Time for India to deliver

December 20, 2011

Matt SpriegelAfter six weeks of grueling off-season training, I am looking forward to putting my feet up for a few weeks, and undoubtedly taking in some action from the Indian series in Australia, over a few late night Turkey sandwiches. The upcoming Test series is going to be an intriguing one, as two sleeping heavyweights of the world game go head to head, with huge pressures from their respected nations to deliver. Neither side will enjoy currently looking at the ICC World rankings, when not so long both teams were top of the tree.

For India it is now time for them to demonstrate their ability to cope with conditions that are foreign to them, if they are to be valued in the elite of Test nations.

Australia still have enough quality within their ranks to suggest that getting bowled out for 47 by South Africa, and losing to New Zealand just shouldn’t happen to a country that prides itself on producing tough sportsmen.

One Away

Undoubtedly, the press attention will turn to Sachin Tendulkar who remains on 99 International hundreds, when he steps out on Boxing Day on one of the biggest stages in the sporting calendar at the MCG. I made my debut for Surrey when Ramps was sitting on 99 first class hundreds. At the time I was slightly surprised with the amount of press coverage surrounding the day, but I soon realized that it wasn’t just me they were there to see. In fact my name wasn’t even typed onto the match day scorecard.

For a run scoring machine such as Ramps, it took an age for him to get his 100th hundred (all of about four matches), but once he got there he was back to raising his bat in what felt like every game for the rest of the season. I have no doubt this will be the same for Tendulkar, after what has been a slightly sticky patch for the ‘little master’.

Differing opinions

In my experience cricketers are a very diverse bunch. This stems from the way we behave, right through to how we play on the pitch. This can also be said for the way we prepare. David Gower didn’t need or want any throw downs before he batted, as this would get in the way of his cheese roll and reading the paper. The same could not be said for characters such as Michael Hussey. Australian domestic cricket is currently solely featuring on the Big Bash, and Hussey has jumped down from his proverbial fence in a recent interview saying: “it wasn’t ideal but we’re just going to have to live with it”. I’m not sure you could call this a ringing endorsement of the scheduling by the Australian Cricket Board. David Warner who has just come off the back off giving Shane Warne a nice welcome back to cricket might disagree with the above.

Having been brought up on a diet of frequently swapping whites for pajamas in county cricket, it is just something that the ‘modern player’ has to live with. A couple of years ago Surrey finished a hard fought County Championship game at Derby with just two fit bowlers, only to drive back and take on Somerset in a T20 game the following day. Keeping players fit and performing at their best must be something that all Cricket Boards must look at if they hope to provide the best possible brand for the paying public.

Matthew Spriegel

3 Comments to “Time for India to deliver”

  1. Diego
    December 20th, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Another great piece Spriegs. Do you have a chesse roll before you bat?

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  2. Patricia
    December 20th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Surely India cant fold like they did in England.

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  3. Len
    December 20th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    Well written Matt and I think Sachin will get that monkey off his back before long!

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