After having watched yesterday’s match against Ireland, I have my doubts about India being a champion team; let alone being favourites for winning the cup. The way Irish have played is worthy of applause, but India must now do some introspection. The manner in which we went about our run chase of a paltry target of 207 was shameful. We made a mess of it and finally when India did win the match, it looked like we had staged a major upset by beating Ireland. I just hope we continue to perform this way and cause another upset by beating Netherlands in the next group match on Wednesday, 9th March.
Bowling is a major concern for India, and that has been demonstrated in all three matches until now. Ireland were 12 for 2 and we let them slip onto a hundred-run partnership. Our spin attack is toothless, its high time we replace Piyush Chawla and get Ashwin to play. Even Harbhajan is not performing to his potential. Thanks to part-timers like Yuvraj Singh that we were saved the blushes on the field. But we cannot expect Yuvi to do that all the time. Zaheer Khan is the only bowler who has looked like getting a wicket, someone we can bank on.
Although we caused much drama in our chase last night, our batting is good enough to win us matches. But how much can our batsmen shield the bowlers? Against England we made 338 which just did not seem good enough, thanks to the belting our bowlers received. They were hit around the park like rookies! We managed to ‘tie’ that match, rather we were lucky to tie that match; we actually deserved to lose.
If you can recall, even though we had a mountain of a score against Bangladesh, our bowling and clueless fielding let B’desh make 287 runs. The same B’desh team were all out against West Indies for 58! Not just bowling, our fielding has been lacklustre too. We haven’t taken crucial catches, we haven’t effected run-outs, we have given away easy singles’ and two’s because the batsmen know that the fielders are lethargic. Despite all this we have managed to be on top of the table.
But to be truly on top would require more motivation, inspired performance and a big heart. When Yuvi and Dhoni were playing the tom-and-jerry game, Yusuf Pathan showed us how the bowlers need to be handled. Two big hits and Ireland went into a tizzy. Sachin is in top form, he understands the gravity of the situation and he plays himself in before going for the big shots. In all 3 matches he had a start and thats good. Kohli is in good touch and so are Yuvi and Sehwag. But if we have to win the cup, we have to bowl well and take wickets. Batsmen are doing their bit, its high time that the bowlers chip in, stand up and become accountable. Its a team game after all.
This post was first published on Yahoo Network