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Saturday, December 08, 2012

Kolkata Test - Do we have confidence in the Indian batters?

I am writing this after six wickets have gone down in the second innings of the third test at Kolkata. What was expected to be a 4-0 win for India will very soon be 1-2 with England favourites to cross the 'Final Frontier'

Looking at the batting line-up, there is hardly any confidence that one gets

  1. Sehwag - True, he played differently this series. He respected the bowlers and gave them time but he is always going to be a lottery against world-class bowlers and an agile captain. Captains tend to see that they can prey on the patience of Sehwag and very soon he will give way. Spinners can always lick their lips in anticipation of his wicket any time (never mind they might go for few boundaries). 
  2. Gambhir - Once supposed to be the best batsman against spin, Gambhir does not seem to be at ease against the likes of Monty and Swann. Neither is he confident against the pace bowlers. When it was expected that Sehwag and Gambhir would guide the team in the absence of Dravid and Laxman, the loss of form of the openers has resulted in a downward spiral. 
  3. Pujara - Pujara started well and his average for the series was HUGE! Now, he seems to have come back to ground. Not because of any lack of form - he has been edgy and unlucky in his appearances at the crease. There is no doubt that he is the future lynchpin of the Indian cricket but it is time he regains his form this series for India to do well in the next test.
  4. Tendulkar - I am expecting Sachin to announce his retirement after this series. I think enough is enough - he seems to be getting out to bowlers whom he would have spanked in his heydays. Why then is he trying to prolong his stay at the crease? It doesnt matter that there is no replacement for him but it is important for Sachin to let his legacy not get impacted by his last few innings. He should not go out because of lack of form but take a step back to think whether it is time (Ponting did it last week and bowed out immediately)
  5. Kohli - No great performance from the hottest cricketer in Indian cricket this series. Kohli has not made any impact in this series and it looks like he might not be taking his chances coming his way. Has he assumed his position in the eleven and become complacent? Hopefully no. He will be the Tendulkar to Pujara's Dravid in the future. He can still become one if he uses this as a learning lesson in the future. 
  6. Yuvraj Singh - his survival story was great but it is back to normal now. Runs are expected to flow from his bat just like any other batsman but frankly, he cannot face pace bowlers (with the shorter balls) and spinners! Then, why is he there in the playing eleven? Why are there no cries about his axing just like Laxman used to face after almost every failure?
It is not that there are ready-made replacements for these batsmen in the domestic version. But, it is also important that those who play should grab the opportunities and make them count! Definitely, three batsmen in this squad seem to have overstayed - should they be given a pink slip soon? Will Sandeep Patil take the tough decision in the next series, if not for Nagpur?
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