Cricket: Dutch challenge

The Indians seemed to pose a stiffer challenge to themselves and Netherlands did. The win wasn’t suprising and pretty much an obvious one. Indian cricket team won’t win this World Cup based on merit alone. There has to be a great deal of luck to come to front if Indians want to stamp their authority. At this point in time Indian bowling seems to be thin of paper, thin to the point of being fragile. I keep my fingers crossed for health of bowlers. Nehra looks so fragile that you can risk him standing in one place for an hour or he may be injured. Dhoni was a captain marvellous seem to be turning to captain adamant. But on the other front Yuvraj seem to be paying Dhoni's trust in the form of runs and wickets. He seems to be the best spinner to control runs and take wickets. India being the host country was given a perfect schedule, so no grumbling on that part.

Switch on the Turbunator.

Is Bhajji of the boil? Is he trying to hard? Whatever it is, somebody please turn on the Turbunator. He seemed off the whizz. Bhajji bowling round the wicket to the right-handers take off virtually ever mode of dismissal out of the equation if the batsmen decide to see him off. Indian spinners of the past have bowled compelling lengths and line, inviting batsmen to drive at deliveries that our just out of reach, or just bounce enough and drive to regions which offer more chance of batsmen getting out rather than they getting runs. The compelling lengths in which batsmen drives at the balls without much balances bring many forms of dismissal, apart from being bowled and getting caught behind. Bhajji in his prevailing bowling form doest seem to invite the batsmen to drive to extra-cover or lob him over long off. Dhoni on his part needs to give an attacking field to Bhajji. A long on and long off a deep square leg simple wont motivate the bowler enough. Bhajji needs to take charge about his field and the captain needs to use the stick and the carrot for Bhajji when it comes to field placement. Bhajji should bowl to one of side of the wicket and if there is boundary concede of bad ball then he deserves it and if batsmen score of good deliveries (which eh hardly bowls) then there is a chance of the wicket. An easy single of a spinner is crime, conceding a boundary is lieu of wickets is a fair deal.

The fact remains the second choice Aussie spinner seems Jason Krezja offers better economy and strike compared to Bhajji. The runs he scores doesn’t compensate for the wickets he cannot take, this is the biggest tournament, and Bhajji is expected to get more than two wickets in four matches. He went wicket less against Netherlands and Ireland took just one wicket against Bangladesh, not a good sign considering other spinners are doing better. Form is temporary ad class is permanent. Bhajji should follow that or put his hand up and give up his place for someone who is willing to take couple of wickets every match.

Yuvraj repays faith

Yuvraj looks like coming to his best. If he strikes big in the middle overs, he could mean a difference between 250 and 280. Yes, he is taking wickets but I wish to seem him propelling a team and with company of Dhoni and Pathan bat the other team out of the game. If my wish could come true I would like to see Gambhir, Sehwag open, Yuvraj to follow then Tendulkar followed by Kohli, Pathan and Dhoni Ashwin (seems better bet, but is untested) Zaheer, Munaf and Chawla. This is with all due respects to Tendulkar. I thin this particular order provides better chances of securing wins and gives better balance. I would like to see Yuvraj bat in last five overs with India having 6 to 7 wickets.

Marquee matches.

Australia vs. Pak and SAfs vs. Ind are perhaps the marquee matches of the tournament. Aussies are so methodical and precise, not robotic by any means. Pak is always been flair and exuberance, quiet the opposites. Pak bowling isn’t primed 100 % but still would test most batting line-ups. The always seem to have 6 bowlers and 7 batsmen in their line up which is a luxury most teams cant afford. Kamran Akmal is dismal though. They had an off day against New Zealand. If they have a rematch in rounds to folloow (semis probably) you would seem a completely different display. Aussies and Pak both have the players who have the resolve and propensity to turn matches on its head.

India vs. SAf is another marquee matches. SAf have been a very good time and haven’t won the world cup. India needs to do well if they want to prove their candidature of this edition of world cup. Indians have just completed their tour of the SAf. They were bruised and battered by Steyn and Morkel. I think couple of batsman would want to return the favours. SAf vs. India happens this Saturday.

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