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The future of India's past!
May 04, 2006 02:50 PM 4585 Views
(Updated May 04, 2006 03:16 PM)




If we can look back to the The Natwest finals 2002, this man, Mohammed Kaif was a star. It was one of the most memorable run chases in the cricketing history. Yuvraj and Kaif, the two youngsters lead the team to victory with a historic partnership, and this man was there till the end, to make sure that the Indians win the trophy.

He made the impossible happen, and the Indian fans who switched off the television on that day may be too disappointed. It was a real victory moment as the Indians had been losing in consecutive finals, and they needed something special to boost their morale, no wonder Ganguly removed his shirt on that day, may be the captain was so happy that he found the man!

Mohammed Kaif always had a different style of playing, and he played his innings carefully and with maximum confidence. He never missed a chance to get a single, and he didn't hesitate to play variable shots and find the gaps in his innings of 87 Not Out. This innings from Kaif may be one of the most valuable innings, any youngster may have played for the Indian team, it was really awesome! What he did then, was taking the pressure away from the senior players like Dravid, Ganguly and Tendulkar!


All the Indian fans might have become so overjoyed, thinking that they have found two true match winners. This is true in the case of Yuvraj, a superb striker of the ball, but in the case of Kaif, I think its a bit doubtful. He had been having a scary run these days in One Dayers. The Indians are winning each and every One Dayers, but in those victories, the contribution of this man is almost nothing!

When he came to International cricket, he seemed to have a really positive body language and his aggression in the field was unmatched. He is still a great fielder, and he saves lots of runs, but he is in the team as a batsman and not a fielder. As long as he can't bowl, I think that his presence in the team is quite unnecessary, and a total wastage of space, as a bowler who can bat a bit, can do a better job at the same spot. We have players like Irfan Pathan, and even Ajit Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh can play a few strokes.


The former Under-19 World cup winning captain is a great runner between the wickets, and he can make a good combination with Yuvraj. But the fact is that cricket is not Olympics or Asian games, where you have athletic events to participate. It is a bonus if you are extremely athletic, but the first thing to do while batting, is to make the connection between bat and ball, and if you do, make sure you find the gaps. The last few innings indicate that Kaif is not too good at hitting those big ones too.

The fact that he dives all around the ground may not help him, because we don't have Laxman and Kumble in the One Day side, which means that the fielding has got more decent. Even if some of the other players will never dive or make an attempt to do so, they are still some of the better fielders. One exception may be Romesh Powar, but it is not his fault, and he is doing all that he can, even after being this bulk!


The emergence of Suresh Raina may have put more pressure on him, and even Venu Gopal Rao managed to play a better innings and seemed to be more confident. Now, as it seems that Sachin Tendulkar will be back to the team soon, I don't think that there is any spot for this guy.

But still, Greg Chappel seems to have too much confident on this ''double-ducker'' batsman. He seems to be following the policy of “one more chance” in this case, may be to make sure that Ganguly don't make a return to the team! Lets see how long will he support the ''former future'' of the Indian team.

If Tendulkar wants to come down the order due to bad form, and a specialist openor gets the place, Kaif got bigger problems. According to the current situation the only thing Kaif can do is to go back to the national level and play some more cricket just as Kapil Dev had mentioned, and wait for his turn. There are lots of more talented players, and more confident and consistent ones waiting for a chance.


The 91 in the first test match against England at Nagpur is the only score of Kaif which is worth mentioning. He had been a complete failure in One Dayers, and after watching him playing in a flat pitch, against lesser bowlers, he didn't seem to be fit enough to play international cricket.

His technique seems to have suffered a lot in the recent days and he is not all the same reliable Kaif he used to be. If any one wants to know the different ways to get out in the game of cricket, better learn from the master of lower scores, Mohammed Kaif!

We may still have the unfortunate opportunity to see him bat in almost all upcoming tours as Chappell doesn't seem to be in a mood to drop the man. Kaif hasn't managed to cross twenty for a long time, and it will be a big news if he crosses 10. Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and Pakistan series didn't help him in any manner.

His consecutive ducks in the series against the weak England side shows how bad his current form is! Kaif can be more than just grateful for Chappell's trust on him, and he needs to know his role and perform it well instead of just jumping around in the crease.

Diving out.....



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