Monday, September 3, 2012

Quick thoughts on Day 4, Ind vs NZ @ Bangalore

Some quick thoughts on the Indian batsmen that I saw live at the Chinnaswamy today.

The Openers: Didn't get to see Sehwag, thanks to the brilliance of the police, the organizers and so on. Will not crib about that too much. Saw a little of Gauti. By the time I came in, he looked just as he has done in most of the last few matches. Tentative around the off stump. The poke to third man is a killer.

Cheteshwar Pujara or Che as some of us call him: Funnily enough, his batting does not remind me of any previous Indian batsman. He is extremely composed and organised at the crease. I think there are a couple of issues that I am sure he will be working on: The short ball and his judgement of whether to go for the pull/ hook or not. He actually plays the shot quite well at times and he can leave well too, just that he needs to get his shot selection right. Secondly, I think he played with rather hard hands against the spinner. Think he can get better there.
But overall, he is one of the most un-fussy, uncomplicated players that I have seen. His footwork is sure and deliberate most of the time. He takes a big stride forward, unlike a lot of Indian batsmen. I am not sure what exactly are the adjectives that best describe him, for now I will say that the best thing about him is he just bats like it is his job. A job which he does rather well.

SRT: I am not the one who will write a premature obituary of my hero. But I wonder, whether the eye is gone for good. Perhaps Father Time has caught up with him after all. Time and Tendulkar's bat will tell.

Virat Kohli: Was really impressed with his restraint. He is obviously in the form of his life, but he did not let his confidence get the better of him. For example - he never looked to play his flick shot to balls outside the offstump till almost the end. He is playing very straight indeed. His balance, the tiny shuffle and then precise the feet movement, the straight bat, the clean stroke-play, even the holding of the pose after a fine shot - you can see that here is a batsman in his absolute prime. Long may this continue. An absolute pleasure to watch.

Suresh Raina: So, so disappointed with his performance today. I make no bones of the fact that I am a big fan of the lad. I think he is an absolute superstar of the one day game. But at the moment, he does not seem to be a good bet for the test matches. Hard work ahead in the First class circuit.

MSD: The one word that kept coming to my mind throughout his innings - he "manages" the ball. He maybe totally out of position, his feet may be nowhere near the ball, but he just uses his hand-eye coordination and manages to keep out good balls. He played really well today, was busy from the start, rotated the strike. And with Bangalore being such a fast scoring ground, he got us home in a hurry. Well played.

About the Kiwi bowlers - was impressed with their line throughout the day. All the 3 quicks bowled really well. The weather might have helped them - it was cool, overcast and dark all day long. Luckily we got just enough cricket to get the result in today.

PS: There is still nothing quite like the ovation that SRT gets, when he comes in to bat. Still. 

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