India Red Crushes India Blue in Challenger Trophy


A hip Sunday gathering, and a benign strip waiting to be milked. What follows instead is a first innings score of 84. Delicious irony, you have to admit. India Blue, the same unit that built a hillock of runs on Saturday, was blown off the park by India Red in 27.1 overs and lost the Challengers final by seven wickets. But it was hard to miss the subtext.

It's debatable whether the teams were tuned in fully for the tourney. Both MS Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan failed to use the platform to find a semblance of form. If certainty in the squad creates a sense of cosiness, it was clearly manifest here. To cut the prelude short, some of the seniors just seemed to have fulfilled an obligation to play.

The day however offered something to cheer. Sudip Tyagi, who surgically knocked down Blue's top order, gave the selectors something to think about. Blessed with a natural, visually arresting action, the boy has a classic rock-back that generates pace. Hard to believe that he had been in a rut last season and was thrust aside by his state team Uttar Pradesh.

That said, Australia may not be the best initiation for the 22-year-old who is yet to scale down the frequency of loose balls. As evident on Sunday he can be at once sharp and erratic. But the ingredients are certainly there for everyone to see.