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It was a masterclass from MSD

india Updated: Oct 30, 2009 00:47 IST
Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri
Hindustan Times
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Team India is in good hands because its skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be a cool customer even at the worst of times. It seems he didn’t let the defeats in England and South Africa get the better of him.

Only men with an unflappable temperament and skill to match the best can lead India for long. The Nagpur game saw the highest ever total against Australia, a crushing win and an absolute masterclass from Dhoni.

Such feats have cascading effect on the rest, especially if the skipper is involved. These are not good signs for Australia, because it’s not just Dhoni’s knock, a few others also showed what they are capable of.

Ishant Sharma always had the talent. On a pitch that suited his style of bowling he rose to the occasion and bowled with good rhythm and pace. Praveen Kumar looked a different bowler from the one he was in Vadodara, while Suresh Raina also didn’t seem affected by the threat to his position in the starting line-up.

Think of the impact when Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh come into the picture together. In Brett Lee’s absence, I have a feeling that Australia’s bowling will struggle. Nathan Hauritz showed promise but what might disturb Ricky Ponting is the ability of India’s tailenders with the bat.

The Indian spinners are putting the pressure on Aussies too. Harbhajan and the part-timers had nearly half of their overs left in Nagpur. Yuvraj Singh is worth his weight and Ravinder Jadeja, too, is moving up the ladder.

Though the match belonged to Dhoni, let’s not forget Gautam Gambhir who gave India the start they badly needed. As for the skipper, he can be hit on the helmet, can be knocked down in a mid-pitch collision, but he would always come back stronger.