Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review of T20 and preview of ODI series

Hello friends,

After creating some hope in us fans about a possible turnaround in the limited overs series, India lost again in familiar fashion in the T20 match yesterday. The sad part was the manner of defeat that brought back all the memories of the test series. The defeat was caused once again by inept batting that could not even last 20 overs.

The England bowling attack for the T20 was not as threatening as in the tests. Bresnan and Broad did not bowl well at the start and thanks to Rahane and Dravid, India were sitting pretty at 105 for 1 after 11 overs. Once again, the downfall was not caused by good bowling, but bad batting. It almost seems as if these guys have a mental block against any bowler wearing an England shirt. If that is the case, England are going to thrash us in the ODI series as well because Anderson will be back and they will be fielding almost the same attack as in the tests.

It was so nice to see Rahane doing well in his first game in India colors. He appears to be a batsman in the classic mode, but with the modern mindset that is caused by IPL and a profusion of limited overs cricket that is the norm these days. That means, he does not hesitate to hit over the top, but his classic upbringing means that he will not hit out recklessly. In other words, he appears to be a batsman from the Virat Kohli and Gautam of batting. This augurs well for India in the future. He needs to be kept in the rotation. I did not see him field, but since he is only 23 years old, I hope he will be a good, athletic fielder because we need such fielders in the ODI series to prevent England from controlling the middle overs.

Coming to the ODIs, Sachin will obviously walk in to the line-up and that means, Parthiv will have to go. I want to see Rahane open with Sachin as that would be an invaluable experience for the young man and will help him and India enormously in the long run. After that, we have Virat (batting at his favorite number 3 position), Rohit, Raina and Dhoni followed by the bowlers. One cause for concern is that this means we will go in with 4 regular bowlers and have to rely on Raina, Rohit and Virat for completing 10 overs. Coming to that, it was obvious that India were going to struggle with the fifth bowler quota in the T20, so it was baffling to see that Dhoni did not give Raina even 1 over, even after Rohit went for 16 runs in his only over. I dont know if Raina was injured, but if not, it is another mistake by Dhoni the captain.

Anyway, regarding the bowling, I would like to see Aaron or Mishra in the line-up instead of Vinay for the first ODI. If the track is relatively quick, Aaron should play simply to see whether he can rattle the England batsmen a bit with his pace. If it is slow and devoid of grass, then Mishra should be given a go. Mishra is a better bowler than his bowling analysis from the last test indicate. With Ashwin also playing, Mishra could be expected to up his game and challenge Ashwin for the spinner's slot since he is a competitive cricketer who likes to fight. That leaves PK and Munaf as the 2 pace bowling options. Seeing Munaf operate yesterday, especially his last 3 overs, it was another miss by Dhoni to ignore him completely for the test matches instead preferring to give 3 chances to Sreesanth and even playing RP Singh over Munaf at the Oval.

For India to win matches in the ODI series, Sachin has to bat long. When Sachin does that, we look so much better as a batting side and all the others perform above potential as well. Lets hope Sachin gets his 100th century and can win us at least 2 games on his own.

Lets hear it from you guys now. What do you think should India's lineup be for the first ODI and the others ? Do you think India will be more competitive in the shorter format ? For me, it all boils down to how they tackle the 3 England pacers in the mind. If they can throw away the demons of the test series, they will do well, otherwise I see another miserable series with the bat for India. Lets hope for the best.

My next post will be after the first ODI, so stay tuned.



  1. Yet again, a nice start was laid to waste.
    If the last few wickets hadn't fallen in a heap, we could have ended up as the winners.
    As you mentioned, the 5th bowler is a huge weak link and this is where we miss someone like Yuvi who can send down 6-7 good overs(in a ODI).
    Rahane's batting and Munaf's bowling are the bright spots in this match and give us some hope.
    I think the Indian team has descended to a state where they can do better than England for some parts of a match but cannot seal the deal to grab a win. This team needs to get lucky or something and win one match at least to regain some confidence.

  2. comments about t20 and 1st odi ...

    I think Parthiv played really confidently in the ODI. I was surprised to see him hook and pull the short pitched stuff. Not sure if it was one off, but if he looks so decent against short pitched, then we missed him in the tests. Against moving ball, remains to be seen, but very happy the way he played.

    Dravid's 3 sixes were ok, but it was very heartening to watch somebody who doesn't get enough credit due to Tendulkars and Gangulys and Sehwags.
    Again, he was unlucky to be given out by the umpire. Something fishy here, not 1, not 2 but 3 times?

    Agree about Vinay kumar, seems ordinary so far, probably try Aaron just to see if he can ruffle some feathers.

    About Mishra I am not sure, he seems to go for a good amount of runs, he does give you wickets though but not always. Ozha probably a good choice for T20 and ODI, because he does contain.

    Bowling does look to be a mess. Our only positive so far is PK. If Varun comes good, we will have another option atleast. But my guess is we will have to loose a couple of ODI's before he gets a chance.

    Looking forward to 2nd ODI.