In Retrospect...Huntsville tour


    It is always a delight to end up on the winning side...there are a lot of congratulatory messages shot back and forth and lotsa celebration...if you look at it closely, it is also the time when very few or no fingers are pointed at things we did NOT do according to plan...the one thing that stood out in this tour is the fact that it was revealed to many that we are not as formidable as they bill us to be...and if the opposition is really good, on a given day, we can be beaten...but that is a day I hope not to see !!!

    I was talking to a few people from both the MSU and UAH camps before the games and there was one thing they all said...this MSU team did not look as formidable without the services of veterans Satyendra Kallur, Kiran Dandu and Leathen...I got cross with the people then for thinking such, but then I saw why they were thinking in those lines...If you analyze the matches that MSU has played before these veterans retired, you will notice that these three had a big big part in shaping the victories for MSU...I am not saying there were no other good players, but statistically, these three were prominent...so for sometime I gave in to their argument that in fact this MSU team was lacking in experience...

    All that changed from the time the first ball was bowled in the MSU-UAH series at Huntsville...I did not see a team lacking in experience...I did not see a team missing their veterans...I saw a team that knew its weaknesses as well as its opponents' and most importantly was playing together to overcome those weaknesses...I saw a team that was composed of fresh talent who were taken on their first away tour...I saw a bunch of guys throwing themselves around at everything and playing their hearts out...I saw a bunch of fresh talents taking responsible roles and delivering when needed...in short I saw a team that was out to prove a point - 'Don't mess with the MSU Cricket team'...

    Thanks to Lokesh, the MSUCC's president, we have come a long way from playing cricket at MSU 'just for fun'...to playing with the University's name on our hearts...to live up to the reputation that bulldawgs of MSU have in the region...we have come a long way from people at MSU thinking we play 'funny baseball' to people acknowledging the talent needed to play the game...along the way the strength of MSU teams has grown immensly and we are at a point where the team today is stronger than the team yesterday !!! and so it is but apt that we reward this recognition by fans at MSU with wins both home and away....and that is exactly what this MSU team did at Huntsville...they carried on their shoulders the expectations of the families, friends and fans at MSU and never did I see them waver in their determination...

    There were a couple of brilliant performances by individuals, but what won the series for MSU was an allround team effort...the team could not have done without every player's effort and it showed in the result...no single player stood out as a match winner...Team MSU was the match winner...and I am proud of what I witnessed over the weekend at Huntsville...

    As is characteristic of all my analysis' I will break this analysis according to the three important aspects of cricket ie., bowling, batting anf fielding...

Bowling:

    I mentioned in one of my tour look-aheads that Prasanth Buchi and Junaid are tearaway fast bowlers who can be good on their days...if someone had a question about this, what more could you have expected than the performances these two talents gave on the tour...they got the ideal ground conditions too...bouncy wicket (too bouncy in fact)...with true bounce on the wicket...and they did not dissappoint their captain Kris, who entrusted them with the ball when the going got tough...

    Deepesh Patel is known to deliever consistent good length balls and he too did a good job of it...his statsistics probably don't reflect how well he bowled, but make no mistake of it...'Jolar' who is billed as one of the most consistent bowlers in the MSU team lived up to his name...

    Kalyan...the wily spinner on the team...is known to break partnerships and keep the opposition batsmen guessing where he will pitch the ball next...and where the ball will go after pitching...and he showed he is what he is known to be...the 'spiderman'...the might web-caster...

    Dakshesh and Stephen probably did not get enough exposure, but when they did bowl, it was spot on and consistent with their selection propoganda...Gaurav..the surprise package !!!..bowled crucial overs in the third match...bowled with a nagging line, length and pace that left batsmen in doubt whether to attack or see him off...

My pick for best bowler for the MSU team: Prashanth Buchi
Biggest dissappointment in bowling: None..all bowlers consistent with very few extras
Notable performances: Junaid, Kalyan

Batting:

    Abdud is known to be the silent killer....you meet this guy and he comes off as a soft-spoken, well-mannered guy...but don't let this fool you into thinking this guy cannot punish the bowlers..and boy did he take it up to the UAH bowlers...he was one batsman who was comfortable in the conditions and quickly adjusted...but a few mild dismissals left him with a below average performance aggregate...

    Gaurav  who i think of as being a consistent, dependable 'wall'...did not have that good a time out there in batting...scored a few valuable runs, but being the senior batsman that he is, I would have expected him to perform better...

    Jayaram...I have spoken of him to be the most explosive batsman on the team...he sure can demolish bowlers...but he turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the tour...his batting on the tour definitely does not reflect his talent...he is better than the few runs he scored...I hope he comes out of this slump becoz I pesonally enjoy seeing this guy in full flow...
    
    Nabeel...the most consistent run-getter at MSU...was able to get going with a few good shots, but again was not able to live up to his reputation...I have spoken of him being a run-getter no matter what the conditions are...well, i guess the conditions at Huntsville were different...he could have played more consistent...

    Pramod (Dodda)...the little 'powerhouse' lived up to his tag...did not get as many runs as was epxected of him but enough for him to get the batsman trophy...was as usual consistent in taking those singles and twos

    Kris...with all batsmen struggling, I would've expected Kris to step up and take on the responsibility of pumping the MSU innings with the much needed acceleration...he did try hard..but not enough for a notable performance...

    Arun...comes down the order for quick run scoring...was able to do that effectively...in the finals especially...was able to get some big hits but what stood out was his running between wickets...

    Khurram...is known for his big hitting...but the conditions needed him to settle down to playign over the in-field...he tried but was not as successfull as the team would've liked him to be...

    At this point I would like to mention the batting efforts of Buchi and Junaid bat in the second match...MSU was settling to defend another low score of mid 60s but their cameo innings put the score in the mid 80s...and provided the much needed boost and enthu for the team...

My pick for best batsman for the MSU team: Pramod
Biggest dissappointment in batting: Jayaram, Gaurav
Notable performances: Abdud, Arun, Junaid, Buchi
 
Fielding:

    What won the matches for MSU ??? you could say the bowling...but good bowling needs support from the fielders...and the MSU team gave an 'awesome' performance in this department...Arun..with his deep-leg-side fielding standing out for his dedication in saving sure boundaries....Buchi...for his safe hands in catching some crucial catches in the deep long on/long off area....these were only a couple of names...but overall everyone performed above expectation and won the matches for MSU...

Captain's Role:

    It takes a lot of effort to captain a side full of fresh talents...and Kris did an excellent job in showing how he can excel in the responsibility given to him...when they were defending low targets, he rotated his bowlers well and made sure the UAH batsmen did not get into a groove...he also made sure his field placings were according to the batsmen...

Man of the Tour for MSU: Prashanth Buchi
Find of the Tour: Junaid

In Summary:

    MSU has been known for a long time to be a great batting side with moderate bowling and this was one side that proved that their bowling too was as good...maybe better...this has been a taxing tour for the MSU team and all of them I am sure are glad it is over...so they can get back to their academic priorities...

    Good work guys...keep up the spirit...and remember 'THE PASSION NEVER CEASES'...

    GO DAWGS !!!
 
- Vikram Venkatesh
27th October 2003
http://www.msstate.edu/~vv24