All eyes on In­dia

Sportstar - - INDIA­ENGLAND ODI PREVIEW - SU­NIL GAVASKAR

While in­ter­na­tional matches took places in the West Indies, Zim­babwe and Eng­land, some­how the at­ten­tion seemed mainly on the In­dia tour of Eng­land.

Bangladesh found it hard in the Caribbean isles as the West Indies seem to have once against found a cou­ple of quicks who are mak­ing bats­men hop. Shan­non Gabriel has been most im­pres­sive, bowl­ing con­sis­tently around the 150km per hour mark and Ke­mar Roach, although not as quick as when he started out, is sharp enough and get­ting move­ment to trou­ble the bats­men, es­pe­cially when the ball is new. The third quick, Miguel Cum­mins, is still not in full rhythm, but when he gets it right he can be an awk­ward cus­tomer. They are sup­ported by their skip­per Ja­son Holder, who bowls a nag­ging line and gets the new ball to move nicely. Then there is Alzarri Joseph, who is in­jured but still has age on his side to be the kind of quick the bats­men don’t like fac­ing.

West Indies’ bat­ting still does not quite have the con­sis­tency that the team of the 1970s had, but then it’s vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to repli­cate a bat­ting unit that had Gor­don Greenidge, Des­mond Haynes, Viv Richards, Alvin Kal­lichar­ran and Clive Lloyd, with wick­et­keeper Jeff Du­jon to fol­low.

Shane Dowrich, the new wick­et­keeper, has been im­pres­sive both with the bat and be­hind the stumps with the big gloves, much to the dis­may of the sup­port­ers of De­nesh Ramdin, who Dowrich dis­placed.

In Zim­babwe, Aaron Finch beat his own record of the high­est in­di­vid­ual score in Twenty20 cricket in­ter­na­tion­als, scor­ing 172, and that em­pha­sises how much the game has pro­gressed. A team to­tal of 175 was the kind that teams thought was good to de­fend, but here now is an in­di­vid­ual bats­man get­ting that sort of score him­self. It’s like Ro­hit Sharma get­ting the high­est in­di­vid­ual score of 264 in ODIS when teams not so long ago thought that that kind of score was good to win a game. Mind you, teams still win T20 games scor­ing 175 and 265 in a 50­over match, but, still, to find in­di­vid­ual bats­men’s scores like that does tell you how the game has evolved. When statis­ti­cians put up bats­men’s sta­tis­tics in Test match and 50­over cricket, they usu­ally tell how many 50s and 100s a bats­man has scored, but in T20 cricket they bring it down to 30s and that’s sim­ply be­cause in the ul­tra­short for­mat of the game scor­ing 30 is hard. Even harder is to get three wick­ets as a bowler be­cause a bowler gets only four overs to

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