India’s ODI problems and issues to be addresses

India did well to lose the series only 4-3 inspite of the many problems that it is facing at the moment. Nasser Hussain commentating during one of the games said “India have 500 problems!” So where do we start?

Five openers? – India got together a team with 5 openers! Can you believe this? Are there no middle order cricketers in the country? Look at this side – Sachin, Sourav, Gambhir, Uthappa & Karthik. Now what this has done is that it has completely made the middle order go haywire with no fixed places in the batting order for Dravid, Yuvraj and Dhoni. Ideally the Indian batting order should have a settled look of Sachin, Sourav, Dravid, Yuvraj & Dhoni followed by whoever is picked. This is our best batting order. But if Gambhir plays, then he has to come in at 3 because he is an opener and cannot be used down the order as he may not be effective enough. Uthappa, as Dravid suggested at the post match interview was to be used as a floater to come in at 3 in case a wicket fell early. That he came good was a big bonus for us. But his place is at the top of the order. This means that Gambhir really has no place in the team. Now coming to Sourav, his feet are not exactly quick and he will have a huge problem opening the innings in Australia. And Karthik? The lesser said the better. Again was sent in at 3 because he opened in the tests and he failed and was finally dropped. Now he does not know where he belongs in the one day side.

The fast bowlers – How many more times are we going to have an unfit Munaf Patel in a team? He can’t bat, can’t field and is unfit to bowl at his best. As for Agarkar I don’t have to write anything extra. He has played his last game for India. Ishanth Sharma is still a rookie and hardly has worthy performances in the domestic circuit at the moment. This leaves us with Zaheer, and RP Singh as the only fast bowlers. Sreesanth probably will get into the team again I think. BUt the cupboard does look a bit bare.

Dravid and the captaincy – Dravid is overburdened and stressed out without a proper coach. This was most evident in his handling the team in the ODIs. Firstly the decisions with toss. Secondly his field placings. Thirdly his tinkering with the batting order. all these things clearly show that we have ac captain who is overworked. He is taking on too much responsibility and it is telling on his batting also.  As a captain Dravid also has a tendency to experiment a lot. He is an intelligent cricketer but he is suffering from a hangover of the Greg Chappell era where there was just too much experimentation. He needs to settle down and start doing the basic things well.

The fielding – This is a really sad state of affairs. And we have a full time fielding coach as well. But there is only this much that a fielding coach can do. Things have to be addressed at a much earlier stage even before these players play for their states. Compare the under 30 cricketers in teh Indian side with some in England and you can see the difference. While Yuvraj or Uthappa are good enough, Gambhir is definitely not. and he is not 30 as yet. We cannot have such cricketers coming through the ranks without the class of a Bell or Collingwood on the field. It is absolutely essential in the modern context.

The all rounder – Where is he? Do we have one? Will we get one at all? Or do we still have to believe in the bowling of Ganguly, Yuvraj & Sachin or the batting of Agarkar, Powar & Chawla  to say that we don’t need one? Will Pathan get back his bowling form? Is there a good all rounder in the 19-25 age bracket who can be groomed?

We definitely have a lot of problems and that is why we have slipped to 6th in the ODI rankings.

— Sanjay


6 responses to “India’s ODI problems and issues to be addresses

  1. Good points, Sanjay.

    Wait till Sehwag gets back into the team, we’ll then have 6 openers 🙂 In reality, I don’t consider Karthik as a ODI opener. Nor would I open with Gambhir. Once the pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly retire I think it would be the turn of Sehwag and Uthappa to open the innings. I have also maintained that Dhoni has to come up the order (maybe even open). It would be interesting to see who opens in the Twenty20 WC.

    India’s fast bowling options do look bad. If only Pathan can regain his form, we could solve two problems in one as he can fill the all-rounder slot.

  2. I must be seeing a different Dhoni to the one you guys see–the man has no technique to bat any higher than 7 or 8. The bat swings like an axe and when it doesn’t , at best, French cuts down the legside!! In the test innings that he lasted a few overs, he was dropped a few times. In ODIs, plays like a test for the first few overs and then as the tail enders come in , tries to throw the kitchen sink at every ball. Simply a lucky guy to be in the team in the first instance and it is a sorry state of affairs that he is the Captain of Twenty/20 team. Even Kunderan and Engineer who were known for swashbucking batting, had technique ie look like batsmen. Bedi used to say re bowlers–more bowling you do, more wickets you get–in case of Dhoni, the more he is dropped by fielders, the more he gets to score and stay in the game!!

  3. The other Sanjay – Sanjay Manjrekar – mentioned that India gets confused between one-day and test teams.

    There are some players who are more suited for one-days than tests – Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Marlon Samuels – his innocuous bowling may be ok for one-day, not suitable for tests. Good fielder must be essential criterion for selection.

    India should select a side with a focus. There were many fast bowling prospects – VRV Singh, and another young left arm seamer, ….

    Pathan should not become another Munaf;
    I would not bring him back before he is fully ready. He must prove that can bowl at some pace and not fodder stuff at 125 kmph. BTW, Sehwag’s record in one-day matches is not that good as compared to his test match record. Gambhir is an inexplicable player.

    For middle order, India should try some “new players” even if they lose a few matches. Future openers should be groomed; giving Sachin and Sourav some rest.

    I must admit that I was wrong that Sachin was over the hill.

  4. The chief selector Vengayasarkar questions Indian think tank ” In an exclusive interview to PTI, Vengsarkar wondered what made the think-tank try out Dinesh Kaarthick, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir at the slot when they had an automatic choice in Dravid.”

    What if Rahul Dravid were to question Vengayasarkar on the selection of an unfit player – Munaf Patel. Any player can succeed or fail. But player fitness is a basic requirement for selection.

    If I can infer/guess the Indian team thinking. India batting in the recent years has depended heavily on the “big 4” – Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman. If Dravid were to bat No.3 and if he were also get out, all we are left is inexperience – which is what happened at in the final one-day @ Lords.

    Yuvraj even though has played many, many one-day matches, and finished some matches well, he still does not provide the same solidity/authority to the batting. So, Rahul Dravid could have felt he needed to bat down the order to hold the fort.

  5. Eureka

    Gods have answered Team India’s and its supporters’ prayers

    JHULAN GHOSWAMI. an Indian ALL ROUNDER has been named ICC women player of the year

    Would the selectors show courage and wisdom and select Goswami for the next series at home against Aussies?

  6. sanjay, i agree with your assessment of dravid, except that i think he was “overburdened and stressed out” even when he had a coach. he’s just a poor one-day captain. more here… Chucke de Dravid

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