Unless Australia can find real, bonafide options for positions four to seven – minus wherever Clarke bats – it's all looking rather Down Under for them, at least for the time being.
This was in stark contrast with India. Yuvraj and Mohammad Kaif, as well as Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, or even Laxmi Ratan Shukla, had all been fast-tracked into the Indian team after their Under-19 success – as Irfan Pathan, Virat Kohli and others would be later. Part of my job as an Indian cricket journalist, obviously, was to spot future stars. Needless to say, with his headline-grabbing performances, Dhawan topped that list.
Elsewhere, out on social media – at once a brilliant forum for exchange of thoughts and ideas, and a playground for the flippant and the crass – Sehwag has been the target of a fair bit of name-calling. There have been a fair few jokes about his abilities, his attitude, his waistline and his new specs, not to mention snide remarks about his priorities.
Has anything changed between 1-2 against England and now? Not really, unless Gautam Gambhir's presence in the playing XI instead of M Vijay or Shikhar Dhawan was the only thing that prevented India from beating England. Or is the chest-thumping in anticipation of beating a team that, perceptibly at least, is not up to the challenge?
Shamya has done the rounds of pretty much every medium that journalism has to offer: the web, newspapers, radio, magazines and, for the last seven years, news television. Among other places, he has worked with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tehelka, ESPN, The Indian Express and TV Today. His last engagement was as Editor - Sports with television channel NewsX, and he writes regular columns for the magazines Man's World and Sahara Time and occasionally for international journals like Sport in Society. His book on Indian boxing - Bhiwani Junction (HarperCollins India) - should be out in time for the London Olympics.
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