Daily Archives: 29 August 2007

3rd ODI review and my team for 4th ODI

The review is a bit late in the coming and it is really not a review. It is more of whinge. The reason for being late has nothing to do with being dumbstruck by India’s performance, but the way India played I could be easily be excused for being just that 🙂

After watching the 3rd ODI, the only thing that struck me was that there was no way India was going to win this 7 match series. I know I may get flamed for saying this, but I repeat – India is not going to win this series.

So, what are my reasons for saying that?

  • We still depend on our batting to carry us through – particularly Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid. And if they fail, we need the younger generation to step up. This is just not happening.
  • Fielding is still pretty woeful. Dravid has a tough time hiding the Munafs and Sauravs in the field and even the others aren’t exactly setting the field on fire.
  • Apart from the slow bowlers – Powar and Chawla, and to a certain extent RP Singh, nobody has been impressive. Zaheer has been OK, but has not looked threatening. Agarkar and Munaf are proving more of a liability than anything else. I wouldn’t be surprised if India go back to their old formula of 2 fast bowlers (Zaheer and RP) and the 2 spinners, with part time bowlers filling in the 5th bowler slot for the 4th ODI.
  • As Mohan pointed out, India have had a long tour and have lost the intensity that they had in the test series. It is very hard to infuse a fresh bout of energy now.

India may still win a couple of games, but I don’t see them taking the series. I’ll happily eat my words if they do.

Now for the team. I have a feeling India will give Uthappa a game. Although I believe that Uthappa has to open the batting with Ganguly, the team management will not break the opening pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly. So, if Uthappa does play, he will come in at No. 3. This will be followed by Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Karthik. If the bowlers are picked on merit, Powar, Chawla, Singh and Khan will make up the bowling attack.

So here is my team:

Tendulkar, Ganguly, Uthappa, Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Karthik, Chawla, Powar, Singh, Khan

The only change to this would be Agarkar coming in for Uthappa if Dravid prefers a 5 man bowling attack.

Is this team capable of beating England? Probably not. But if we bat first and put up a big score, we stand some chance.


Try a pinch hitter!

After the third game loss I was thinking of the above topic when I saw this post on Cricinfo arguing for sending Dhoni at no 3. Definitely a sound move but it should be done also keeping in mind the situation of the game and the nature of the wicket. Both Bristol and the last game were ideal for Dhoni to go in at 3. But my point is slightly different. Send in Powar as a pinch hitter. Of course this should not be done when India bat first on a good batting wcket. BUt in case Dravid decides to send th opposition in, and if they do get a 250+ score and we lose an early wicket, especially Tendulkar, then just send in Powar to hit. Afterall the last game was ac ase where the captain ahd misread the pitch, the team had fielded badly, and we lost an early wicket. Perfect time to gamble on a pinch hitter. The only porblem with sending Dhoni in at 3 is, he is too valuable when playing 5 bolwers. In case we played 4 bowlers and the extra batsman, then Dhoni would be great to send in.

— Sanjay