Wednesday, December 15, 2010

African Safari!!!



After the recent successes at home Team India is ready for the African Safari. This will be the tour which will test the real mettle in Indian players. South African tour is always been tough for India but this time something is special about the Indian team. Now Its a different Indian team which believes in themselves. Also they are going as No.1 team, surely the attitude level will be different.


There are lots of question marks over Team India’s No.1 ranking. Some critics are saying that Team India has played more cricket in sub-continent and that’s the main reason behind India’s No.1 ranking. Actually, its a good point. This Team has not been tested in the fast, bouncy pitches since they have reached the top of the rankings table. I think this criticism will encourage them more to do better there. If Team India does well and wins the series then they will surely shut the mouths of the critics but if they fail to do this then they have to accept that they are not good enough.

It will be also a test of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. No doubt he is one of the better Indian captain but a successful African tour can take him to a different league. Look what he said in his press conference in SA "It's not always about history and stats. It's about staying in the present and planning and preparing for the job at hand and when one does this more often than not he will come out and make runs,take wickets, regardless of history and stats." It shows the confidence of the man. If Team India can convert Dhoni’s words into the action then they will surely succeed.


South Africa is a strong team too. They have some top-class players. Beating them will not be a cake walk at their home specially when you have to play in a fast, bouncy pitches. Steyn and Kallis will be the players to watch out for along with Graeme Smith. India must not ignore the run machine Hashim Amla and AB De Villers too. Overall its a well-balanced South African side.


One plus point which India have this time is that they also have some good fast bowlers like Zaheer, Ishant and Sreesanth who can trouble the opposition in supporting conditions.


More than anything else it will be the battle of nerves. The series will show the true character of both sides. As we know some Indian batsmen have technical difficulties in facing the rising short pitch deliveries. More than technique its a mental block. If the character of Indian players are solid then they will come out of this mental block and play freely.


In my view, a champion team is that which can play well in each and every condition. No matter how much difficulties are there but coming out of all obstacles and winning is the real sign of the champions. 


Hope Team India won’t disappoint their fans and give them more reasons to smile. Wishing them all the best for this African Safari.

(Image via ESPN-Cricinfo)

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