Bermuda battered, issues remain
Despite the massive win, the way they bowled and fielded should worry India, writes Pradeep Magazine.Updated: Mar 21, 2007, 17:00 IST
Despite all the world records that they broke on Monday against a team that might not even qualify for our Ranji Trophy Plate group, while bowling and fielding, India just did not give the impression that they are a champion side.
The last two Bermuda wickets held their attack at bay and the Indians failed to show any urgency in the field, going through their motions as if nothing were at stake. The intensity and energy levels of this team in the field are alarmingly low and if they have to win against Lanka, a radical change in attitude is needed.
Having said that, India's massive victory does make their Net Run Rate quite healthy and if Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh on Wednesday, it should be a straightforward fight to the finish against the Lankans.
In the post match press conference, Rahul Dravid did point out that they have achieved what they had set out to do in this match. Sitting besides Virender Sehwag, for whom he has repeatedly stuck out his neck, Dravid spoke with conviction and gave Sehwag all the credit withstanding the pressure and proving him right.
So how significant is a century against Bermuda. Sehwag's answer was that a century is a century and required hard work. "If it is that easy, why didn't anyone else score a hundred in this match?" Perhaps, he has a point. But one swallow does not a summer make. He would have to score against Lanka to satisfy all those who are yet not convinced that he has turned a corner.
The following is the gist of what Dravid said after the game:
On the win
We achieved what we wanted to do. We set ourselves a margin close to what Sri Lanka achieved against them (Bermuda). But they had one professional batsman in the side (David Hemp), and he played well… However, the margin of victory is satisfying and gets us into the picture a little bit.
On backing Sehwag
It's never been about me. It's not about me. Viru's a very good player, and I am happy that he's a part of my team and a key member.
And he's got into form when we needed him, before a very critical match (against Sri Lanka) for us. It' not about me, it's really about him. I think after coming back from South Africa, the effort Viru's put in, not only just at nets but on his fitness, his approach, it has been fantastic for me to watch.
Whenever he's been in a purple patch, there are certain things that you see in Viru, and that has been quite evident to me. But to be honest, we expect a lot more from him, he's not been picked to score (just) one hundred for us.
On Sehwag's batting order
We will take it match by match. Sehwag's opened a lot, so it's not really a huge issue for him to bat at No 3 or No 1. It doesn't matter to him so much.