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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blog long ago...

Found an analysis I had done long ago...reproducing it from rediff site.

Date: Monday, November 30, 1998 1:53 AM
From: Madhu

This is in response to the article by Harsha Bhogle “Help Wanted!” The author has tried to mention that there is no opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar in sight other than Saurav Ganguly. As statistics show, Sachin and Saurav form the best opening combination in modern times. So, why the idea to replace them at all ? If a detailed analysis of the Indian team’s performance in ODI this year is done, it is seen that there are 4 batsmen who play an important role in India’s batting fortunes – Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Saurav Ganguly and Ajay Jadeja. For India to score a sizable score and thereby win a match, two or three of these men have to produce a significant effort. Even if only one of them scores heavily, it does no good to India’s total as seen in the 13 of the 14 Indian losses (the exception being the last match of the Sahara Cup where both Azhar and Sachin scored well).

Another important feature to note is the contribution of one more person – Robin Singh. India has lost only 6 of the matches in which Robin Singh has played, and in 4 of those innings Robin’s score has been 50, 57, 73*, 49*. This goes to show the rest of the team can do with more of similar innings from its batsmen to reduce its losses. As far as ODI are concerned, neither Rahul Dravid nor V V S Laxman seem to be doing well, but it would be helpful to have Rahul in the side for the World Cup since one can expect the ball to move and hence early wickets to fall.

A pinch-hitter is not a solution for such a situation but a guy like Rahul. As for as the bowlers, Srinath, Kumble and Agarkar seem to be the top 3 bowlers for India in ODI – Srinath having never gone wicketless in any ODI match that he played this year. The selectors need to give Venkatesh Prasad more chances so that his confidence remains at a high. I think in England, India has to go in with 4 regular bowlers, a wicket-keeper and 6 regular batsmen. The lineup should ideally be: Sachin, Saurav, Rahul, Azhar, Jadeja, Robin, Mongia, Agarkar, Srinath, Kumble, Prasad/Joshi/Harbajan.

The last slot can be any one of Prasad, Joshi, and Harbajan Singh – depending on the teams and the pitch conditions. The fifth bowler has to be Sachin, Saurav, and Robin Singh. Robin Singh will be more suited to the wickets that offer movement in the air and the pitch. Also, this is going to be one tournament where there will be no slogging at the top – as was displayed at the '96 World Cup due to the conditions. So, India can stick to its batting order in all its matches. The nucleus of the team has been formed and they have been playing together for quite a long time now. So, all the Best to the Indian team.

Madhu

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