Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Are we missing a coach?
It's clear, or should be clear, that India has to go back to the tried and tested combination of six batsmen, keeper and four bowlers for the remaining matches to give itself an even chance of winning the series. With the English weakness against spin exposed, it's clear, or should be obvious, that Munaf's the guy to axe. In his place either Rohit Sharma or Robin Uthappa or both should come in. I wish they would pick Rohit Sharma, whose batting I haven't seen. What's the point of taking a promising youngster on a tour and refusing to pick him even when the team is losing anyway? Whoever is picked, Rohit or Robin, I would like to see him at number four. It would be unrealistic to expect a newcomer to capitalise on the powerplay overs. That's why I think the big three should bat one, two, three. Karthick, if he is retained, should come in after Dhoni because he has shown he can improvise, which is what is required at that stage. Dhoni likes to build his innings before going for the big shots, which means at least one batsman should come after him. Dhoni at three has been suggested, but I think he will do well up the order only on flat sub-continental tracks. I suppose Dravid will again resort to batting first if he wins the toss, after the loss at Edgbaston. A better reason for batting first is the experience of the first day-nighter in Scotland where the ball zipped and darted about at night, contributing to our 180 all out. It was certainly much easier to bat first which is why Collingwood was bemused when Dravid opted to field. Dravid of course was going by his sub-continental experience where the dew gets heavy in the winter and certainly favours the side batting second. He should have checked with the locals how it is in the English summer before making his decision. At Edgbaston too, I think Dravid went by his Irish experience where he put the Proteas in to bat and beat them in two one-dayers with the early morning conditions helping the seamers. Edgbaston was different because the pitch tends to slow down there, which is the reason why big scores have hardly ever been chased down. Again Dravid failed to tap local knowledge. Are we missing a coach, folks?