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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
What next for India and Windies?
India win comfortably over the West Indies in the fifth and final one-day international to claim a 2-1 series win.
Will victory save Sourav Ganuly's neck?
It is now 16 years since India last won a Test series abroad and victory in the one-day series will do little to appease their critics.
And despite victory for the home side in the Tests, West Indies captain Carl Hooper is well aware that his side still has work to do.
With the World Cup little less than a year away both teams will be keen to make much needed improvements and heads may roll.
What changes if any would you make?
I fully agree with Mr. Max Nelson. India is just an average team with one great player and cricket mad nation behind it. We need genuine bowlers to win outside the continent. We have no good fast bowlers on our side. Tinu Yohannan had been spotted as a good talent by Jeff Thompson. Why was he under used? Was it because of the Bombay politics in Indian cricket?
Dr. A.S.Pillai, UK/India
This victory does not mean saving Ganguly's neck. The truth is, except Sachin there is no other person suitable to lead the team. I was very unsatisfied with the Test results as I felt this was their best chance to win outside the subcontinent.
Now, I think India have to wait for their next West Indies trip to register their first series win outside the subcontinent. Frankly speaking, India can't win the Test series against S. Africa, Australia, England, New Zealand or Zimbabwe.
Anyone that suggests that WI are a spent force at home is sadly mistaken. Fair enough WI are weak when play overseas but at home the only two teams that have beaten them in last decade is AUS and SA.
In fact, in the last home series against AUS which was 2-2 draw, WI nearly beat AUS.
What has been lacking on overseas tours is the team fighting spirit. When Indians play at home they play with great confidence and always believe they are in the game.
But the same is not true when they tour. If they can conjure the same spirit from somewhere I believe they could be in top three Test teams. And cricket will be better for it because Indians are exciting players to watch.
A victory is always sweet. And since it has beckoned Indian cricket very rarely it is sweeter when it comes.But from every pragmatic level, India has miles to go for the next World Cup.India doesn't have a genuine fast bowler. On overseas pitches, spinners cut an ordinary sight.And the invincibles with the willow,duck and sway to anything that is pitched short on an unfriendly pitch.
Yet there is a silver lining.India has learned to be aggressive.Saurav might have a caustic tongue, but he is courageous.There is a boldness in his optimism that is refreshing.The youngsters follow him well.Individually India like any other country has talents. But talent when timid is useless.And the recent aggression is a welcome change.
I think the Indian team have a long way to go - they have found it very hard to win anything for a long time and they struggled against a lowly West Indian sides too like they had with other weak teams like England and Zimbabwe. It takes a big heart to win big matches and unfortunately, the Indian team hasn't shown any.
As for the WI the unfortunate thing was that the stars of the series were all older players like Chandelpaul, Hooper and Dillon although Stanford, Gayle and Sarawan showed a lot of grit. Grit is what India lacks, and as long as they wilt under pressure like they do, they have no chance of making it big- with Tendulkar or without.
It is a positive sign though that the Indians are bold enough to drop the likes of Kumble and Srinath if need be. However, I am amazed at what keeps bringing back the likes of Agarkar to the team. And what is even more amazing is that he gets to bat higher up the order than any other bowler although he probably has the highest number of ducks between them. This shows that there is still some malaise in Indian team selection that needs rectification.
India are right to try and balance the team by playing Dravid as wicketkeeper but instead of playing the extra batsmen why not show more confidence and play either a bowling all-rounder or a fifth bowler to stop Ganguly having to use part-time bowlers. As for the Test matches maybe Dravid should open as away from home he seems to be coming in quite early, as is the failures of either of the opening batsmen. This would allow the Indians to play Sewag or Mongia in the Test matches at number six.
I do believe that India is a better one-day side than West Indies. I think if India want to do better, they should have different captain for both forms of the game. For the one-day games India is further ahead than the West Indies. They need a bowler who can bat. I hope now that the West Indies have new selectors they can do a better job to select the team.
This is India's first overseas one-day series victory since Ganguly took over the captaincy in 2000. Why should the knife be sharpened when he is beginning to show confidence and power in commanding his youth brigade?
The new Indian one-day team does have the potential to be the world beaters. Players to watch for are Kaif and Yuvraj. The bowling looks solid. The only matter of concern is a good wicketkeeper who can bat. Also Sehwag needs to add a drop of discretion to his game to give a solid start in the first 15 overs.
India is not our concern, but we need to find two genuine fast bowlers, and our players need to develop the physical and mental toughness of a Sir Viv Richards, otherwise we will remain near the bottom of the ladder.
Congratulations to Ganguly and the boys. But the fact remains that India blew a big chance by squandering the 1-0 lead in the Test series. Nevertheless, the Test and one-day series has seen the emergence of many players and India are better equipped to take on England although victory in the Test series would be most unlikely. Ganguly is back to form and on more than one occasion, the team appeared as a tight unit.
For those that call for Ganguly to be removed as captain all I say is he is the most stable man for this job. Kumble is a joke on overseas tracks, Tendulkar is a poor captain and Dravid is mentally weak. Ganguly has matured and learned a lot in the last two years and is good as any other captain in the world today. So let Ganguly remain the captain until the end of the next World Cup.
Most importantly, India needs to let Dravid keep wicket on a regular basis. Sewhag needs to be given more bowling practice. In the bowling department I think India are OK now for one day matches. Before the World Cup, the Indian team needs to practice for a month on fast pitches abroad to get used to the bounce.
India need to have two or three genuine fast bowling all-rounders if they are to make a mark in the World Cup.
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