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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
Tracking T20 run-chases in an innovative manner - See here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Translating T20 to ODI results

It was refreshing to see the way the Indian team dismantled the Aussies in Mumbai (the one-off T20 international). The way the Indians played, it completely justified the tag of World Champions. Now, there is no more doubt left that the World Crown is well suited for the Indian team. Agreed that the team was a virtual unknown side when they started the T20 World Cup in South Africa. But, the way they played in Mumbai, whatever doubts remained in the minds of the critics were answered with remarkable poise and style.

The difference between the performance of the Indian team during the ODI's and the T20's was a treat to watch, especially the fielding and running-between-wickets. There was a doubt in the viewers mind whether this were the same countries that contested the seven-match ODI series a few days back. The youngsters injected the much-needed urgency into the field, thereby compensating for the lack of experience (because of the absence of the Big Three). The fear aspect was so visibly missing.

The next important strategy that the Indian think-tank needs to do is to plan how to convert the results obtained in T20, to the bigger arena (ODI's). They need to balance this with the presence of the Big Three. The selectors have to plan how they will phase out the seniors in the forthcoming months. The rotation policy would be the best policy that they can adopt to ensure that this can happen.

If the Big Three can play their natural game and ensure that a decent score is made till the 30th over with wickets in hand, the youngsters would have a similar opportunity (like the T20s) to go and score runs without any fear. This is the only way the youngsters will be blooded in the big arena. Gautam Gambhir has to be provided a chance to score runs in the ODI or he might be a T20 specialist soon.

Murali Kartik and Harbhajan Singh have formed a good pair for India. This augurs well for the Indian team where the bowlers can spin the ball in opposite directions. The pace bowlers will have to step up a gear so that the runs conceded can be reduced. Irfan Pathan has been doing a great job since his comeback - he has to be rewarded with the new ball the next time India plays. Virender Sehwag still has a long way to go before he can merit a place in the ODI team (where will he fit is the next headache if and when he performs). Robin Uthappa has shown that he can occupy the place of MS Dhoni down the order so that the captain can move up.

Pakistan will be a good test for the Indian team - how this T20 win will boost the morale of the Indians remains to be seen. Both the teams are young, with new captains - Pakistan has an edge as it has a coach appointed already. One suggestion to the selectors would be to rest one of the Big Three every match during the Pakistan series. This way, there will be no headaches to the players as well as the team's think-tank. All in all, a very interesting series on the cards.
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