My Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘Shane Warne

Australia early in the 90’s was going through a transition of sorts. Allan Border, Dean Jones, Geoff Marsh, Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Mike Whitney and David Boon were all in their last legs. While rest of the world might be worried losing so many established all together at the same time, Australia weren’t. Australia’s talent in the 90’s is something which the entire world was envious about. They had Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Paul Reiffel, Jason Gillespie, Justin Langer etc were waiting in the wings. They were so strong that they could actually assemble two international quality teams at the same time and still challenge any team in the world.

Australia for a while at home actually played Tri-Series with Australia and Australia A competing with an international team at home where the two home teams ended up playing the finals. Such was the talent Australia possessed at that time. While so much talent is exciting, the way you use the talent at your disposal is important. While Australia were forced to make wholesale changes with the team with the Waugh brothers and Mark Taylor being the anchors, the way Australia used the talent they at that time is something to be marvelled about. They always picked the right people needed and backed the right talent which meant they were at the top for the next 2 decades.

When you have such a vast talent at your disposal, not everyone is going to get a chance to play for the National side. Even for example for Australia bowlers like Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Paul Reiffel etc ended up playing way lesser games than they should have but again they filled the team needs when needed during their dominance.

The Indian team right now are in a similar phase like the Australian team of the early 90’s. India are in an enviable position with abundance of talent at their disposal. When you have so many amazing players to choose from the selectors and the team management need to make sure they are doing the right thing and select the right players for the right format. The biggest success of Australia was their cut throat selections. They never shied away from dropping players who were not performing or for selecting players with talent irrespective of their age. For example Matthew Hayden made a comeback at the age of 29 and became one of the best openers for Australia for the next decade. Michael Hussey made his debut at 30 and became one of the best players in the world.

When you have lots of talent to pick from the one thing you need to do is to shut the outside noise and think what will be best for the team. This is something the Indian selectors and the team management have failed to do over the past few years. It is all good having the richest league in the world and having best young players in the world but again if you don’t pick the right candidates in the squad it will amount to nothing. Not every talented player is going to make the national side but again the right people should always play. This is something which the Indian management need to realise. Just because you have lots of players to pick from the team cannot keep changing every series.

The clarity in selection and picking the right combination is what kept Australia on top for 2 decades which I don’t see from the Indian management. The confusion of picking experience versus young talent is what the Indian think tank are going through over the past few years. The reason for India not doing well in world tournaments can be attributed to picking wrong combination for the conditions they were going to play in. India have a great chance to dominate world cricket like Australia did for a long time but they haven’t been able to do so due to the selection blunders. This is not a phase which will last for long like Australia found out over the last decade or so. There will be time when you will struggle to get good talent coming through. There will be a phase when you might find it difficult to find replacements but before that happens you need to make most of the situation.

India right now are right now at the cusp of greatness and with some clarity in selection they can actually achieve that. The last couple of series have shown some promise and the hope is only that it is not a false dawn. This is the year of World Test Championship and the 50 over World Cup. India have a chance to win both and stamp their authority on World Cricket. No other team possesses the kind of talent India does and it will be shame if the team does not make full use of it.

The third test ended in dull draw after the bowlers from both the teams were unable to force a result. The Indian team after scoring 613 in their first innings dropped too many catches to let Australia off the hook to allow them to reach 577 in reply. Once that happened it was almost sure that this test would head for a draw and it did. The Indians were guilty of dropping too many chances on a pitch which was offering slow turn to the spinners. Sehwag was India’s most successful bowler in the Australian first innings taking 5 wickets.
The Indian batting though held on for a draw on the 5th day as the Australians had an outside chance of winning the test match. The Indian batsmen scored freely against an inconsistant Australian bowling in the first innings to set up the game in favor of the hosts. The bowlers bowled with lot of heart on a pitch which offered very little assistance. If only the fielders had held on to few of the chances created by their bowlers, probably we could have eneded up with a closer result. Ishant and Zaheer were good once again without luck. Anil was injured early in the Australian first innings after bowling 9 ineffective overs but Mishra troubled the Australians with his variations.
Sehwag was called upon to replace Anil, who had to leave the field with an injured thumb and used the conditions the best among all the bowlers on view. He accounted for 3 of the 4 Australian wickets to fall on the third day. Micheal Clarke, hayden and Ponting made valuable contributions to propel Australia to 577 in their first innings. Even though the test match ended in a draw it will always be remembered for being the last one played by one of the greatest cricketers India have ever produced. Anil Kumble surprised one and all by his sudden decision to quit on the 5th day of the test match. Kumble later said that the injury prompted him to take the decision.
Kumble had been subjected to media pressure after Amit Mishra’s successful debut in the Mohali test and no one can deny that it played a small part in his decision to retire. Kumble’s career spanned for over 16 years and he became the highest wicket taker for India overtaking Kapil’s tally of 434. Anil now finishes with 619 wickets which is the all time third highest tally in test cricket behind Shane Warne and Muralitharan. Kumble was a fierce competitor on the cricket field and a soft spoken induvidual off it.
India for sure will miss this great legend but as the old saying goes “Every good thing must come to an end”. I wish Kumble all the best for the future and thank him for providing us with lots of moments to cheer during his illustrious career. Good Bye to India’s greatest match winner.

Team mates carry Kumble on their shoulder after the champion bowler announced his retirement from test cricket

Team mates carry Kumble on their shoulder after the champion bowler announced his retirement from test cricket

The third test ended in dull draw after the bowlers from both the teams were unable to force a result. The Indian team after scoring 613 in their first innings dropped too many catches to let Australia off the hook to allow them to reach 577 in reply. Once that happened it was almost sure that this test would head for a draw and it did. The Indians were guilty of dropping too many chances on a pitch which was offering slow turn to the spinners. Sehwag was India’s most successful bowler in the Australian first innings taking 5 wickets.

The Indian batting though held on for a draw on the 5th day as the Australians had an outside chance of winning the test match. The Indian batsmen scored freely against an inconsistant Australian bowling in the first innings to set up the game in favor of the hosts. The bowlers bowled with lot of heart on a pitch which offered very little assistance. If only the fielders had held on to few of the chances created by their bowlers, probably we could have eneded up with a closer result. Ishant and Zaheer were good once again without luck. Anil was injured early in the Australian first innings after bowling 9 ineffective overs but Mishra troubled the Australians with his variations.

Sehwag was called upon to replace Anil, who had to leave the field with an injured thumb and used the conditions the best among all the bowlers on view. He accounted for 3 of the 4 Australian wickets to fall on the third day. Micheal Clarke, hayden and Ponting made valuable contributions to propel Australia to 577 in their first innings. Even though the test match ended in a draw it will always be remembered for being the last one played by one of the greatest cricketers India have ever produced. Anil Kumble surprised one and all by his sudden decision to quit on the 5th day of the test match. Kumble later said that the injury prompted him to take the decision.

Kumble had been subjected to media pressure after Amit Mishra’s successful debut in the Mohali test and no one can deny that it played a small part in his decision to retire. Kumble’s career spanned for over 16 years and he became the highest wicket taker for India overtaking Kapil’s tally of 434. Anil now finishes with 619 wickets which is the all time third highest tally in test cricket behind Shane Warne and Muralitharan. Kumble was a fierce competitor on the cricket field and a soft spoken induvidual off it.

India for sure will miss this great legend but as the old saying goes “Every good thing must come to an end”. I wish Kumble all the best for the future and thank him for providing us with lots of moments to cheer during his illustrious career. Good Bye to India’s greatest match winner.


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