Monday, June 15, 2009

Cricket Musings

Yesterday night the Indian cricket team, the defending champions of the T20 world cup, was eliminated rather unceremoniously from the event. I was awake when the cookie crumbled to show the ugly reality within it. I decided yesterday night never, from here on, to forego sleep for such stupid events. Many of my friends will be pointing their fingers in an "I told you so!" fashion.

 

In the after effect, after the event, I began analyzing the team's defeat. I am not an expert, but as an Indian cricket fan have the highest qualification to be a critic. The side that played yesterday was so shoddy, it was appalling. Let's go by the batting order.

 

Gautam Gambhir – The only role he plays is of an opening batsman. He is good but is not in touch. As a fielder he is always on the fringes, very rarely making spectacular stops or taking stupendous catches. So he can be termed as not an all-rounder.

 

Rohit Sharma – He had a great IPL tour. But in the absence of Sehwag, pushed into opening, he has failed to deliver when it mattered most. Both his shots in the super eight games were played early, he has to slow down a little I guess. He is a good fielder. But nobody gets into the team only as a fielder.

 

Suresh Raina – Brutally exposed of his lack of technique at playing the short ball, Suresh Raina also is in the team as a fielder. As mentioned earlier, nobody gets into the team only as a fielder.

 

Ravindra Jadeja – He bowled well, but his batting leaves a lot to be desired. I have never seen a batsman hit so many shots and not clearing the ground. He is too young. He could have been what Yuvraj Singh was at his age, but he is not a Punjabi, thus lacking the power and strength to clear the boundary.

 

Yuvraj Singh – Gone are the days when batsmen feared to run when the ball was in his vicinity. Now they even dare think of taking twos near him. He was the culprit who failed to collect a wide ball fired in by harbhajan, giving away 5 wides off a ball that could have easily been only 2 runs. India lost the match by 3 runs. He is only in the team as a dangerous batsman. He doesn't bowl enough to be called an all rounder anymore.

 

M. S. Dhoni – The slated wicket-keeper batsman can be considered as an all-rounder, but with a missed stumping and 10 wides let go off Harbhajan Singh, he seems to be in the team only as a Captain. His scores aren't up to scratch either.

 

Yusuf Pathan – A bits an pieces player who can tonk the ball hard, been playing too low in the batting order to get a decent hit in. Bowls pretty well even in the 'power play' overs.

 

Harbhajan Singh – As an off spin bowler, he seems to be bowling too fast. He should have a session with the great Bishen Singh Bedi sometime to rejuvenate his bowling. His fast bowling has led to two 5 wides in yesterday's match. But he has really grown leaps and bounds in his batting.

 

Zaheer Khan – Bowling well has been the spear head of the Indian bowling attack. He hasn't done much wrong but has been a little slow in the field, being the oldest in the side, that seems to be his undoing.

 

RP Singh – came in for this game only and bowled really well. No complains.

 

Ishant Sharma – Running in a bad patch, Ishant is unable to threaten international batsmen with his bouncers, which are picked for boundaries. A rather disheartening fact is that he is not learning from his mistakes.

 

After all the critiques, I think this is what India should do in the next game.

 

  1. Get in Dinesh Karthik as the keeper.
  2. Keep Dhoni as the Batsman-Captain.
  3. Opening can be done either by Dinesh Karthik or Yusuf Pathan.
  4. Drop Rohit Sharma down the order, send in Yuvraj in at three followed by Raina.
  5. Harbhajan has to slow down his bowling and use his speed only as a surprise ball.
  6. Give Praveen Kumar a chance in place of Ishant Sharma, he has guile and can swing the ball both ways.

Now that the team is out of the tournament anyway, there is no risk in tinkering here and there. Your inputs are invited.

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