Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Indian batting on the SA tour - 2013

One of the things a tour of Oz or SA does is distinguish men from the boys. I've added a 3rd category - Impotent :)

Men - Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Vijay and Jadeja
Boys - Dhawan, Rohit and Shami
Impotent - Dhoni, Zaheer and Ishant

India's showing with the bat was remarkable. I kind of knew Pujara and Kohli would do well, but Rahane and Vijay were a revelation. In ~20 years of cricket viewing, this is the first group of Indian batsmen I have seen that have shown so much collective application, discipline and guts on their maiden overseas tour. Credit must go to Duncan Fletcher for this. None of his predecessors had been able to do this. It was amazing to see these guys leaving so well outside off and showing decisive footwork. I think they outbatted their South African counterparts. Kohli is an awesome puller of the short ball, reminds me of Ponting in his pomp.

The only exception has been Rohit, who despite being the most talented, is also the most fickle of this next gen lineup. Dhawan belongs to the Raina & Yuvraj school of flat track batting. He can play a Sehwag like innings on subcontinental wickets and is probably worth persisting. It remains to be seen if Fletcher can iron out his flaws. With Dhoni just unable to develop his technique to survive the moving ball, India are invariably a batsmen short overseas. But he is the best leadership option we have for now and is a safe keeper. Jadeja has proved many doubters wrong including myself. He is a much better bat though than what he did in this series. Hope he works on it. Unfortunately like Ravi Shastri, he will always be undervalued and made fun of.

Exciting times certainly lie ahead, to see what this group can do.