Ian Chappell believes Australia will always come back as the dominatant team at International level, because their domestic cricket is very strong. Constituted with only 6 domestic teams (New South Wales', Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia), around 100 countries best cricketers first fight for a place in National domestic team and then play against each other time and time again... and then a few more time - taking their level as high as possible.
Their curators prepare high quality sporting pitches - with spin, speed and carry, and only selection cretaria for National team is performace. And thus - Australia will always be a competitive team, and will dominate whenever other International teams fail to match their intensity.
INTENCITY? Is this a new word in cricketing arena or Mr. Ian Chappell talking in some Australian language. To me - this brother of Indian coach Greg Chappell is absolutely right. Teams around the World always want to win - but only at the start of a match. When reporters ask them unanswerable questions, the man inside them starts to pump blood. But ~ that INTENCITY goes away as the opposition (read Australia) strikes back. You take an Australia wicket and incoming Aussie batsman will start trying to win one or two overs here and there. They will take aggressive singles, rebuild another partnership and will back themselves to clear the infield if you call more men inside the ring.
If somehow you manage to take two back-to-back Aussie wickets (which generally never happens) - the third batsmen will attack you, saying "pitch must be having something that two of my team-mates have got out so cheaply. Let me collect as many boundaries I can while the field is in. We have bowlers to bowl anyone out anyone even for less than a 100".
And then if that third Aussie will fall too - you have Gilchirst to counter. And the Shane Warne - a "retired batsmen" with most runs in test cricket without a century (99 as his best).
I hope now you understand what Ian means by Intencity - which means staying hungry and being aggressive towards your goals.
Something like this is required for Mumbai team as they play their last Ranji trophy super league match against Maharashtra - a must win situation. With the comeback of National cricketers - Ajit Agarkar and Wasim Jaffer - they just might not miss Sachin and Zaheer and register an outright win - only then they will advance further to Ranji semi-finals.
What better timing than this can come for Rohit Sharma. His Mumbai team needs him, and slots are open in Indian National cricket team for middle order batting..!!
At Rajkot - Indian captain Rahul Dravid will be playing (not captaining) Karnataka team in a match against Saurashtra. Both these teams are safe in Elitte Division, but Rahul must be looking for some runs whereas Robin Uthappa has another chance for National call-up.
Two more cricketers will be playing this match with loads of hope - C Raghu and Cheteshwar Pujara for Karnataka and Saurashtra respectively. Both these yougsters, with Uthappa, are on the verge of India call up and a performace here might just be the blessing they need.
Sourav Ganguly will be playing for Bengal against Ajay Jadeja's Rajasthan and Delhi will be against Haryana. So, someone called as Virendra Sehwag will be looking at the scoreboard more anxiously than others tomorrow.
But a name that you must be noticing is Ishant Sharma. This under 19 boy was called to South Africa, but never got on flight. What remains, is a signal from Selectors for this lanky Delhi fast bowler of height 6 feet 4 inches, that he is on the radar. Ishant has been playing his first Raji season and has rarely missed a 4 wicket haul so far this year. At a pace of around 135 km/hr, he may be no scary paceman, but his height certainly seems to help him get awkward bounce that batsmen hate.
Down South at Chennai - Baroda vs Tamil Nadu Ranji match will bring golden chances for Irfan Pathan to hit bowling form. Irfan made 84 not out in Baroda's win against UP 4 days ago - but it's his bowling that is suffering. From Tamil Nadu side - Subramaniam Badrinath is the man to watch out for. He is another man in Indian selectors radar and he better grab his chances here..!!
The story turns to Kanpur for UP vs Andhra Pardesh match, where four Indian discards - Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina and RP Singh have failed to keep up the performace UP showed last year. Uttar Pradesh had won their maiden Ranji Trophy title last year - but they are now on the verge of not even making to the Semi-finals this year. They need to register an outright win over Andhra in this for any chances..
And Lastly - VVS Laxman will be leading Hyderbad against Punjab in Hyderbad... Watch him if he ever had a chance of playing World Cup for India.