Saturday, March 14, 2009

Final Frontier....Kiwi Land tamed !!!!

Dhoni & his youngistan band of marauding cricketers are scripting history. They have encountered & overcome the final frontier….the Kiwi land. After a brief stutter on the opening games of T20, the Indian Men in Blue, donning a new, darker shade, have blown the New Zealanders into smithereens.
Considered to be extremely tough due to bouncy & seaming pitches, accompanied with windy conditions, New Zealand has been invincible to most of the countries over the years, & India had never won a ODI series here. The last test series victory about 40 years ago. But Dhoni & his men are on a song right now. Nothing seems to be beyond their reach, as they continue their winning streak. The batting has been blazing at the top with enough protection in the middle, & no target seems out of reach. Sachin, Sehwag, & Gambhir,have been giving exceptional starts & then Raina, Yuvraj, Dhoni, & Yusuf Pathan have been carrying on the run onslaught. Sehwag in particular seems to be in the best form of his career. Having given the license to fire at will, he seems to be taking batting to completely unbelievable heights. No wonder he has now become the fastest centurion in India for ODIs & I wont be surprised, if he breaks his own record again….soon. Not for nothing is Sachin quoting that this has been the best batting lineup he has played with in his career. He himself has been in superb touch & seems certain to carry on till the next World Cup. The bowling looks to be in safe hands of Zaheer, Ishant & Pravin for pace & Bhajji for spin, with cover up from Yuvi, Veeru & Yusuf. The team looks hungry for more & more success, & Dhoni has been able to build a wonderful camaraderie amongst all. A special mention needs to be made for coach Gary Kirsten, who has done wonders to the team, being focussed at his role. Unlike the Chappel days, when players seemed to be wrapped in fear & inconsistent performance, the team today looks clean & tight knit.
Having won the ODI 3-1, Indians need to keep the same momentum & intensity going into the test matches ahead. With Dravid & Laksman joining the team, it certainly is a strong batting line. However, the Kiwis would be taking heart from the win in the last ODI & would attempt to keep the pitches seaming, to suit their game. Its going to be an intruiging series.
Way to go India.........keep it up.

Meanwhile, the Aussies have managed to pull back at the Proteas in the test matches & are back at No 1 position. While most of us expected the South Africans to canter home against a new look Aussie team, somewhere, I believe, the overconfidence played its devil part & the SA team were nowhere near their world beating form. Two test matches lost on the trot & captain Greame Smith out with an injury, its again going to be a long haul for them. They have always been touted as the proverbial chokers, and they seem to lose the plot only when they are just about to close it. Wake up guys, you need to show more consistency to stay at the top. Full marks to Ricky Ponting & his new look team to regain the top spot… soon.

I reckon, its going to be a three way fight between Australia, South Africa & India for the top slot both in the test matches & the ODIs. C’mon Men in Blue…..its for you to conquer & reign…..
Chak de or Jai ho…… it’s the Indian tricolor that all of us are drooling to see & sing & dance…….