Next is who?
pace surprise Ravi Rampaul has found an admirer in Indian skipper Mahendra
Singh Dhoni, who has praised the right-armer for his ability to force mistakes
from batsmen by consistently bowling in the right areas.
Rampaul returned career-best figures of 4-37
against India as West Indies
beat India by eight wickets
in Kingston to
stay afloat in the four-match series currently tied 1-1.
"Rampaul swings the ball really well, bowls in
the right area, he forces you to play a big shot like the cover drive,"
Dhoni said ahead of the third one-dayer here on Friday.
Dhoni said lack of assistance from the pitch in Kingston makes Rampual
and fellow pacer Jerome Taylor's performance all
the more creditable.
"I don't think there was that much in (the
pitch) for the bowlers," Dhoni said.
"They bowled really well, they were swinging
the ball well and, when it stopped swinging, they were able to get reverse
swing," he added.
All these things used to be said about the Indian bowlers just a few months ago. How have the tables turned so quickly? But that is a matter for another debate. One is not trying to start the blame game because of a couple of losses. The team is injury prone. It is tired. Many would have wanted to be back on the same flight with Raina from London but had to fly to the Carribean instead. It's not so much about the results. It's about doubts creeping into those once fearless minds. Watching MSD having a 5 minute conference with 4 other players and handling the ball to Nehra (albeit doubtfully) to bowl the final over in the 1st ODI was more painful than the loss in the 2nd. If the team was a reflection of tha captain's attitude in the past, it seems to be even more so now.
Gracious in defeat is what MSD has always been and one doesn't want excuses being thrown after each loss. But there's a limit to every thing in life. Praising Ravi Rampaul goes beyond the acceptable levels of social etiquette. It goes into the realms of watching Farhan Akhtar's chat show and reminiscing about Jay Leno.
Instead of admitting your batters mistakes and a possible lack of form, you give full credit to a trundler who bowls bouncers at you at 75MPH? One wonders what MSD's reaction would be on facing Joel Garner.. Actually let's just stick to Patrick Patterson and Ian Bishop. They would seem to him, to be devils incarnate, breathing fire and throwing missiles at his batters.
The situation has turned into a more serious issues than even the Swine Flu for the visiting Indians. In fact, it has deteriorated to an extent where even Runako Morton is taking swipes at the Indians.
The mind boggles at the infinite possibilities in front of MSD to make heroes of men. This time the men are not in his team but his opponents.
Who next? Benn?