Tuesday, June 7, 2011

India vs West Indies 1st ODI – A Match Made of Slop

A cricket match must know it has a problem when even the one hour highlights are a dead bore. Fact, barring very few individuals we are seeing two very average teams playing in very average matches, with the slightly less average team coming out on top. We have to focus on the bad, as singling out moments of good cricket makes a very short blog entry.
The West Indian Lowlights
The shot selection by the West Indian top order was as if it was tequila inspired. Simmons and especially Edwards did not even have half a clue against steady pace bowling and some quality spin, swishing away aimlessly as if chasing a rogue fly. Apart from a great shot from Darren Bravo, it was mostly embarrassing.
The coaching clinic is that way son. © Associated Press
Sarwan and Samuels, the only real batsmen there, gave us glimpses of their skill laced among periods of nothingness. A combined 111 runs from 169 balls at a strike rate of 66, only managed to haul their team to a mediocre total of 214. That total too was helped by umpiring blunders and the BCCI’s idiotic refusal to not use the DRS system. More capable opponents would have made the Indians really pay.
The Indian Lowlights
Rather than dismiss this total in the Hayden-Gilchrist-Ponting style of old (looking further and further in the past all the time), India kept the West Indies interested with an equally rudderless display. Shikhar Dhawan seemed intent on the ‘six or nothing’ method rather than accumulate runs, and threw his wicket away after grinding out a fifty. Rohit Sharma, despite settling down later on looked in full IPL mode, and was lucky to even get as far as he did. Only Suresh Raina looked organized, despite he too throwing his wicket away to a dumb shot.
The Reality Of It All
Just like the Pakistan vs West Indies series recently seen, this was like a B team tour match. Player greed and stupid politics ensure that the quality of international cricket is on a steady and alarming decline. It will only get worse as the IPL will rob us of quality cricket, and players will only save themselves for the ‘big tours’. Just imagine if the teams were selected to their true potential:
1. Virender Sehwag
2. Sachin Tendulkar
3. Gautam Gambhir
4. Virat Kohli
5. Yuvraj Singh
6. Suresh Raina
7. MS Dhoni (c) (w)
8. Harbhajan Singh
9. R Ashwin
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Munaf Patel
1. Chris Gayle (c)
2. Adrian Barath
3. Darren Bravo
4. Ramnaresh Sarwan
5. Shiv Chanderpaul
6. Kieron Pollard
7. Dwayne Bravo
8. Carlton Baugh (w)
9. Kemar Roach
10. Jerome Taylor
11. Devendra Bishoo
His presence alone is worth more runs than Kirk Edwards. © Getty
The bolded players were present on the day, that’s nine out of twenty two. Only our imaginations can savour this contest, In reality we will only get this garbage.
Contributed by Varun Prasad
Original Post: The Cricket Musings

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