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Early morning starts need a re-look

Travel is part and parcel of a cricketer’s journey, but it is never easy to lift yourself after a day-night game and then go across the country to a place where even the body clock has to adapt. More so after a match like the one at Hyderabad, where after all that they did, the Indians still ended up losing the game, writes Anil Kumble.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2009 23:36 IST
Anil Kumble

Travel is part and parcel of a cricketer’s journey, but it is never easy to lift yourself after a day-night game and then go across the country to a place where even the body clock has to adapt. More so after a match like the one at Hyderabad, where after all that they did, the Indians still ended up losing the game.

In Guwahati, with the early morning starts in the winter, you travel to the ground in darkness and return in darkness and that too for a day match! The 8.30 a.m. start is certainly not ideal and needs a re-look. The sun can set by 4.00 p.m., which means the possibility of the D/L method coming into play,, leaving the captains with a difficult task.

Also, it isn't easy to decide what to do if you win the toss. If you choose to bat first, you will have to counter the ball moving around more than a fair bit but if you choose to chase, there is every possibility of the pitch crumbling. A catch-22 situation for sure.

Having said that, the people in Guwahati are enthusiastic for a big game. No one gets the crowd going as much as Sachin. Even after 20 years of playing at the highest level, to come up with possibly one of his best knocks, speaks volumes about the man. Having watched him from close quarters for long, I don't remember him stroking the ball so well. He was taking calculated risks as one should in such a big chase and yet it was mostly clean hitting.

Save for that soft dismissal, but even after that, the Indians should have won. It was a simple mistake of allowing panic to set in. The thing with the run-out of Ravinder Jadeja was that the young man got so sucked into the run-a-ball equation that he was taking a big start to every ball.

Also, the fact that Dhoni had sent Harbhajan Singh ahead of Jadeja, shows that the left-hander hasn't impressed the team management yet with his batting ability. Here, I once again advocate that Amit Mishra be looked at as an option.

Whoever plays, will have to again contend with the fighting abilities of the Australians. Even with all that has happened to them in terms of frequent injuries, they have fought hard to be in a position from where one more win will give them the series. Dhoni's boys will have to fight even harder to ensure that they pull it off in Guwahati today and go to Mumbai with everything still to play for.