Looking forward

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The second Test is done and dusted, and while we dominated them both, we failed to win either (although luck played a huge part in that). Here’s what we need to do moving forward:

  • Drop VRV – Even if Sreesanth, Pathan and Patel all fall sick before the next Test. He’s dead-weight as far as I am concerned. I was suprised when he played in the first Test, let alone the second. And his batting makes McGrath seem like a top-order batsman. Personally, I’m not impressed with Sreesanth either and can’t understand what all the hoopla surrounding him is. At best, he seems mediocre. Munaf Patel on the other hand clearly has a lot of potential and will probably be a permanent member of the Indian pace attack for the next decade. The same can’t be said about Sreesanth. And don’t even get me started on Powar. That means we need to get some bowling back-up. Agarkar, Nehra and Balaji are worth another chance.
  • Develop Sehwag’s bowling – Sehwag is certainly an under-rated bowler. A lack of control and variation holds him back, although his accuracy is acceptable. Bowling huge, ripping, off-spinners is not enough. Under-spin, top-spin, doosra and varied pace can turn him into a full-time bowler. Imagine that.
  • Five bowler strategy – I’m a huge advocate of having five bowlers, especially when we usually have a couple that come cropper. Eventually, Sehwag could be that fifth bowler, but until then, we need to have enough firepower out to go that last mile and finish off the opposition. That’s another reason to get some back up pacemen. Inability to bowl out a half-decent batting line-up on the last day of a Test match doesn’t bode well for us. Plus, we seem to be doing alright in the batting department at the moment as it is.
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5 Responses to “Looking forward”

  1. S Jagadish Says:

    Umm Pratik, you’re really insulting McGrath. He has a test half-century!

  2. zaheer Says:

    zaheer khan seems to be in fine form….he just took 7 wickets today ….. All the 7 wickets to fall were taken by him and essex collaped from 132-2 to 145-7 or so…

    He’s been quite good at the county level.

  3. Pratik Says:

    I know, Jagadish, but I couldn’t think of anybody else who is worse, at least among the established players.

    Thanks for the stats on Zaheer Khan, um, Zaheer. Surely there’s on bias there. 🙂 Seriously, if Zaheer Khan is doing well, good for him. Personally, I don’t think he’s upto snuff (remember wides and no-balls resulting from being nervous in the first over in big games?), but if he can improve his game and come back strong, I (and all of India) will be the happier for it. Good luck to him.

  4. sukhi Says:

    zaheer got all 9 later. not sure if he got to all 10 figure.

    Pratik,

    Our bowling has mostly sucked – except when Pathan was up and coming – and Zaheer was there. With Bhajji and Kumble, it was good.

    Patel looks good. Sreesanth, occasionally. You know more than anything else, I’d like to see some aggressive captaincy, and tactics.

    Sehwag’s essentially a bowler in the Tendulkar mould – so’s always a good bet as a change bowler. But over-exposure might take away some of his effectiveness, I think. I would rather not see him bowl too regularly.

  5. Pratik Says:

    Yes, bowling has always been our weakness. But hope shines ever eternal. Other than Kapil and Srinath, we haven’t really had any good fast bowlers, let alone two playing together (which is what we really need). Munaf Patel is a very exciting prospect, but we need someone to bowl with him.

    Sehwag may be in the Tendulkar mould, but he’s certainly better than him. He has more control, and I think it’s worth trying him out as a full-time bowler after he adds a few more deliveries to his arsenal. Tendulkar has always been over-hyped. He’s got a good mind, but his variations are not that subtle and he has terrible control (he bowls quite a few 4-balls).

    I agree about seeing some aggressive tactics. During the ICC Super Series last year, in the 2nd ODI, when Sangakkara and Gayle were going berserk, Ponting did something interesting. He put more men on the off side and bowled wide of Gayle, with the ball going across him. Ponting got lucky in that the umpire didn’t signal wide to a ball that clearly was. Next ball, Gayle lost patience (his team was chasing a huge score — 330+ I think) had a swing (at another ball quite wide), edged and was caught behind. That was a very interesting tactic. Doesn’t look like anybody has learned from it though, for I haven’t seen anybody employ that tactic since.

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