough. However, part of being an Indian fan is to know that its been quite a while since India has created an overnight bowling sensation. In Australia's gravest hour, surely India will oblige.

The reason, I hold the 1985-86 so high up in India's achievements in Australia is that till date it represents the only tour down under where India did not lose a Test match. India were simply hard to beat. Yes Australia were pathetic but that fact rarely has prevented the Aussies from not winning.

If I were to encapsulate my fears for India on this tour, it is that perhaps India are too old. That Australia's speed, need for survival and naivete will be too much for India's creaking gentle giants. Perhaps India is holding on to its great middle order for a tad longer than it should. Perhaps England was not just a 'one-off' like Darvid and Laxman - conveniently - want us to believe.

If, however, I sometimes experience flashes of optimism it is when I am reminded of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the youth India possess in Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin. I would have felt much better had India taken a much younger side. With no Rahul Dravid, with certainly no Sachin. Had this been unquestionably Dhoni's team.

Right now its a matter of opinion whether this is Dhoni's team or Sachin's.

The only time I feel optimistic about India's chances in Australia is when I think of this tour as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's chance to further greatness. A win will further his legend. And just like during the 2011 World Cup finals, after Sachin got out, I closed my eyes and simply put my trust in Mahendra Singh Dhoni, I will do the same now. He has done it for me before. He might just do it for me again...

Then again, just to highlight my confusion about how to read this match-up, I sometimes think the team that can draw games will win the series with an odd win. While I will criticize India if they play this tour with a defensive mindset, I do hope they first and foremost play to draw Test matches. 

India can control and hopefully win if they play for draws.

Australia's is a curious mix of youth and experience. The's not been a natural evolution. Its been adopted as a compromise. The experienced men in Ponting and Hussey are under pressure. They will be far too consumed in protecting their own careers to have any influence in the decision making of how the Test match is played tactically. 

Australia simply have to win. Ponting and Hussey can only survive if Australia wins. Michael Clarke needs to win to secure his hold on the Australian captaincy. And while wins are on Aussie minds, India should attack with a mindset to draw. Australia despises draws; they would rather lose than hold on to a draw.

I have no analysis to back this up but India will lose a series where there are result games.

1 comment:

Vivek said...

Come on, its okay to be optimistic, buddy! It is not a disease to hope for the best and expect it! You always seem scared to be confident about the team, regardless of who we are playing against!