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Youngsters prove their mettle

Yuvraj has been head and shoulders above his colleagues. This particular tour will discover the responsible man in Yuvraj, writes Bishan Singh Bedi.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 12:43 IST

It is amazing what winning ways can do to the team's daring. In normal circumstances no one would have thought giving Sachin Tendulkar and Irfan Pathan a break. But the cock-a-hoop young brigade is giving Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell options to toy with the idea of resting two of its top performers.

Personally, I am not in favour of breaking the tempo of men in form. I would have rested Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar as both are looking haggard and jaded.

The two pacemen may have to recover a lot of their motivation and mental freshness to be members of the Indian team again. Another one is Gautam Gambhir who certainly has wasted all the opportunities that came his way. Murali Kartik will find it tough to get a recall in Indian conditions.

That brings me straightaway to the lethargic contract system of the BCCI. I am almost certain that some players would be happy pocketing the moolah without having to risk their playing potential.

For my humble money only Ramesh Powar made a good impression with his clean action and economic off breaks. At least Ramesh knows how to bowl to his field. Trapping Inzamam-ul Haqlbw was a good bit of deception. I would have liked to see Powar in the team once Harbhajan Singh was ruled out with a sore finger.

In between watching Indians playing their last game of the Pakistan tour, I have had an opportunity to see India's next rivals— the Pomms, playing a practice game at the CCI. The English men are getting into their strides slowly but surely. Comparatively speaking, this England team too wishes to conquer the final frontier a bit like Steve Waugh.

Funnily enough, Bob Woolmer the Pakistan coach, has some match winning tips for Duncan Fletcher and Michael Vaughan. Makes you wonder what the heck was Woolmer doing with his laptop meant to destroy the Indian confidence.

Both Rahul and Chappell can afford to have a quiet chuckle. Throughout this Pakistan trip, Indians have been fine ambassadors as such lovely agents of the game, giving spectacular quality of cricket in the ODIs.

Apart from Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh have come good in a very positive way. Tiny Suresh Raina has fitted in well too in the overall gameplan.

Only Mohammad Kaif has been distinctly unlucky. But his sincerity will ensure his good days are just around the corner. Brings me to the familiar quote of Einstein, "Not every thing that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted."

Yuvraj has been head and shoulders above his colleagues. This particular tour will discover the responsible man in Yuvraj. All he has to do now is to remain injury free.

It is sort of amusing that while Indians are tightly coming closer to the Pakistan score of 286, some media men are already sounding a warning to the indefatigable Australians.

A bit immature may be, but not too far fetched. At some stage Indians and Australians will have to cross swords for the same prize. I hope the duo of Chappell and Dravid will have understood a lot of work needs to be put in by Team India. Remember everything in our lives happens for a cause and a purpose and that purpose is to prepare us for the vital combat.

Yuvraj must stay injury free— I think I might have made that statement in a haste. Yuvraj has already done his hamstring. And now we can see some acute physical agony in the cause for the country. A runner for Yuvraj is an ugly sight because tall and elegant and belligerent left-hander has all the attributes of Frank Woolley of Kent and England.

Woolley was one of the rare scorers of a hundred centuries, all fist-class, on uncovered wickets. I wish Yuvraj can get into the habit of cricket reading because most beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.

Yuvraj's hundred in Karachi would give him maximum satisfaction, hopefully for greater peaks to be conquered. Quite evidently, Pakistan's fielding has been in shambles while Dhoni and Yuvraj have been knocking them all over the park.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 12:43 IST