Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on the India and Bangladesh

The three-match series between India and Bangladesh was disappointing for two reasons. One, the last match was lost to rain. Two, Bangladesh rarely challenged Indian control. India won 2-0.

Aside from one scare, the Indians always looked in charge. Indeed, they felt sufficiently dominant to field some new players. Young Piyush Chawla was given his ODI debut.

This talented leg-spinner has already been given a test cap, and used the opportunity well to take the wicket of Andrew Flintoff. Confident and full of variety, Chawla was entrusted as first-change bowler in the second match, and returned the favour with figures of 3/37 off his ten overs. It turns out, he’s also a useful bat – averaging 24 in first-class cricket.

Normally, I’m not keen on spinners that can bat. But he’s young, a leggie, and can learn to be rubbish at batting in time. And therefore he gets the coveted Ayalac nod.

MS Dhoni was a bit of a revelation. In the first match, he played a sensible, match-winning 91. In the second, a sedate supporting role, hitting 36 off 54. He really has matured since I last saw him, and here was I thinking he was another Shahid Afridi. At 25, Dhoni may be planning a distinguished future as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Lastly, I’m a bit disenchanted by the Tigers. They scored some runs – but no enough. They got some wickets – but failed to claim the crucial scalps. And there was little Bopping. Bangladesh definitely need some more character to their play if they want to promote out of minnow status.

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