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Posts Tagged ‘Yuvi

Yusuf pathan was the biggest positive to emerge out of the ODI series for the Indians

The Indian team is back after a grueling two month tour to South Africa, where the team drew the test series and lost the close ODI series. The team will be a bit disappointed with the result though. Even though the tour started with a humiliating innings defeat in the first test, India was in the best position to win their first test series in South Africa. The biggest gain of the series was India’s back to the wall comebacks throughout the tour. After the humiliating loss in the first test, the stunning comeback by the team in Durban was an amazing effort. The bowling which looked toothless in the first test performed brilliantly to level the series.

Even though the series was a hard fought one, the Indian team will be really disappointed with their efforts in the third test match. With the scores even after the first innings in the third test, India had the hosts 130/6 in the second innings. India was unable to dislodge the Boucher/Kallis pair to let them stretch the lead to over 300. I would probably say that this was our best chance of a series win in South Africa with all the greats still in the team. I am sure that Dhoni will consider this as a missed opportunity.

The series was once again a brilliant one for Sachin Tendulkar as he emerged as our best batsmen along with VVS Laxman who has now made rescuing his team under pressure a habit. The biggest positive to emerge out of the series was the response of the Indian bowling unit after the thrashing in the first test. The bowling of Sreesanth and Harbajan Singh were the stand out and obviously Zaheer was very consistent. Cheteshwar Pujara, even though did not score any runs looks like a player who belongs at this level and needs to be persisted with. The biggest disappointment of the series was Ishant Sharma; never in this series did he look like picking up any wickets.

The ODI series too was really close and in the absence of Sehwag, Ghambir and Sachin, it kind of gave us an insight on future of Indian cricket team. The insight though was not that pretty to be honest. The Indian batting struggled to counter the pace attack of the South Africans. The top order batting with the exception of Virat Kohli struggled.

The ODI series also followed familiar pattern to that of the test series, big loss in the first game and stunning comeback in the second. India went into the fourth ODI with a chance of winning their first ODI series in South Africa and once again the bowling and fielding let us down. With South Africa 117/5, JP Duminy did a Kallis on India this time. India was unable to separate Duminy/Botha pair who played brilliantly to rescue the home team to a match winning 265 from a precarious position. The Indian batting once again collapsed losing the game comfortably and thereby squandering a chance to win the series.

The one thing which was noticeable with the Indian ODI performance was that young Indian batsmen, baring Kohli did not have the necessary patience to hang in there. For example in the third ODI, Kohli and Raina had formed a decent partnership and Kohli had just hit a six earlier in the over. Raina, who was under no pressure to go for a big hit, charged the bowler and got stumped. There were various scenarios in the series where some patience was necessary in the middle and the Indian batsmen played some atrocious shots to hand their wickets. The biggest plus for India was the form of Yusuf Pathan who almost singlehandedly won the series for India with a brilliant hundred in the final game and also the bowling form of Harbajan Singh and Munaf Patel who performed brilliantly throughout the series. Yusuf’s performance has almost put paid to the all-rounder debate at least for the world cup.

Overall this wasn’t a bad tour for the Indians as they came unscathed in the test series with a 1-1 draw. The ODI series was disappointing though very close. The biggest worry for Dhoni was lack of form his batsman displayed. With just a month left for the World Cup we have 3 batsman who lack practice (Sachin, Ghambir and Sehwag), 3 who are out of form (Dhoni, Raina and Yuvraj) and one in crackling for but cannot get into the X1 (Kohli). So there are plenty of headaches for Dhoni and Kirsten when they sit down to pick the X1 for their first game against Bangladesh. Will they play Kohli and drop either Raina or Yuvraj? We have to wait and see.

Dhoni will be aware that the series against the WI is one of the most important in his captaincy career

Dhoni will be aware that the series against the WI is one of the most important in his captaincy career

Now that T20 WC is done and dusted, it’s time for India to fly down to the Caribbean for a 4 match ODI series. The team announced is sans Sachin, Sehwag, Zaheer and Pathan and is quite an inexperienced one. Ashish Nehra gets a call back to the Indian team due to his fine performances in the IPL and Abhishek Nayyar is the only new face in the squad.

The Indian team will directly fly over to the WI from London on the 21st. It will be a different experience for Dhoni who has hardly put a foot wrong during his tenure as a captain of the national side. The failure in the T20 WC is going to hurt for sure but calls to drop him is little premature I think. Dhoni is an excellent leader and India is still the third best team in 50 over and Test formats.

Even though the team is less on confidence we should beat the WI even with this depleted team. The bowling will be spearheaded by Ishant and Harbajan and the batting by Dhoni and Yuvi. Ghambir I guess will do fine in the 50 over format as he was in reasonable form in the T20 WC. Rohit Sharma also will be a key player in the team.

Dropping Irfan Pathan was a bad decision I feel as he is the only other player to have toured WI before. Nehra has been there too and so has Harbajan, so the Indian bowling will do fine but it’s the batting which will be a major worry for the Indians. Irfan could have solved that issue coming in at no 7 as he is a very good bat and a decent bowler at the start. In the absence of Zaheer, he would have been a good bowler to have in the squad.

I hope that the experiment with Rohit opening the bat will end after the T20 WC and someone like Vijay can join Ghambir at the top. Rohit can come at number 4 and Raina can bat at number 3. The Indian captain though would want to come back to his aggressive best. It will be a test of character for the Indian captain as this will show how well he can handle the pressure.

Winning this series will be of utmost importance for the team as this will also propel us closer to the top spot in the ODI rankings. In a way it’s a good thing that India isn’t flying back home after the T20 debacle but on the flip side, watching the other teams battling for the title cannot be good either. Anyways this series will be an important one for the Indians and I hope that we win.

The team has been great over the past one year or so and I hope that we bounce back the same way we did after the 2007 WC.


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