Tuesday, July 27, 2021
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Infuse young blood in Team India

Cricket is a team game where performance counts very much. Team India’s survival in International Cricket without significant show in the last 5 years, was totally exposed at the Wankhede Stadium. The main drawback with the team is that the players are very much complacent but at the same time they are not confident enough to face challenge. South Africa chased tall score like the one at Mumbai and succeeded. But Team India is not able to face such ticklish situation and that too in a final game. The odds were against Team India as they could not achieve anything notable for the last four years and the recent T-20 defeats showed where the weakness lies. Fortunately for us the third T-20 match was washed out or else we would have faced a clean sweep.  The team failed abroad repeatedly and now the trend continues at home as well. The path to glory should be achieved by all the team members. In Indian cricket we come across individual show and not a combined effort to accomplish such a huge target. Team is in total confusion to bat first or field first after winning the toss.

Opening partnerships count very much and that start is the fulcrum round which the team revolves round. We talk high about Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan but they were utter failures when it really mattered. The same can be said about Dhoni and his vice-captain Virat Kohli.  All the four were no match for JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers. There were failures in South African side as well with both Hashim Amla and David Miller could not click at the highest level. Their failures were well covered up by other members of the side including the captain.  Whereas Team India could not stand up to pace and lost early wickets and could not steady the boat thereafter with superlative show. The tail could not wag as we were having passengers in that order who are neither considered a front line bowler nor considered as an useful batsman late in the order. As a result of this our middle order is exposed and the tail could not wag to add 20 – 30 runs to make of match of it in the end. Failure of Suresh Raina was talking point for some time but the selectors showed their deaf years in his case.  Overall, there is no one to shoulder responsibility and take the team at the time of adverse circumstances.

Least said about the bowling is better. Just beating the bat is not clever bowling strategy. The bowlers should be able to penetrate and give the side an early breakthrough or break a partnership when the going is good for the opposition. The team needs a bowling all-rounder, who can shoulder the responsibility of bowling single handedly and make sure of taking vital wickets at crucial time of the match. Instead our bowlers bowl negative line and find the way difficult to curtail an onslaught when the ball is hit all over the place.  A bowler should face the challenge and not back out at the time of crisis.  Despite having MRF Pace Foundation and National Cricket Academy (NCA), we are not able to produce genuinely quick bowlers and quality all-rounders and the responsibility wrest with utility players, who could not perform in a big way to fashion a win. The crux of the problem is the weak bowling line up. To back our bowlers, the fielding should be razor sharp. The dropping of catches in a final game cost very much. Infusing young blood is the only solution to overcome this perennial problem. It is a wake-up call for Team India before the T-20 WC.

C.K. Subramaniam


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