At the end of England tour in April, India was rated as one of the top contenders for the World Cup 2007 to be played in WI.... Now with just couple of months to go before the cricket's extravaganza takes place..they seem to be tumbling out of the race.
Graham Gooch in one of his columns had made a good observation that the Indian team was peaking too soon before the WC and that surely seems to be the case.. After curtains came down on their involvement in champions trophy, India has nothing positive to take home.
In all the three matches played in the Champions Trophy, India did not look confident nor convincing. In their only win agains England, the win was a laboured one rather than a comprehensive one. In their second game, it was only WI Players who made the match interesting with their 'hara-kiri' tendencies and gave the diwali crowd something to cheer about. And in the do-or-die match, India did not put any kind of effort to stop the rampaging Australia
After the debacle performance in the Champions Trophy, it was expected that scissors would be out in open. But the selectors have opted to stay calm and not follow the cut n chop policy as their predecessors. Well whatever step selectors take in India it is welcomed with a skeptical view and it was nothing new this time round.
This time round, the selectors made the 'critics' jump in joy with their continuing faith in 'Raina' and 'Pathan'. Both of them seem to be out of sorts and with age on their side it would not done their career any harm by dropping them for SA tour. Why is different ball game for different people...Zaheer sat out and is now back in reckoning after performing well in county n domestic season. The other 'shock' inclusion seems to be 'Jaffer' who himself is shocked of his inclusion in ODI team. Players already knocking on the doors like Uttapha or Gambhir would have been a better choice and given 'think tank' options for WC-2007. The only positive outcome, has been the inclusion of 'kumble' in ODI team. Though he was injured, personally feel and looking at the pitches a three spin attack of Bhajji, Jumbo n Powar would have been hard to tackle for WI and Aussies.
Other thing which Indian team must be ruing about would be the scheduling of its matches....BCCI must now be wondering if they should have given 'host' team a 'walk-thru' to semi-finals, just to keep the fans come in to watch the final matches...
Jokes apart, semi-finals matches would be would be a great fun to watch and follow. Aus v/s NZ and SA v/s WI..May the best team won..