Mar 20, 2011

Their last World Cup, I hope

I most of my Sunday watching the final match of the World Cup group stage between India and West Indies. I was happy to note that Sehwag and Nehra were being replaced by Raina and Ashwin. A few might wonder why I was happy why Rain's inclusion at the absence of Sehwag would make me happy. It's simple. I think the present Indian World Cup team is too batting heavy, bowling light, and fielding feather weight.

I personally believe that the Indian team which played ODIs against the Kiwis, Aussies, and South Africans in the last few months before the World Cup (which excluded Tendulkar, Sehwag, Gambhir and a few other big names) was a much more balanced side. Indian batting, even without the top three 'big guns' is good enough to put up a good total on the board (or for chasing down one).

But when it comes to bowling/fielding, it's much better to have the Rainas, Ashwins, Vijais, Rohit Sharmas around. That way you would save an extra 15 or 20 runs - the same amount of runs that a Sehwag or Tendulkar might bring you extra that he had played. But because the young legs create more pressure in the field, the bowling would become more capable and probably provide us with more wickets than otherwise. This gives a clear advantage to a younger side.

Back to the match - anyway, despite Sehwag's absence, India did well with the bat. If only the fielding was better, we would have felt more assured after our relatively easy win of the Windies. This victory, despite it's comparatively large margin (80 runs), would not give the Indian team some reliability when it takes on the Aussies at Motera. This, despite the Aussies not performing at their best.

Come what may, even if India goes on to win this World Cup, I hope this is the last World Cup in which India will have to field such a lethargic team. I hope most of these big guns retire from the shorter formats of the game so that we can have a young energetic fielding unit to back our bowling. Oh, I forgot about some more genuine allrounders. When are India going to start finding them?

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