By Ramu Sharma
Virendra Sehwag with his usual lack of tact and diplomacy dismissed Bangladesh’s potential as a Test combination before the series against India recently. He and a few others in the Indian ranks need to be taught the finer points of how and what to say on such occasions. Fortunately he is not a permanent captain of India. Yet for all that he has reasons to hide his face. Bangladesh may have lost the two-match series 0-2 but they made sure India did not have it all their way. It was no cakewalk.
Where Bangladesh failed was to play as a team. Individually their medium pacers in first Test and a handful of batsmen all but upstaged the Indian team but unfortunately they have yet to jell as a combination. What Bangladesh proved is that they are a very improved country and with more experience at the Test level they will soon be able to prove to the world that they are no pushovers, irrespective of the Sehwags of the day.
In the immediate future Bangladesh may on more occasions show improvement in limited overs cricket with some very fine attacking players and bowlers who could disturb the best of batsmen in the world. Their showing in the tri-series with Sri Lanka as the third team was proof enough of the tremendous improvement the team has made in recent years.
From the Indian point of view the tour went off without much problems though it exposed once again the limitations in the bowling in particular. Zeeshan’s performance was of course a plus point and the fact that Ishant Sharma showed promise of a return to form should help the selectors in identifying the pace attack without much worry. Whether the two would be equally effective against South Africa in the coming month is a big question?
The main worry for India is in batting. That the country depends on the old brigade was brought home in no uncertain manner. But is not a good sign that players in mid-thirties continue to dominate the batting. Agreed Sehwag and Gambhir did well, latter more so but one expects a little more consistency from Yuvraj Singh. He is no doubt a very talented player but needs to be more consistent. One cannot expect Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman to continue to build and save for ever.
The series against South Africa is India’s first big Test after jumping to the top of the table and it should be used to try and plug the loopholes so obvious in the bowling and batting ranks