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.