Rebuilding India – Drawbacks on the bowling front!


Yes, we have won the series and, yes the batting which has been the talking point for a while, has clicked, even though sloppily and sluggishly at times. As many have pointed on other blogs, this series was meant to favor India despite the WC loss. Despite the yo-yo(ness) in our batting, I do not believe that has been of concern. Strategically, it really does not matter if Gambhir, Uthappa, Tiwary, Mongia, Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Venugopala Rao etc. play. For the time being (at least till the next world cup) it does not seem necessary to seriously disturb the seniority in the side. You should have a combination of Dravid, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Tendulkar, Ganguly, or even Kaif play in the side. What really concerns me is the bowling department. This not just in the one dayers but more importantly in the tests. (Te batting seems even more solid and set in the tests, no concerns whatsoever!).

We do not have a match winner in the side!!One who can bowl a side out twice (or once in a one day). We can afford to give away 240-250 runs to a side like Bangladesh on a consistent basis. With Kumble on his way out and Harbajan findings ways to find his way out, the situation is pretty grim. I like what I see in Piyush Chawla (so does Bruce Yardley for what it is worth) but he isn’t there yet. Zaheer may have improved leaps and bounds but he still is a mystery to me. Sreesanth is a song and dance kid. Munaf Patel is good but does not inspire. Romesh Powar is rated well, but I fail to see anything more than the real good ones in Chennai leagues. I really do hope that this factor is addressed and dealt with soon.

Any thoughts!

– Srikanth

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5 responses to “Rebuilding India – Drawbacks on the bowling front!

  1. I agree.

    For a winning one-day team, in addition to the big hitters, you also need strike bowlers. Unless get early wickets and put the opposition 10 for 2, the score can be 300+ in 50 overs.

    For winning teams the strike bowlers

    Glen McGrath, Brett Lee, Brad Hogg ( I do not understand this, but true)

    For Pakistan – Shoaib Akhtar

    NZ – Shane Bond

    SL – Muralitharan

    The problem with India is there are no strike bowlers. Harbhajan was good at some point in time. Now he is a spent force.

    India’s misery is also compounded by lack of experimentation. They want to keep on playing the same team – Zaheer Khan. Why not try out VRV Singh or PR Singh,

    mohankaus, VRV and RP are not from TN 🙂

  2. gnbmdr,

    I am not sure I understand your point.

    Glen McGrath, Brett Lee, Brad Hogg did not become strong by Australia trying out Brad Williams, Ben Hilfenhaus, Cullen Bailey and James Hopes. So I am not sure if your strategy of making Zaheer Khan good by experimenting with RP and VRV is a bit of a mystery — albeit, I fully understand that RP and VRV are not from TN 🙂

    I admit that I may have got your argument wrong however.

    The fact is that Zaheer Khan is the best pacer in the land. The fact that he is not (or may not be) good enough is another matter. I am not for a “let’s try out someone else policy” just for the sake of it. The argument has to have some merit. Or else, what we are left with is a revolving door policy, the only outcomes of which are dizzy selectors, dizzy players and dizzy fans!

    But I agree with the general thrust of Srikanths’ original discussion. The bowling stocks are extremely thin in India. I’ll add to it the fielding stocks — which are wafer thin in terms of quality.

    We do not regularly produce a Kapil Dev, a Srinath or a Kumble. We have far too many Agarkars and Nehras.

  3. I think we agree, India does not have “strike” bowlers.

    Australia, NZ, SL have strike bowlers – the specific examples I gave.

    Wrt to Zaheer Khan, has he won a match for India – except against minnows Bangladesh or Zimbabwe ?

    Zaheer Khan is not a youngster, to be given time to mature as a bowler – like Munaf Patel or SreeSanth.

    Natural questions to me are :

    Is there any other bowler, who can bowl well ? Can we groom a young bowler for the next 5 years – esp. against Bangladesh.

    In my philosophy, if we can not win, we should try “new” players and find out if we have a chance. Otherwise, we persist with the same players we are losing with.

  4. Let’s put the “trying new players” into perspective. To give a new player a chance by dropping or resting an in-form player from a whole series devalues the India cap which should only come up for grabs when a team member gets injured or loses form or needs rest. And, in any case, of what good is this chance that’s been created artificially for the new players? Does a ton against Bangladesh on a placid track give us any indication that Gautam Gambhir has made sufficient progress in his technique to do well in the upcoming series against tougher opponents in harder conditions? In which case, now that Gambhir has clicked, will Gagnuly have to wait till they drop somebody else before he can get back in? More on this here – The punishment for success.

  5. Let us face the facts. India does not have real strike bowlers at the present. The only way to give teeth to whatever we have is to improve the fielding. And that is in the realm of any team. Take South Africa. Their fielding is super class that makes even a mediocre bowling combination lethal.

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