India needs ODI strategy rethink

The Indian team went 3-1 down in the ongoing one-day series against England. The Indian team was expected to perform better after their exploits in the just concluded test series against the same opposition. The Indian team have struggled in all departments including their much hyped batting line up. After watching the fourth one-day international, the need for a professional coach has become more evident. The Indian team is struggling with fitness and consistency in all forms of the game. The team’s fielding has been very disappointing in this series. The Indian team has never been a great fielding side but at least used to be safe catchers, even that aspect of their game has taken a hit in this series.

The Indian captain seems to have run out of ideas as India lost from a position of strength in the fourth ODI. After having England 7 down of 100 odd runs with 98 runs more required, India managed to lose the game, thanks to some uninspired bowling and fielding performance. The team’s bad fielding performance has been attributed to their aging players as per the media but I tend to disagree with the same. Only few years back we had the oldest players in the team as our best fielders, I am talking about our current fielding coach Robin Singh and the former captain Azhar. Age should not be given as an excuse for bad fielding.
The problem with the Indian team has been their ODI combination which does not look strong neither on paper nor on the field. The decision of Rahul Dravid to play five bowlers is a positive move but that seriously weakens our batting. The bottom half of our batting line up has just been a formality in the first four ODI’s. The only way this combination could work for India is when they find a genuine bowling all rounder, someone in the mold of Kapil Dev. I guess the Indian team will do well to get Irfan back into the team. The Indian team needs to completely rethink their strategy in one-day cricket. They need bowlers who are aggressive and consistent.

I think we need to get Pathan back into the scheme of things at least for the one-dayers. Pathan would lend perfect balance to the team and give Rahul the option of playing 5 bowlers without compromising the team’s batting strength. As we all know Pathan is a good bat at number 6 or 7 in the line up and can follow the opening bowlers as the first change bowler. We need to experiment with the team a little bit and also keep a close eye on the 20-20 tournament which is starting from the 11th of this month. India can identify few good one-day cricketers for the future from this series. I think India should consider giving a chance to Rohit Sharma as he has just been carrying drinks in this one-day series. The worst thing about the selectors is that they would always take a younster for a tour, never give them a chance and drop them for the following series. I guess we need to treat good talents better and give them appropriate chances to prove themselves at this level.

The Indian team can still win this series if their batting fires, even though their bowling and fielding are below the international standards. As I complete this article the Indian team just won the 5th game to keep the series alive, again owing to a good batting display and some great spin bowling. I hope that we carry on this momentum into the 6th game tomorrow and level the series at 3-3.

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