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?


Anonymous said...

Dont agree with you Sumit. The reason why Dravid went for batting 2nd was not because of dew conditions. He is experienced enough to know that.

And we failed in Edgbaston, cos of shoddy batting. Lack of 7th batsmen did us in and this was the major reason why we failed. And plus one of the premier batsmen made just a 0.

Pitches here for this series have been too flat and there has been no swing or seam movement any time of the game. And some intelligence and applying th mind in the bowling which would do the trick for the winning team.

India dint do it, England did it. so the score 2-1 for England.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

tubbyy, yes england played well to win, but i believe india's the stronger team which a better captain might have leveraged better. we're 2-1 down in spite of winning all the tosses which should have been to our advantage but worked against us instead. if dravid is consistent, he should pick fielding again today if he wins the toss as he did in the first day-nighter. the conditions can't be that different. but i can bet he will pick batting after learning from the mistake in glasgow. unfortunately, by the law of averages he's due to lose the toss - so this argument may not be settled :)

Soulberry said...

The way I see it Sumit, India isn't going to bat first on winning the toss (oh well they're doing it alternately) and England certainly isn't going to put India into bat after winning the toss.

If chase is the premise, India need the extra bat you suggest. If they do decide to bat first, I'd prefer the five player theory.

The problem for India in this series has been -
1) Dropped catches (looking back, the scoreline would have been very different if all the catches had been taken. Not just in the ODI series, but also the tests)
2) Poor fielding - at all times India begins 50 down. With some self-determination and purpose, that could be curtailed usefully to a mere 20 down.
3)Inconsistent line and length by the bowlers and poor anticipation of batsman's intent - the specialists haven't been disciplined to stick to the most restrictive line for a particular batsman or the most dangerous line to a particular batsman. Then, as we saw in the first two matches, India just couldn't account for the off-side initial movement of the England bats. England did less of it in the third match.

If India is stepping in with an intent to chase, they should go in selecting an extra bat before the toss.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

soulberry, the lack of consistency in dravid's decisions after winning the toss show the confusion in his mind. you can always blame the batting, bowling, fielding and catching for losses, or just give credit to the opposition. but in this series the main culprit is the leader. he doesn't know what to do after winning the toss, his five-bowler approach sucks, and his handling of the bowling and batting lineup is poor.

Soulberry said...

Do you feel "flexibility" is being carried to the extreme, or is it merely a compulsion of circumstances?

Sumit Chakraberty said...

soulberry, flexibility is good, but that requires even more intelligence and planning than sticking to tried and tested methods. ultimately, it's about the choices one makes and whether they make sense.