Thursday, July 18, 2024

The future of Indian cricket is in safe hands leader

Nimish Patgaonkar

England's defeat in the Dharamsala Test was a mere formality which India completed on the third day. The guests who came for the test got to spend two more days in close proximity to the nature of the Himalayas. Why not give England a simple resistance on a pitch that was conducive to batting? Where the Indian spinners made full use of the pitch, why couldn't England? Why didn't any match in the series go to the fifth day without dangerous pitches like Brisbane or Centurion? The answer to all these questions lies in the experience of playing on Indian pitches. With the absence of Kohli, Shami and the exit of Iyer and Rahul as the series began, there were concerns about the sustainability of India's middle order; But Sarfaraz, Jaiswal, Jurel, Padikkal all have experience of playing on Indian pitches, barring the failure of Bharat and Patidar, every player in the team played a valuable role in this series win. Rahul Dravid thanked the selection committee chairman Ajit Agarkar and colleagues after this series win.

The number of matches played in various competitions in the youth and men's groups under the jurisdiction of the board in India is around seven hundred. IPL matches are different in this. The number of players registered with the board is in thousands. This local cricket is played on about 5200 grounds across the country. Then of course Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma cannot keep an eye on domestic cricket due to busy international schedule. In that case, there is no option but to trust the team that the selection committee will give and move forward. Sarfraz Khan's name was at least in the limelight due to his Ranji performances, but the selection of Dhruv Jurrell, who had played just 18 first-class matches, was a masterstroke. Ishan Kishan's arrogance came in to fill the void created by the absence of Rishabh Pant, Bharat was doing good wicketkeeping but was lacking in batting when he needed a good wicketkeeper, a batsman, a wicketkeeper who could support DRS. The success of a spin trio depends on a good wicket-keeper, so Jurrell's selection led to his all-round success. In the next few years in the Indian team, when veterans such as Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Shami, etc. will retire, this transition period is very important as the responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the new players. In this series, we got to see this beautiful combination of old and new. Ashwin revealed the secret of his success after demolishing the English batting on Saturday.

Every ground in India is varied due to its geographical conditions, so bowling needs to be varied in height, speed and action. Despite playing 100 Test matches, Ashwin is still experimenting with different weapons in his bowl. During the Asia Cup last year, he was involved in developing three-four such new weapons at the National Cricket Academy. Remember Labuchin's wicket in Chennai's first match of the last World Cup. Cricket is as much played on the field as it is played in the mind. Ollie Pope single-handedly turned the match around from 190 down in the first Test, but the team that came into the field having already lost the series in the final Test were already out of their minds in the face of India's lead of 259 runs. When the mind turns pessimistic, physical activity does not help either. Ashwin handled the new ball. Using the seam, firmness of the new ball, Ashwin cut the length of the ball and it caught Ben Duckett's off-stump and England's downfall began. In the very next over, England's successful batsman Crowley was forced to play the ball away from a good-length leg, and Sarfraz showed a fine example of his reflexes at backward short-leg to take the catch. This catch and the catch to dismiss Hartley at Ranchi are enough to put Sarfraz's fitness doubts to rest forever. After this, England's batsmen began a comeback. What was the hope on the root. Root stuck to one side, showing off his natural tenacity by swinging the baseball, but there was no one to back him up. With defeat looking inevitable, he was dismissed to complete his personal century, sealing India's victory. Although Ashwin took nine wickets in the match, it was good that Kuldeep Yadav was duly honored as Man of the Match. Because Kuldeep Yadav's magical first innings bowling tipped the match in India's favor on the very first day. Kuldeep Yadav has unfortunately remained the unsung hero of India forever. His portion has no permanent place. Kuldeep is expected to get a permanent place in the team after seeing his bowling and batting excellence in this series.

After this series, all the players will now be busy with IPL and T20 World Cup that will follow. India's next Test series is against Sri Lanka in July. Kohli, Rahul may be back in the team by then, but this team win against England has provided India with many good batting and bowling options in whose hands the future of Indian cricket will be safe.

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