Cricket match to promote Skill India : Sponsoring IPL Team

One of the sponsors for Delhi Daredevils is Skill India. Next time when you are watching them, keep an eye on the back of the helmet and you will see the logo. This Government of India campaign was launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a plan to train over 40 crore people. I browsed their website and it seems the initiative is making the right noises. I am not sure how Skill India is progressing but the team they are sponsoring displayed a bundle of skill sets against us on Saturday.

I remember reading one of Harsha Bhogle’s recent columns in which he suggested Zaheer Khan isn’t too far from becoming the coach of the India team. I agree, although I am not sure whether Zak will be overall coach or bowling coach. The man is full of knowledge and skill. Plus, he is someone who prefers to do the job by being in the background.

Don’t mistake my judgment on the basis of his three wickets against KKR in the last game. I have known Zak for long to declare that his skills with the ball are par excellence. The way he chokes his victims is exemplary. I am not sure if he is keen given his other engagements, but I won’t look too far if he is interested for the coach’s job.

Even while batting, the skill quotient from the Delhi stable was quite high. Sam Billings was the contributor to that. I tend to judge a player on how well he plays off the back foot. Billings secured full marks when he pulled Umesh Yadav for a boundary. I was fielding in covers and the stroke gave me an ugly feeling that this could be another forgetful day at work.

If that was not enough, Billings caressed Piyush Chawla for a boundary through covers. The strokes were high on difficulty quotient but the skill on show made them look pleasing.

I was disappointed that from 2 for 2 in the first over, Delhi powered to an intimidating 186 in 20 overs. What hurt me most was that they didn’t seem to break a sweat while doing this. Instead, it seemed they had walked into an all-expenses paid dinner buffet and were helping themselves to their fill. We in purple and gold were gracious hosts willing to go out of the way to serve them. In simpler terms, our poor bowling and later ordinary shot selection worked well for Delhi.

I must admit that I am doing too much chopping and changing in our eleven. I think that needs to be curtailed and we need a more settled combination. Sorry, it is my fault. We are now in Bangalore for today’s game against another powerhouse RCB. If Delhi were high on skill quotient, RCB with AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Shane Watson and Chris Gayle are a warehouse of talent. But we aren’t bogged down. I will be leaning on the basics of the game. I have coined a saying which says, ‘When on doubt, bring the basics out.’

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