One-Day Mataram

Deconstructing the gentleman's game

India Vs Bermuda - Brief Preview

If you look at the India V Bermuda match in isolation, it's a complete mis-match, if ever there was one. However, given the context in which India will start the match today, it assumes greater significance.

To put it simply, India needs to win this match and win it so comprehensively that it's Net Run Rate or NRR (which is currently languishing at -0.14) gets a healthy boost. Only then can the Indian dream, of making it past the first round, stay alive. In fact, stretching Bangladesh till the 48th over ensured that the NRR didn't end up being far worse than it currently is! In a perverse sort of a way, that's a positive as far as India is concerned. Now the Indian team needs to start the climb back and today's match against Bermuda gives them the perfect opportunity to do so.

Looking at the teams, I think Bermuda is so short of experience that it will be difficult to write anything about them. Amongst this motley bunch is David Hemp, who's played for Glamorgan and Warwickshire and is perhaps the one with most experience of competitive cricket. In fact, David Hemp had also toured India way back in 1994-95 with the England A team. Other than Hemp, however, there is hardly anything there to talk about. Perhaps the promising 17-year old Malachi Jones or the considerable Dwayne Leverock. But there is simply nothing much to talk about!

There is a lot, however, to talk about the Indian team! Everyone will have an opinion today... regarding the team composition (should it be 7 batsmen or 6?), the status of Sehwag (should he be in the team at all or if needed should he drop down the order?), the composition of the bowling attack (replace Agarkar for Kumble or get Pathan in?). So I will refrain from making any recommendations.

All I will say is that... whichever team is chosen today, the objective should not be lost sight of! The need to bump up the NRR is the only objective. And hence the toss assumes great significance. India must bat first and score heavily and then knock the Bermudans over cheaply! If Bermuda bats first and goes cheaply, then even a slam-bang approach may not get India up the NRR scale!

Bermuda, on the other hand, will not be too concerned about India's compulsions. What they need to do is to give a good account of themselves if the Bermudan players have to impress some of the English county scouts. So India may have to watch out for some doughty Bermudan resistance. Other than that... I expect a huge Indian win! ... err, and this time I hope there are no disasters!

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