Top order batting is the main worry for team India
Posted by Mohan Manohar
The on going one day series among India and Pakistan are now to the second ODI and its focus now shifted to Kolkata , where Pakistan team had always the better luck in performance at this venue. The match will be played here to day, and this is the second match of three ODI series and Pakistan are leading the series with first ODI they had won convincingly. It was clearly evident that in the first ODI, Indian top order was completely failed and performed miserable and they had gone to pavilion within 30 runs and the way most of the batters got out clean bowled, convincingly stated that they had failed to tackle Pakistan pacers and their problem was compounded by the fact that, at Chennai there was rain, as with the case, there was rains always during winter and that makes the pitch more with moisture and then batters did not apply to the conditions and got out easily , where as players like Raina, Dhoni and Ashwin applied their techniques and brought India to a respectable score. Though the score showed at that time was never going to be a difficult chase for Pakistan and they won that cricket match. So, second one day is crucial in a three match ODI series and India will have to win it and level the series and then look for the third ODI to progress it farther.
In the first match, Junaid, the speedster of Pakistan performed well and in this match it was now important how Indian batters would play him and that is crucial for the team. He ripped through the top order in Chennai ODI with a figure of four wickets at the cost of 43 runs. In the first ODI, five of India’s top order unable to touch the double digits in that match, only due to laborious and courageous batting by captain with a well deserved century, his eighth in total, enables the team to show the respect in score board. It seemed that India team would be under pressure to perform well in this series and also to stay alive in this series, this is the must win match for them. With Sachin’s retirement, now Shewag is the most senior batsman and the pressure on him to perform and with Gambhir and Shewag failing miserably in last few matches, the cause for concern to have a good opening stand that would defend the pacers, has been there. Evidently the performance of Shewhag in last year as ODI batsman has been below par excellence , and some news channels also discussing that this series might be the last chance for him to get his act together and perform , as with the case , in each team the role of openers had been significant and for this Shewag and Gambhir performance speaks a lot for the team to a build a good score , Shewhag in the last ten matches scored miserably 217 runs and with it one 96 against Sri Lanka and he failed almost in all the nine remaining matches and it is expected to have a good score in this match. Some experts said on the last night discussion on TV that, Shewhag scored heavily in each eight match interval and this could be the match waiting to be his match, let us pray for it as it ultimately gain team India.
Shewhag was not included in the recently ended T20 series against Pakistan which ended in 1-1 draw and Dhoni said that in ODI team Shewhag would be playing as an opener. Some said that his T20 career was over as they saw it as Shewag been dropped from the team, so it is high time Shewag to perform and show his true class.
The form of young sensation and ICC ODI player of the year Virat Kohli has been the real cause of concern for team management. He was injured in the last match whiles bowling, as his ankle twisted at the run up crease, there was suspense over his paying at Kolkatta match but ultimately he was fit to play and that is good news but he has to improve his performance. It has been seen apart from Yuvraj Singh all the other players at top order has not been consistent so far, Yuvraj was equally good with bat and the ball and his fitness were increasing day by day and that are a good signs as he was awarded for this excellent performances in two T20, one against England and the other one against Pakistan, where, the team able to level the series. In the last T20 match he score 72 off 36 balls and the way he hit sixes to spin and pace has been a decent cite to watch the match as a fan. The captain said , his top order batting was bowled in the last match , as this goes on to show that bowling in that match was high class and for this he was very much positive as his top order would perform again here.
The positive with fast bowling was Bhubaneswar Kumar, as he was bowling with a decent speed and that too swinging the balls in either ways vertically and that is making the opponent many a times bite the dust and he is perhaps one few bowlers who had taken the first wicket in first ball of his career and then he produced another wonderful delivery where, the batsman was almost leg before wicket. Ashwin’s form is worrying as his ability to garner wickets has been declining and that makes the team management to think of it and detect what is wrong with it and him should be given more confidence so that his performance would become more and more wicket oriented. Sadly, of course the record of opposition is good here; it had won all the three ODI matches played so far. Pakistan has the one bowler Irfan who is seven feet and one inch tall and it seemed that he was injured as he could not bowl to his potential during last ten over and he might be replaced. The left arm seamer Junaid is bowling well and it can be the challenge for Indian top order to tackle effectively. India played nicely in death overs and that could be the negative, which India could capitalize by playing slowly in initial overs. In the first ODI , Pakistan bowlers gave away 81 runs in last ten overs , on the other hand in a T20 match before that they had spent 74 runs in last five overs and this is emphasizing the fact that these bowlers of Pakistan are not good at last overs and India should realize this and capitalize this. With the arrival of Yonous to Pakistan team , its batting line up is now more experienced and good and it could pose a serious challenge to otherwise inexperienced bowling line up of India.
At Kolkatta sun sets early and thus evidently the dew can play its part, so it is better to win the toss and elect to bat, according to its curator, the pitch is a batting paradise, India captain praised the pitch and said it is looking like a Miss Universe, thus he intends to say that this pitch is good for batting. Dhoni also said that as this match starts early, probably no dew problems would occur. He hopes to win and level the series.
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