India – Batting team?
So, everyone keeps saying that India is a batting side. We do have one of the best opening pairs in ODIs – Tendulkar and Sehwag. And they have added over 650 runs and have 3 centuries between them. Following them at No 3 and No 4, we have Gambhir and Kohli. Gambhir has a couple of half centuries and Kohli has a century and a half century to his credit. And then comes Yuvraj Singh – with one century and 3 half centuries in his five outings.
But after that – nothing. Take the minor teams out of the equation (Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands), and India have lost all wickets in their allotted 50 overs to all other teams. I am not so sure now that we should call ourselves a batting team – although the batting really is our strength. Apart from Zaheer Khan, our bowling has been weak. And the fielding – well, there is nothing much to write about it.
Pakistan – Bowling team?
Unlike India, I would classify Pakistan as a bowling team – apart from that performance against New Zealand, their bowling has held out quite well. They have Afridi and Umar Gul in the top 5 wicket takers of the tournament, and as I write this blog, they have skittled out West Indies for 112! And their bowlers have had good economy rates too.
And like India, they seriously need to improve in the other areas. The question is – Is being good in just one area enough to win the World cup?
The batting powerplay has really been India’s curse this tournament. IMO, India should take it straight after the bowling powerplay.
Would love to hear any other opinions out there
Depending on who wins, the India Australia game could potentially be the last ODI game for two people who have really made a difference for their teams. Gary Kirsten for India and Ricky Ponting for Australia. Kirsten has already announced that he is finishing up after the World cup, while Ponting keeps insisting that he won’t retire – maybe not, but something tells me that the selectors will give Ponting the nudge if he doesn’t go himself….unless of course he wins the cup another time for his country.