Consider this, at the Indian first innings in the second Test against Pakistan, 286 runs were scored by Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, Yuvraj, Tendulkar and the extras put together, while the tail added 317 runs. This is something not too common in Indian cricket. Indians are famous for their batting debacles, something which Navjot Singh Siddhu has often described as a number of cycles collapsing at the cycle stand. But, the scene is fast changing, and changing for good. The Indian Tail is wagging, showing grit and determination. The dum (duum - tail in 'hindi') is showing its dum (dum - strength in 'hindi').
Who is to be blamed or rather praised for this? I think it is our coach, Mr. Greg Chappell. We have seen enough footage of the Indian team's nets to confirm this. Never before were Pathan and Harbhajan seen practising on adjacent practice pitches, at a training camp (I forgot where I saw this snap, but it was good to see such a thing). But, it is helping us. How else could you reason the brilliant effort put on by the Indian lower order, especially Dhoni and Pathan at the second Test?
Critics and 'experts' did not seem to support the idea of experimenting with the batting order, especially when the Indians left the Sri Lankans guessing about the one-down position during the recent home series. Kapil Dev and the likes even called the Indian cricket team, Chappell's Laboratory. But, Greg seemed unaffected. He carried on with his strategies and plans and they sure seem to be working. The 'fights' with Dada did more harm to Dada himself, than to the coach and Ganguly had to sit out of the second test at Faisalabad.
Although, Greg Chappell needs to pay a lot more attention at the Indian bowling department, especially to tackle gutsy players like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and the likes. Special attention needs to be paid to Harbhajan Singh who does not seem dangerous at all. Imran Khan has commented that, Pathan's lack of pace is due to a faulty grip; the validity of his comments need to be comfirmed and immediate action initiated if required. Also the support staff should look into the fitness of the fast bowlers who have a notorious reputation of suffering from injuries, Agarkar had to be dropped due to a pulled hamstring.
In all, I think it is a very bright sign that the Indian tail is wagging, but the only hope is that it should do this more consistently and more importantly, should not fail at its primary responsibilities, that are bowling well and taking wickets. If it does so, Indian Cricket is sure to rise back to a much higher pedestal. Let's have "Aashayein ..." on this team, what with the Faisalabad ground being called the Iqbal Stadium!!!