For everyone who thought that the Indian cricket team was on a roll and especially the die-hard fans of the team, the last 2 matches have been a reality check / wake-up call. Yes, I am talking about the same team which has had tremendous success in recent times, especially when it came to chasing totals (which by the way had been India’s undoing historically).
A team like West Indies, which even optimistically stated is just a hotch-potch mixture of talented individuals has managed to successfully turn the tables on the all conquering Indian team. All they had to do was to focus on the task at hand and more importantly, fight till the last ball of the match was bowled.
Not to take away anything from the Windies, the team can hardly be called formidable. Not only do they lack the awesome bowling prowess which they used to boast till recently, they also do not have the Carl Hoopers, Viv Richards or the Brian Laras of yore who could send shivers down the best bowlers in the world. Further, the team itself is comprised of lots of youngsters who hardly have any experience in international cricket.
Compare this to the Indians. What with Dravid, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Agarkar to bring in the moderation of experience, and Dhoni, Raina, and co. bringing in the youthful exuberance to the team, this tour looked like it will be a cakewalk for the Indians. But the Windies got their basics right and proved that they were no pushovers.
The way the Windies defended totals of around 250 runs and restricted the mighty Indian batters to around 200 is testimony to the fact that in cricket, if a team sticks to the basics, success cannot evade you for long. The Indians need to put in some hard work before they can consider themselves ready for the 2007 World Cup coming up in 8 odd months time.
Well for all the die-hard optimists who thought that the Windies were just a small road hump on the way to world cup glory for the Indians, the last two matches shook them up a little bit. At least now the Indians know where they are going wrong and will probably correct these mistakes in the remaining matches in the series.