The Legend and Ranji stars
While the Indian team is involved in an intense battle with the Lankans our Domestic stars are toiling away in several places all over India to stake a claim if ever an opportunity arises.
BCCI should rethink its strategy of keeping the Ranji matches on weekdays. I for one fail to understand the logic behind it. Ranji fans as it is are close to being an extinct species and with such a schedule BCCI may be testing who the are real fans of the state teams :-)
I have been following Ranji matches for my state (Karnataka) since my school days and have always been very enthusiastic in keeping an eye for the next star round the corner. One such future star for Karnataka and RCB, Muralidharen Gautham performed with aplomb against Bengal by scoring a magnificent century (108), to go along with his keeping, in company of the evergreen Sunil Joshi (42). Vinay Kumar again put in a good shift with a match haul of 5 wickets while his fast bowling counter part from Rajasthan Pankaj Singh bowled impressively for his 6 wickets in the match. Wasim Jaffer chipped in with a half century while B Kumar from UP kept his all-round performances going. One more all-rounder in RCB squad Saurabh Bandekar, who plays for Goa, put in an impressive performance in the context of the game by bagging 3 wickets and chipping in with a good 28(62).
Summary of performances from Ranji:
In the Australian domestic front, Cameroon white turned up for Victoria in a 4 day match and led them to a good victory as also contributing with the bat. He may be a player whom RCB can utilize better in the next IPL is what I feel. Its been a coming of age season for Cameroon White with the Australian team and he seems to be in fine form this year.
Cameroon White 74(123) 10*(11)
Rahul Dravid turned up a vintage performance against SL in the first test with a classy 177. Well I don’t have enough words to describe the master. But in the context of the game and the greatness of the man I re-quote one of the best piece of description of Rahul Dravid that I have come across in recent times. This one is from Suresh Menon :
“Tendulkar’s genius is of an order that the average player cannot comprehend. Dravid’s greatness is not just comprehensible, it is reassuring. The Tendulkars of the cricketing world appear but rarely, and when they leave, it is generally accepted that the gap can never be filled. It is the Gavaskars and Dravids who spawn successors. Dravid might have to wait before his true worth is realised, and his incredible contribution to Indian cricket fully acknowledged. He is a man of infinite patience, and is unlikely to be in any hurry.”
In other updates Kevin Pietersen returned to full fitness and played 2nd ODI against South Africa. Though he failed in his first innings on return to the international arena but we will watch his progress keenly throughout this tourney. Jacques Kallis has been ruled out of the tourney with a rib fracture. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back for the test series. With Boucher, Van der Merwe and Dale Steyn also participating in this series I will keep you all updated with the stats in the coming posts.
Special mention of Cheteshwar Pujara who scored a classy 204 in the match against Maharashtra. This lad is one to watch out for as I still remember the 150 odd he scored against Karnataka in the last year's Ranji quarter-finals to lead Saurashtra into the semi-final. Surely he will be on the radar of Indian selectors and may earn a call-up to the Indian team soon.