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India keen to restore its pride against Zim

Nothing less than a crushing win would help the Indians erase the humiliation of the last batting debacle.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2005 19:32 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India will look to use their encounter against punching bag Zimbabwe on Monday as an opportunity to restore their battered pride in the Videocon Cup cricket tri-series.

A cricketing feast is in the offing and nothing less than a crushing win against the inexperienced hosts would help the Indians erase the humiliation of the batting debacle against New Zealand in their opening match two days ago.

The new season has shown up the failings of the past and it all concerns the batsmen. Monday is a good day to express their intentions and back it up subsequently against the Kiwis.

That such resolutions must have often figured in the Indian batsmen's mind in the past season and yet it didn't reflect in the middle either proves that the stars have lost their marbles or the youngsters have not quite seized the moment with both hands.

There is a bit of truth in both though the youngsters must be excused for they are just feeling their way into international cricket.

Still, the inexorable march of time is throwing up more Suresh Rainas, Venugopala Raos, Jai Prakash Yadavs and Rudra Pratap Singhs. It is upto the seniors to react in time or face being swamped by youth. They now would be ignoring the signals at their own peril.

The team seems to be seized with an identity crisis.

Virender Sehwag flirts between attack and defence but still can't find a way forward.

Sourav Ganguly is conscious of the monkey on his back and it concerns his ability against genuine quick bowling.

Rahul Dravid is above criticism but such is not the case with Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif. The duo spent much of their careers holding the bottom of the team together, and now when circumstances have afforded them the luxury of extra overs, find themselves unable to grab the moment by the collar.

In between, new coach Greg Chappell has shown an impatience to look for answers beyond the perimetres of the exhalted zone and no wonder the sense of insecurity is beginning to run deep.

All the while, there is this nation of millions who seem ready to forsake their heroes at the first hint of failure.

There is a marked improvement in India's bowling and fielding and Chappell's intolerance with wayward length is beginning to produce dividends.

It should even encourage him to try out Uttar Pradesh youngster RP Singh against a lesser opponent in Zimbabwe by resting one of the regulars, possibly Irfan Pathan who has looked better and better with each passing game, both with bat and ball.

Zimbabwe have similar incentive to do well as with each drubbing in the middle, the cry for their ouster is becoming shrill.

First Published: Aug 28, 2005 14:06 IST