4-1 Series roundup: The Emperor strikes back, the crown prince graduates

The ODI series in Pakistan has been quite wonderful for India. It was a kind of turnaround after the Karachi result and more importantly a revenge well-exacted, for the loss in the ODI series at home last year, particularly since we won four matches on the trot. If there was one thing that killed Pakistan in this series, it was their too-abysmal-for-words fielding. It was hardly even club class, save for a few of the cricketers. Apart from misfields and overthrows, the worst part was that they hardly collected even the balls they fielded properly. Woolmer’s got some work on his hands!

As for India, the Emperor (read Sachin) struck back, both with bat and ball just to prove, if at all he needed to, as to who’s still the boss. More importantly, Yuvaraj really matured as a batsman, played with an unbelievable head on his shoulders. The bowlers did their job and Dhoni, has worked real magic. The real test for Dhoni would start in the near future, when teams, having realised his potential and the danger he holds, start working on him. Interesting cricket lies ahead.

As for Dravid, he’s wonderfully jelled; he’s contributed as a batsman quite well but more importantly captained quite astutely. I’d still like to see him defend totals better, considering we kinda faltered in Game 1.

Overall, it’s been a memorable series, with a lot of positives. Sreesanth, RP Singh are all proving to be good material, and we’re surely having a problem of plenty in the pace department ahead of the World Cup. We need to pull up our socks a bit in the test matches as well, and we’re well on our way to becoming a very very good team. Kaif must soon get back into form; there’s no reason to hold Ganguly back, if Kaif is performing so badly.
Postscript: I think we’ve shot up on ICC ODI rankings. I guess we’re 2. Good job. Good form.

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