Same old attitude problem

by

Ind v Pak
1st ODI
Lunch break

India was looking good to reach a 350+ score until the 41st over, and then, as always, they screwed it up. It was the same old problem resurfacing under the Chappell/Dravid era. Tendulkar started the rot by slowing down his scoring rate as he got closer to his hundred, even though the situation demanded for fast runs. There has been a lot of undeserved criticism aimed at Tendulkar the last few days, but now that there’s truly something that he should be criticized for, he won’t be. Everybody will laud his “brilliant” (a term used for most of his centuries) century, overlooking that his tactics towards the end prevented India from getting a higher score. This point will be even more lost if India win this game, which I think is unlikely. 330 is the new 300 considering the new ODI rules — supersubs and powerplays. Add to that the nature of the pitch and India’s bowling attack and 330 just seems like a par score.

There’s been a lot of talk about Tendulkar putting the team before the self, and this has conclusively shown that that’s just a bunch of hogwash. And Tendulkar is not the only one here. The subcontinent is littered with such examples. There are only a few choice exceptions, and most of them are the young breed. India will never be the best ODI team in the world with such attitude. I would have thought that Chappell would have looked to it that such things don’t happen. Either he’s failed to do that, or Tendulkar’s been deemed above the law. We’ll have to wait and se e if this gets rectified.

What has also been clear now, and for quite some time, is that Kaif can’t slog. Agarkar or Zaheer are better bets to get big hits in towards the end of an innings. Does the Indian team management not realize this? Or they just wanted to show their respect to Kaif? Kaif usually has to come out after the 40th over of the innings, which means he needs to make fast runs. Instead, he just runs fast…usually, singles. On the rare occasion that Kaif is needed before the 40th over, it usually means that the team’s in some sort of trouble. There might be some juice in the wicket or something, and that means Kaif is usually as ineffective as the ones before him. In fact, in the last four years, there have been only two innings (Natwest final in 2002 and Champions Trophy later that year) where he’s come out and rescued the Indian batting. This is by no means a criticism of his batting. In fact, I think he’ll do quite well in Tests (or up the order in ODIs). But his style of batting is not suited for what’s usually required when he comes out to bat.

So, the question is who should replace him. I think Suresh Raina is the front-runner for that position. He’s definitely a better fielder (or at least just as good), and from what little I’ve seen of his batting, it looks like he can score fast or temper his innings, as the situation demands. This will be the first step towards find a lower-middle order that rivals the Aussie line-up of Symonds, Clarke and Hussey.
I’m tired of hearing that Murali Kartik is a “handy batsman” (damn you Lakshman Shivaramakrishnan). He’s as handy as a hammer is to fix the intermittent network connection problem that I’m experiencing on my laptop right now. He plain sucks. I’ve never seen him do anything with the bat. He can barely hold a bat. And I’m not a fan of his bowling either. Yes, you know what I’m suggesting….find someone better, or drop him from the team.

Anyway, now we’ll have to see how India bowls. They’ll have to bowl exceptionally well to prevent Pakistan from chasing this total.

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3 Responses to “Same old attitude problem”

  1. Amar Says:

    Interestingly enough, we both blogged about the same thing at the same time.

    Check out:
    http://googlynbouncer.blogspot.com/

  2. any Says:

    tendulkars scoring rate from 50-100 was then 0-50. Also he was given out wrongly. Can u give the guy a break. Its not him that is the problem. The problem is that the last 5 guys weren’t able to build upon.

  3. Pratik Says:

    He’s not the problem, it’s the attitude (which several other players also have). There’s no room for that in one-day cricket. Have no doubt in your mind that Tendulkar was not going for all-out attack because the 100 was within his sights. I am not saying he’s a bad batsman (he may not be as good as he was, but he’s still very, very good), or that he wouldn’t have attacked having gotten to this century. I am sure he would have liked to make up for that sluggishness, but he didn’t get a chance to (and this is not the first time it has happened either). That period of between 40 and 43 overs when we should’ve attacked, he was looking for singles to get to his century. This when we were only three or four down.

    Like I said, Tendulkar’s been unjustly criticized a lot lately, but this is justified. How can we hope to beat Australia this way? They have Symonds, Clarke and Hussey throwing their bat around to maximize their score (regardless of their personal score or predicament), and here we have one of our best batsmen playing it safe to get to his century. That’s just not acceptable.

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