After the first game between India and the West-Indies, I was pretty certain that the Boys-in-Blue would win out the series 3-2, if not 4-1.Â A 1-4 defeat was certainly not something anyone would have imagined. But that is the way of things.Â India’s chance of pulling ahead in their ODI record has been dealt a blow.Â They are now 4 games down, having won 296 and lost 300 games.Â Admittedly, this is not a major record at all.Â I’ve not seen any of the media companies supporting this wondrous occasion.Â But then again, they are not as hard core fans that I am.Â They just report the news.
Now, the reason for this loss…?Â I put it down to inexperience.Â Apart from Dravid, the only other member of the ODI squad that had toured the Caribbean before was Harbajhan Singh – not really “senior” material in the team.Â Ganguly, Kumble, Tendulkar, and Laxman were all missing in the name of youth.Â Breeding youngsters is certainly required, but this time it went too far.Â After picking Robin Uthappa for the series, the management decided to open with Dravid for the first 4 games.Â This left the middle order looking very weak.Â Yuvraj Singh was the only batsman that could be counted on and as usual was his splendid self. Many seasons ago, I game him my vote as the future captain of India and if he continues in this vein, he will certainly be at the helm in 3-4 years.Â I was surprised that Kaif came good with 3 fifties, but he played far too slowly and with too much trepidation to be reliable at number 5 or 6.Â Venugopal Rao and RP Singh were the other two players who were given only one game.Â While it’s obvious that out of a 15 man squad 4 get to sit out every game, a little more experience in the middle order could’ve been used.Â Dhoni, Raina, Pathan and Powar were the other middle order batsman who did very little in the series.
The bowling was decent.Â Agarkar, the much maligned Mumbai boy who has potential but doesn’t show it often enough, was outstanding.Â He had 9 wickets at 18 a piece, with an economy rate of under 4.Â Harbhajan bowled well for no wickets.Â He did keep the runs at bay, however.Â Pathan was surprisingly ineffective while Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and RP Singh did nothing to show that they deserved to be in the national team.Â Once again, this bowling side reeks of immaturity.
This lack of experience is what cost us the series, in hindsight.Â I’m sure plenty will disagree and I’d be happy to hear other points of view.Â I’m just glad that Kumble and Laxman will be joining the team for the test series.Â If the ODIs were anything to go by, one can expect plenty of excitement and some tight finishes.
Just imagine if they pick Kaif over Laxman for the test team stating youth! oh, when will they ever learn??