Virender Sehwag making their presence felt, the fragile middle-order has been exposed. While Yuvraj Singh has made a few contributions, skipper M.S. Dhoni, Yusuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir leave a lot to be desired. An important case in point is the senseless batting display by the Men in blue during the batting display. On more cases than one, the batting powerplay have witnessed some uninspired batting. The very fact that you need to get the ball past the in-field to fetch a boundary has not been worked out. For a team that has done well on the performance aspect in the last few years, Dhoni’s men have been found wanting in the imagination aspect of the game.
While the Indian batters have always wanted to use the longer handle, it is the singles that needs to be taken to rotate the strike, a trait, which I doubt would ever be mastered by Dhoni’s men.
Now, we come to the bowling and fielding assets of the team. Well, the lesser said, the better. The selectors literally spun a surprise by including Piyush Chawla in the final 15. Chawla, who last played for India back in 2008, has looked ordinary and should have been given more chances with the side than picking him up for a tournament of this magnitude.
Barring Zaheer Khan who has been inspirational with the ball, the rest of the cherry-hurlers have looked out of sorts. While Ashish Nehra played one ‘eventful’ match in this tournament, players such Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel has looked good only in patches.
Zaheer needs a special mention here. While he has constantly bowled with venom and head, the lack of support for him at the other end has made India look ordinary with the ball. With Zaheer looking like the only bowler who looks threatening, Dhoni needs to utilise him judiciously.
Indian ground fielding never was high-quality, and, in all probability, will never be one. While players such as Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh are the live-wires in the field, others in the form of Ashish Nehra are embarrassing to say the least. While the Indians may not be great fielding outfit, but showcasing intent and applying themselves on the field could go a long way in helping the team save invaluable runs.
Also, with the crunch game against the West Indies in Chennai coming up on Sunday, India will have to be on their toes if they want to make it to the quarters with a lot of confidence.
Coming to the main question—will this team lift the World Cup? Well, the world is full of miracles and India do have the necessary arsenal to surprise its spectators in both their wins and their losses. Fingers crossed.
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