Raina, Sreesanth impressive: Inzy
While Sreesanth has a thinking head on his shoulders, Raina has Bevan's class.india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 17:59 IST
There has been a lot of cricket in recent months, prompting players to complain of fatigue owing to too much of travelling, particularly for one-day cricket, homesickness and lack of motivation. I shall come to this issue later.
I must say that India has pre-empted overexertion of its players by rotating them nicely. In sharp contrast, Australia are sticking to the same bunch of cricketers.
As for Pakistan, we intend to resort to rotational policy in the coming season but the problem for us is that we are playing away from home.
Therefore, we have to be very careful and calculative while resting our players and at the same time winning matches because to me, winning is the best preparation for World Cup.
In the last six to eight months, Pakistan and India played their cricket in the sub-continent and that has been a huge advantage to them in the context of building the team or experimenting with fresh talent.
Players like Suresh Raina, Venugopal, Sreesanth, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ramesh Powar, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif proved themselves as future prospects and cricketers with immense talent and potential.
I mean we played Asif on the hard and bouncy Sydney track but he looked very mediocre as compared to his heroics in the last four months. That's what home conditions can do to the confidence of a youngster.
Of the young Indian talent, I am particularly impressed with Raina and Sreesanth. Raina has the flair and class of Michael Bevan who had the tenacity and approach to finish off games from any situation.
Raina's stroke selection is immaculate and the best part of his batting is that he is very good in finding gaps to push the ball for ones and twos.
Sreesanth is a player who has the aggression that is extremely essential for a fast bowler. He is not afraid to look into the eyes of any batsman nor he is reluctant to pass a remark or two.
But staring and looks aside, Sreesanth has the pace, aggression, potential and above all, a thinking head on his shoulders to become one of the bowlers of future.
The true character of a fast bowler comes out when he returns for his second or third spell. And I was impressed to see Sreesanth charging in with the same zest and approach for the new spell. I would be very disappointed if he does not go on to become one of the most feared fast bowlers.
India will soon be leaving for the West Indies that will be a good learning experience for the players to have a feel of the environment and conditions. But I don't think India should read anything more into the tour in context to the World Cup.
The host nation has never won a World Cup and there have been instances where teams have toured the World Cup host country just before the mega event but still returned empty handed.
Pakistan is a perfect example when we failed to reach the second stage after touring South Africa just a couple of weeks before the tournament.
For Pakistan, one season is over and the next is waiting just round the corner. We had 55 playing days in the last six months and approximately another 75 days of cricket from July before we arrive in the West Indies for the World Cup. That's the amount of cricket being played nowadays.
To come back to the topic of too much cricket, the fact is that fatigue, lack of motivation and homesickness combine and the players start struggling to maintain their consistency on the field.
But I have no complaints or regrets because that is the demand nowadays and it is up to the players to adjust to the modern day requirements. That's our job!
But while saying this, I also fear that by the time the World Cup starts, the players might be completely drained and some of the top teams might even be forced to appear in the extravaganza without some of their frontline players.
Now, if that happens, it would not only take the gloss off the competition but it would also throw all the preparations of a particular team for the event out of the window. Let us hope that it does not happen.
At the moment, Australia, India and Pakistan have been playing some of the best cricket. But World Cup is still 10 months away and a lot of cricket is still to be played. So the debate on which team is peaking nicely for the World Cup is premature.
Australia, however, will definitely be the team to beat in the World Cup, chiefly because they have proved themselves in all conditions and against every opponent.
Nevertheless, their Ashes series would be closely followed by their opponents and if England manage to pull a trick or two out of their hats, well, then every team will sniff a chance.