They say one every cricket fan must visit The Lord's once in his lifetime. This author feels everybody, regardless of inclination towards sports, ought to behold this panoramic venue.
India needs Indian players. Obvious? How then is it not obvious that the same is not applicable to a coach - someone who can be of any nationality as long as he can bring out the best in the side?
Invariably, teams that have had success in India over the past decade have learned to embrace the country as it is. There is no doubt that the many dollars, and opportunities for future dollars, on offer have eased that. But even then, the acceptance has often been a grudging one, of the give-me-my-bucks-and-I'm-out-of-here variety.
The decision to pick Cheteshwar Pujara for the one-dayers against England means that he is now expected to fill yet another pair of Dravid's shoes. It means that the No.3 slot is taken care of, and should be for a while. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's reluctance to bat in that position is understandable, even if he ought to come higher than his current batting position at No.6.
After India's loss in the series against Pakistan, it was expected that the selectors would make a few changes to the team for the ODI series against England. That they made only one, with Sehwag left out of the squad, was a little surprising.
When the balance between followers of an orthodox style and those with an unorthodox approach is jilted, cricket as a sport suffers.
Indian cricket was never perfect, or even close. But during the halcyon years under Kirsten and Dhoni, the team did a lot of things right. Now, instead of looking for scapegoats and blaming the IPL, the Sandman or anyone else, it needs to look back at those days and figure out what has been lost, misplaced or forgotten.
Assuming and accepting the difference between cricket and other sports in the country, the cause and effect in both are not too different from one another.
If India win in Nagpur, the old order will survive - and that means MS Dhoni will retain his job as skipper, and Sachin Tendulkar will have a few more weeks to make up his mind, meanwhile filling newsprint, the airwaves and cyberspace with lengthy, passionate and ultimately inconclusive debates.
In that context, James Anderson's performance on the opening day was crucial. As well as he has bowled in home conditions, and in Australia when the Ashes were won two years ago, Asia hasn't been a favourite stomping ground. That's changed this year, with 23 wickets in eight Tests at 29.95.
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