INDIAN OICL CUP 2005-02
India started the Indian Oil cup on a rather bad note with the defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka. It is too early to criticise the coaching of Greg Chappel. I was not able to watch much of the match live since the cable operators did not want to pay for the hike in the subscription of Ten Sports.
The batting turned out to be the big disappointment with only Rahul Dravid and Venugopala Rao making some decent runs. Of course, Harbhajan, Zaheer and Irfan took the total narrowly past the 200 mark. The lack of a specialist 5th bowler proved to be very costly in the end.
Sehwag and Dhoni batted like billionaires being bored by their wealth while Yuvraj once again proved his detractors right. Kaif was surprisingly unable to perform in a tight situation. Raina was done in by a perfect 'throw' from the 'king of chuckers'-Muralitharan . In the next match, Raina might be asked to make way for someone else.
The think tank have erred in not picking Anil Kumble who could have created pressure on batsmen of a lower calibre like Mahroof and Chandana. Instead, he watched the match from the sidelines.
India appear to have an easy encounter in the second match against the Windies. But the newcomers from the Caribbean islands might want to establish themselves in the absence of players like Brian Lara.
There is some consolation from the match. After quite a while a player from the state of Andhra Pradesh-Venugopala Rao made a good entry into international cricket.