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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Will Team India break the jinx down under : Preview - Agneepath Series

Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!
9 tours, 36 test matches and only 5 wins, is the history of Team India down under. It can be considered worst performance for the country which produced legends like Gavaskar, Mankad duo, Amarnath duo, Tiger Pataudi, Kapil Dev, Mohd. Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. Above all, in last 9 tours Team India failed to win series as well, in Australia. As a cricket fan I really fail to understand why we were not able to win a single series down under so far inspite of having players, who are considered as legends, kings and gods of cricket. Its really sad for the fans of this country that they witnessed only series loss and draws down under in last 60 years. There are individual performances which really kept alive the interests of Indian fans but in terms of team performance it is really a sad state of affair for the country where cricket is considered as religion.

Michael Clarke vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Again Team India is on tour, down under, stage is set, all tickets for the Boxing Day test  match which begins on 26th December, at famous Melbourne Cricket Ground has been sold out in advance. One last time legends like Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans will go at Aussies and Indian fans hoping that this time team will not return empty handed. There is reason behind this hope is that Aussies are not the best test side in the world today as they used to be couple of years back and it will  going to be easy to beat the depleted Aussies. But I must say, it will not going to be easy for Team India to win the series this time round as well, no matter how vulnerable Aussies are currently. Aussies don't have the brilliance of Waugh Duo, Gilchrist, Langer, Hayden, McGrath, Warne and Brett Lee but they have the players who will certainly upset this Indian side and main reason for this,  is poor team selection by Indian selectors. India already looks more vulnerable than Aussies atleast in bowling department as their two main bowlers in Ishant and Zaheer are not 100% fit, moreover, they have very poor back-ups in Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar who are not test class bowlers. So Indian bowling is weak and to win the test match you have to pick 20 wickets. If any of the bowler breaks down mid-way, in the test match then it will certainly not help the cause of Indian team. So onus of bowling more is on the shoulders of young Ashwin and Yadav who will be playing their second test series of their career and that too on the soil of Australia.

Ishant Sharma
Selectors have done big mistake by not picking Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda ahead of Mithun and Vinay Kumar. Both Dinda and Irfan are in superb form and picking up wickets consistently in domestic tournament in India but I think selectors have already decided the fate of Team India and if fans are thinking that India will win the series this time then I think this is a day dream, because this will not going to happen. Conditions will be tough and Austrlians will come hard at Indian team. Mindgames have been already started from the Australian side and the way Aussies are preparing and targetting Indian players off the field is the indication of what will happen on the field where Aussies will try and dominate the Indian side. Only hope for India, is from its world famous batting line-up which boasts of Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman who are capable of winning the test matches  but they also need back-up from the bowlers which is not in existence at the moment. Only fully-fit and in-form bowler is Umesh Yadav in pace department and Ashwin in spin apart from these two rest of the bowlers are not fully fit or they are not in great form.

Rohit Sharma
I believe Team India must play Rohit Sharma ahead of Virat Kohli because Rohit has better technique compared to Virat and will do wonders but I know this will not going to happen as team india will go with Virat Kohli and I am 100% sure that he will fail. This is also a very important series for Tendulkar, will be remembered for long time if Tendulkar get to his epic ton because wait has become too long and fans can't wait anymore. This series will also test the cpatain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy, he will be under immense pressure during this series because of drubbing in England where first time Dhoni lost the test series as a captain. This will going to be a acid test for Dhoni and Fletcher.

Warner, Cutting, Starc and Pattinson
As far as Aussies are considered they do have the problems in plenty, but they have the advantage of playing in home conditions and their batting line-up will face mediocre bowling attack so they are in poor position, but in better condition than Team india. I am damn sure Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey will get back among the runs as both are class act and as they say 'Form is temporary and Class is permanent'. So there will be no surprise, if Ricky and Hussey  score big runs in this series. After departure of Simon Katich it looked like Australia don't have any opener but they found Warner and with the return of Shaun Marsh they have pretty good opening pair. It is good that Aussie selectors dropped Phil Hughes who failed to impress anybody but I think dropping Usman Khwaja is bit harsh, to the guy who is considered as promising youngster. Aussies have good bowling line-up now, even though they don't have Johnson and Watson in their line-up. They have some in-form bowlers like Pattinson, Hilfenhaus and Siddle who are capable of bowling in excess of 90 MHP speeds, will prove dangerous on bouncy wickets for any opposition in the world. So Aussies are in advantageous position going into the series and India has damaged their chances of winning by picking up the unfit bowlers which will going to hurt India big time.

So less than 48 hours remaining for this  'Agneepath Series' and Indian fans will certainly wake up at 5.00 AM to watch all the action from down under in a hope that Team India starts the seires with a winning note and finally win the series and end the drought but Indian selectors and team management are not serious enough to win this series.Will india  be able to hit, knockout punch on boxing day? My guess is as good as any other cricket fan.


  1. From the looks of it, the aussies are a bit scared of the indian team even though the statistics are not on our side.

  2. Like sidhu says "Statistics are like mini-skirts, the reveal more than they hide"

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