5-1!!: Job almost done…

“At mid-off was Virender Sehwag, waving from short mid-off to Murali Kartik at fine leg to move squarer; behind the stumps was MS Dhoni; Yuvraj Singh was at point, Suresh Raina at short extra cover; Venugopal Rao hovered at square leg, Jai Prakash Yadav at mid-on; Gautam Gambhir looked at ease at midwicket, as did Sreesanth at third man; and as RP Singh measured his mark, the `veteran’ Ajit Agarkar patrolled long-off. There was no Tendulkar, Dravid, or Sourav Ganguly, no Anil Kumble, no VVS Laxman. This was the team for the future.”

Jamie Alter on cricinfo

I was indeed pleased to see the youngsters doing so well, and more particularly, the captaincy mantle being handed over to Sehwag. I’ll not brood over the Saurav-Greg controversy again, in what has been the only blot on an otherwise fine last few months for Indian cricket.

Coming to the Rajkot match, I did remark to a friend that SL finished 140 runs short of a competitive total, and not 40 as Attapatu had remarked. Recall the pounding WI got at the hands of Sehwag last time at Rajkot, and you wouldn’t question this. Further, in the form the current team is in, no total is too tall.

RP Singh really set the stage with his bowling, and then after Sachin struggled miserably to 19, and Gambhir and Sehwag perished to poot shots, Yuvi and Kaif, in a way they are best accustomed to — playing alongside one another — settled the match in great style. Yuvi’s acceleration was just phenomenal at the end, and as I had told one of my friends, we finished the match within 35 overs!

I still want Ganguly back in this side — if he had a poor attitude, it would certainly have changed by now, since he’s been pushed to the wall, if not to the brink. The ‘pool’ of players for the WCC 2007 is really shaping beautifully; I hope we sustain well in the future. SA will be an interesting series (but for dew) and given their current form, it will be quite a contest.

One more to go here. 6-1 on the cards, and 6-1 it should be!


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