Gameplan Rethink


The Indians imploded sooner, and in a worse manner, than anybody would have expected. There’s no need to panic just yet, though (contrary to what the heading for this post suggests). However, it’s clear that the Indians are going to have to maximize their resources to pull a rabbit out of the hat here. Here are a few thoughts.

Maximize the powerplays
Yes, that’s obvious, you say? What’s also obvious is that Kaif (and Dravid for that matter) is not the right personnel to do that. All’s fine with experimenting and such, but there’s gotta be some modicum of reasoning and sanity here. If the Indians wanted to surprise the South Africans, almost anybody (even Agarkar) would have been a better choice than Kaif. Both Kaif and Dravid also tend to be overly defensive when the chips are down, and at times fail to capitalize even on the bad balls. Pathan is showing the right attitude at the moment, and he’s already more successful than the two combined.

Hedge the supersubs
This will be very important in the D/N games because of the due factor. Basically, the Indians should name an extra batsman in the line-up and have a bowling supersub. I am surprised Dravid didn’t do that here as well. Looks like he’s midjudged the importance of the toss, expecting the pitch to assist batting throughout.

Know whom to attack
India need to be careful in their choice of powerplays. They shouldn’t be afraid to take the powerplays in the 20s or even the 30s. I think everybody throughout the world has been overly cautious with this. Also important is to identify the typically slower players in the opposition (Kallis comes to mind immediately) and use a powerplay when they come to the crease. The weaker bowlers (Botha, the new spinner) also need to be attacked. I am not saying that India’s not doing either of these: we haven’t reached that part of the game yet and the Indians very well might employ these strategies.

Know where to attack
When asked how they were going to counter Kemp, Dravid said that they were not targetting any individuals but were concentrating on the entire team and the process. This statement confused and unsettled me. How can you concentrate on the entire team without looking at any of the individuals? They’re not looking to find best ways to attack batsmen? Surely, knowing what a batsman’s zone of discomfort (or even comfort) is can only be helpful in determining where to bowl to him.

Win or lose, there’s always room for improvement and lessons to be learnt. The Indians need to stay on top of those. They shouldn’t go on the defensive because of this game, but remain positive. The rising Indian team has gotten the test we all wanted. The gauntlet is down, and the series is far from over. No matter what the results, the fans need to back this team.


8 Responses to “Gameplan Rethink”

  1. Amar Says:

    Well, well, well…I guess with the Indian team flying so high in the recent weeks, they had to come down to earth sooner or later. And it happened sooner rather than later. In the end, though, a nice recovery from 35/5 to 249/9.
    It was rather unfortunate to be on the wrong end of a couple of key decisions (Tendulkar given caught behind when it didn’t look like it touched the bat and the LBW not out for G. Smith while he was still on 0…replays showed that the ball would’ve clearly hit the stumps). That could have changed the course of the game.
    On the whole, it wasn’t a total lost cause as it looked like at one point. About your point on Kaif being sent out at No. 3, the only reason I can think of is that the team was looking for a defensive player to see off the moisture on the pitch in the first few overs. Otherwise, it makes no sense at all sending him at one down. I totally agree with you in the sense that neither kaif nor dravid are one down batsman in ODIs.
    On the other side of the equation, the bowlers really need to concentrate on curbing down the wides and noballs. It’s a joke to bowl 13 wides and 6 nbs. That’s 3+ extra overs and even more runs.
    All in all, a nice comeback by the team but still long ways to go to challenge the team at the top.

  2. Pratik Says:

    Yeah. Decent comeback from being 35/5 after 12 overs. I was surprised we made it last till the 49th over.

  3. Rogue Tester Says:


  4. Aniruddh Gupta Says:

    Good analysis – we defintiely have some way to go… let’s hope tomorrow is a better game for India

  5. Amar Says:

    I came across this old article on cricinfo. It’s regarding the spat b/w Ganguly and Chappell. I didn’t know that things were bad to this extent. I am sure most of you have already read this article:

  6. Pratik Says:

    Yeah. I had read that. The row was really bad. Good thing that happened before I started this blog, otherwise there was a chance I would’ve contracted Carpal Tunnel Syndrome blogging about the whole issue. I had some strong opinions on the issue and it would’ve caused undue consternation. I am glad things worked out for the better of Indian cricket in the end.

    Chappell had valid points all in all. But he shouldn’t have accused Ganguly of being afraid of fast bowling. Nobody scores so many runs by being afraid of fast bowling. Ganguly had other issues, but Greg crossed the line by even contemplating that Ganguly would walk away from a game because he couldn’t handle the pace attack.

  7. Amar Says:

    Yeah, the email was quite stunning to say the least. I didn’t realize that things had gotten so worse. Now I realize why it was such a big deal at the time. I wasn’t in touch with cricket too much at the time I guess.

  8. Jackie Says:

    Thanks for your great post i am doing a study on this and you really helped me out here



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