India didn’t blitz the opposition, but it was a much improved performance in the 2nd ODI between India and Bangladesh. India took plenty of positives from the game:
- Gambhir, scored his second one day ton. Although it is a good thing, it certainly raises a few uncomfortable questions for Dravid – Does he drop Sehwag (whom he has been supporting and wants desperately to succeed) and bring in Uthappa for the 3rd ODI? Does he rest Gambhir and bring in Uthappa? Or does Uthappa open the innings with Gambhir, while Sehwag comes lower down the order in place of Mongia? If Mongia ends up making way for Sehwag, we may be a part-time bowler short. What do we do about this?
- Piyush Chawla, made an excellent One Day debut. It is always tougher for spinners in one day cricket – particularly when you are young and haven’t played enough matches. I hold the belief that Chawla has the potential to be a great “test” bowler and we should protect him by not playing him in ODIs, at least for the next couple of years. He, however took 3 for 37 and made his mark on the game.
- Improved bowling: The overall performance of the bowlers was much improved compared to the first game. Dravid wouldn’t necessarily be worried about the big hitting tactics employed by the Bangladeshis – it provides plenty of opportunity to take wickets.
The things that will be a worry for the Indians are:
- Batting of Sehwag: Sehwag has just one more chance (or does he?) to come good or he his going to miss the England tour. We could argue and counter argue endlessly about the merits of having Sehwag in the team, but the bottom line is – One more failure and he is out!
- Batting of Dinesh Mongia: Mongia may be a useful part time ODI bowler (in spite of conceding 26 runs in one over), but his real role in the team is as a batsman. Dravid will have to play him up the order in the last game (may be No.4) and hope he comes good.
- Fitness: I understand that the heat is a big factor, but with younger players like Sreesanth, Dhoni and Gambhir suffering from cramps, it raises big questions on their fitness levels.