Archive for the ‘India’ Tag
So, India won the first of the four ODIs and started their very less anticipated Caribbean campaign. WI almost chased down India’s very good looking 339 Total. Some observations:
- Indian top order still has a problem with the Short pitched stuff. Gautam Gambhir playing what a No. 11 would consider his trademark shot. A half hazard attempt to pull a short ball with head ducking down praying to mother earth. Rohit Sharma fetching the ball from way outside the off stump to play a pull shot.
- Dinesh Karthik is still eyeing that test opener slot. Solid forward defense on display in yesterday’s match.
- When Yuvraj Singh decides it is time for a short break, he hits it long and far and invariably out of the ground.
- MSD is trying to get his big hitting abilities back but is not quite there yet. Instead, he seems to have developed new abilities to get run out when ball has gone somewhere near the wicket keeper and responding any question with “Yeah, Obviously, You know…”
- Harbhajan Singh reads Dwayne Bravo’s slower one even before Bravo decides to bowl one.
As the postmortem continues for India’s early ouster from t20 World cup, I could not resist but add the 10000th reason why India did not perform like a champion side they were supposed to be.
India needed a reality check! That’s it. That’s how Pakistan did it. They got their fair share (and more) of reality checks earlier. They lost to India in the warm up games; they lost to the side that lost to Netherlands. That’s how Younis discovered that T20 is not just a fun game, nor is it anything like WWE. Once they saw the light, they were right on the cue.
India, on the other hand, had no reality check. The opening slot replacement for Sehwag was filled in by the illusive swashbuckling knocks of Rohit Sharma. They won the initial round of matches against, hold your breath, Ireland and Bangladesh. They did not look anywhere closer to convincing. No batsman absolutely murdered the minnows bowling nor did any bowler looked threatening. Nobody bowled the toe-crushing Yorkers or ear-ringing bouncers. They did not need to play that kind of cricket. They just had to wait for oppositions to make mistakes. And they made plenty of them. India’s reality check came too late against WI, when they discovered that Pragyan Ojha is not the solution to all their bowling problems. That he can have a rough day in the field. Had they met a tough opposition in the initial rounds, they might have known what was in the store for them (Yes including a lot of bouncers) and may have been slightly prepared for it.
The upcoming ODI series against WI will be significant in more ways than one. It will reflect whether India have learned anything from this defeat. If they are willing to accept their mistakes instead of shrugging it off as just a rough patch as they have in the past.
I accept it. The team that can not defend 150 or chase 150 against oppositions like West Indies and England should not really be in the race.
There will be plenty of analysis of what was done wrong and what could have been done in the days to come.
However, the image of MSD taking singles and getting Yusuf back on strike when 60 runs were required from 30 balls will be in my memory for a long time. Such a sensible batting this.
And I am going to stick my neck out and say it, I expected it. India did not look very convincing in either of the two games with Bangladesh and Ireland. It was apparent that any fairly good side will be competitive for them. In spite of having the famed batting line up and good spinners, Indians have not looked as good as South Africans or Srilankans apart from that one practice match against Pakistan. It has been mostly individual performances saving grace for them.
Dhoni’s insistence to play at #3 in earlier games did not give Suresh Raina essential time in the middle. It is does not take much for an in form batsman to slip out of it. Not that Dhoni has gained anything by it. India’s bowling in death overs still looks patchy. RP Singh deserves a chance in the next match instead of Ishant Sharma. He can’t be worse than Ishant and can bowl a few Yorkers and lower full tosses in the death overs – something that Ishant is lacking. In the batting order, Gambhir still isn’t at his best, Dhoni is struggling. Ground fielding has not been upto the mark either.
Having said that, nothing can be taken away from WI the way they went about chasing the score. To use that beaten to death term ‘momentum’, WI has the momentum with them now. Even when Gayle went early, Simmons and Bravo kept attacking. They smartly attacked Ojha who has been instrumental in getting wickets for India. While bowling they worked out Yusuf by not giving him anything pitched up. I know figures of 31 from 23 still look good, but we all know Yusuf can do a lot more damage than that.
I hope India gets a few things right, mainly their Batting order, Ground fielding and bowling in death overs in the next two games. As the situation stands right now, even England on their good day (read: Peterson scores) can beat India.